As Americans await the outcome of the presidential election, more than 200 evangelical leaders are encouraging communities to rise above political partisanship and societal divisions to live out the gospel by pursuing peace. The statement comes as extremist groups threaten violence nationwide through inauguration day and some American cities have boarded up their downtown districts.
Many evangelicals leaders have signed onto a letter titled “A 2020 Call for Biblical Peacemaking: Evangelical Leaders’ Statement on Violence and Division,” which urges believers to rise up as peacemakers. The letter was written after Christian leaders became increasingly concerned about the “targeting of specific religious, racial and political groups with rhetoric and even, in some cases, violence,” they said in a statement.
“We know that elections, especially a deeply divisive election such as this one, can create pressures to act in ways that dishonor Christ’s teachings and biblical values,” the letter said. “We must reject these pressures and not compromise our faith.”
Among the nearly 200 evangelicals who’ve signed onto the letter are Max Lucado, “New York Times” bestselling author and preacher at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio; Pastor Tony Evans, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas; Pastor A.R. Bernard of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, senior pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood, Calif.; David Ireland, bestselling author and senior pastor of Christ Church in Montclair, N.J. , and many other pastors from some of the nation’s largest churches.
“I signed this statement because I want to see Christians unified and to bring healing to our nation, to restore love, peace and harmony for all people,” Evans said. “Psalm 89:14 tells us that justice and righteousness are foundational to the throne of God. When a nation and a government hold these standards in esteem as the Lord intends, that nation is strong and for the most part peaceful. But when these two pillars are misused, abused, or destroyed, the nation cannot stand and peace will not exist.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice