Falwell to Platt & other pastors: Act like men

Platt praised for Trump prayer, but appears to justify feelings of those ‘hurt’ by his action and draws stinging rebuke from Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr.

David Platt prayed for President Donald Trump Sunday. It was well done—somber and reflective of the biblical commands to pray for all leaders. However, Platt sent a letter to his church Sunday night that seemed to justify how some Christians were upset over the appearance of Donald Trump at McLean Bible Church. Platt’s move looks weak. It looks like Platt thinks it is OK for some “Christians” to be upset when a man they disapprove of walks into church. Jerry Falwell, Jr. thinks pastors like Platt need to grow up and act like men.

Falwell tweeted a link to a Todd Starnes story on the Platt fiasco. In the piece, Starnes praised Platt for his conduct with President Donald Trump. Starnes was critical of the church members upset by it. Falwell’s tweet told pastors they shouldn’t cater to the snowflake Christians.

Falwell tweeted, “Sorry to be crude but pastors like @plattdavid need to grow a pair.  Just saying.”

Falwell raises an important point: Pastors should not legitimize childish behavior, but instead rebuke it.

Would David Platt tell church members upset that a prostitute visited the church for prayer that their concerns were justified? Their pain at being around a sinner was “valid?”

Of course not.

Any pastor would condemn such Pharisees.

All sinners should be welcome in a bible-believing, soul-winning church.

Yet, because Donald Trump is despised by some, it is OK for them to be upset?

Nope.

The Gospel is for everyone–even Donald J. Trump.

The pastors worried about offending these baby Christians should get over themselves. They should act like men and rebuke this behavior.

That is the pastor’s job.

Platt did a great job handling the prayer over Trump and proclaiming the Gospel to the President. Platt did a miserable job handling upset Christians in his church.

Falwell’s warning is important—Pastors shouldn’t enable childish behavior. We need men leading churches and not the timid.

What a mess.

16 Comments

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  1. 2
    Byron Harvey

    Jerry Falwell Jr., Trump lapdog extraordinaire, has the temerity to question the courage of David Platt. I would say that I am astonished, but Falwell, in his cowardice and compromise in the face of this president, has only contributed another episode in his long line of genuflecting gymnastics before his Lord and Savior, Donald Trump (that’s hyperbole; only God knows his heart).

    David Platt made a quick decision to honor the President’s request; I would have done the same. Platt prayed a prayer that hit all the right notes. Then, recognizing the hurt that many have felt from this President’s remarks, he wrote an evenhanded letter explaining (not apologizing for) his decision and demonstrating pastoral compassion for those who might not have understood or appreciated it. In doing so, he demonstrated loyalty to Jesus and the gospel, and spoke the truth in love.

    And then Jerry the Coward says this.

    I am increasingly encouraged by young men like Platt, Matt Chandler, Russell Moore, and many others who hold Jesus high and will not compromise the gospel by a seemingly unquestioned allegiance to political leaders of any stripe. May their tribe increase (and may the board of Liberty–my alma mater–have the courage to remove this embarrassment of a “leader” like Falwell).

    • 3
      Capstone Report

      Thanks for the comment.

      Platt did everything right during the service. Then he wrote the letter. The explanation was good; however, he failed when he said people had “valid concerns.” We wouldn’t tolerate anyone being mad at a prostitute or homeless person walking into church. Why should we say to someone hurt by this sinner’s appearance, that it their hurt is valid? That looks like a mistake on Platt’s part.

      • 4
        Joshua Wagner

        I have to say that comparing a “prostitute or homeless person” to the president and leader of our country does not qualify for an appropriate analogy. The president is the leader of our country and influences our daily lives, a prostitute or homeless person does not (as directly as the president).

        As a graduate from Liberty, I am embarrassed at Jerry Falwell’s words as well. I do not think that David Platt did anything wrong by clarifying and bringing unity to the church by explaining further the scriptural basis and people concerns for the leader. Jerry Falwell is just bringing about division with his words to the body of Christ, which is warned against (Philippians 2:14-15). I pray for both men to be humbled before Christ, who is the true king, and to remember that He is the one who puts leaders in their place.

        • 5
          Capstone Report

          So, some sinners aren’t welcome? And it would be justified to be upset if they darkened the church door?

          Because that’s ultimately the point.

          And respectfully, I’d argue the ones causing division are the folks upset a sinner asked for prayer.

          • 6
            Joshua Wagner

            When did David Platt say he was not welcome or that he regrets doing that? I missed that in his article?

            I am not saying that they are right in their convictions against the president and praying for him, but I do believe that the leader of the church should respectfully make his convictions clear to his church to bring unity.

