Center for Public Justice Calls for Honoring ‘true Prince of Peace’
The following statement was issued Jan. 7 by Stephanie Summers, CEO of the Center for Public Justice in Washington, D.C.
|Since November 3, 2020–Election Day–CPJ has published daily prayers for our nation, our government, and our |
communities. These prayers have been delivered by email, through social media and doubtless, some form of these prayers have been uttered aloud by each of us.
But yesterday (Wednesday, Jan. 6), as we watched the U.S. Capitol Building and the Capitol Hill complex become overrun by violent protesters and later learned that one person was killed, we are moved to lament over the violence and distrust displayed before the world.
The Center for Public Justice is not the institutional church, but a faith-based nonprofit organization. We exist to help Christians understand and exemplify God’s intention for government and civil society, which is to uphold public justice for all. The Apostle Paul urged that “…prayers, intercessions (prayers for others) and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in [positions of] high authority so that we may live a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” [I. Timothy 2:1-2 AMP].
This admonishment encompasses our political community, people of all faiths, and those without faith. Regardless of one’s political beliefs, faith and worship traditions, creed, or cause, our political community must be characterized by the peaceful transition of power. Members of our political community who inspire and act in ways that undermine that aim, embracing lawlessness and violence, must be held accountable for their actions. And yet, accountability is only one part of the difficult journey ahead.
Our political leaders and citizens must recognize the extent of our divisions in order for our nation to begin to heal. We must work for a political community that promotes truth and upholds pluralism, where dehumanizing rhetoric and violent actions have no place. The hard journey ahead also requires Christians to work for unity in the body of Christ. Many who confess Jesus as Lord have, when it comes to politics, worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. Idolatry and lies have lamentably captivated some who we know as brothers and sisters in Christ. As we experience anger over twisted political theology and unbiblical Christian nationalism — not only what was on display in the U.S. Capitol complex yesterday, but what is within our institutional churches — we must beg God to keep us from sin and to grant us strength to work for unity in the body of Christ.
CPJ will maintain this posture of promoting the peaceful transition of power, accountability for those whose actions work against this norm, and for unity in the body of Christ in the coming days as the United States’ government experiences transition and a new administration endeavors to confront its daunting tasks. We will adhere to our commitment to equip citizens with the tools necessary to participate in and influence public life. Almost every civic institution is now confronted with the opportunity to embody either those values that preserve a just political community or the idolatry that elevates power over principle, enabling further devolution into a fascist, racist, anti-Semitic, or anarchist society. As Christians let us allow the Lord’s Spirit to guide us into activities and policies that honor the true Prince of Peace.