David Platt, a pastor at McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia, recently sent a statement to his congregants about why he decided to pray with and for President Donald Trump while the commander-in-chief made an impromptu appearance onstage at their place of worship in the wake of the Virginia Beach mass shooting.
Platt’s remarks to his congregants were in no way an apology, but rather an explanation for why he chose to lead the prayer. Nevertheless, some conservative media outlets have described it as an apology, according to Fox News — and some prominent conservatives have made criticisms in less-than-appropriate ways.
After he was told the president was on his way to worship with him, Platt was unsure of what to do next. He consulted scripture, and determined the right course of action was to pray with Trump — a move that upset some within his congregation.
“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” the Bible dictates, Platt said in a statement.
“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,” Platt recognized.
That statement was enough for Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. to send a tweet attacking Platt for his compassion to his congregation.
“Sorry to be crude but pastors like @plattdavid need to grow a pair. Just saying,” Falwell said in a now-deleted tweet.
Jerry Falwell Jr., who identifies as a Christian, just recently deleted this tweet from yesterday, regarding the statement from McLean Baptist Church's David Platt in which he explained his decision to grant Donald Trump last-minute request to visit on Pray for Donald Trump Day. pic.twitter.com/FPygufMElw
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) June 5, 2019
Falwell Jr. removed the tweet from his timeline, as it makes an apparent reference to the size of Platt’s genitalia and was deemed inappropriate by many online. Nevertheless, as criticism continued after it was deleted, Falwell Jr. seemingly defended his remarks, pointing out that he’s “never been a minister” himself, but rather serves as a university administrator at a Christian school.
“While I am proud to be a conservative Christian, my job is to keep LU successful academically, financially and in athletics,” Falwell Jr. said in a subsequent tweet.
The faculty, students and campus pastor @davidnasser of @LibertyU are the ones who keep LU strong spiritually as the best Christian univ in the world. While I am proud to be a conservative Christian, my job is to keep LU successful academically, financially and in athletics.
— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) June 4, 2019
It’s not clear how the crude remarks from Falwell Jr. help his campus in any academic, financial, or athletic way.
Featured image: screen grab/CNN