Keith Mannes has been a pastor at the Christian Reformed Church in Michigan for over 30 years, but earlier this month, he handed in his resignation over what he sees his the church’s “broad support” for President Trump, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“There’s a quote from Martin Luther King where he said, ‘The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state,’” Mannes said. “That just hit me hard because I think, broadly, the white evangelical community in our country has abandoned that role.”
“The question of the church largely and how it’s functioned in this moment has been really disturbing. That’s been troubling enough that I need to lay it all down,” he added.
Mannes has felt his internal struggle from the time Trump “came down the escalator” in 2015.
“It’s only been building ever since,” he said. “From the beginning I thought there’s something about this man and the instrument that he is for a lot of things that are just very not Jesus.”
“It just floors me how church-going people who read the Bible and sing the hymns can show up at a [Trump] rally and just do that deep bellow like an angry mob supporting these horrible things that come out of his heart and his mind. It just began to trouble me so much that I am a pastor in this big enterprise.”
Mannes says he’s been careful not to discuss his dislike for Trump with church members.
“I would just implore anybody who claims Christ to just look very seriously at the core things Jesus called us to do and be,” he said. “Do some serious soul searching about who you’re serving and how you’re trying to accomplish that purpose in the world.”
“We’re supposed to be the conscience of the president and we have refused to do that,” Mannes continued. “I don’t know that a church who believes in Jesus as we do, can abandon its conscience and not say, ‘Mr. President we’re calling you to better than that and you need to call our nation to better than that.’”
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