A collaboration of more than 100 evangelical leaders are condemning ‘Radical Christian Nationalism’ in an open letter in wake of the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.
In the letter, a plethora of pastors, ministry and seminary leaders, and other prominent evangelicals raise their concerns over the increasing “radicalization” amongst Christians, namely white evangelicals.
“We know from experts on radicalization that one of the key elements is a belief that your actions are "blessed by God" and ordained by your faith,” the letter states. “This is what allows so many people who hold to a Christian Nationalism view to be radicalized.”
The letter notes that amongst those who stormed the Capitol building, were people carrying crosses. Additionally, one of the rioters was said to have been praying “from the Senate desk in Jesus’ name.”
“But we reject this prayer being used to justify the violent act and attempted overthrow of the Government,” the evangelical leaders contend.
The letter explains “that evangelicalism, and white evangelicalism in particular, has been susceptible to the heresy of Christian nationalism because of a long history of faith leaders accommodating white supremacy. We choose to speak out now because we do not want to be quiet accomplices in this on-going sin.”
At the conclusion of the letter, the leaders called other pastors and ministers to stand for racial justice against Christian nationalism along with white supremacy.
“We will seek to repair and heal the wounds of the past. We will seek racial justice on a personal, ecclesial, and systemic level,” the letter reads. “We will support organizations led by people of color. We will listen to and amplify the voices of people of faith who have been marginalized by the colonizing force of white supremacy and Christian Nationalism.”
“We will do our best to be faithful to Jesus, and to those Christ called “the least of these,” the letter concluded.
According to NPR, the open letter was organized by Doug Pagitt, who leads the progressive group Vote Common Good. In a recent Zoom call with other signers of the letter, he explained how the style of prayer proclaimed from the Senate rostrum was similar to those from charismatic and evangelical churches.
"People from our very communities called people to this action in the days before, unleashed them into the Capitol, and then chose to baptize that action in the name of Christ," Pagitt said. "And this is our time where we need to stand up."
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.