On Wednesday, many of us watched in horror as domestic terrorists breached our citadel of democracy – the US Capitol. We watched this being done in the name of “freedom” and democracy; and even more tragically, we watched this being done in the name of Jesus.
As a team who deeply loves the Church and loves our nation, we cannot stay silent about the atrocious division we’re experiencing in both.
This week we all witnessed white supremacists who were willing to trade their “Christian witness” for power and control; we watched as they stormed our Capitol building carrying Confederate flags in one hand and Jesus flags in the other. We watched the opposite of what Christ has called us to in Luke 9:23 where we are told we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ. We must be willing to sacrifice ourselves – to give up our political control, power, wealth, and privilege – for the sake of loving God and others.
What we witnessed this week is not what the Church is called to be.
What looked like a peaceful protest with President Trump addressing his supporters, quickly turned into an attack on our democracy. The electoral process was interrupted as our elected officials’ offices were invaded, government property was damaged and stolen, and four lives were lost in lawless disorder. We grieve these deaths, including the death of Brian Sicknick, a US Capitol Police officer who died last night. 
This week we all witnessed police bias; we saw what it looks like when some have a free pass and others do not. We can’t ignore the cries of our BIPOC brothers and sisters (all witnessing Wednesday’s events through layered racial trauma of the past year – and in fact, of centuries) asking what the insurrection would have looked like had the rioters been people of color. We can’t ignore the hypocrisy. Imagine if the images of white men carrying Trump flags through our Capitol Building were replaced with images of Middle Eastern men in turbans storming the Capitol. This terrorist attack would have unequivocally ended in a blood bath!
The events of January 6, 2021 will be marked in our history books as another loss in the American democratic experiment.
What we witnessed this week is not what America was intended to be.
As a team, we have been reeling since these events unfolded on our screens. And while we know it will take some time for us to fully process the day, we know that viewing what happened as an aberrant set of events would be a mistake.
The political pathologies of Wednesday’s events are rooted in the antecedents of our nation’s founding. Historians will be unpacking questions about this day for years to come, but as Christians and Americans, there are a couple urgent questions about this week’s events we need to wrestle with now:
  • What should be the Church's response to unholy alliances of nationalism, politics and faith?
  • What should be the Christian response to unequal applications of law enforcement?
Over the next couple weeks, we intend to examine scriptures and answer these questions as a team. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but our hope in delving into these questions is that we will stimulate learning which leads to repentance, restoration, and reconciliation. We believe there is no way to have unity in our church or in our nation without first repenting, then doing the work to restore what’s been broken.
As we continue to grieve, process and pray through the events of this week, we encourage you to consider Eugene Cho’s words: “So where do we go from here? Even having written a book about faith and politics, I’m not entirely sure. But here’s what I’m certain of: We need healthier leadership…the kind of leadership that models humility and servanthood. From our local and national leaders. From our pastors and ministry leaders. And also from you and me.”
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