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White House distances Trump from Bible study leader over controversial post

White House distances Trump from Bible study leader over controversial post

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Coronavirus Task Force, speaks to members of the press Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. | Official White House photo/D. Myles Cullen

The White House distanced itself and President Trump from the leader of a longtime weekly Bible study following a blog post that drew the ire of LGBT activist groups. 

Deputy White House Press Secretary Judd Deere slammed remarks by pastor Ralph Drollinger, the leader of Capitol Ministries, who has for years led Bible studies for federal department heads and members of Congress and the administration. 

Ralph Drollinger | Wikimedia Commons/Danielle Drollinger

On March 21, Drollinger wrote a post titled “Is God Judging America Today?” In the post, Drollinger contends that since God is just, “sin must and will be paid for.” He adds that “wrath” is “an inevitable consequence.”

Drollinger identified five forms of God’s judgment: “eternal wrath (Hell),” “eschatological wrath (the Day of the Lord),” “cataclysmic wrath (The Flood),” “forsaking wrath (removing restraint)” and “consequential wrath (sowing and reaping).”

The post largely focused on the last two forms of wrath — forsaking wrath and consequential wrath. Drollinger wrote that the goal of the Bible study for the week was to examine and “carefully evaluate” the biblical understanding of those two forms of wrath in regard to answering the posed question, “Is God judging America today?’”

Drollinger’s post goes on to list “five identifiers” of “forsaking wrath.” One of the five identifiers highlighted by Drollinger is “A Sensation Toward Homosexuality.”  

He cited Romans 1: 26–27, which states: “For this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” 

In the left-leaning media, Drollinger was accused of linking homosexuality to coronavirus. He was also criticized by the head of the LGBT activist group Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, who said Drollinger’s “horrific assertions are ludicrous.”

Deere told The Hill in a statement on Thursday that “President Trump has no higher priority than the health and safety of all Americans, and ensuring we emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before."

“These comments are disgusting and certainly not something the President believes,” Deere said.

He added that the president does not attend Drollinger’s Bible study nor is the study held at the White House. 

Drollinger told NBC News that he feels like his post was misinterpreted and stressed that he does not "believe that homosexuality played any role whatsoever in the coronavirus.”

In fact, Drollinger’s post begins with the qualification that he does not “believe America is experiencing the forsaking wrath of God” but rather a “the consequential wrath of God.”

Other reasons for “forsaking wrath” Drollinger listed are “suppressing in self,” “a swapping for environmentalism,” “a securing of depravity,” and “a sanctioning in others.”

Drollinger states that he thinks God is more concerned about judging the Church rather than any nation or state.

“The book of Revelation demonstrates God’s concern for the Church. Seven churches are mentioned in chapters two and three. To those lacking, Christ threatened to remove their lampstand unless they repent. Once again, the focus is on purifying the Church,” he wrote. 

“Interestingly enough, these chapters are void of mentioning the sins of any particular city or state. If God is set on judging nations during the Church Age, one would expect (similar to God warning Sodom and Gomorrah) warnings to repent. There is no warning given to the cities of the seven churches.” 

While some theologians believe that God destroyed the city of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis because of homosexual behavior, Drollinger also stated in his blog post that “America is not similar to Sodom and Gomorrah in the sense that there were not any faithful to be found.” 

“In fact to the contrary, America today is populated by tens of millions of faithful followers of Christ!” Drollinger wrote.

“Many are those who have glibly postured, ‘If God does not judge America, then he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology!’ But such thinking fails to take into account what went on between Abraham and God in Genesis 18:22–33 before He judged Sodom and Gomorrah! To the contrary I believe this is a more biblically accurate summary: Abraham, if he were to plead with God for America, would have a much stronger case than he did pleading with God for Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Drollinger warned that today’s America is “not by in large characterized by people who are unfaithful to God’s precepts.”  

“Conversely, there is only a small minority of individuals who are grossly disobedient to God, individuals to whom the five indicators of Romans 1 apply,” he warned. 

“Unfortunately for the vast majority of faithful individuals in America, too many of the unfaithful have been allowed by the faithful to gain high positions of influence in our culture: high positions in our government, our educational system, our media and our entertainment industry. This is tragic, unfortunate, and costly.”

In bold letters, Drollinger wrote: “Those individuals who are rebuked by God’s forsaking wrath are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.” 

But Drollinger contended that he has “great encouragement” because he is witnessing a “groundswell of faithful individuals who have been voted into office.”

“If my calculations are correct, and I believe they are, there are more believers in Congress and the executive branch now than at any other time in modern American history!” Drollinger argued. “And they are beginning to reach a tipping point!” 

Drollinger states that while homosexuality causes the wrath of abandonment, coronavirus could be considered a form of “cataclysmic wrath.” However, he warns against labeling coronavirus that just yet.

“But having said that, I don’t think we should label the coronavirus as a form of God’s cataclysmic wrath, such as the form of wrath He manifests in the [Old Testament] with the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the ‘unparting’ of the Red Sea,” he stated. “[B]ecause that form of God’s wrath is void of a human curative — and I think we’ll soon see a human cure for the coronavirus.”

Drollinger's Bible study classes have reportedly been attended by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alex Azar, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. 

According to Capitol Ministries' website, the Bible studies are sponsored by Vice President Mike Pence.  

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