Mega-church pastor Joel Hunter of Orlando, Florida told the press that he received a telephone call from Obama after his interview with ABC News, informing him that he had just gone public with his beliefs on homosexual “marriage.” While Hunter claims that he disagreed with Obama and expressed his disappointment, he explained that he would continue to support him.
“A pastor doesn’t abandon people because he happens to disagree with the decisions that they’ve made,” Hunter stated. “The president sometimes thinks with his heart. He really has a great compassion for people, especially those who are left out. And so as he interprets Scripture, he interprets it through that filter.”
In February of this year, Michelle Obama visited Hunter’s Northland Church and spoke to an estimated gathering of 3,000 people. Other local churches were also involved in the event and helped to promote attendance by distributing tickets.
“He told me how much he prayed [about homosexual ‘marriage’],” Hunter relayed. “I do not believe the president is being blasphemous, or even treating the Bible without regard. Christians have different ways of interpreting the Bible. Some think human love or struggle should take precedence over the plain meaning of the text.”
Hunter pastors an evangelical church of an approximate 15,000 congregants, and is a member of Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He delivered the benediction at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and also prayed a “blessing” over Obama at the pre-inaugural worship service in 2009, in which he stated:
“Mr. President-elect, we are gathered in this historic church to convey God’s special blessing to you, your family, and your administration. These blessings come from Scripture, because as God says to Jeremiah, ‘I am watching over my word to perform it.’ Barack Hussein Obama, we now commission you with an iteration of God’s blessing to our father Abraham. God said, ‘I will make [through] you a great nation and I will bless you. So you shall be a blessing, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.’
Next, by faith we call forth the personal qualities of the Holy Spirit that your family and country will need in you: ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.’
Finally, we remind you of some of the blessings of your Lord and Savior: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are you when people insult you, and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me, rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great.’ Through your leadership, Mr. President-elect, may God bless the United States of America in a way that makes us a blessing to the whole world. Amen.”
Northland Church did not return Christian News’ telephone call seeking clarification by press time.