Two weeks after urging Christians not to protest President Donald Trump and to pray for him instead, popular gospel singer Donnie McClurkin says God has revealed to him that he is wrong.
"God really started talking to me and started showing me that you're totally wrong. Totally wrong," McClurkin, who is the pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, New York, said in a Facebook Live session on Monday.
"When you sit down and think about some of the things that you say and you weigh them up against the facts and the facts are simple ... the word Protestant comes from the root word protest, which is where we get our Protestant faith. And that was an epiphany. I think God started to tell me. You know everything that has been achieved in this state, this country, this United States of America, especially from our culture, was through protest, through lifting up our voices through people walking and marching and dying," he continued.
"What I said, I said in ignorance. Ignoring the facts, not knowing the facts, which makes it even worse. Not knowing the facts means that my ignorance was simply not having the information. Ignoring the facts mean that I had the information but in my opinion, didn't consider it before I made my opinion," he explained.
McClurkin made his "ignorant" comments on protest on the syndicated radio show Get Up! Mornings With Erica Campbell.
"We need to know what our vote really means and how to utilize it. But I don't want us to get caught up in this protest," he said. "The protests do nothing but rile [people] up. It causes people's anger to rise up and it gives us a false sense of involvement."
If people really want to feel "the true sense of involvement" he said, they should do it in the voting booth.
Even though he said he did not vote for Trump due to his "lack of policy, misogynistic ideals, [and] racism," he called for Christians to deal with Trump's presidency with prayer instead of protest.
"Now is our time to pray for him. This is the job of the church," he said. "Let the world protest but the job of the church now is to go into prayer and pray that, number one, he succeeds, because if he fails, we have to deal with the consequences as a nation," he said. "America is in a place that it has never been before and the Christian has got to be who God has called us to be."
After reflecting on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other civil rights leaders who marched and protested against racial injustice through non-violent protest, McClurkin said he was able to see that he was wrong and apologized profusely throughout the Facebook Live broadcast.
"Those are the things that I did not consider when I made that statement. I said we need to pray. I was right ... but I was wrong when I said that we do not need to protest. The problem is making our voice known to God is wonderful and that's what we should do. But we also have to make our voices heard in an unjust society. We've got to join in the chorus and make it known," he said.
He further noted that he wasn't apologizing because he stood to lose anything. He is simply apologizing, he said, because it is the right thing to do.
"Now I'm not doing this to preserve anything because everything I have is already preserved. I'm doing this because I was wrong. That's why I'm doing this. I'm doing this because I want my son, as well as everyone's son and daughter to understand how we got to where we are and if I'm wrong I cannot sit back and not address my wrong knowing that in the mindset of people it will blow over," he said.
"There's a time to pray and then there is a time to speak out," McClurkin stressed. "Just like John the Baptist protest[ed] Herod and it cost him his life."