Ask the Members of Trump's Evangelical Advisory Board to Resign
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To our Brothers and Sisters on President Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board:
We implore you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and as your fellow Evangelicals, to reconsider your role as President Trump’s advisors given his failure to take seriously the evils of sexual and racial violence in this country.
We are extremely concerned about Donald Trump’s continued support of Roy Moore despite his sexual abuse of children. Attempting to justify this abuse on the grounds that Joseph was older than Mary, as Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler has, misinterprets Scripture to justify child sexual exploitation.
Regarding the white supremacist events recently held at Charlottesville, we are disturbed and grieved by President Trump’s callous remarks that reflect an ideology of racism and hatred. Throughout American history, many sisters and brothers in the Body of Christ have been forcibly removed, enslaved, segregated, and exploited based on an unbiblical racist logic; these policies continue to impact our families and the church today. Yet President Trump finds “blame on both sides” of the Charlottesville incident, thereby asserting that white supremacy and antiracist protest might be moral equivalents. As an advisor to President Trump, regarding the cries of all those for whom this language creates potential for violence, have you considered the impact that your silence has on people who are poor, people of color, and women? Where is your concern for those who are socially marginalized, who we are to treat as indispensable and to clothe with greater honor and respect than all the others? (1 Corinthians 12:21-23)
Your failure to act as prophets who challenge these societal sins ultimately condones, justifies, and perpetuates violence against your brothers and sisters in Christ. Given that Esther risked her own life to protect faithful people “for such a time as this,” what message are you trying to send by your silence on these societal sins? What message do you see the American people receiving?
How do you square your current actions (and inactions) regarding the Trump Administrations messaging on race and immigration with Scriptures that call the people of God to protect the foreigner, the oppressed, the widow and orphan? Have you considered how your actions--as well as your inactions--have severely damaged the witness of the Church? Have you considered how, rather than advancing a gospel of love and reconciliation, your complicity with the Trump Administration binds the Evangelical church to the President’s rhetoric of racism and xenophobia? Since you have not held the President to God’s standards of holiness, nor even American values of civility and decency, the reputation of the church has been damaged in the eyes of the world and especially among our younger generations.
In 2 Corinthians, we Christians are exhorted to come out and be separate from the world, not seduced by its power and wealth. You are at the president’s table, but you should be pure and holy. If you act as Daniel did and remain undefiled by the empire you are called to serve within, others might see the church’s hope for a needy world and glorify God.
God will not be mocked. Ultimately Christians are called to proclaim and bow to the shalom Kingdom of God, and we are expected to honor God by living out this message of reconciliation and peace. Instead, you represent a message of division and hostility, of greed and hubris.
Needless to say, we fear God more than humans. We ask that you repent and turn from an administration based on fear and white supremacy, and instead walk worthy of the high calling given us. We invite you to act as Nathan did, faithfully speaking truth to power and aligning yourselves with those in the Body of Christ and in God's kingdom first and foremost before any other allegiance.
Evangelicals 4 Justice
(note, organizations/institutions/churches listed for identification purposes only)
Dr. R. Anderson Campbell, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies
George Fox University
Deborah P. Brunt, blogger and author, We Confess! The Civil War, the South and the Church
Lili-Ann Eldeiry, LSW
Mimi Haddad, President, Christians for Biblical Equality
Lisa Sharon Harper, Founder and President, Freedom Road, LLC
Rev. Dr. Bethany Harris, ReQuip Community
Daniel Hill, Senior Pastor, River City Community Church
Rev. Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, New York Theological Seminary and Pastor of Evangelism and Discipleship, Park Avenue Christian Church
Rev. Daniel White Hodge, PhD, Associate Professor of Intercultural Communication, North Park University, Chicago
Evelmyn Ivens, Evangelicals 4 Justice Board Member
Carolyn Custis James, International Speaker, Activist, and Author of Half the Church and Malestrom
Russell Jeung, PhD Professor, Asian American Studies
San Francisco State University
Kathy Khang, Author
Larry Kim - Senior Pastor Cambridge Community Fellowship Church
Kristyn Komarnicki, Director of Dialogue and Convening
Evangelicals for Social Action / The Sider Center
Brian McLaren, author and public theologian
Mako Nagasawa, Director, New Humanity Institute
Pablo Otaola, Pastor and Activist, Evangelicals 4 Justice Board Member
Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Professor, North Park Theological Seminary
Andrea Smith, North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies
Rev. David Swanson.Pastor, New Community Covenant Church, Chicago, IL
Lenore Three Stars, North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies
Gary VanderPol, Senior Pastor, Church Without Walls, Berkeley, CA
Rev. Dr. Liz Mosbo VerHage , Pastor of Glocal Ministries, Quest Church Seattle, WA
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