Pastor leaves Trump's evangelical council over 'conflict in values'

A Brooklyn, New York-based pastor announced on Aug. 17 his decision to leave U.S. President Donald Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board due to what he said was a "deepening conflict in values."

(REUTERS / Nancy Wiechec)U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona July 11, 2015.

In a statement, Christian Cultural Center founder A.R. Bernard explained that he had decided to bow out of Trump's evangelical board even though he thought that his presence there would help mold the country's future when it comes to faith. The megachurch pastor added that he had already left the council a few months ago but had formally resigned on Aug. 15, Rolling Out detailed.

"However, it became obvious that there was a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration," said Bernard in his statement. "I quietly stepped away from the board several months ago, and submitted my formal letter of resignation as of Tuesday, Aug. 15. I am always grateful and honored by any opportunity to serve my country."

Liberty University's former vice president of communications, Johnnie Moore, said he is sad over Bernard's resignation. However, he acknowledged that there were times when friends disagreed and said the respect he has for the New York pastor still remains. Moore is also an advisory council member.

Bernard's resignation came amid criticisms on Trump following his statement on the violent Charlottesville protests in Virginia. However, the president was defended by two prominent conservative leaders after he blamed both white nationalists and counter-protesters for the violence that broke out at the rally, Reuters reported.

According to Evangelical Christian Jerry Falwell Jr., Trump is not racist even though he could still be more "politically correct." Meanwhile, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee also slammed white nationalists as "evil" but said the president still has the support of the evangelical community.

Many evangelicals condemned the white supremacists who participated in the Charlottesville protests, which resulted in the death of a 32-year-old woman after a car rammed into the crowd of counter-protesters. However, fewer Christians directed their criticisms directly at Trump.