Politics has been wreaking havoc in the American church and Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of the 14,000-member Free Chapel in Gainesville, Georgia, wants the infighting to end.
“I’ve watched friendships of many years between people suffer injury because of disagreements in politics. Shame on us all. I can absolutely disagree with you and not agree with anything in the world that you agree in on politics and vice versa with me and that should have nothing to do with my love, my concern my compassion, my genuine pure heart of love and concern for you as my brother and my sister,” Franklin told his congregants during his sermon Sunday.
The Georgia pastor who has served on President Donald Trump’s advisory board since 2016 and predicted God would bless America and President Donald Trump with a “miracle” in November said while his message has nothing to do with Trump or Vice President Mike Pence, he believes sometimes choosing not to fight is the right thing to do.
His warning comes as President Trump continues to insist that he won the 2020 presidential election and not former Vice President Joe Biden who has been projected the winner. It also comes as thousands of President Trump’s supporters marched in protest against the results of the election in Washington D.C. Sunday sparking violent clashes with counter-protesters.
Franklin’s message which came from II Samuel 15 in the Bible, highlighted the story of King David’s third son Absalom, usurping the throne and forcing his father to flee with a few followers and his personal guard. Absalom later pursued David with his forces after gaining control of most of Jerusalem but was eventually killed by Joab.
The Georgia pastor argued that David could have perhaps stood up against Absalom and won but he chose not to engage in a war that could have resulted in the loss of many innocent lives.
“Here’s my sermon in a sentence. David made a decision not to fight in order to preserve the city. And there are times you have to make a decision not to fight even when you think you are right. Even when you think they are wrong. Even when you’ve got people who would tell you how right you are and how wrong they are. It does not matter,” Franklin said.
“David could have said ‘I could win this fight.’ He could have let his lust for revenge cause him to bring greater division than Israel had ever faced. David was not one to run from the fight but he was doing what he was doing to preserve the city. Every now and then we have to come to place where we realize there is something more important than our personal feelings. That are more important than our personal agendas. This is not about me and quite frankly this is not about you,” he explained.
Franklin also made it clear that his message wasn’t directed at Trump.
“Listen, I understand where we are and this can be interpreted, this sermon a lot of ways. I’m not talking about the president, the present condition, nor the president or vice president or anybody else. I’m talking about in our church and in our families. We are in contentions, fights sometimes that are going on between brother and sisters and spiritual families and even our physical families. And there comes times where you have to make a choice not to fight anymore. It’s not worth it,” he added. “Sometimes you don’t win by fighting and cutting everybody. Sometimes God allows you to go through a crucifixion and you die to your pride. And you die to your ego and you die to your opinion and your will and your way.”