An open letter from black church leaders and allies to Christianity Today

We truly respect your organization’s stance on the stated principle “We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum…”

The late Billy Graham, CT’s founder, gave us a loud warning in an article he wrote for Parade Magazine in 1981, when he said: “I don’t want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.”

This is what we’re seeing today in 21st century evangelicalism: a broken marriage between a radical faction of the local church and the extreme right-wing faction of the Republican Party.

In a time when an estimated 70% of millennials no longer identify with Christianity and, as indicated in a previous issue, a resounding number of Generation Z’ers are twice as likely to become atheists, we cannot afford to sit back quietly and watch our faith be hijacked by those who are thirsty for political power. If we do, we will quickly develop what is described in the (Old Testament’s) Book of Judges, “a generation that knew not the Lord nor the work he has done.”

Image by Karen Arnold/Pixabay/Creative Commons

While in the editorial and a follow up article entitled “The Flag in the Whirlwind: An Update from CT’s President” it has been made clear that CT is not a political or partisan publication, we truly appreciate CT taking a stance in such a dire time as this. And in fairness, the comments made about Donald Trump, the third U.S. president to be impeached, are very similar to those made by CT about the second president to be impeached, President William J. Clinton. You have in all transparency and consistency held our commanders in chief accountable for their amoral shortcomings, and that is very commendable.

A letter written by a group of far-right pastors featured in Charisma News chastising CT for acknowledging the truth about President Trump inaccurately stated that your publication is representative of evangelicals exclusively. We appreciate your actions that show your reach is beyond that and that your organization has the ability to give voice to and even welcome viewpoints that exceed one man-made, self-righteous denomination.

RELATED: Christianity Today’s anti-Trump editorial misrepresents the evangelical masses

Mark Galli. Courtesy photo

 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

It has been said that “the local church is the hope of the world, and it rests in the hands of its leaders.” If we truly believe that, then the local church can never be in a position to sacrifice its integrity and abandon all truth for the sake of political expediency. That is exactly what these 170 pastors have done by consistently justifying and excusing the behavior of the now-impeached president.

We would like to commend Mr. Galli’s application of the old cliché, “It’s time to call a spade a spade.” It is time for Christian America to do just that. It became evident in the impeachment hearings that the president clearly abused his power and obstructed justice. This is a pivotal time for Christians to stand for righteousness.

As previously stated, at least two generations already have little to no faith in the church, and to fail to admit the godlessness in a global debacle such as this by our country’s leadership would be very detrimental to the Kingdom of God for these generations and many more to come.

RELATED: An open letter from friends of Christianity Today affirming Mark Galli’s editorial

So, yes, this letter serves as a statement in full support of CT, but this letter goes one step further to also serve as a rebuke to those pastors and leaders who are so outraged by CT’s response to the impeachment of President Trump.

These pastors and leaders are complicit in their silence as this administration has separated children from their families, characterized African nations as “s-hole countries” and operated in tandem with the Republican Party to fight to deny people access to affordable healthcare. All the while, hate crimes have risen to an all-time high.

This administration has done absolutely nothing about gun violence and mass shootings in this nation, yet steadily rolls back consent decrees at a time when police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men and women are steadily increasing.

With its horrific environmental policies, this administration has abandoned all sanity during an extreme climate crisis. Meanwhile, Flint, Michigan, still does not have clean drinking water.

In closing, we who have signed below want to go on record in stating plainly that we support Galli’s accurate and timely article along with your followup article in defense of the stance of holding the president accountable. We agree that Trump should be removed and has consistently shown himself incapable and unworthy of the position as the leader of this country.

Thank you for choosing to be a reflection of the true and wise God over pandering to a denominational group that chooses to diminish God through action and exclusionary beliefs.

The time is over for a version of Christianity that weakens the GOOD news by preaching to the souls of people while not challenging the oppressive policies that affect the very people that sit in our pews every Sunday morning.

No, we cannot sit by the wayside and not respond with a counterargument defending the importance of truth and integrity. If truth no longer matters, then the church can no longer be the hope of the world.

Let us end with Scripture.

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” — the Gospel of John

“Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” — Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians


Dr. Pamela L. Grayson
Dallas, Texas

Rev. John Tate, Jr.
Dallas, Texas

Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III
Dallas, Texas

Apostle Lornell and First Lady Augusta Grayson
El Dorado, Arkansas

Reverend Dr. Jeff Hood
Denton, Texas

Mistye Dubose
Farmers Branch, Texas

Dr. Shawndra Washington
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Al Woolum, Activist & Humanist
Fort Worth, Texas

Olinka Green
Dallas, Texas

Leroy Pena
Dallas, Texas

Precious Johnson
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Vivian Sisk
Forrest City, Arkansas

