The popular Christian pastor who left President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board is imploring his fellow faith leaders who are still on the board to speak out more vocally when President Donald Trump steps over the line.
A.R. Bernard, pastor of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York, has made headlines in recent days after announcing that he will no longer take part in the council, which was established to give Christian leaders influence in the White House.
“I would love to see more of the evangelical leaders who are on the board make strong statements in reaction to it, and that doesn’t mean they have to abandon him.” Bernard told CNN’s Don Lemon, specifically referencing Trump’s controversial comments in the wake of Charlottesville. “But they should come out and say something of substance.”
Bernard took particular issue with Trump’s “vacillation” over the violence in Charlottesville, saying that it was the impetus for his decision to step away.
“When you vacillate like that, it means that there’s not a set of core values that you have determined to guide your thinking, your decision-making,” he said. “Instead, it demonstrates that you are being tossed between opinions of those around you. And I’ve got a problem with that kind of lack of leadership.”
Pastor becomes first to resign from President Trump's evangelical advisory board: "There was a line for me" https://t.co/wOUSt7tl1z
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) August 19, 2017
Bernard also delivered a sermon on Sunday and told his congregation that he took heat for initially joining the evangelical board and for leaving, but that he originally took part so that he could have a positive influence, as Religion News Service reported.
“Can we talk this truthful in church?” he said. “Speaking in absolute terms, I would love to be a Christian first. But America has created an environment that forces me to be first aware of the color of my skin, then, the content of my character, and my Christian conscription.”
Other members of the evangelical advisory board have taken heat for perceived silence as well as their decisions not to distance themselves from Trump. Read more about the debate here.