August 7, 2019
As followers of Christ, our faith teaches us that everyone is created in God’s image and commands us to love one another.1 As American citizens we value our system of government which at its best seeks to protect even its marginalized citizens. Today there is a threat to the very soul of our nation. White Nationalism, White Supremacy, White Pride, The Christian Identity Movement, Christian Nationalism, and all other groups of violence and exclusion threaten our democracy and our religious communities.
Christian Nationalism is abhorrent to the true faith established by Christ and the Apostles. For in the Christian faith there are to be no borders or boundaries that define us beyond our baptism and common faith.2 Class, racial, gender, and identity distinctions have no place at the table of Jesus Christ.3Acts of Terrorism–foreign or domestic, sanctioned or unsanctioned–by the powers and principalities of this world are anti-christ, as taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.4
We of the Missiongathering Movement Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) believe that God has called our churches to the Gospel of Radical Inclusion. No ideology is more opposed to that Gospel than Christian Nationalism and White Supremacy. We reject White Supremacy and Christian Nationalism as anti-Christ. It has no place in our house of worship or in our American political system. We denounce any persons, whether public official or private citizen, that espouses White Nationalist rhetoric as in desperate need of repentance and disengaged from the inclusive agenda of Scripture and the priorities of Jesus.
As Christians, we are bound to Christ, as citizens of the Kin-dom of Heaven. It is our firmly held belief that people of all faiths have a right to express their faith in the public square without fear of harm or persecution. That love of one’s country cannot be at the exclusion of religious conviction. That one’s religious affiliation, or lack of affiliation, should be irrelevant in one’s standing in the civic community. That the Government of the United States of America should not offer preference to any religion or non-religion. That religious instruction is at its best when left to our houses of worship, other religious institutions, and religious families. That America’s dream that religious pluralism enables faith communities to live in civic harmony with one another without sacrificing our theological convictions. That conflating religious authority with political authority is idolatrous and often leads to the oppression of minorities and other marginalized groups as well as the spiritual impoverishment of religion. That we must stand up to and speak out against Christian nationalism, especially when it inspires acts of violence and intimidation—including vandalism, bomb threats, arson, hate crimes, attacks on shoppers, attacks on students, attacks on festival/concert attendees and attacks on houses of worship—against religious communities at home and abroad.
Whether we worship at a church, mosque, synagogue, temple, the privacy of our homes, nature, or anywhere America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.5 As Christians, we must speak in one voice condemning Christian nationalism and White Supremacy as a distortion of the gospel of Jesus and a threat to American democracy. As followers of Christ, we commit ourselves to the hard work of anti-racism and reconciliation. As followers of Christ, we commit ourselves to strive against the evils of nationalism and racism recognizing that we are all one human race and family. As followers of Christ, we reject any form of terror or intimidation that keeps people from expressing gender, sexuality, and culture.
As proud citizens of these United States of America, we call upon our elected officials to publicly denounce and disavow themselves of Christian Nationalism and White Supremacy. We call for the resignation of all elected officials who cannot with clear conscience disavow and denounce such acts as domestic terrorism and antidemocratic.
We call upon followers of Christ to embrace and protect the diversity of this nation. To stand up in boldness in the face of terror, to show that we are people who will not cower in fear. We call upon each of us to do the hard work of repentance for all parts we have played in emboldening hatred and prejudice among us. We call for the table fellowship of our Lord Jesus Christ to do the hard work of true unity and inclusion. May the peace of Christ be with you all as you go boldly to form a more perfect union in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.
With Grace, Love, and Conviction
The Pastors of The Missiongathering Movement Christan Church (Disciples of Christ)
1Genesis 1:27, John 13:34-35
4Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:26-37
51st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America