An American pastor has stepped down from his position due to the large support that his congregation has for President Donald Trump.
On Oct. 11, the Christian Reformed Church pastor from Holland, Michigan, Keith Mannes delivered his final sermon to East Saugatuck CRC.
The pastor stepped down claiming he first felt a personal disconnect when Trump first announced his presidential run in 2015.
He has served his church for four years out of his 30 years experience as a pastor.
Pastor Mannes said: “From the time he came down the escalator…It’s only been building ever since. 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”.
He was not comfortable aboutTrump’s 2017 comments following a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he said that there “were fine people on both sides,” while also condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
The pastor said he was also displeased with Trump’s photo op in front of St. John’s Church in Washington D.C.
It was reported that in June, after nearby protesters were tear-gassed by law enforcement, the president walked to St. John’s Church and posed with a Bible for a photo op. Pastor Mannes described the photo op as a “tremendous violation of something deep and holy.”
Moreover, Mannes believes that Trump’s Christian supporters have failed to hold the president accountable for his (unChristly) rhetoric and actions.
Pastor Mannes lamented that:
“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,” he said. “It just began to trouble me so much that I am a pastor in this big enterprise”.
What it was really doing was tearing me up. I’ve had to be very careful to not speak about these things directly with members of the church.
“It’s not only me, but quite a number of pastors I know are just like, ‘This is it? All this preaching we did about Jesus and there’s this big of a disconnect?
“I think that’s a real burden on a lot of pastors’ hearts. I love these people, I love God, I love Jesus, I love the church, but there’s something happening here.
“We got down on our knees, many of us wept. It was a really hard decision. It was time for me to lovingly and with great peace and loss, separate from the church. It was really crushing because I’ve given my life to the church, and thankfully so.
“Do some serious soul searching about who you’re serving and how you’re trying to accomplish that purpose in the world.
“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”.
He asked Christians to do “the core things Jesus called us to do and be” as they cast their votes in the forth coming elections in ‘God’s own Country’.