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A Call For Biblical Faithfulness

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23 January 2017


A new form of dangerous political leadership is emerging in different parts of the world. Although this is not the first, and likely not the last time, the threat today of what can be called the new fascism is real. As an ideology characterized by fundamentalist, militant, nationalistic, and racist policies, fascism threatens especially the “other,” be it the poor, the oppressed, or the disenfranchised—people for whom God has a special concern. As members of the global evangelical community, we, the undersigned, feel compelled by the Spirit to call the church worldwide, first and foremost ourselves, to hear the clarion call of the Gospel to radical biblical faithfulness amid the new fascism and to renew its commitment to live out the peace, justice, and hope of the kingdom of God in Jesus Christ.

Though we witness this form of dangerous political leadership emerging in other parts of the world, we are issuing this statement around the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, because of that nation’s global influence. We are keenly aware of the anxiety and fear being caused around the world by the actions, stated positions, and inflammatory foreign policy remarks of the President-elect.

As followers of Jesus, we also feel compelled to issue this call because we find it disturbing that many self-identified evangelicals in their respective countries contributed in no small part to the new fascism by the way they voted in a number of recent referenda (e.g. Colombia, United Kingdom) and national elections (e.g. Philippines, United States).

In the case of the U.S., we mourn the reduction of the gospel that resulted in single-issue voting, even as we acknowledge the complexity of the political process and the agony of many over the options available. It is true that for many evangelicals, their vote was more against the other candidates than it was for the one they elected. Nonetheless, we grieve the part that evangelicals played in electing a person whose character, values, and actions are antithetical to the Gospel.

Furthermore, we find it inadmissible that some high profile evangelical leaders have hailed the President-elect as a Christian and a prophet. It does not surprise us that many people, especially from the younger generation, are abandoning the evangelical world altogether. As representative members of the global evangelical community, we stand with all who oppose violence, racism, misogyny, and religious, sexual and political discrimination by resisting the leadership of a person whose life, deeds and words have normalized and even glorified these postures. Our voices represent solidarity with them both in their grief over the results of the elections and in their resolve to speak to power in word and deed in these troubling times.

As a challenge to the new fascism, we call the whole church to biblical faithfulness in: - the merciful and just treatment of immigrants, refugees, strangers, and racial and religious minorities; - the rejection of all sorts of objectification of women and commercialization of sex; - the responsible and just regard for the care of God’s creation, including taking seriously the reality and dangers of climate change; - the commitment to world peace in the face of the war industry, military rhetoric and action; - the courageous and self-sacrificing pursuit of the welfare of the poor, marginalized, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups, including children and youth.

Finally, we call to account the incoming U.S. President and his administration in the power of the Gospel, warning them that God holds each nation, each leader, and each individual responsible for how they act on behalf of the poor and the oppressed. And we encourage all God’s people to pray for the United States and its leaders, for the sake of the welfare not only of the U.S. citizens but of all people around the world.

Signed: (to add your signature see here.)

Femi B. Adeleye, Institute for Christian Impact (ICI) and Langham Preaching, Ghana*

María Alejandra Andrade V., Tearfund UK, Ecuador/UK*

René August, The Warehouse, South Africa*

Gillian Mary Bediako, Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, Ghana*

Paul Bendor-Samuel, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, United Kingdom*

Rachel Beveridge, Christian Reformed World Missions, El Salvador/USA*

Seblewengel Daniel, Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, INFEMIT, Ethiopia*

Samuel Escobar

Sheryl Haw, Micah Global, United Kingdom*

Munther Isaac, Bethlehem Bible College and Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, Palestine*

Amanda Kaminski, INFEMIT, USA* Kanthamanee Ladaphongphatthana, Mahidol University, Thailand*

Terry Le Blanc, NAIITS, An Indigenous Learning Community, Canada*

Gregory Leffel, INFEMIT, USA* David Nacho, CETI, Bolivia-Canada* Las Newman, Lausanne, Jamaica*

Zac Niringiye, Bishop in the Church of Uganda, Uganda*

Ruth Padilla DeBorst, INFEMIT and Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdisciplinarios, Costa Rica*

René Padilla, Kairos Foundation, Argentina*

Melba Padilla Maggay, Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture, Philippines*

B. Y. Quarshie, INFEMIT and Akrofi-Christaller Institute, Ghana*

Vinoth Ramachandra, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, Sri Lanka*

Lindy Scott, Whitworth University, USA* Ronald J. Sider, Palmer Seminary at Eastern University, USA*

Craig Stewart, The Warehouse, South Africa*

Al Tizon, North Park Theological Seminary and INFEMIT, USA*

Marcelo Vargas, Bolivia Robin Wainwright, INFEMIT, USA *

Titles and organizations are listed for identification purposes and do not necessarily reflect the position of the institutions.