Pastor apologizes after leading praying for Trump: ‘My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies’

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On Sunday, Donald Trump made an impromptu stop at a megachurch in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

On Sunday, Donald Trump made an impromptu stop at a megachurch in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Trump had just finished golfing, and his staff said he wanted to stop by the church to pray for the families and victims in the Friday mass shooting in Virginia Beach. The White House released the following short statement, saying, “President Donald J. Trump is visiting McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA, to visit with the Pastor and pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach.”

Instead, Trump walked onstage, and Pastor David Platt prayed for Trump. No word whatsoever from Trump, nothing about the shooting victims or their families. No consoling words. Nothing. After the prayer for him, Trump turned and walked away, his golf cleats clacking across the stage, leaving the church just as quickly as he arrived. He might as well have been playing through a hole on the golf course.

Turns out, he wasn’t invited, and Platt sent a letter of apology to the congregation after Trump’s presence upset some of its members. Indeed, in the video of Platt’s prayer for Trump, some members of the church band are clearly refusing to clap. During the introduction and after the prayer, the applause was very muted, except for small number of loud MAGA supporters who yelled out in approval. In the letter, Platt notes that he’d just finished his afternoon sermon when he was notified backstage that Trump would be there within minutes. Platt says he prayed about what to do and then decided he would introduce him to the congregation and ask for people to pray for Trump.

Trump’s visit now makes a lot more sense. And a tip of the hat to the members of that church who recognize that virtually all of Trump’s actions are antithetical to the teachings of Jesus in their Bible.

Dear MBC Family,

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming, and we’re faced with a decision in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God. Today, I found myself in one of those situations.

At the end of my sermon at the 1:00 worship gathering, I stepped to the side for what I thought would be a couple of moments in quiet reflection as we prepared to take the Lord’s Supper. But I was immediately called backstage and told that the President of the United States was on his way to the church, would be there in a matter of minutes, and would like for us to pray for him. I immediately thought about my longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in our church. As I said in the sermon today, Christ alone unites us. I love that we have over 100 nations represented in our church family, including all kinds of people with varied personal histories and political opinions from varied socioeconomic situations. It’s clear in our church that the only reason we’re together is because we have the same King we adore, worship, fear, and follow with supreme love and absolute loyalty, and His name is Jesus.

That’s why, as soon as I heard this request backstage, the passage from God’s Word that came to my mind was 1 Timothy 2:1-6:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

Based on this text, I know that it is good, and pleasing in the sight of God, to pray for the president. So in that moment, I decided to take this unique opportunity for us as a church to pray over him together. My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage portrays.

I went back out to lead the Lord’s Supper and then walked off stage, where the president was soon to arrive. In that brief moment, I prayed specifically for an opportunity to speak the gospel to him, and for faithfulness to pray the gospel over him.

While I won’t go into the details of our conversation backstage, one of our other pastors and I spoke the gospel in a way that I pray was clear, forthright, and compassionate. Then I walked back out on stage, read 1 Timothy 2:1-6, and sought to pray the Word of God over the president, other leaders, and our country. (If you would like to see the full context of my comments and prayer, I have included the video below.) After I prayed, the president walked off stage without comment, and we closed our gathering by celebrating heroes among us, a couple who has spent the last 48 years spreading the gospel in remote places where it had never gone before they came. We then recited the Great Commission as we always do, sending one another out into the city for the glory of our King.

I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision. This weighs heavy on my heart. I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God. So while I am thankful that we had an opportunity to obey 1 Timothy 2 in a unique way today, I don’t want to purposely ever do anything that undermines the unity we have in Christ.

n the end, would you pray with me for gospel seed that was sown today to bear fruit in the president’s heart? Would you also pray with me that God will help us to guard the gospel in every way as we spread the gospel everywhere? And finally, I’m guessing that all of us will face other decisions this week where we don’t have time to deliberate on what to do. I’m praying now for grace and wisdom for all of us to do exactly what we talked about in the Word today: aim for God’s glory, align with God’s purpose, and yield to God’s sovereignty.

 

I love you, church.

 

Your Pastor,

David

You can watch video of the prayer below:

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Man accused of having sex with a cat now accused of trying to lure a teenage girl for sex

MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) — A man who made headlines back in March after he was accused of having sex with a cat has been arrested again, according to Mesa Police.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the man, 40-year-old Michael C. Navage, is accused of luring a minor and drug possession. According to court documents, an undercover Mesa Police detective who was posing as a 14-year-old girl was contacted by Navage, who told the undercover detective he wanted to meet up and have sex. Navage had, on several occasions, acknowledged the age of the persona the undercover assumed as 14.

On May 29, officials said Navage sent an unsolicited photo of the male anatomy to the undercover detective, and plans were later made for the undercover and Navage to meet up on May 31. He was arrested on that day, near the area of Lindsey Road and Main Street.

According to court documents, Navage attempted to resist arrest. After his arrest, officers found a glass pipe with residue, which resembles a pipe commonly used to smoke meth. A clear bag containing crystal-life substance was also found in his front jeans coin pocket. That substance tested positive for meth during a field drug test.

