Evangelicals for Peace?
An Open Letter to American Evangelicals:
I am profoundly disturbed by the American evangelical response to war, terrorism and national security. Far too many evangelicals in the U.S. have blunted the moral edge of what it means to follow Jesus, especially in a Post 9/11 world. Instead of being salt and light, we have embraced a flag-waving patriotism that dulls our conscience to Jesus’ commands and blinds us to our moral responsibilities toward our neighbors and nations. As a whole, we have uncritically supported the three wars in which we are now enmeshed (Afghanistan, Iraq, and the “war on terror”).
My friend, Rich Nathan, expressed my concerns well at a recent conference: "Of all segments in society, shouldn't we as evangelical, Bible-believing Christians be the least supportive of going to war, rather than the most supportive?"
Let me be clear here - I realize that evangelicals hold differing views on these issues. I know the issues are complex, and I don’t pretend to have this all figured out. But I do know that Jesus deserves our ultimate allegiance. I want to be a faithful follower of Jesus, and I know there are many like me who are looking for ways to follow him in the public sphere.
As a follower of the Prince of Peace, are you trying to discern how you should respond to war, terrorism and national security?
Five leading evangelical organizations (The World Evangelical Alliance, Evangelicals for Social Action, Sojourners, the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common good and Peace Catalyst International) invite you to wrestle with these issues together on September 14, 2012 at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Together we are hosting
“Evangelicals for Peace: A Summit on Christian Moral Responsibility in the 21st Century”
Come hear what these ten world class leaders have to say about these hugely important issues:
- Geoff Tunnicliff, D.Min., CEO of the World Evangelical Alliance, representing 600 million evangelicals
- David Gushee, Ph.D., Professor of Ethics at Mercer University and co-author of Kingdom Ethics
- Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners and author of numerous books, including God’s Politics
- Douglas Johnston, Ph.D., President of International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
- Lisa Sharon Harper, director of Mobilizing at Sojourners and co-author of Left, Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics
- Bob Roberts Jr., D.Min., Senior Pastor of NorthWood Church and author of numerous books, including Glocalization: How Followers of Jesus Engage a Flat World.
- David Beasley, former Republican Governor of South Carolina & National Prayer Breakfast activist
- Glen Stassen, Ph.D., Professor of Ethics at Fuller Seminary and editor of Just Peacemaking
- Chris Seiple, Ph.D., President of the Institute for Global Engagement
- Eric Patterson, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University.
Please join us as we seek to chart a new course for the future. I hope to see you at the summit!
For the sake of the God of peace and the peace of God,
Rick Love, Ph.D.
President, Peace Catalyst International
Consultant for Christian-Muslim Relations