A Michigan pastor is walking away from his church after more than three decades because of the church’s support for Donald Trump.
Pastor Keith Mannes has given more than 30 years of his life to the Christian Reformed Church but on October 11, he gave his final sermon to the congregation at East Saugatuck CRC before walking away. Mannes believes that the church has “abandoned its role” as the conscience of the state in support of Donald Trump, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“There’s a quote from Martin Luther King where he said, ‘The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state,’” Mannes said. “That just hit me hard because I think, broadly, the white evangelical community in our country has abandoned that role.”
He added: “The question of the church largely and how it’s functioned in this moment has been really disturbing. That’s been troubling enough that I need to lay it all down.”
Mannes’ decision to leave the ministry was years in the making, from the moments Trump rode down the escalator in 2015.
“It’s only been building ever since,” he said. “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 not very Jesus.”
Everything from Trump calling white supremacists very fine people in 2017 to teargassing peaceful protestors to pose with a bible in front of a church in 2020 all contributed to Mannes’ decision to leave.
“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,” Pastor Mannes said. “It just began to trouble me so much that I am a pastor in this big enterprise.”
Read the full report from Detroit Free Press.