Evangelical Leaders Issue Letter on ‘A 2020 Call for Biblical Peacemaking’

As evangelical Christian leaders, we are deeply concerned for our church communities and for our country.

We are called by God to walk in Christ’s footsteps to be peacemakers—not merely peacekeepers—in a nation grappling with toxic levels of polarization and the targeting of specific religious, racial, and political groups with violence. Peacemaking is not passive but rather an active commitment to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. As the Apostle Paul admonished the Roman church, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Gen 4:9-10, Matt 5:9, Matt 10:22, Mark 9:50, Rom 14:19)

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.

We must reject these pressures and not compromise our faith. We pledge the following, and welcome our fellow Christians to join us in being peacemakers and holding ourselves to these standards:

  1. We engage based on our Christian values, not based on partisan agendas (Acts 5:29; Phil 3:20). We ground our identity in Christ first and act in line with the teachings of our Savior in how we engage our fellow Americans with whom we disagree. (Matt 5:44)
  1. We condemn violence as a political tool and any language that incites hatred or violence (Eph 4:29-32; Col 3:8). We pledge to measure our words and use them to build up instead of tear down, treating others as we would have them treat us.
  1. We stand with the vast majority of Americans who want a peaceful, fair election, regardless of their political beliefs. We reject any effort to impede a peaceful and fair electoral process, undermine democracy, or deny Americans the right to vote. We call on all political candidates and politicians to respect the democratic process. (Rom 12: 17-21).
  2. We call on all Americans to respect and support each other, to build peace in their local communities, to advocate peacefully for their political perspectives. (Matt 5:38-39; Rom 12:17-21)We reject any efforts to sow discord and divide Americans for political gain (Prov 6:16-19; Rom 16:17).

We recognize and affirm the dignity and worth of all humans as divine image-bearers that Jesus died to save (Gen 1:26, John 3:16). We must act accordingly. Join us. 

Founding Signers:

A. R. Bernard, Sr.
Senior Pastor, Christian Cultural Center (NY)

Russell Moore
President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Dr. Tony Evans
Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (TX)

Max Lucado
Pastor, Oak Hills Church (TX)

Korie Robertson
Concerned Christian (LA)

Jimmy Agan
Senior Pastor, Intown Community Church (GA)

Bishop Kenneth Ulmer
Senior Pastor, Faithful Central Bible Church (CA)

Hunter Baker
Faculty, Union University (TN)

Carmen Fowler LaBerge
Radio Host, Common Ground Christian Network

Mark Tooley
President, The Institute on Religion and Democracy

Randel Everett
President, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative

Brian F. O’Connell
CEO, REACT Services

Rev. Elijah M. Brown, Ph.D.
General Secretary and CEO, Baptist World Alliance

Jonathan Keller
CEO, California Family Policy Council

O. Alan Noble
Assistant Professor, Oklahoma Baptist University

Preston Sprinkle
President, The Center for Faith, Sexuality, & Gender

Scott Arbeiter
President, World Relief

Matthew Soerens
US Director of Church Mobilization and Advocacy, World Relief

Stephanie Summers
CEO, Center for Public Justice

Jenny Yang
Vice President of Advocacy, World Relief

Matt Crawford
Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church (TN)

Alan Cross
Pastor, Petaluma Valley Baptist Church (CA)

Napp Nazworth
Christian Journalist, Former Senior Reporter for The Christian Post

C. Ben Mitchell, PhD
Distinguished Fellow, Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture

Rick Cole
Lead Pastor, Capital Christian Center, CA

Bart Barber
Pastor, First Baptist Church Farmersville (TX)

Stanley Carson-Theis
Senior Director, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance

Dave Davis
Lead Pastor, Parkview Community Church (IL)

Eric Ehmann
Campus Pastor (Queen Creek), Central Christian Church (AZ)

RaShan Frost
Pastor, The Bridge Church (SC)

Michelle Graham
Lay Leader, Willow Creek Community Church (IL)

Drew Griffin
Writer/Editor (NY)

Chris Hall
Associate Pastor, Houston Northwest Church (TX)

Matt Hawkins
Former Policy Director, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Kyle Hoover
Senior Pastor, Charlottesville Community Church (VA)

Casey B. Hough
Lead Pastor, Copperfield Church (TX)

Jamie Huff
Faculty, Wheaton College (IL)

David D. Ireland, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor, Christ Church (NJ)

John Jenkins
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Glenarden (NJ)

Cal Jernigan
Head Pastor, Central Christian Church (AZ)

Lisa Jernigan
Founder & Director, Amplify Peace (AZ)

Nathan Kitchens
Associate Pastor, Ezra Baptist Church (AL)

Tom Kopp
Central Impressions and Assimilation Pastor, Central Christian Church (AZ)

Dean Kuest
Campus Pastor (Glendale), Central Christian Church (AZ)

Joshua Macha
Pastor, Bridge Community Church (PA)

Leisa McDonald
Associate Director of Global Outreach, Central Christian Church (AZ)

Denise McKinney
Church Planter, The Well Church (OK)

Chuck Mingo
Campus Pastor, Crossroads Church (OH)

Jon Moton
Campus Pastor (Ahwatukee), Central Christian Church (AZ)

John Ogletree
Senior Pastor, First Metropolitan Church (TX)

Karen Swallow Prior
Faculty, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (NC)

Joel Rainey
Lead Pastor, Covenant Church (WV)

Stephen Reeves
Associate Coordinator of Advocacy, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Andrew Richards
Pastor (CA)

Mark Rodgers
President, The Clapham Group (DC)

Gabriel Salguero
President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition

Eric Schumacher
Pastor, Grand Avenue Baptist Church (IA)

Grace Shaw
Associate, The Clapham Group (DC)

John Starke
Pastor, Apostles Church Uptown (NY)

Briana Stensrud
Director, Women of Welcome

Rondell Trevino
Founder and Director, The Immigration Coalition

Bryan Wilkerson
Senior Pastor, Grace Chapel (MA)

Dr. David Woods
Pastor, Zoe Church (CA)

Source: Matthew 59