Progressive Christians to Hold ‘Red-Letter Revival’ in Lynchburg to Contrast Pro-Trump ‘America First’ Evangelicals

Shane Claiborne and a cadre of progressive Christians are spearheading a “revival” this weekend at an event to draw a contrast to the “America First” Christianity they say Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. and pro-Trump Christians promote.

What is being called “Red Letter Revival: A Revival of Jesus & Justice” is being held at the EC Glass Civic Auditorium in Lynchburg, Virginia, and features speakers and musicians that include well-known progressive faith leaders like the Rev. William J. Barber, Tony Campolo, and Lisa Sharon Harper, among several others.

The Red-Letter Revival in Lynchburg has been months in the making and was planned in part to be a witness against what they see as the corruption of Christian faith by conservative evangelical Christians, particularly their willingness to embrace President Donald Trump and his policies.

“We are not coming to condemn Falwell Jr., but to counter the doctrine of ‘America First,’ with the Christian message — that we cannot put allegiance to a nation-state ahead of our allegiance to the Kingdom of God as taught by Christ, in which the last are first,” wrote Jonathan Martin, one of the organizers, in a Feb. 21 editorial.

“We are not looking to demonize anyone, but rather to proclaim the One at whose name demons tremble. We are believing God for the Lynchburg Revival to be a powerful counter-witness to white Christian nationalism — marked by fasting, repentance, prayer, preaching, worship, and foot-washing.”

He went on to explain that Lynchburg has “symbolic power,” given that it’s the city from which Falwell Jr., has promoted “President Trump’s brand of Christian nationalism,” yet “we believe it can be known as ground zero for a mighty move of God.”

Claiborne said on his social media pages Thursday that two weeks ago he sent Falwell “a sincere request to pray” together during the revival event, asking for his permission for participants to visit campus and pray with students, faculty and alumni.

He received a response Thursday.

In a letter dated April 4, which Claiborne shared on Twitter, Liberty University Police Department informed Claiborne that he was restricted from being on both the LU campus and the Thomas Road Baptist Church premises. Should he choose to trespass he would be arrested and face potentially jail time and a $2,500 fine.

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Source: Christian Post