A Confession by American Evangelicals Amid the 2016 Presidential Election

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The American “evangelical” Church finds itself at an important cultural juncture. In the wake of another presidential election, many disturbing realities about the state and integrity of this expression of the Church are being brought to light.

With good cause, several significant Christian organizations (several Missio Alliance authors included) have engaged these issues with respect to one of the candidates in particular through op-ed’s, declarations, and even denouncements. These are needed voices and we give thanks for them. At the same time, we feel that it is important to speak directly to the household of God, calling us, together, to a place of repentance, resistance, reconciliation, and renewal in view of what we are seeing and realizing about the state of “evangelical” Christianity. 

We take this selection from Lausanne’s Cape Town Commitment (a foundational document for our ethos and ministry) as an instructive reminder:

We love God above all rivals. We are commanded to love and worship the living God alone. But like Old Testament Israel we allow our love for God to be adulterated by going after the gods of this world, the gods of the people around us. We fall into syncretism, enticed by many idols such as greed, power and success, serving mammon rather than God. We accept dominant political and economic ideologies without biblical critique. We are tempted to compromise our belief in the uniqueness of Christ under the pressure of religious pluralism. Like Israel we need to hear the call of the prophets and of Jesus himself to repent, to forsake all such rivals, and to return to obedient love and worship of God alone.

It is in this spirit that Missio Alliance sets forth the following confession and call to action. Let us – all of us, but especially those of us with disproportionate amounts of cultural power and privilege – acknowledge our complicity in the sins of the American “evangelical” Church and our failure to fully reflect the way of Jesus.

Let us acknowledge our complicity in the sins of the American 'evangelical' Church. Click To Tweet

Where the election has revealed mixed allegiances, we confess that we have not trusted in Jesus as our Lord and King.

We confess the ways we have become like the chief priests before Pilate who claimed they had no king but Caesar, forgetting God was their King. We have lived as if to proclaim that we have no king but the President of the United States, giving lie to our witness before all people that we are followers of Christ. We have for too long served the god of American nationalism rather than our Lord Jesus Christ.

We therefore pledge to renew our commitment to the lordship of Christ through daily prayer and careful reflection on Scripture’s witness to the good news of God’s kingdom. 

Where the election has revealed a lack of ecclesial integrity, we confess that we have abandoned our vocation as the people of God.

We confess that we have exchanged the birthright of being a blessing to all people for the poor pottage of political power. We have turned salvation into a moral and spiritual event for individuals, ignoring the social character of salvation and the necessity of our witness based on our love for one another, especially “the least of these.”

We therefore pledge to renew our commitment to engagement in the worshipping and missional life of our local churches. 

Where the election has revealed competing worldviews, we confess that we have lost sight of Scripture as the authoritative narrative of our true identity.

We confess that we have not allowed the inspired and infallible revelation given to us through the scriptures to have its full and proper authority in our lives. We have too easily obeyed the teachings of our faith that align with our political dispositions and neglected the teachings of our faith that do not.

We therefore pledge to renew our commitment to a comprehensive holiness as we immerse ourselves in the narrative of Scripture and submit to the Holy Spirit, its author and our Lord. 

Where the election has revealed racial injustice, we confess that we have perpetuated racial oppression by our actions and inactions, and defiled the image of God in people of color.

We confess any way we have rested secure at the top of the social hierarchy and have ignored the stories of daily abuse, oppression, and humiliation experienced by minorities within white American culture. We have too often exonerated ourselves because we are not individually “racists” or because we feel helpless to overcome “racism” even when we acknowledge that it exists.

We therefore pledge to renew our commitment to understanding our privilege, how it affects our brothers and sisters of color, and learning to recognize and name systems of injustice we have unknowingly and knowingly perpetuated.

Where the election has revealed gender injustice, we confess that we have defiled the image of God in women.

We confess any way we have not stood for the honor and dignity of every woman among us, we have tolerated and even perpetuated “locker room” talk that objectifies women, perpetuates violent misogyny, and overlooks claims of assault by silencing victims through minimizing the offenses. We have waited far too long to listen to and learn from the abused women all around us and have waited too long to call out this crisis inside and outside the church.