            No where in David’s response say that he should shut the door to the president or that he regrets his decision to pray for the president; he simply acknowledges peoples feelings and states that they may not agree with the president, but they are called to pray for him. I think it is a jump to say that David Platt is “darkened the church door”.

          • 7
            Capstone Report

            Platt didn’t say that. However, that’s what the “hurt” people ultimately would prefer, ie: not to be confronted by someone they think is a bigger sinner than they are.

            Platt legitimized their hurt. That’s basically saying, they were OK to feel that way. Thankfully, I know that wasn’t his purpose. He biblically explained what Christians should do and modeled that on stage. Yet, we shouldn’t tell people their prejudices and hate (because that’s ultimately what would drive “hurt” in this case) are “valid.”

  2. 8
    Byron Harvey

    Because prostitutes and sinners haven’t said inflammatory things, given tacit approval to racists, and done the other myriad things that this president has that have genuinely hurt people. I don’t think the analogy holds.

    • 9
      Capstone Report

      So, in this view, only SOME sinners should be welcome in the church or prayed over when they request it?

      People could be hurt by things Trump has done, but that doesn’t make it a valid reason for upset the church prayed over him or for him. It doesn’t make it right to justify members feeling Trump, or for that matter, any sinner is so vile they aren’t welcome.

      When people think like that, they are thinking better of themselves than Trump. There’s a word for those type of people…

      • 10
        Byron Harvey

        I literally have no idea why you would reach your first conclusion. I am DEFENDING David Platt, both in the prayer and in the letter, so of course I don’t believe that. Further, I don’t think that the issue is that Trump is too big of a sinner to pray for; that also is a conclusion that seems way off. I think that you miss the point: it isn’t that Trump was prayed for (that is Scriptural, as Platt explains and as any reasonable Christian would undoubtedly agree), but rather that by doing so as publicly as Platt did (on the platform, unlike how a prostitute or “regular sinner” would likely be prayed for), some might misconstrue his actions as an endorsement of a president who by any reasonable judgment has Tweeted and said some things that are understandably hurtful to some people. Writing a compassionate letter to clarify such things is far, far more in the spirit of Christ than Falwell’s nastiness.

        • 11
          Laura

          So if I pray for a publicly known sinner in front of a bunch of Christians I am endorsing that sinner?
          You keep trying to make a point that is adequately refuted by splitting hairs (similar to the pharisess – you sound JUST like them) on Trump, because you have animus toward him. It is so clear how much animus you have. I am a Christian, NOT a Trump supporter, and even I can see through your word games. Repent of your pride. You are called to pray for your enemies AND do good to your enemies. Platt did both, then took the cowards’ way out by appeasing hatred in his sheep. Shame on him.

  3. 12
    Dejuana simon

    I am so glad I don’t go to this church what a Hypocriteal church it is … Nothing like praying for someone than telling the congregation sorry I had to pray for him I did not want to but the Holy Spirit made me, then hitting the NEWS with that statement. That is so mean spirited and hateful. I started praying for Our GREAT President this morning at 3 am so mad at this church making GOD look bad and hurting someones feeling because of your prejudice, I prayed for God to shut the doors of your worthless church.

  4. 14
    Dale Little

    The best way to deal with those who “will not endure sound doctrine” is to start preaching and continue preaching sound doctrine. Eventually those people will go elsewhere to get their ears tickled.

    • 15
      Dale Little

      Let me just add that I do take issue with Falwell’s statement. I really get sick of hearing about people “having a pair,” or needing to “grow a pair.” We know what the reference is too, and I think it is not only ridiculous, but can be offensive. I have heard the same ignorant statement applied to women with statements like, you have, or she has “more **** than any man” they know. Do people not realize how stupid that sounds. It assumes that only men are people of courage, and the bigger they are, the more courage someone has. Again, completely stupid assumption. Although it may not be provable, I think there is good evidence that both Daniel and his three young companions had been castrated before serving in the kings court. Unless you have more courage than these did, I would not assume that your having a pair makes you any more courageous than anyone else.

  5. 16
    Dale Little

    Good luck on your prayers for David Platt after your opening slanderous remarks. Somehow a growing number of “Christians” think that it is OK to slander any politician they do not agree with. This is nothing new. I saw plenty of it with President Obama, but I have never in my 72 years seen it on the level it has risen to with President Trump and anyone on his staff. Criticism is OK, but slander is a sin whether the slander is of a prostitute or a politician. The Bible teaches to first get the log out of your own eye, and then you can see to get the speck of dust out of someone else’s.

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