Pastor Andy Stanley delivers sermon to Obama before inauguration

(Photo: Reuters/Joe Skipper)U.S. President Barack Obama (C) and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at St. John's Church for a service prior to inauguration ceremonies in Washington, January 21, 2013.

Pastor Andy Stanley on Monday delivered a sermon during a service attended by President Barack Obama at St. John's Church to start off his ceremonial inaugural day activities.

Stanley, who leads North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., thanked the President during a service at St. John's Episcopal Church for his work in the wake of the Newton, Conn., school shooting last month, adding that Obama should be called "Pastor in Chief," according to the Wall Street Journal.

READ Rev. Luis Leon's Inaugural Prayer [Full Text] 

Stanley also asked what one does when they realize they are the most powerful person in that room, according to the Associated Press.

"You leverage that power for the benefit of other people in the room," he said, according to the Associated Press. "Jesus would say to do less than that would be to declare yourself greater than me."

"Mr. President, you have an awfully big room. My prayer to you is to leverage that power for the stewardship of our nation."

The issue of homosexuality - which has been a side note to some of the presidential inaugural preparations after the Rev. Louis Giglio withdrew from giving the benediction at Tuesday's Presidential Inaugural over comments criticized as being anti-gay - has also been matter raised in connection with Pastor Stanley

The Georgia pastor came under scrutiny in evangelical circles in April of last year after delivering a sermon where he stated two men were committing adultery because one of them had not finalized his divorce from his wife.

Albert Mohler, a conservative theologian and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, weighed in on the matter in his blog, saying "the inescapable impression left by the account was that the sin of concern was adultery, but not homosexuality."

The following month, after numerous questions about his stance on homosexuality, Pastor Stanley delivered a sermon on what it means to be a Christian, saying that Christians had a "branding problem" in that they were viewed as being "judgmental, homophobic, moralists."

Rev. Giglio withdrew from giving the benediction earlier thhis month after a progressive blog published the contents of a sermon he gave 15 years earlier where he said some in the homosexual community had an "aggressive agenda," that was "not benevolent" that sought to make the "homosexual lifestyle" become accepted as the norm in society.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee, which is organizing events related to the inaugural said it would find a replacement for Rev. Giglio, with an approach ensuring "their beliefs relect this administration's vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans."

The committee replaced Rev. Giglio with Rev. Dr. Luis Leon, the Episcopal Church denomination minister of St. John's church.

READ Rev. Luis Leon's Inauguration Benediction [Full Text]

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