We therefore pledge to renew our commitment to creating safe places of listening to these stories and to fully honoring the image of God in women.

Where the election has revealed social injustice, we confess our failure to lovingly embrace and provide for the poor and marginalized.

We confess that, opting for the comfort of sameness and individual self-sufficiency, we have failed to embody God’s desire for churches to practice radical hospitality and sacrificial, interdependent living. As a result, those who are poor (materially or relationally) or socially marginalized, including mothers in distress and the unborn, have been cut off from the hope and healing of God among his people.

We therefore pledge to renew our commitment to humbly pursuing the “other” as loved and welcomed into our fellowships.

Lord, hear our prayer!

** This confession originated from a conversation between Mandy Smith, David Fitch, and Geoff Holsclaw on a recent episode of the Theology on Mission podcast. Many friends of varying gender, racial, and social backgrounds were consulted and have contributed to its final form. Please note: We fully acknowledge that these are by no means the only sins that we ought to name and repent of as the “evangelical” church. We name these sins because they seem to be at the forefront of a collective consciousness at the moment and in hope that beginning here will open up a space for God’s further work among us as his people. 

To join us in this confession and pledge, add your name below, invite others to join this confession, and add your own confession as you share this on social media and elsewhere.

A CONFESSION by American Evangelicals Amid the 2016 Presidential Election

Entries for A CONFESSION by American Evangelicals Amid the 2016 Presidential Election

