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God’s Word in the White House

June 2018

The US Cabinet now has a Bible study group, which meets in a conference room every Wednesday in Washington DC.

According to a report from the BBC, the group, which is ecumenical in composition, welcomes professing Christians from many denominations, including Vice President Mike Pence. In an interview with Indiana Monthly in 1994, Mr Pence has described his faith by saying, ‘I made a commitment to Christ. I’m a born-again, evangelical Catholic’.

While President Donald Trump does not attend the meetings, the group is sponsored by 10 cabinet members. President Trump receives the notes from each meeting. The report claims that, while not everyone can attend every meeting, ‘they go if they can’ to the Bible Study, which lasts 60-90 minutes.

The man leading is Ralph Drollinger, a seven-foot tall basketball pro turned pastor. According to the BBC, in his last year at high school, after a basketball game, some cheerleaders invited him to a Bible study. He said, ‘It was the first time I really heard the gospel. So I went home, read through the whole Gospel of Matthew that night, and asked Jesus into my heart’.

Capitol Ministries

In 1972, Mr Drollinger went to the University of California, in Los Angeles, on a basketball scholarship. He attended a Bible-teaching church and, over the next four years, ‘fell in love with the Scriptures’.

Then, instead of pro basketball, he joined a Christian team called Athletes in Action, which played basketball around the world, and preached the gospel at half-time.

Mr Drollinger and his wife, Danielle, have established a ministry called Capitol Ministries. This offers Bible studies and other Christian support to political leaders, and is now in 43 US state capitals and more than 20 legislatures abroad.

In 2010, Capitol Ministries arrived in Washington and began a Bible study for representatives, which now has almost 50 members. When four of the group were elected to the Senate, they asked for a senators’ class, which began in 2015. Last March — two months after Donald Trump took office — the same process led to a group for cabinet members. Capitol Ministries believes it is the first Cabinet-level Bible study for ‘at least 100 years’.

Grateful prayer

Mr Drollinger believes that the church ‘needs to be biblical in both its message and methodology. To muddle one is tragic (the Religious Right); to muddle both is catastrophic (historic theological liberalism)’. He believes the church should influence the state, but each should remain separate institutionally.

It must surely be a cause for thanksgiving that the Scriptures are being seriously studied for Christian truth by some of the highest in American political society, wherever this group’s members come from, theologically speaking.

They have yet much truth to discover from God’s Word, but ‘the entrance’ of God’s Word gives light and understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130). Would that our British Cabinet could also humble itself to study the Scriptures together and seek ‘the Wisdom that comes from above’!