Stop using nuclear war rhetoric, start fighting climate change and always speak the truth. These are some of the demands an international assembly of Pentecostal and charismatic leaders sent to the White House on the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, January 20th.
Amos Yong and Craig S. Keener, commonly viewed as two of the world’s leading Pentecostal scholars, are among the signatories. Brian Zahnd, pastor of Word of Life church in Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Jane Caulton, minister of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church in Washington, D.C., also stand by the letter.
“Approaches to effective policy vary, but please move away from comments that belittle ethnic minorities, immigrants, etc.”, says Craig S. Keener.
The non-partisan letter is arranged by Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice. The areas it covers are:
- demonization of immigrants and minorities;
- reckless nuclear war rhetoric;
- loosening of environmental protection;
- belittling and abuse of women;
- disrespect of indigenous people;
- inequalities between rich and poor; and
- dishonesty and lying.
Dear Mr. President,
We, leaders in the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement, who share the belief in God’s Word, salvation uniquely found in Jesus Christ and the continuing ministry of the Holy Spirit and His gifts, write to you today on the anniversary of your inauguration.
We write this to, with great respect, express dissatisfaction, discomfort and distrust in your policies and behavior.
As Pentecostals and Charismatics, one of our distinctive focuses is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Christ Jesus, and it is incongruous for us to claim His gifts while walking and working in a way that does not follow Jesus’ teachings, commands, and heart. Because we follow the Spirit of Christ, we cannot support anti-Christlike words, behavior, policies and values of any person, even if it’s the president of the United States.
When looking at your political work and administration, we are deeply critical to:
- The demonization of immigrants and minorities. Lev 19:33-34 clearly states that we should love immigrants as ourselves and treat them as natives. Repeatedly describing immigrants as dangerous and criminal, as well as banning millions of them to enter the United States, is contrary to the Christian way. Likewise, the way you talk about African Americans, Mr. President, claiming that they are responsible for most murders, is highly upsetting.
- The reckless nuclear war rhetoric and preparations towards North Korea. Jesus told us to love our enemies (Matt 5:44) and Paul emphasized that we seek peace with all people (Rom 12:18). While the situation for North Korea’s people is severe and needs to be addressed, your bombastic threats to “totally destroy” the entire country, your confusing disregard for diplomatic solutions and your fascination for nuclear bombsmakes the situation alarming. You are risking the lives of millions of civilians in this dangerous game, and we call on you to listen more carefully to your diplomatic advisors.
- The loosening of protections for the environment. We are critical to your disregard for the dangers of climate change, Mr. President. You announced that the US would exit the Paris accord, you put a climate change denier in charge of the EPA, and you have simply forbidden several government agencies to mention climate change on their websites. Climate change will kill millions of people unless we do anything about it, and the Bible condemns those who “destroy the earth” (Rev 11:18).
- The disrespect, belittling and abuse of women. You, Mr. President, have honestly said some horrible things about women, including that you would like to grope them and have extramarital sex with them. You initially asked for forgiveness for these sinful comments, but you later have tried to sow doubts about whether you even said them, and you belittle the 16 women that accuse you of sexual harassment. The Bible is clear with sexual immorality being contrary to the Kingdom of God (Col 3:5), and we cannot accept that you continue with this behavior.
- The continuing disrespect for and breaking of sacred treaties with indigenous people. While you are hostile towards immigration of refugees, Mr. President, you seem to show little respect towards the native Americans whom your people oppressed and stole from in order to build the United States. You went forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline with no regard to how it destroys native American land, and you were extremely insensitive when you were to honor native American war veterans in front of a picture of Andrew Jackson, using degrading racial slur. The Bible tells us to do to others as we would have them do to us (Matt 7:12), and we highly doubt that you would like to be treated like you treat racial minorities.
- The growing inequalities between rich and poor. The Bible says that “the goal is equality” between rich and poor (2 Cor 8:14), which is why the early Christians eliminated economic differences as the Holy Spirit filled them (Acts 2:44-45). Supporting a tax bill that makes lives worse for the poor while the rich like yourself get massive tax cuts is indefensible.
- The dishonesty and lying of the administration. The Bible is clear: each of us must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to our neighbor (Eph 4:25). We are deeply troubled with how easily you and your administration are able to tell straight up lies, whether it’s about crowd sizes, illegal voting, wiretapping or, as mentioned, that you boasted about groping women.
We call on you to repent, to read and understand what you have described as your favorite book, the Bible, and to be filled with and obey the Holy Spirit. We will pray for you and your administration, and we deeply hope that you will change your ways.
Amos Yong, Professor Of Theology And Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary, Assemblies of God, California.
Brian Zahnd, Pastor, Word of Life Church, Missouri.
Craig S. Keener, Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, Great Commission Fellowship Vineyard, Kentucky.
Jane Caulton, Minister, Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church, District of Columbia.
Johnathan Alvarado, Pastor of Grace Church International Atlanta, Georgia.
Florian Berndt, Theologian, Fatherheart Ministries, Germany.
