Spontaneous worship by some of the nation’s top Christian artists broke out at the White House earlier this week during what was billed as a “faith briefing.”
The Tuesday event was organized by President Donald Trump’s top spiritual adviser, Pastor Paula White, and included briefings on faith initiatives the administration is undertaking by representatives from the departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs to name some, CNS News reported.
Among the Christian artists in attendance were the Newsboys’ Michael Tait, Bethel Music’s Jenn Johnson and Jonathan Helser, Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Colton Dixon, Building 429, Sidewalk Prophets, Sanctus Real, Danny Gokey and Tauren Wells.
Wells posted video footage of the gathering worshiping to Hillsong’s “What A Beautiful Name.”
“What a privilege to declare the name of Jesus in worship and in prayer today at the White House,” Wells tweeted. “I was challenged, informed, convicted, & inspired at the #faithbriefing w/ many peers in the CCM industry. The church has a great opportunity to rise with grace & truth in this hour.”
What a privilege to declare the name of Jesus in worship and in prayer today at the White House. I was challenged, informed, convicted, & inspired at the #faithbriefing w/ many peers in the CCM industry. The church has a great opportunity to rise with grace & truth in this hour. pic.twitter.com/xgZQiqh6XG
— Tauren Wells (@taurenwells) November 14, 2018
The group Citizen Way expressed a similar sentiment in an Instagram post, saying it was an honor to pray at the White House “with some awesome men and women of God” including White, “who serve our country” with the president and first lady Melania Trump.
Johnson wrote of the meeting on Instagram, “Yesterday shook me. I came into the meeting at the White House w/ no agenda but to love & pray.”
She added, “I was overcome to tears w/ deep conviction to pray more for, not only our president but also the men & women leading beside him.”
View this post on Instagram
#faithbriefing — @bencalhoun what an honor to pray in @visitwashingtondc at the @whitehouse for some awesome men and women of God (including advisor @paulamichellewhite) who serve our country with @realdonaldtrump & @flotus – it was really special to pray and sing with our friends @danielolssonworld @michaeltait @jennjohnson20 @coltondixonmusic @building429official @jroymusic @micahtylermusic @jamesrueger @sidewalkprophets @swpdave @swpbenjamin @teresa_ferraro @sanctusreal @matthammitt @chrisrohman @dustinlolli @newsong_online @toriharpermusic @taurenwells @jimscherer @joshuamicah @scott_brickell @karijobe @codycarnes @theyoungescape @rileyclemmons @dannygokey @leyicet @jjweeksband @sarahreevesmusic @teresa_ferraro @cleader86 & @jonathancainmusic of @journeymusicofficial #bucketlist #jesussavesbro IN JESUS NAME!
While nearly all the comments to the post were positive, Johnson — who hails from Redding, California — received some pushback, criticizing her for attending the Trump White House event.
One woman commented, “I don’t understand how Jesus would want us to honor someone who is degrading so many people. He has disrespected SO many women and races and he consistently tells un-truths.”
She continued, “This is an incredible post to me. Sometimes I wonder if we all serve the same Jesus.”
Another woman defended Johnson’s decision to attend: “This presidency has been the most welcoming of our faith leaders. This is a special time for our nation’s Capitol and we need to accept every opportunity to bring the presence of God. Thank you for attending and sharing this meeting with the public!”
Johnson herself answered the critique with the Apostle Paul’s admonition in the Bible’s book of 1 Timothy, verse 2 (Passion Translation): “Pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts. It is pleasing to our Savior-God to pray for them.”
White wrote on Instagram of the gathering, “What an amazing day at The White House … closed out with a time of worship and prayer! I wish everyone would come up and experience this!”
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