Displaying 1 - 301 of 301
Donald Norman Fresno CA Associate Director, Alongside Ministries International
Jesse Middendorf Overland Park Kansas  
Corinne Rego Fall River Massachusetts Redemption fellowship
Cindy Garant Fall River MA Redemption Fellowship Fall River
Tom Cabral Fall River Massachusetts Pastor Redemption Fellowship Church of Fall River
Sarah Terrell Westport MA Anchor Ministries
Liz Sastre Miami FL Rhythm Church
Liz Sastre Miami FL Rhythm Church
Britt Cooper Colorado Springs CO  
Roy Rhodes Houston TX Minister, West University Church of Christ
Ron Roehl Sioux Falls SD - South Dakota Mr.
Kim Kargbo Southaven MS President, Women of Hope International
Susan Diaz Edwardsville IL  
Rev Faith Totushek Buffalo Minnesota Pastor, WayFinders Home Church
Rebecca Rhodes Memphis Tn  
Michael Plank Lanett AL Spring Road Christian Church
Jeff Ripley Virginia Beach Va  
Steve keller suffolk virginia Pastor
Amanda Blair Tipton Indiana Pastor of Assimilation
Janet Kunnecke Indianapolis IN Missionary
Kerry Schottelkorb San Dimas California Co-Founder BridgeLives
Alice Fillie Faboe Centreville VA / Fairfax County Bible Student
SURESH THOMAS SUWANEE Georgia Executive Director, Family Concern & Adjunct Professor, Crown College, MN and Simpson University, CA
Tim Balow Minneapolis MN  
Russell Almon Edinburgh Scotland PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity
David Wilcox Colorado Springs CO Assistant Vice President, Association of Christian Schools International
Michael Befus Grand Rapids MI The Vineyard Church
Maurice Lovejoy Omaha NE  
Maurice Lovejoy Omaha NE  
Dawn Zimmerman, LPC Fairfax Virginia Therapist at Imago Dei Counseling
David Peters Souderton Pa  
Robin Rhine McDonald Los Angeles CA Co-Founder of Made Well Health & Member of the Free Methodist Church
Debra Schottelkorb San Dimas Ca Co-Founder of BridgeLives
Tim Westergren Tres Cantos Madrid Assistant Director, Spain Field of The Christian & Missionary Alliance
Larry Eubanks Frederick Maryland Sr. Pastor, First Baptist Church of Frederick
Damon Schroeder West Chicago IL Director for US Integral Mission, World Relief
Casey Beckley Sycamore IL  
Jim Bunce Front Royal Virginia Pastor, Marlow Heights Baptist Church
Kathryn Graybehl North Wales Pennsylvania (PA) Child of God
Verle Brubaker Quakertown Pa Pastor of Swamp Mennonite Church
Bill Donahue Deerfield IL Director Doctor of Ministry Program, TEDS
Jim Pace Blacksburg VA Co-Pastor New Life Christian Fellowship
Josh McCarty Grand Junction CO River City Church of Grand Junction
Emma Tautolo Tempe AZ Athletes In Action
Robert Mayer Charlotte NC  
Lisa Nelson Colorado Springs Co  
Aaron Gregory Muskegon MI Pastor- The Lakes Community Church of the Nazarene
Jaimie Stepro Palmdale CA Worship Pastor, Kairos Community
Becca Osborn Palatine, IL Artist, Life on the Vine
Dustin Osborn Palatine IL Life On The Vine
Denes House Poughkeepsie NY Senior Pastor
Lori Rogers Evansville IN  
Jason Hesiak Chesapeake Virginia New City Church
Benjamin Holsteen Colorado Springs CO Minister of Music and Church Programs, Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Hubert Hausoul Porter In  
David Schell Pittsburgh PA Student, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Jacqui Hausoul Porter IN  
Kevin McGill College Place WA Pastor Village Church
Chris Townley Phoenix AZ Generations Pastor New City Church
Mimi Haddad Minneapolis MN President, Christians for Biblical Equality www.cbeinternational.org
Kyle Ware Orlando FL  
Dona Oliver Bear de  
Albert Padilla Visalia Ca Lead pastor epic church
Caitlyn Stenerson St. Paul MN  
Andrew Bronson Chicago IL  
Greg Boyd St. Oaul Minnesita Woodland Hills
Chaz Robbins Tinley Park IL Pastor at Parkview Christian Church
Tim Meier Colorado Springs CO Director of Envision
Kevin Brown Wilmore KY  
Alan Sung Richmond TX  
Mandy Park Frederick Maryland  
Owen Perkins Land O Lakes Florida  
