Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is influencing the United States’ most important leaders in the hallowed corridors of Washington, D.C.
Vice President Mike Pence and key members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet participate in weekly Bible studies and prayer gatherings led by former NBA basketball player Ralph Drollinger, founder of Capitol Ministries, CBN News reported.
Drollinger began arranging the study during the Trump team’s transition from the campaign trial to the White House. The mission of Capitol Ministries, which was founded in 1997, is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ in the political arena throughout the world.”
“Our ambitious goal is to deliver the Gospel to every public servant in every capitol every year,” the organization’s 20th anniversary report reads. “We call this our Big Hairy Audacious Goal — our BHAG — and it’s one we embrace with enthusiasm.”
The weekly meetings are hosted by Pence and eight other Cabinet members, CBN noted.
Trump officials who participate in the Bible studies include Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Scott Pruitt, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue.
So why does the 7-foot-2 Drollinger spend his time poring over Scripture with such high-profile politicians?
“In terms of a country’s health and direction," he said, "when its leaders are seeking God, the nation is in a position to be blessed by God in ways that are ‘far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.’ ”
The NBA-star-turned-pastor was referring to Ephesians 3:20, which reads, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
“This has been a wonderful time of prayer and fellowship, as I am presently teaching through the Sermon on the Mount — as well has handing out my weekly written Bible study as a homework assignment on a particular topic,” Drollinger said.
The Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew chapters 5-7, is perhaps the most famous collection of Jesus’ moral teachings. For believers, the lessons contained in the well-known sermon outline the bedrock principles of Christian discipleship.
It comes as no surprise that Pence is one of the Bible study’s sponsors. The vice president has been open about his faith. In fact, he frequently describes himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.”
The leaders of the gathering have said Trump has an open invitation to join the group any time, though the details of his faith are much more jumbled, given his past penchant for uncouth comments about women and his apparent unfamiliarity on well-known Christian vernacular.
Last summer, though, Pastor Paula White, who serves as the president’s spiritual adviser, said then-candidate Trump “loves God” and is “much more hungry for God in his heart than I think people would imagine.”
According to Christian Today, interest in the high-profile Bible study was sparked by reporters who noticed the words “Cabinet Member Bible Study” on Perry’s schedule.