Evangelicals4Justice Statement on Electoral Politics
Our appeal is written during the U.S. Presidential election of 2016, a moment where we see our world sadly devastated by mass displacement, war, and terrorism. Our own nation is polarized, divided by savage inequalities and racial inequities that betray us as a land of freedom and opportunity. The American church itself is losing members, especially as the younger generations view religious institutions as hypocritical and increasingly, irrelevant.
In this context, some Evangelicals have lobbied and endorsed politicians in order to secure moral reform, judicial control, or religious freedom. The media has thus characterized Evangelicals as white and conservative, aligned with a particular political party. As Evangelicals 4 Justice, we seek to reclaim the heritage of Evangelicals
We recognize rights as citizens to engage in the public square, but we reject platforms from political parties that do not demonstrate family values or a commitment to life. Furthermore, we are distressed by those who foment political fervor through insults against people made in God’s image. In creating divides on the basis of race, gender, disability, economic, and immigrant status, the church will lose our identity as ambassadors of reconciliation. Forsaking gospel values for political access means losing our souls to gain the world.
We repent of the church’s complicity with the world and its modes of power. In doing so, we invite all others—especially the young and marginalized, persons of color and newcomers—to join us in confessing a faith that finds salvation in the saving grace of Jesus, not political partisanship or the legislation of morality.
An Appeal to the Evangelical Congregations and Christians in the United States
Our intention is to remind the Church in the United States of its high calling, to be Christ’s body united in love. We agree about the sacrifice of Jesus for the redemption of creation, the need to convert and follow Jesus, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of sharing God’s good news of His Kingdom.
We want to affirm this unity, yet acknowledge as well the diverse parts of the Body who identify as Evangelical. We come from a range of political orientations, racial backgrounds, and ethnic cultures. Given our diversity amongst our unity, we call for the Church to hear all our voices.
In particular, our principles include:
* God’s shalom and biblical justice. Although some evangelicals may create a moral hierarchy based certain issues, no particular political stance should be a litmus test for Evangelicalism. Instead, we assert that Evangelicals should follow consistent, biblical mandates for justice and righteousness in all areas of life.
* The Spirit’s transformation of the body of Christ toward racial unity. Instead of complicity with politics based on resentment, anger, and self-protection, we claim that the Holy Spirit makes us—of all different nationalities, races, backgrounds, and economic positions—united in the faith. Consequently, we prophesy against discourses that breed division, especially those that are xenophobic, racist and sexist.
* Jesus’ prophetic challenge to identify with and work on behalf of the “least of these.” As the universal family of God, we transcend borders of nation-states. We renounce unreflective patriotism, religious intolerance, and walls of self-interest. We thus stand in solidarity with the poor and marginalized throughout the world, that we might be a witness of Jesus’ love and compassion.
As we engage in the affairs of the world, then, we caution the Church to be pure and undefiled in this world. We call for a politics of truth-telling, clear accountability against corruption, and righteousness. Instead of seeking the power of the world, we challenge the Evangelical church to pursue God’s shalom, which is the essence of the kingdom of God.
- The Matthew 25 Voter Project to mobilize Christians to stop voter intimidation
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