Nathan Smith Cincinnati Ohio Associate Pastor - University Christian Church
Russ Zehr Graymont IL  
Dianne Desch Fort Washington PA  
Ben Rous Lansing IL & MI Pastor
K.J. Marks Cranford NJ Associate Pastor, Cranford Alliance Church
David Lehman Williamsburg VA Pastor, Williamsburg Mennonite Church
Gregory Loewer Alexandria VA  
Nancy Sundra Dayton Ohio  
Jessica Clemmer Pottstown PA Pastor, Koinonia House
Chris Marshall Liberty Township OH Pastor or Ordinary Community Church
Laura Johnson Pottstown Pennsylvania  
Jacob Christian Waterloo Iowa  
Leneita Fix West Palm Beach Florida Mission's Coordinator, Urban Youth Impact
Austin Martin Lake Zurich IL  
Valerie Bowls Richland WA  
Shannon Sanker Cincinnati Ohio Family Minister, University Christian Church
Anna Kingdollar Lyndonville NY  
Joshua Sharp Bolivar MO  
Howard Burgoyne Cromwell CT Superintendent, The East Coast Conference of The Evangelical Covenant Church
Ryan Guenther Virden MB Associate Pastor of Virden Alliance Church
Paul Pastor Bridal Veil OR Deacon of Formation, Theophilus Church
Yvonne Buchanan Tulsa Oklahoma  
David Tingley Watertown MN Youth & Family Pastor, Watertown Evangelical Free Church
Mary C Miller Cincinnati Ohio  
Christian Fahey Clarkston Michigan  
Jonathan Massimi Brantford Ontario Manager of Community Development United Way
Peter White Tulsa OK Chapel Ministries coordinator, Restore Hope Ministries
Kimberly Spragg Dallas TX  
Anthony Jones Cincinnati OH Associate Pastor at University Christian Church
Josiah Black Lombard IL  
Michael McElroy St. Albert Alberta Pastor, Grace Family Church
Adam Waddell Memphis TN Co-pastor, Memphis Anglican Church
Andrew Bonner Durham NC  
Jean Sharp Westmont IL Co-pastor, Peace of Christ Community Church
Chris Halstead Dassel MN Worship and Family Pastor
Joshua Stoxen Norwood OH Pastor, Vineyard Central
Michael Rudzena New York City New York Pastor, Trinity Grace Church in Tribeca
Preston Hemphill Tulsa OK  
Kristi Jennings LaPlata MD Associate Pastor LifeStream Church of the Nazarene
Correna Merricks Wilmore KY Asbury University
Alex Starks 2310 N Brentwood St. Wa  
Mike Gierhart New Castle PA  
Loren Baird Morton IL  
Brandon Bradley Grinnell IA Lead Follower, Grinnell Christian Church
Ted Malone 903 White St. IN Clay City Free Methodist Church; I am the pastor but the only royalty in our church is Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords
Silas West Omaha NE Clinical Counselor
Patrick Heston Moro Illinois  
Paul Ferguson St. Louis MO The Salvation Army, Major (pastor)
Susan Seay Summerville Sc  
Gary Mutchler Scipio Center NY Scipio Community Church
Peter Tremblay Coudersport Pa. Pastor Coudersport Free Methodist Church
Peter Lim Pasadena CA  
Scott Marshall Portage IN Lead Pastor, Real Life Community Church
John Bangs Seattle Wa Fuller Theological Seminary Northwest
Tom Duncan St Joseph Missouri  
Ron Short La Mesa CA  
Tom Boeger Cottonwood Heights UT  
Cris Mogenson Windsor NY  
Denise Masciarelli Zephyrhills Fl  
Mike Scott Salinas CA  
Rae Fitch 224 N. Warwick Ave., SINGLE_FAMILY_HOME IL n/a
Tracy Dickerson Neeark DE Missio Hrace
Tom Longenecker Harrisburg PA Pastor, New Hope Community (Mennonite)
Ben Currin Wilmington North Carolina Baptist Theologian
James B. Currin USA North Carolina  
Bruce Barnard New York New York Lead Pastor, Mission New York for the Church of the Nazarene
Harry King Malvern Pa  
Steve Englund Blacksburg VA Equipper, New Life Christian Fellowship
Matt Wittenbrook South Dayton NY Pastor, South Dayton Free Methodist Church
Norman Dowe Bowie MD  
Brian Roth 250 Edgewood Ave. NY Edgewood Free Methodist Church
Mary Katherine Jauchen Dallas TX  
Nannett Cepero Rochester New York  
Jana Jenkins 395 Executive Dr, Apt 101 IL Nations Chapel Christian Church
Leslie Cool Ephrata PA Lead Pastor - Akron Grace EC Church
Winn Collier Charlottesville VA Pastor, All Souls Charlottesville
Leslie Cool Ephrata PA Lead Pastor - Akron GHrace EC Church
