The Wake-up Herald
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Romans 13:11-14
Robert McCurry, Editor & Publisher
January 31, 2013
Did Andy Stanley Really Mean Obama Is 'Pastor in Chief'?
By Robert McCurry
Christianity Today provided Andy Stanley with an interview forum in its January 25, 2013 issue to explain whether he really meant what he said in his pre-inauguration sermon that ‘Obama is Pastor in Chief.’ He doesn’t deny making the statement; here is his explanation:
Apparently there was one pool reporter in the room, because they didn't allow any media. In fact, they didn't even announce who was speaking. This was as private as they could make a ceremony for the President private. The pool reporter wrote his or her story and mentioned that I said that, which I did. But of course, he or she didn't have time to give the entire context. So I don't fault anyone for the reporting or the confusion around that. But here's what happened.
In mid-December, the President went to Newtown [Connecticut], to the high school, and gave this address on television. I knew the President got there early. Each of the families who lost a child was taken to a separate classroom. So this would be 20-something classrooms. In the classrooms were the parents, siblings, in some cases grandparents. And the President got there early enough and went to every single classroom, and spent time with every single family individually.
It's still emotional for me to think about. As a pastor, I've walked into homes where people have lost children, teenagers. The grief and emotional toll it takes on a pastor to sit with a family, to listen, to be eye to eye—it's excruciating. The President had done that with every single one of those families before he walked into that auditorium to give what I thought was an incredibly appropriate and powerful message.
I'm sitting there on my couch watching this, thinking, How is he doing this? I would be exhausted after a single interaction with a family. All these classrooms. And he sits through all that, and then he gives his speech. I turned to Sandra, and said, "Tonight he is the Pastor in Chief, isn't he?"
[At the pre-inaugural service,] I knew that I didn't want to get up and just launch into a sermon. When you're in an environment where you have no personal connection with anyone in the room—and I certainly didn't—as a speaker, you want to find a personal connection. I thought, Well, here is something that I felt deeply and here we have all these clergy on this stage.
So I said something like, "Mr. President, I don't know the first thing about being President, but I know a bit about being a pastor. And during the Newtown vigil on December 16th after we heard what you did—I just want to say on behalf of all of us as clergy, thank you." And I added, "I turned to Sandra that night and said, 'Tonight he's the Pastor in Chief.'"
So that's the context. I wasn't making a declaration that he's our Pastor in Chief. But I can understand how that got reported.
This is typical doublespeak. Stanley also led a prayer in which he shared hopes that President Obama will "continue to leverage this influence for the sake of our nation and the sake of the world."
Now for the rest of the story
Why was Andy Stanley selected to deliver the pre-inauguration sermon? Another Georgia pastor, Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, one of Andy’s ‘very best friends’, was also selected to deliver the benediction during President Obama's inauguration but pulled out of the ceremony after comments surfaced in which he described homosexuality as a "sin." Andy’s explanation of his friends situation was, “They're saying (Obama’s advisers), ‘Mr. President, how could you invite someone who doesn't believe like we do?’ So I just have the utmost respect for Louie's decision (to withdraw). I just hate that it happened the way that it did.” Evidently Stanley retained his invitation status because he and Obama believe the same thing about homosexuality.
The day after Obama’s 2009 inauguration, Andy Stanly led a prayer at the January 22 interfaith prayer service at the National Cathedral.
On February 9, 2011, Michelle Obama spoke at Andy Stanley’s church to mark the one-year anniversary of Let's Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity. North Point Community Church, a nondenominational evangelical church of more than 20,000 hosted the speech with Ray of Hope Christian Church, an Atlanta-based African American church.
On April 19, 2011, Andy Stanley was a guest at Obama’s White House Prayer Breakfast along with T. D. Jakes, Protestant, Catholic, and other religious groups. Obama said the breakfast is a “good excuse to bring together people who have been such extraordinary influences in my life and such great friends.”
Why all this attention by Obama over Andy Stanley? A White House's press release calls Andy Stanley "a young and rising leader in the evangelical community."
God’s word is clear: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
Wake-up, Pastors! Wake-up, Christians!
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The Wake-Up Herald is published by Robert McCurry. The publication is designed to exalt the true God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, and inform, inspire, and challenge its readers regarding biblical truth and real-life issues. The contents are the sole responsibility of Robert McCurry and do not represent or speak for or on behalf of any other person or group. There is no subscription charge. The publication is a ministry of faith dependent on the contributions of its readers. Contributions are not tax-deductible. Send all correspondence to: Robert McCurry,605 Moore Rd, Newnan, GA 30263 or firstname.lastname@example.org Remove? Send reply with “remove” in Subject line