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Relentless Church pastor John Gray has received some criticism for meeting at the White House recently at the invitation of Pres. Trump to discuss prison reform. Despite fellow leaders including Carl Lentz defending the decision to take the meeting, some other pastors have been critical of Gray on social media.

This weekend, Gray responded to an Instagram post from a pastor who wrote that Gray “has affirmed the behavior” of Trump “by sitting at the table.”

Dear @travisgreenetv we don’t hate @realjohngray We love him. However we can’t respect his decision to condone the behavior of an egotistical, misogynistic, narcissistic clown that has turned our country into a circus with his quarrelsome and divisive rants. He has affirmed the behavior of this man by sitting at the table to “discuss” prison reform and urban revitalization with a man that has never cared for urban populations and incites hatred towards minorities that are targeted and often locked up unjustly. We disagree with him on the behalf of young black men, women, Mexican #immigrants and their children #lgbt people and citizens that prefer a government that isn’t illegally influenced by Russian leaders. The Bible declares in the 1st Psalm to not sit in the seat of the scornful. The Bible declares in Proverbs 14:7 to flee from the company of fools. He took the influence given to him by God and affirmed by his following and sat it in the lap of @realdonaldtrump We don’t hate him. Hatred is the essence of #45 not the Church. The same Holy Spirit that he claims told him to attend should have opened up his mouth in the same essence that the Holy Spirit spoke through John the Baptist to Herod!

A post shared by Pastor Keith McQueen (@pastormcqueen) on

@PastorMcQueen wrote, “The Bible declares in the 1st Psalm to not sit in the seat of the scornful. The Bible declares in Proverbs 14:7 to flee from the company of fools. He took the influence given to him by God and affirmed by his following and sat it in the lap of @realdonaldtrump.”

In a comment on the post, Gray responded, saying that Jesus Himself frequently met with people he disagreed with.

Hello pastor. Sitting at a table is neither affirming, endorsing, agreeing or aligning. If so, Jesus certainly couldn’t have sat with Zaccheus or been in the company of lepers. High Priests couldn’t go near lepers. Jesus made clear that He came eating and drinking and was a friend to sinners, tax collectors and wine bibbers. Was he aligning or affirming their behavior? Of course not. And an initial conversation doesn’t portend for what could be produced in the future. I could never presume to know your calling or assignment since we don’t know each other. But scripture does outline for us what believers should do if they have a disagreement. It starts with a one on one. Then get two or three witnesses and then take it before the church.

None of that happened before you posted about a fellow believer who had everything to lose and nothing to gain by being obedient to the God who sent me. That I didn’t voice the accumulated pain of 400 years of REAL BROKENNESS in our black and brown communities is something I wish I could do. Some moments call for a level of wisdom that my emotions would rather do away with. “Come, let us reason together”….perhaps next time try to reach out to me first and dialogue before utilizing your platform to hit your brother in Christ. I don’t mind people who don’t believe what I believe saying whatever they want. What I wasn’t prepared for was friendly fire. 

Gray was recently a guest on Don Lemon’s CNN talk show, where he defended the meeting, explaining,  “With everything that I could have lost, and could still lose, I believe that my voice was necessary because I was there for people who could not fight for themselves.”