Navage, according to police, was on pre-trial release for the bestiality case, where he is accused of having sex with his pet cat, resulting in injuries to the cat. In May, Arizona Humane Society officials said the cat, named Shadow, has been adoptedand is now living in Fountain Hills.

As for Navage, police officials said he is being held without bond for the most recent charges.

 

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Ecosexuals Believe Having Sex with the Earth Could Save It

From skinny dippers to people who have actual intercourse with nature, ecosexuality is a growing movement taking a new approach to combatting climate change.

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If you happen to find yourself in Sydney this week, you have the unique opportunity to have sex with the earth. You just need to stop by the “ecosexual bathhouse,” which is currently part of the Syndey LiveWorks Festival of experimental art. The bathhouse is an interactive installation created by artists Loren Kronemyer and Ian Sinclair of Pony Express, who described the work to me as a “no-holds-barred extravaganza meant to dissolve the barriers between species as we descend into oblivion” as the result of our global environmental crisis. But they also see their piece as a part of a much larger ecosexual movement, which they say is gathering momentum around the world.

And they may be right. Jennifer Reed, a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is writing a dissertation on ecosexuality, and says that the number of people who identify as ecosexuals has increased markedly in the past two years. And Google search data confirms that interest in the term has spiked dramatically over the past year. We may look back on 2016 as the year ecosexuality hit the mainstream.

Ecosexuality is a term with wide-ranging definitions, which vary depending on who you ask.

nintchdbpict000280098058A participant at the Ecosexual Bathhouse by the art group Pony Express. Photo by Matt Sav

 

Amanda Morgan, a faculty member at the UNLV School of Community Health Sciences who is involved in the ecosexual movement, says that ecosexuality could be measured in a sense not unlike the Kinsey Scale: On one end, it encompasses people who try to use sustainable sex products, or who enjoy skinny dipping and naked hiking. On the other are “people who roll around in the dirt having an orgasm covered in potting soil,” she said. “There are people who fuck trees, or masturbate under a waterfall.”

The movement’s growing prominence owes much to the efforts of Bay Area performance artists, activists, and couple Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens, who have made ecosexuality a personal crusade. They have published an “ecosex manifesto” on their website SexEcology and produced several films on the theme, including a documentary, Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story, which depicts the “pollen-amorous” relationship between them and the Appalachian Mountains. And while touring a theater piece across the country, Dirty Sexecology: 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth, they’ve officiated wedding ceremonies where they and fellow ecosexuals marry the earth, the moon, and other natural entities.

Sprinkle and Stephens talk openly about ecosexuality as a new form of sexual identity. At last year’s San Francisco Pride Parade, they led a contingent of over a hundred ecosexuals in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to “officially” add an E to the LGBTQI acronym; Stephens told Outside that they believe there are now at least 100,000 people around the world who openly identify as ecosexuals.

A trailer for Pony Express’ “Ecosexual Bathhouse”

According to Reed’s research, the term “ecosexuality” has existed since the early 2000s, when it started appearing as a self-description on online dating profiles. It wasn’t until 2008 that it began its evolution toward a fully fledged social movement, when Sprinkle and Stephens began officiating ecosexual weddings. The two artists had been active in the marriage equality movement, and they wanted to harness that energy for environmental causes. Stephens has said that their aim was to reconceptualize the way we look at the earth, from seeing the planet as a mother to seeing it as a lover.

Also in 2008, Stefanie Iris Weiss, a writer and activist based in New York, began researching her book Eco-sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable, published in 2010. Weiss, who was at that time unaware of Sprinkle and Stephens’s work, initially lent the idea a more practical, literal focus, with research revealing the harmful environmental impact of materials used in condoms, lubes, and other sex products upon both our bodies and the planet. She said that she wrote the book to help people make their sex lives “more carbon neutral and sustainable,” and to help us avoid polluting our bodies when we have sex.

The desire for safer and more sustainable sex products remains an important part of the ecosexual movement, and Weiss said that green options for consumers when it comes to sex products have increased dramatically since she wrote her book. But she has also happily embraced Sprinkle and Stephens’s more holistic take on ecosexuality, immediately recognizing in their efforts a shared goal: to help people reconnect with nature, and with their own bodies.

Reed said that ecosexuality is different from other social movements in that it focuses on personal behavior and pleasure rather than protests or politics. She said that some people within the environmental movement have kept their distance from it for this reason. But ecosexual activists interviewed for this story all insist they have a serious goal at heart. As Morgan said, thinking about the earth as a lover is the first step toward taking the environmental crisis seriously. “If you piss off your mother, she’s probably going to forgive you. If you treat your lover badly, she’s going to break up with you.”

At the same time, the sense of levity that characterizes works such as the bathhouse or Sprinkle and Stephens’s performances is an integral part of the movement. Morgan describes ecosexuality as a means of moving beyond the “depressing Al Gore stuff” that people often associate with environmentalism. Her hope, and that of other ecosexuals such as Weiss and Kronemyer, is that it can gives the average person a way of engaging with the issue that is accessible and fun, and that creates a sense of hopefulness.

Morgan and Weiss both say that they also see sex as a potentially powerful tool for motivating people to make the environment a priority. As Weiss put it: “If you’re running from floods, you won’t have any time for sex.”

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