Relentless Church Pastor John Gray has responded to critics of him participating in a meeting with President Trump and other black pastors on Wednesday afternoon.
He wrote an explanation on Instagram today and posted it alongside a video of him addressing the issue before his church congregation on Wednesday night.
Read and watch below.
“Optics. It’s never about what it is. It’s about what it looks like. My wife @grayceeme told me ‘If you go, no one will hear what you say. They won’t understand why you’re there. And any good that could come out of it will get lost in translation.’ Wise words from a loving, discerning wife. I had not one thing to gain by being there. Not. One. But I asked the Lord when I was asked to be present in this initial meeting about potential prison reform-that could greatly end up benefiting many people who look just like me.
“I myself have been vocal about my personal disagreements with key policy decisions of this administration. I have everything to lose. Credibility. Reputation. Every natural inclination says stay home. Don’t get played. It’s gonna be a photo op with no substance,” Gray added. “But I did the one thing I can’t shake: I prayed again and asked God. Do you want me in that room? My attendance gives the answer. My heart was pure as was my motive and intention. But the pain of those who have been hurt is real. And I would be a dishonorable man not to acknowledge that. But I will honor what I believe was the mandate on my life to be there and available to God should He choose to give me voice.
“This post is in no way attempting to invalidate the visceral reaction of those who can’t imagine why I would be in the room. The question becomes who did Jesus turn away from? This said, I went to this meeting to listen. And I do pray for comprehensive prison reform so people can have the second chance they need. And I also understand the pain and questions. May my heart translate beyond the optics. (OH YEAH, the pastor who said the current president was the most pro-Black president ever WAS NOT ME-so get that STRAIGHT) love y’all. This post is closed to comments. This my heart. It needs no commentary.”