Kathleen McWhirter
Austin, Texas

Reverend Maurice Taylor
Tampa, Florida

DeLoris Farmer
Los Angeles, California

Zoey Miner
Farmers Branch, Texas

Dr. Roland Sigler, III
Dallas, Texas

Anthony Smith
Wylie, Texas

Becky Roachelle Dolashewich
Fort Worth, Texas

Michael and Pennie Reese,
Irving, Texas

Pastors Justin and Amaris Ross-Hillard
New Orleans, Louisiana

Fr. Jerome Chandler Jr.
St. Thomas Church
Detroit, MI

Pastor Richard L. Curry, Jr.
Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Mario D. Ford
Huntsville, Alabama

Dr. Michael Thomas Scott, Sr.
Chief Servant
The Galilee Baptist Church
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Dr. J. Wayman Wells Jr.
New Birth Church
Murrieta, California

Dr. Kwesi Kamau
Impact Church
Dallas, Texas

Pastor Gregory Alexander II
San Diego, California

Pastor Jeffrey Norman
Dallas, Texas

Pastor Herman Maxwell
Birmingham, Alabama

Pastor Aaron Lee Johnson
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Christopher L. Porter Sr.
Dothan, Alabama

Rev. LaMar-Octavious L. Scott
Associate Minister
Mt. Helm Baptist Church
Jackson, Mississippi

Maurice Washington
Retired UMC Pastor

Rev. J Matthew Wyatt, M.Div., STM
Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
Zanesville, Ohio

Jarrian Wilson
Lead Pastor of City of Refuge Church
Columbia, South Carolina

Maurice Washington
Retired United Methodist Pastor
San Antonio, Texas

Rev. C. A. White, Sr., DMin
Pastor of The Word Church
Dayton, Ohio

Rev. Brandon M. Spriggs, M. Div.
Des Moines, Iowa

Rev. Eric Jackson
Syracuse, New York

Pastor Orienthal J. Newburn, Sr.
Texarkana, Arkansas

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Powell, Sr.
Senior Pastor
Covenant LifeHouse Ministries.
Glen Burnie, Maryland

Rev. Franklin Vaughn, Associate Pastor
New Mt Vernon Baptist church
Detroit, Michigan

Pastor Marlon C. Mack, Sr.
Gary, Indiana

Pastor Christopher Rainer
St. Paul Baptist Church
Medon, Tennessee

Rev. Richard W. Wingfield, D.Min., Pastor
Unity Baptist Church
Braddock, Pennsylvania

Rev. James R. Riley, D. Min.
Senior Pastor
House of Prayer Baptist Church
Baton Rouge, Lousiana

Rev Dr. William J. Smith, Jr.
Second Missionary Baptist church
Kokomo, Indiana

Pastor Doyle St Louis
Springfield, Massachusetts

Rev. Jerome J. Washington, PhD.
Pastor, Mount Vernon Baptist Church
Durham, North Carolina

Rev. Dr.& Discipleship Division Director
Mount Calvary Baptist Church
Fairfield, California

Rev. Alfonso Hodges, Pastor
Shiloh M.B. Church
Decatur, Illinois

Rev. Dr. Justin M. Shamell
Associate Director of Recruiting
United Theological Seminary
Dayton, Ohio

Dr. U. A. Thompson
Sr. President of Urban Divinity School
Pastor of Bride of Christ Baptist Church
Greenville, South Carolina

Pastor Bradford Layton Sr.
Pastor of Evergreen Baptist
Indiantown, Florida

K.D. Grayson, Pastor
Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church
Tallulah, Louisiana

The Rev. W. Douglas Banks, Senior Pastor
Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rev. Samuel J Doyle, Senior Pastor
Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church
Waco, Texas

Rev Stedford Sims, Pastor
New Beginning Church
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rev. Joe Howard III, Senior Pastor
Faith Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Dallas, Texas

Rev. Dr. Travis L. Harden, Pastor
Greater Mount Calvary MBC
Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Rev. Dr. Mike Neil, Senior Pastor
Word and Worship Christian Church
North Aurora, Illinois

Robert L. McGowens
Greater Galilee BC
Charlotte/Winston Salem, North Carolina

Larry Phillip McCray, Pastor
Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
Temple Hills, Maryland

Rev. Dr. Eric E. Baldwin, Pastor
Antioch Baptist Church of Deanwood
Washington, D.C.

Bishop Designate Jammie Pendleton
Pastor Renewed Hope Church
Baltimore, Maryland

Rev. Thomas D. Sands
Amarillo, Texas

Rev. Jonathan Lowder, Senior Pastor
Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church
Bolingbroke, Georgia

Rev Charles N. Moore, Senior Pastor
FBC Summit, Oklahoma
Antioch BC Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Pastor Nathan Johnson, Senior Pastor
Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church
Detroit, Michigan

Pastor Laurent S. Grosvenor
Alpha Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Austin, Texas

Pastor Gary W. Lee
Peace Baptist Church
Kansas City, Missouri

Orville Brissett, Pastor
Germantown Seventh day Adventist Church
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pastor Michael E. Carter
Toledo, Ohio

For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. — The Book of Jeremiah

Turbulence is the price you pay for flying high.

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