The Relentless Church pastor was invited by Trump to the White House along with other faith leaders to discuss prison reform.

Carl Lentz has come to the defense of Pastor John Gray of Relentless Church , after Gray was under heavy criticism for meeting President Donald Trump to discuss prison reform in America. Gray, along with other African-American faith leaders were invited by Trump to the White House to discuss this serious issue and how to tackle it.

Lentz, Pastor of Hillsong Church, New York City, made use of Instagram, where he has more than 600k followers, to share his thoughts on the matter. In a long caption with a picture of him and Gray during a service, he wrote that he was a proud friend of Pastor Gray and that he does not understand why people would criticize him when all everyone wants is that the President makes humanitarian decisions guided by compassion and empathy, and Gray was there to help Trump do exactly that. He adds that Christians do not choose who they influence and lead, but are under orders to always do the right thing. Lentz also said that he knows who Gray really is and wishes that he will “keep on shining.”

WORTH THE READ, respectfully: As dark as it can seem, our hope that God can use us to bring change is brighter than ever! In that light, special memo to my brother @realjohngray … I’m proud to be your friend! I am baffled at times, at the responses from people when we see prayers answered. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t prayed “God help our President see what we see, see the hurting, help him live and lead with compassion and empathy.” Yet, when a man like YOU gets an invitation to GIVE YOUR POINT OF VIEW on how we as a nation can help REFORM AND CHANGE OUR FAILING AND POORLY CONSTRUCTED PRISON SYSTEM, people are somehow objecting to this. I respect perhaps, somebody’s choice to decline such an invitation. I do not respect those that would disparage another, for believing they must walk through an open door like this. John please remember, we are not allowed to pick and choose who we lead, who we love, who we influence. It doesn’t matter if the person is hated, or universally loved. It doesn’t matter if the person is homeless, or internationally famous. It does not matter if people will impugn your motives, or the motives of a person in this case, inviting you to HIS TABLE. We are under orders to do what’s right. Especially in the face of what is wrong. Somebody said to me “yea but he was trying to use John as prop.” I laughed out loud. I told him firstly, you dont know John..Secondly, that gives far too much credit to “the other party.” Furthermore do you know how many times a meeting has started in life, when somebody had bad motives, yet the gospel prevailed? I’ll take my chances on John Gray and the Grace of God all day, over somebody who thinks they are gonna have the upper hand.. Trust me John, Ive heard so many people say “Let’s go reach the world!” And then when you start doing it? “You have changed. How could you be associated with such a person.” The idea, is always easier than the reality. I love the reality of who you are. Keep on shinin’ my man..#occupyallstreets #allofem

A post shared by Carl Lentz (@carllentz) on

Last week, Pastor John Gray was interviewed by Don Lemon on CNN regarding the matter and was questioned by the reputed journalist on why he accepted the President’s invitation considering the detrimental policies affecting African-Americans that come out of the Trump administration. Gray responded that he does not have anything to gain from the meeting and he only wanted to be a voice for so many who are voiceless. When asked if he would meet the President again, Gray said if there are assurances they would meet about the intended conversation, then he would go back again.

The Relentless Church pastor also spoke about the criticisms to his church. He spoke from the pulpit during a service and shared with members how churches can help in the criminal justice reform process. Gray announced that he went not as a politician or any independent party, but as a Christian and a man of God. He also said that he prayed for the President and the country, and if anyone thinks they are above praying for someone they don’t always agree with, then they “don’t have the heart of Christ.”

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