A Michigan Christian Reformed Church pastor left his ministry after feeling troubled by the church's unconditional support of President Donald Trump.
Keith Mannes of East Saugatuck CRC in Holland delivered his final sermon on the 11th of Oct and received a kind farewell from the church. He told the Holland Sentinel that he felt the church had "abandoned its role" in holding Trump accountable as president.
"There's a quote from Martin Luther King where he said, 'The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state,'" said Mannes to the Sentinel.
"The question of the church largely and how it's functioned in this moment has been really disturbing. That's been troubling enough that I need to lay it all down."
According to Mannes, his distaste for Trump had been growing for years, and the church's stances seemed more and more inconsistent with his values and those of the church. Mannes additionally said that other members of the church shared his dismay at the church's political stance.
He said that he had to be "very careful to not speak about" Trump among members of the congregation. Mannes described a serious burden on his and other pastor's lives, saying that the friction was "tearing me up."
"It's not only me, but quite a number of pastors I know are just like, 'This is it? All this preaching we did about Jesus and there's this big of a disconnect?'" Mannes asked.
"I think that's a real burden on a lot of pastors' hearts. I love these people, I love God, I love Jesus, I love the church, but there's something happening here."
The church held a special farewell event on Oct. 11th for Mannes and his wife, thanking the two for their four years of service to the church. The church wrote in an emailed announcement, "We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Pastor Keith and Alicia for the blessings of being in ministry together for the past 4 years. Their hearts have pointed us to Jesus in so many ways,"
"We are greatly thankful for their faithful service to us, and we pray that the Lord would bless them and keep them in all that He has planned for their future."