David Platt is a well-known pastor of a mega-church in the South. That means in many other parts of the country, he is a relative unknown. This week, however, Pastor Platt got himself into some hot water because he prayed for Donald Trump in the service. Here’s a quick recap of the event (as I understand it).
Platt’s Sunday service was wrapping up. He had finished the sermon and stepped off the stage into some sort of green room. Before heading back to the stage for his traditional blessing/benediction, he was informed that the President had just arrived and desired prayer.
Apparently, Trump had finished a round of golf and asked to stop by Platt’s church.
Platt consented, went out on stage with President Trump and publicly prayed for him and with him.
Some applauded Platt. Some condemned Platt. Many shrugged their shoulders.
I am not going to tell you what you should think about this incident. Likely, my opinion wouldn’t sway yours. So let me throw a series of questions at you in case you’re willing to think through whether or not you think Platt did the right thing.
But before the rest of my questions, here is the most important one: What does the Bible say about this? It seems 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and Romans 13:1-7 are the most appropriate passage to consider. Feel free to read the two passages below and consider whether there is any direct or indirect application to this incident.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
And now, the rest of the questions:
- Should pastors pray?
- Should pastors pray in church?
- Should pastors pray publicly in church?
- Should pastors pray for other people?
- Should pastors pray publicly for other people?
- Should pastors pray publicly in church for other people?
- Should pastors pray for other people who may not by Christians?
- Should pastors pray publicly for other people who may not be Christians?
- Should pastors pray publicly in church for other people who may not be Christians?
- Should pastors pray for politicians?
- Should pastors pray for politicians who may not be Christians?
- Should pastors pray for politicians who do not always represent Kingdom values?
- Should pastors pray for politicians who do not ever represent Kingdom values?
- Should pastors pray publicly in church for politicians who do not ever represent Kingdom values?
- Should pastors pray publicly in church for politicians who do not ever represent Kingdom values if that person is in the service?
- What do you think?