Danek Bourgoin, Professor, United Pentecostal Church International, Canada.
Arthur Bucher, Church leader, Circle of Hope, Pennsylvania.
Rev. Kevin Daugherty, Bivocational Pastor, Unfailing Love, Pennsylvania.
Dennis DuPont, Chaplain, Church of God, Maryland.
Rudy Estrada, Dean of Academic Affairs, LABI College, California.
Torbjörn Freij, Pastor, Vineyard Fellowship, Sweden.
Micael Grenholm, Editor-in-chief for PCPJ, Mosaik Church, Sweden.
Rev. Donald Guffey, Ordained Minister, Assemblies of God, Tennessee.
Erik Holke, Theological Seminar Leader, Saron Church Gothenburg, Sweden
Sian-chin Iap, Postdoctoral Fellow, Chungli Assembly of God, Taiwan.
Joseph R. Kidwell, Pastor, Greater Grace & Deliverance Ministries, Florida.
PsyD Marcus Kilian, Psychologist, Real Life Church, Minnesota.
David Ketter, Pastor, The Village Church, Pennsylvania.
Dave Larson, Missionary Humanitarian Worker, Christ Commission Fellowship, Philippines.
Rev. Samuel J. Lopez, Pastor, Amazing Love Sanctuary, Colorado.
James Melnarik, Youth Leader, Havenhouse Foursquare, California.
D. E. “Gene” Mills Jr, Clergy and scholar, Church of God (Cleveland, TN).
L. William Oliverio Jr., Associate Academic Dean Assemblies of God, The School of Urban Missions, California.
Daniel J. Schmitz, Lead Pastor, New Hope Covenant Church, California.
Aaron Taylor, Filmmaker, Life Church, New Mexico.
Rev. Faith Totushek, Pastor, Way Finders, Minnesota.
Dr. Richard E. Waldrop, Missionary, Church of God (Cleveland, TN), Tennessee.
Paul Walker, Pastor of The Meeting Place, Canada.
21 thoughts on “Pentecostal & Charismatic Leaders to Trump: Change Your Ways”
Thank you for your work on this. Shalom.
What a joke!
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Hi Randy! Could you expand on why you think that?
As a Christian for 40 yrs ..this is not a joke this president has given us zero credibility and we won’t be relevant for generations to the youth in evangelism we will have no voice and seen as hyper hypocrisy for years ..souls is what we traded for 100 yrs we will pay in that weight ..it is no joke but to many many youths and generations we are and will be on any side of the gospels and morality
It is a joke…sadly enough. Call this President to account but don’t sound like Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager.
Hi Phil! Thanks for answering Randy’s question, even though it’s a bit brief. 🙂
I find this to be a very strange objection. First of all, as a Swede, I’m not following or particularly updated on what Democratic lobbyism looks or sounds like, so that in itself makes all similarities coincidental. These are my genuine views. But second, if you’re not disagreeing with the message we send, what’s the problem? Wouldn’t it be a good thing that other actors, including a party, say the same true and accurate things about Trump that PCPJ does? And if you do have objections to the message, shouldn’t that be your criticism instead of talking about what it “looks like”?
Given the historic expectations of us the full gospel movement in a presidential man ..this is light weight .we as Christians will pay dearly and bigly and huge for this .long after trump is gone to the same place we put Bush ..we will have zero chance of reaching several youth generations..it was difficult before now we have none zero ..notta no credible voice .its said what we sold out to and the youth we will be viewed as hyper hypocrites and are now not even relevant for years on any issues of common good
Hope we like what we bought we will be eating him for 100 yrs of evangelism
I appreciate your thoughtful critique in this letter.
l agreed with your post,which concern all your letters against the Topics.
Excellent letter. I am not sure the president will consider it, but it is a good position statement.
I can’t quite work out how to sign, but I’d like to. I’m a dual citizen (U.S. and Australian), raised as a conservative American evangelical. I think very differently now, but even with my background, I fail to understand the support for Mr. Trump. Adam Benner, Yarra Valley Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Melbourne, Australia.
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I don‘t understand why people expect any better from Trump. Obama looked good in a suit and seemed to connect well with the general populous. But to what purpose?? To increase George Bush‘s defence spending, drone strikes and with the help of his warmongering sidekick Hilary Clinton, we saw the war in Libya, the beheadings of blacks, the creation and arming of ISIS, 1000s of deaths of refugees crossing the mediterranen and the War in Syria, so that an oil and gas pipeline can be put through it‘s territory from Qatar to Europe, to play economic warfare with Russia. But you are right, President Trump is a rude and inconsiderate man.
A little surprised that a letter like this would contain errors – the reference to Rev 11:8 should be Rev 11:18 I think.
Donald Trump fulfills the prophecy of Antichrist. It is clear that time is drawing near and this world is rapidly changing.
Yes these last days are upon us. Trump was elected so that God could separate out the sheep from the goats. Contrary to what the Trumpites believe, Trump was not elected by “divine” right. Thank goodness there are real Christian believers who are sounding the alarm to the Trumpites. Repent!