Leon Longard Indianapolis IN  
Carolynn Teach Waynesboro PA  
Tim Miller Toledo Oh Pastor Toledo Chinese Alliance Church
Ellen Montei Madison Wisconsin  
Kenneth J. Macari Edison NJ Rev. Dr.
John Cooke Elma NY Elder, United Methodist Church
Gloria Roorda Batavia NY Lead Pastor of Arbor House a community of Northgate FMC
Evan Simmons Portland OR assistant pastor Grace Christian Fellowship
Evan Simmons Portland OR assistant pastor Grace Christian Fellowship
Kenneth Horst Harrisonburg VA Development Associate
Robin Kurashewich Lancaster Ca Kairos Community (AV)
John Parton Banning California  
Dan White Jr. Syracuse NY V3 Movement
Quinn Golling Spokane WA  
Dan White Jr. Syracuse NY V3 Movement
Curt Leininger Hawthorne NJ Pastor - The Well (C&MA)
Erin Zonio Lexington Kentucky  
Erin Zonio Lexington Kentucky  
Ellen Miller Wilmore KY  
Aaron Johnson Durham NC  
Lynn Mitchell Huffman Texas Director if Religious Studies, University of. Houston (retired) Senio
Lisa Watson Washington DC Missio Alliance Board Member
Paul Williamson Fort Myers Fl  
Henry Zonio Lexington KY Asbury University
Henry Zonio Lexington KY Asbury University
Ryan Sanders Irving Tx  
Brian Pinkston Charlottesville Virginia  
Joel Tooley Melbourne FL Pastor - Melbourne Church of the Nazarene
Sue Tomasik Manitowoc Wisconsin The Crossing of Manitowoc Cty. ED
Steven Chapman Chicago IL Senior Minister
Jim Hampton Lexington KY Professor, Asbury Theological Seminary
Steven Chapman Chicago IL Senior Minister
Rosten Callarman Abilene Texas  
Matt Buehrle Rocky River OH Elder - Lighthouse Alliance Church
Amanda Perdue Chicago Il  
Vincent Crouse La Plata MD LifeStream Church of the Nazarene
Sarah Ahern Bellew Wilmore KY Asbury University
Noah Stepro 440 Fantasy Street CA Pastor, Kairos Community
John Parton Banning California  
David Jenkins Carol Stream IL Mzee, Nations Chapel Christian Church
Nathan Luitjens Olds IA Pastor - Sugar Creek Mennonite Church
Dave Witmer Millersville PA Pastor, Church Leader
JD Reynolds Bonne Terre MO  
Gailyn Van Rheenen Carrollton Texas Facilitator of Church Planting and Renewal, Mission Alive
Ryan Donoho Fishers IN  
Russ Herald The Hague South Holland  
Chris Breslin Durham NC Pastor of Oak Church
Shelly Timbol Jacksonville Florida  
Derek Miller Baltimore MD Neighborhood Pastor: Gallery Church Patterson Park
David Swartz Lexington KY Asbury University
Drew Causey 107 Secretariat Drive Kentucky Pastor of Worship and Discipleship, Hope Community Church
Merle Stowell Easton Missouri  
Merle Stowell Easton Missouri  
Richard Errington Austin TX Believer
Patrick Landers 517 Gateway Cres S Alberta  
Joel Taylor 2146 St. James Ave, Apt 3 Cincinnati  
Jim Harddenbrook 3875 Geist Rd, Suite E #247 AK  
Jon Wymer York NE Lead Pastor, York Evangelical Free Church
Vern Hyndman Boiling Springs PA Pastor
Debbie Lock Murfreesboro TN  
Scott Coyle Saint Joseph MO  
James P Long Colorado Springs CO writer/editor
Peter Davids Houston Texas Visiting Professor of Bible and Applied Theology, Houston Graduate School of Theology
Amy Medeiros Columbia SC Mrs.
Stephen Valder 1621 Allen St NC  
Stephen Valder 1621 Allen St NC  
Kristyn KOMARNICKI Philadelphia pa Evangelicals for Social Action
Ryan Boettcher Milwaukee WI Deacon, Christ Redeemer
Craig Morton Meridian ID Pastor Emmaus Mennonite Church; Consultant, The Missionplace
Michael McGonigal Oak Park IL  
Rich Jones Cincinnati OH Pastor, Immanuel Presbyterian
Samuel Greenlee Sacramento CA  
Alan Hirsch Los angeles Ca Author
Denis Johnson, Jr. Rochester NY Pastor: Music and Teaching
Michelle Van Loon Palatine IL Writer
Carol Simat 219 W. 3rd St. MN  
Marcos Marti Jersey City NJ Pastor CityLife Church CMA
Paul Mast Hewitt Villa Park Illinois  
Stuart Hepler Fort Wayne IN  
Audrey Blumber Los Angeles California Equipper, Kairos Hollywood
Michael Scarlett Pocatello ID Pastor, First United Methodist Church
brian rosebush terrace british columbia disciple of Jesus
