All eyes are on the Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland, Ohio. Protests have been constant. Delegates have walked out in protest of Donald Trump’s nomination. There have been accusations of plagiarism, not only against Melania Trump’s speech but Donald Trump Jr.’s speech as well. From the outside looking in, the RNC looks a little bit like an out-of-control circus.
But evangelicals and liberal pundits alike found themselves on the same side of protest and outrage the first night of the convention. The target of their ire? Pastor Mike Burns, a prosperity gospel preacher and a frequent opener at Trump support rallies. Before he opened Monday night, he told reporters that his goal was to shed light on the heart Donald Trump has for America.
Instead, he prayed a prayer that sent shockwaves through many Republicans and Democrats.
Here is the prayer in full:
Hello Republicans! I’m Pastor Mark Burns from the great state of South Carolina! I’m going to pray and I’m going to give the benediction. And you know why? Because we are electing a man in Donald Trump who believes in the name of Jesus Christ. And Republicans, we got to be united because our enemy is not other Republicans—but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.
Let’s pray together. Father God, in the name of Jesus, Lord we’re so thankful for the life of Donald Trump. We’re thankful that you are guiding him, that you are giving him the words to unite this party, this country, that we together can defeat the liberal Democratic Party, to keep us divided and not united. Because we are the United States of America, and we are the conservative party under God.
To defeat every attack that comes against us, to protect the life of Donald Trump, give him the words, give him the space, give him the power and the authority to be the next President of the United States of America, in Jesus’ name—if you believe it, shout Amen!
The reaction was swift on social media, with people condemning not only the prayer but the violations of Scripture that it contained.
— Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) July 18, 2016
Pastor Mark Burns ends the day with a disgusting and disturbing misuse of God’s name and lies. Shameful. #RNCinCLE
— Eric Teetsel (@EricTeetsel) July 18, 2016
Worst invitation to prayer I’ve ever heard from a so-called Christian pastor … RNC.
— Robot Taylor (@robotterror) July 18, 2016
Weaponization of Jesus’ name. A violation of the Third Commandment. https://t.co/qMIhUw9JhO
— Tyler Wigg-Stevenson (@TylerWS) July 18, 2016
Paul: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood
(Some)21st century Americans: our enemy is H. Clinton &dem. Party https://t.co/zTupb3GyuT
— Tripp Gordon (@tgordon8) July 18, 2016
Burns was not the only prosperity gospel pastor to pray or speak thus far. Pastor Paula White, whom Dr. James Dobson said led Trump to Jesus, also led the convention in the benediction on Monday night.
What did you think about Pastor Burn’s prayer? Sound off in the comments!