Pastor David Platt addressed the controversy that enveloped McLean Bible Church last week in light of the fallout over his decision to pray for President Donald Trump publicly from the stage during a June 2 Sunday service.
Speaking on the Beatitudes at the pastor’s conference in the lead-up to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, the former head of the International Mission Board, now the teaching pastor at McLean Bible Church just outside Washington, D.C., noted he had a “sanctifying week.”
He explained to thousands gathered that on that Sunday he was called backstage just prior to serving Communion and was told that President Trump was on his way to the church. A flood of thoughts consumed him at that moment, most prominent among them was 1 Timothy 2:2, where the apostle Paul’s speaks of the necessity of praying for kings and all who are in authority.
He told his church that what unites them is the Gospel, and that they had the unique opportunity to pray for the president, which he did on stage.
“I immediately knew that some members of our church would be delighted that this happened … and I also knew that others would be disheartened this happened,” Platt said.
“Both of those responses were confirmed,” he said, receiving laughs from the crowd.
He spent most of Sunday night writing a letter to his church so they could understand what had happened and how he approaches ministry, with God’s Word at the forefront, and prioritizing the Gospel amid political differences.
“Little did I know that as a result of that prayer on Sunday afternoon, that letter on Sunday night, I would find myself in the middle of a social media firestorm, I would turn down numerous requests to be on national TV and I would find myself working this week amidst increased security risk.”
“To be clear, I am no expert in meekness,” he said, as he spoke on Matthew 5:5.
The verse, which is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, reads: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Meekness is a hard word for us to understand,” he said. “We don’t use it a lot. And for good reason. People didn’t use it a lot in the first century either. Meekness connotes weakness in our minds. And that’s actually accurate in a sense.”
Meekness was not a quality that was valued neither in the 1st century nor 21st century, he continued, “but it’s quality valued by the One who transcends centuries.”
When Jesus is speaking about meekness in Matthew 5, he is referring to Psalm 37:11, he explained.
“Meekness calmly and joyfully trusts in the justice of God,” he said, summarizing the passage leading up to that particular Old Testament verse.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter