Coalition of Church Leaders Speak Out to Fight for the Integrity of Christian Faith and Soul of the Nation
Today a multiracial group of church leaders with representation from evangelical, mainline Protestant, African-American, and Catholic churches, released a declaration to remind Christians—including the ninety-one percent of members of Congress who self-identify as Christian—that when politics undermines theology, we must examine that politics. The declaration is the first time since the 2016 election that a broad and diverse group of church elders have come together to speak in a unified voice to the current moral and political crisis. These elders are breaking the silence from within the evangelical community and the rest of the Church in rejecting the Christian faith being co-opted by partisan politics.
This declaration is more than another statement, but signals the beginning of a process commended by these church elders to the churches for prayer, study, reflection, and action. It is the duty of elders, they believe, to speak the truth in love to churches by calling out racial and cultural captivities and warning against temptations, false doctrines, and political ideologies.
“The church’s role is to change the world through the life and love of Jesus Christ. The government’s role is to serve the common good by protecting justice and peace. When that role is undermined by political leadership, faith leaders must stand up and speak out,” said the group of elders.
The declaration addresses six of the most pressing dangers to the Christian faith: the rise of racism and white nationalism, the mistreatment and abuse of women, the treatment of the poor and vulnerable including immigrants and refugees; the pervasive lying in political and civil life that has become normal, the virtual threats to democracy from growing autocratic behavior, and the xenophobic heresies of “America first.”
The nation’s values, soul, peace, and democracy itself are in now in danger. This is more than a political problem but a theological and spiritual crisis. Christians must again become “followers of Jesus” who say, as the early Christians did that “Jesus is Lord,” meaning that Caesar nor any other political rulers are not.
We must return to our primary identity in Christ: and cast other false racial, ethnic, cultural, and national identities aside. This political and spiritual crisis could lead us to a deeper faith and to live out an authentic Christian faith in our public life. The integrity of the Christian witness in our nation depends on the willingness of the church to make clear what we believe and therefore what we must reject.
The Palm Sunday release and announcement of this declaration marks the beginning of a church-supported civil discourse and spiritual discernment process during the Easter Season and culminating in a national launch of actions in support of the launch of Reclaiming Jesus at Pentecost (May 2018).
Read the entire declaration at www.ReclaimingJesus.org