Dale Durie Minneapolis MN Pastor, The Seeds Community
Kurtley Knight Dallas TX Planting Pastor, Epiphany Church
Kurtley Knight Dallas TX Planting Pastor, Epiphany Church
Nate Howard Vineland NJ Pastor, Living Faith Alliance Church
Steve Sherwood Newberg OR Asst. Professor of Christian Ministries, George Fox University
Sammy Frame Powhatan VA Pastor
Julius Buzzard Ann Arbor MI Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor, Executive Director
Scott Barnett Gloucester MA Director of W.I.L.D. Semester -- Gordon College
Marlene Kelly Sugar Land TX  
Jim Van Yperen 116 Purling Beck Road, 116 Purling Beck Road NEW HAMPSHIRE Metanoia Ministries
Dr. Rev Mike Normoyle Browntown VA Pastor
Linda Green Wichita KS Pastor, Rivercrest Free Methodist Church, Refuge ministry
Scott Sittig 62 N Union St NY New Hope Free Methodist Church
Debra Hirsch Los Angeles California Author & Missio Alliance Board Member
Scott Newman Santa Cruz CA Pastor for Care and Connections, Santa Cruz Bible Church
Brian Babcock Churchville NY Retired Free Methodist Pastor
Rex Butts Chillicothe Missouri Chillicothe Church of Christ
Caleb Smith Winfield IL Pastor
Christian Ricker Onalaska WI Reverend - American Baptist Churches - USA
Carol Cool Ephrata PA Speaker & writer
Dorothy Greco Littleton MA  
Robert Fairbanks 7402 N Fox Point Washington Pastor, Immanuel Church
Todd Littleton Tuttle Oklahoma Pastor - Snow Hill Baptist Church
Fred Liggin Williamsburg Virginia Pastor, Williamsburg Christian Church
leslie fields Kodiak AK Author, Speaker
Ben Sternke Fishers Indiana Copastor, The Table
Geoff Holsclaw 5105 RFD Alrington HTS RD, Long Grove Illinois Northern Seminary and Life on the Vine Church
Giambroni Anthony Kent OH  
Michelle Lewis Champaign IL  
Colby Henley Tucson AZ  
James McCall Troy MI Assistant Pastor, Bridge Community Church
Juliet Liu Lake Zurich IL Pastor, Life on the Vine Church
Jane Spriggs Buffalo Minnesota Lead Pastor, Monticello Covenant Church
Lisa Bowe Dallas Texas  
Brandon Smith Carriere Mississippi  
Peter Mills Webster NY Pastor. Crossroads Free Methodist
Brad Wong San Jose California Lead Pastor, The River Church Community
Jonathan Styer Gaithersburg MD  
Rick Callahan Richmond TX Teaching Pastor, Grand Parkway Baptist Church
Spencer Sweeting Williamsport PA Pastor, City Alliance Church
Stephen Johnson Dedham MA Pastor, Fellowship Church
DG Montalvo Tyler Tx  
Katherine Callahan-Howell Cincinnati Ohio Winton Community Free Methodist Church
Wendy Chinn Blacksburg VA Operations Coordinator, Missio Alliance
Jeff Saferite Fairfax VA Neighbor & Sojourner
Jeff Kersten Lake Bluff IL  
Al Hsu Downers Grove IL  
Jasmine Ketelsen Iowa City Iowa  
Mark Love Rochester Hills MI Dean, School of Theology and Ministry, Rochester College
Blanche Schuchardt College station Tx  
Blanche Schuchardt College station Tx  
Jason Feffer Chicago Illinois  
Dale Gish San Francisco California Church of the Sojourners
Amanda Codispoti Canton Ohio Pastor, LoveCanton
Christopher Backert Harrisburg PA Co-Director, Missio Alliance
Ron Walborn Nyack NY Dean, Alliance Theological Seminary and Nyack College
Robbie Poff Blacksburg Virginia Deacon - New Life Christian Fellowship
Amy Rozko Canton Ohio  
Samantha Ham Reno NV  
Gena Thomas Concord NC Author
JR Rozko Canton OH Co-Director, Missio Alliance
David Fitch Westmont Il Northern Seminary
William Walker Charleston SC Associate Pastor, Saint Peter's Church
Derek Vreeland St. Joseph MO Discipleship Pastor, Word of Life Church
Mandy Smith Cincinnati OH Pastor, University Christian Church
Douglas Cullum Bergen NY Vice President and Dean, Northeastern Seminary
Charles Self Campbell CA Director of City Development, Made To Flourish and Professor of Church History, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
Lesa Engelthaler Dallas TX Missio Alliance Board member
Displaying 1 - 301 of 301

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