Pastor A.R. Bernard explained Tuesday why he left President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board but will continue to work with his administration on issues of concern.
Bernard, who left the evangelical advisory board in August 2017, clarified that he has continued to work with the Trump administration and HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson on the inner city initiative, formally known as the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.
Bernard is founder and pastor of Christian Cultural Center, a nondenominational megachurch in New York City with over 40,000 members.
Trump announced the formation of the council, to be led by Carson, on Dec. 12.
“With the creation of today’s council, the resources of the whole federal government will be leveraged to rebuild low-income and impoverished neighborhoods that have been ignored by Washington in years past. Our goal is to ensure that America’s great new prosperity is broadly shared by all of our citizens,” Trump said at the time.
Earlier that same month, Bernard announced a partnership between his church, the private sector, and government to build a $1.2 billion affordable housing development in Brooklyn.
On Tuesday, Bernard recalled that he left the Faith Leaders Initiative, commonly known as the evangelical advisory council, because “to the public it comes across as” endorsing “everything the president says.”
“However,” he continued, “I’m still available for the inner city initiative, issues of religious freedom, … whatever I can do to bring my talents to bear.”
Bernard also clarified that he won’t “exploit this” by letting “the media use me to go on the talk show circuit to bash my evangelical colleagues” who remain on the board.
He was speaking on a panel at the Faith Angle Forum with Pastor Dimas Salaberrios on the issue of racism, Christianity and the 2015 white supremacist-inspired shooting at Emanuel Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He was asked about his decision to leave the evangelical advisory board during the Q&A part of the 2.5-hour presentation.
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Source: Christian Post