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Christian Leaders Offer Encouragement as Nation Awaits Election Results

Looking to the Future

Some leaders’ comments focus on looking to the future of politics in the U.S. Alan Cross, pastor of Petaluma Baptist Church in California, writes:

Justin Giboney of the AND Campaign encouraged Christians to participate in the electoral process as “peacemakers” by following these steps:

Raymond Chang, who serves in the Chaplain’s Office at Wheaton College, says that after this election, the Church needs to work to restore our public witness:

What Is Abundantly Clear Is That the Country Is Deeply Divided

As we await the result of the election, the fact that neither side had a speedy victory and it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the eventual winner will have a significant margin of victory, what is clear is that the U.S. is divided. As Russell Moore, President of the ERLC, points out in an article published on The Gospel Coalition, no matter what happens or who wins, we have a lot of hurt to overcome. Moore writes, “The divisions in the country are real, and aren’t going away, regardless of who is ultimately certified as the electoral winner this year. Narrative closure is not what this election could, or should have been expected to, do.”

Andrew T. Walker agrees that the election has brought to light “a divided country with different moral universes”:

Anticipating the deep divide the election would highlight and potentially exacerbate, over 200 Christian leaders have signed a letter titled “A 2020 Call for Biblical Peacemaking: Evangelical Leaders’ Statement on Violence and Division”. Signed by Dr. Tony Evans, Russell Moore, Max Lucado, Scott Arbeiter, and Karen Swallow Prior, the letter asks followers of Christ to join the group in being peacemakers during this time. The letter asks those willing to pledge to the following:

    • 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)
    • 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. 
    • 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). 
    • 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). 

Matthew Hawkins, formerly of the ERLC, says the pledge is inspired by Matthew 5:9 and the words of the Apostle Paul. Hawkins says, “Peacemakers lean into where there is no peace and, well, make it. Thankfully, we have guidance from Scripture on how to begin this work. The Apostle Paul admonished the Roman church, ‘Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification’ (Rom 14:19).”