Wednesday on CNN International’s “Amanpour,” Mark Burns, pastor of Harvest Praise & Worship Center in Anderson, SC, discussed evangelicals’ continued support for Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.
Burns said, “Well, first, thanks for having me on, in reference to Roy Moore, I think it’s important that you have to understand Christians in America understand grace. Christians truly understand that the word of God, it works even for people you dislike. It works even for people that you wouldn’t vote for. The word of God, either it works, or it does not work. And most, if not all, evangelical Christians understand that the power of grace is important. We cannot say Roy Moore—I personally cannot say Roy Moore is innocent, but I also cannot say he is guilty. So what do I have as a Christian to use to decide whether or not we still should continue to support this person? Is he really a child molester? Is he really someone that is preying after young women, or is this a character assassination? The only way that we can really know is listening to the people that are the closest to him, those that do know him, those that have witnessed with him over 40 years of service, public service, within the great state of Alabama.”
He continued, “Well, I can only speak from the perspective of a pastor and a student of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it very clear that as the professor said, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And when I stated earlier that morality isn’t the only qualification for leadership, that doesn’t mean that morality isn’t important. It is extremely important. But I also understand that you have to have—you have to have experience. You have to have faith. You have to have wisdom to go along with morality. If morality was the only qualification that we use to judge whether or not our leaders are qualified to lead, then none of us would qualify to lead because we all have skeletons in our closets.”
He added, “Well, you know, Moore, the gentleman who made the comment about some of the women—14-year-old girls getting what they deserve, that is not my opinion. Our church is a church that worships Jesus, and we’re the same church that serves the Jesus that looked to the women who was accused of adultery and said, you without sin cast the first stone. Woman, go sin no more. The same Jesus that said—that Paul said grace is sufficient for thee. So grace works for those young girls. Grace works for Judge Moore. I think it’s important that we have to examine all the facts. Christians understand that grace is a big part of our faith. The majority of the world is, in many cases, we live in a very immoral society in America.”
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