It Sucks But It’s Scripture
Love on — and pray for — your neighbor as you would yourself. Even when it sucks.
Pastor David Platt of McLean Bible Church prayed for President Donald Trump during an unannounced visit to the church last Sunday. It set off members of his congregation and the Christian community-at-large. While I understand the sentiment of all who found themselves hurt by the gesture, I also recognize how Scripture justifies the decision to pray for Trump.
It sucks but it’s Scripture.
In a letter to his congregation, Pastor Platt stated that President Trump’s visit to their church caught him and leadership off guard, told just minutes prior that the President was on his way and asked to be prayed for by Platt. The Pastor obliged , citing 1 Timothy’s message to pray for those in “high positions.”
Pastor tells congregation why he prayed for Trump
The pastor of a Northern Virginia church where President Donald Trump made an unscheduled visit over the weekend has…
Although he believes he followed the Word of God, he understands the hurt felt by his congregants and hopes that his decision to pray for the President did not equal to an endorsement of the President, his political party or his policies.
Empathy covers all parties involved.
If I was a congregant of that church, then I would be concerned about reason and motives. According to the statement released from the White House, President Trump’s visit to the church was to pray for the victims and city of Virginia Beach after this past week’s shooting took the lives of twelve people.
As of now, we’re not sure those prayers commenced during the President’s visit.
While I would hope to not question my Pastor’s intentions, I would be cautious of the Trump administration’s motivations behind this moment. Especially with that weekend being the “Special Day of Prayer for the President,” organized by pastor — and ally — Franklin Graham.
Many within the Christian community considered Graham’s day of prayer to be a publicity stunt and a move of self-righteousness.
If I sat in a pew in that church, I’d be more than a little peeved. Don’t use our house of worship for propaganda. Not over here.
But it’s witness over optics. Every single time. Even in this case. Painfully.
And that pastor did what we’re all called to do but admittedly too broken to make happen.
As he said in his letter, he did what Scripture commanded of him to do in that moment. Although it hurts him to know that many of his body became hurt by what happened, he hopes that it relayed the most important messages of the Gospel: to love despite it all.
And honestly, I’d be more terrified if I supported a leader who disregards Scripture to appease self.
Scripture isn’t meant for appeasement. If you signed up for this walk to be coddled and in a perpetual state of comfort, then you may need to reevaluate why you opted into this life.
There is nothing in Scripture that says that we only pray for favorites. There is nothing in Scripture that says that you can refuse to pray for someone who you disagree with politically. However, there is Scripture that says the greatest commandment of them all is love. Love your neighbor as yourself.
And you pray for your neighbor as you would pray for yourself. Even when it sucks.