“I pledge to protect and defend vulnerable people in the name of Jesus.”

 

At a time when our country and our churches are ever more divided by politics and partisan rancor, we as faith leaders must return to the truth of the gospel. That is why we root ourselves in the text of Matthew 25: 31-46. Jesus says clearly, “As you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.” Based on those words, the pledge is short, simple, and rooted in the Mt. 25 text: “I pledge to protect and defend vulnerable people in the name of Jesus.”  The strength of the Matthew 25 pledge is that it roots us in a biblical response to protecting vulnerable people instead of a political one. We are facing distinct threats to individual human rights and religious liberties in this country. We cannot remain silent. We have all devoted our lives’ work for faith and justice to prepare for such a time as this. It is important that people across this country see that the church is unified against racist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, and Islamaphobic policies. We must remember that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, political darkness, and spiritual forces of evil. The pledge has been endorsed by a broad and diverse group of over one hundred faith leaders.

People are feeling a need to act. Matthew 25 can lead us in what to do. And so the Matthew 25 Pledge was created — just one sentence which simply says: I pledge to protect and defend vulnerable people in the name of Jesus. Clearly, many people in America are feeling quite vulnerable right now, but the Matthew 25 Movement — a broad collection of national faith-based groups, grassroots activists, heads of denominations and more — is focusing on three groups of people who are especially at risk under a Trump administration. So here we offer our starting point, pledging to:

  1. Support undocumented immigrants threatened with mass deportation; and advocate on behalf of refugees who are being banned from coming to America.
  2. Stand with African Americans and other people of color threatened by racial policing.
  3. In line with our commitment to religious liberty we will defend the lives and religious liberty of Muslims, threatened with “banning,” monitoring, and even registration.

This is the beginning. This is where to start now. But if and when other groups of people are targeted by government decisions or by hateful cultural responses, we who sign the Matthew 25 Pledge will also seek to surround and protect them. Rather than just watching, grieving, and feeling sorry for what is happening to the most marginalized, who are named in the 25th chapter of Matthew, we can pledge to join together in circles of support in the name of Jesus.

 

For additional information, please visit matthew25pledge.com.

 

 

Endorser List:

Bishop Claude Alexander, Jr. The Park Church
Onleilove Alston Faith in New York
Rev. Dr. David Anderson Bridgeway Community Church
Bishop Carroll A. Baltimore Global Alliance Interfaith Networks
Pastor Kip Banks, Sr. East Washington Heights Baptist Church
Rev. William Barber President, Repairers of the Breach
M. Craig Barnes, president Princeton Theological Seminary
Jay Barnes Bethel University
Rev. David Beckmann Bread for the World
Ruth Lewis Bentley, Ph.D. National Black Evangelical Association
Carol Bremer-Bennett, Executive Director World Renew
Rev. Dr. Timothy Boddie PNBC
Rev. Dr. Peter Borgdorff – Executive Director Emeritus Christian Reformed Church in North America
The Rev. Chloe Breyer The Interfaith Center of New York
Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS NETWORK, Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Dr. Tony Campolo Red Letter Christians
Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
Rev. Dr. Michael Carrion, Senior Pastor Promised Land Covenant Church
Dr. Iva Carruthers Proctor Conference
Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, Jr. Florida Area, United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Shawn Casselberry Mission Year
Noel Castellanos CCDA
Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN Pax Christi USA
Rev. Dr. Rich Cizik President and Founder, New Evangelical Partnership
Shane Claiborne Red Letter Christians
Rev. Walter Contreras Pasadena Presbyterian Church
Rev. Dr. Thomas R. De Vries, General Secretary Reformed Church in America
Joshua DuBois Values Partnerships
Erin Dufault-Hunter Fuller Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Durley Pastor Emeritus Providence Church
Dr. Michael Emerson North Park University
Cynthia B. Eriksson, PhD Fuller Theological Seminary, Graduate School of Psychology
Rachel Held Evans rachelheldevans.com
Jason Fileta Micah Challenge USA
Rev. Robert Michael Franklin, PhD Chautauqua Institution
Dr. Nicole Baker Fulgham The Expectations Project
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America
Joshua Graves Otter Creek Church of Christ
Monica Green Saint Luke’s Anglican Church Crescenta Valley
Rev. Dwight E. Guinn PhD. National Black Evangelical Association
Rev. Dr. David P Gushee Mercer University
Dr. Mimi Haddad, President Christians for Biblical Equality
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church, Decatur, GA
Rev. Adam Hamilton The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection
Rev. Sekinah Hamlin Faith and Credit Roundtable of the Center for Responsible Lending
Miyoung Yoon Hammer St. Luke’s Anglican Church & Fuller Theological Seminary
Lisa Sharon Harper Sojourners
Rev. Fred Harrell, Sr. Pastor City Church San Francisco
Rev. Blake Hart Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of South Carolina
Scott Haskins Immigration Resource Center of San Gabriel Valley
Michelle Higgins Faith for Justice
Dr. Albert Y. Hsu author and editor
Hyepin Im Korean Churches for Community Development (FACE)
The Rev. Dale T. Irvin, PhD President, New York Theological Seminary
Tom Jones Frm Chr Soc Justice and Peacemaking, PC(USA)
Sister Carol Keehan, D.C. CAtholic Health Association of the US
Kathy Khang columnist, Sojourners
Rev. Kate Kooyman Christian Reformed Church in North America
Dr. Mark Labberton, President Fuller Theological Seminary
Rev. Doug Leonard AAI
Jo Ann Lyon The Weslyan Church
Rev. Carlos L. Malavé Christian Churches Together
Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD Catholic Charities USA
Dr. Juan Francisco Martinez Fuller Theological Seminary
Rev. Bryan N. Massingale Fordham University
Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews PICO National Network
Rev. Dr. Walter Arthur McCray National Black Evangelical Association
Rev. John L. McCullough Church World Service
Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald San Francisco Theological Seminary
Bishop Vashti McKenzie 10th District AME
Brian D. McLaren convergenceus.org
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. Senior Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church – Metro Atlanta
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III Trinity United Church of Christ
David Neff Christianity Today (retired)
Rev. J. Herbert Nelson II D. Min Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, PC (USA)
Anne Nolty Fuller Theological Seminary SOP
Catherine Orsborn Shoulder to Shoulder
Dr. Suzii Paynter Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Dr. Tyrone S. Pitts General Secretary Emeritus of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc,
Soong-Chan Rah Professor, North Park Theological Seminary
Diane Randall Friends Committee on National Legislation
Stephen K. Reeves, Associate Coordinator of Partnerships and Advocacy Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
The Rev. Amy Reumann, Advocacy Director Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Dr. Joshua Rodriguez The Cityline Church / National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Rev. Gabe Salguero NaLEC
Love L. Sechrest, Ph.D. Associate Professor of New Testament Fuller Theological Seminary
Ronald J. Sider Evangelicals for Social Action
Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner National African American Clergy Network
Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr., Co-Chair National African American Clergy Network
Rev. Dr. Ervin R. Stutzman, Executive Director Mennonite Church USA
Rev. Adam Taylor Chair, Sojourners Board
Rev. Dr. Al Tizon North Park Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Liz Mosbo VerHage Quest Church, ECC, Seattle, WA
Rev. Dr. Javier A. Viera Drew University Theological School
Rev. Jim Wallis Sojourners
Michelle Warren CCDA
Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Colin P. Watson, Sr. Christian Reformed Church in North America
Rozella White Mission Year
Rev. Starsky D. Wilson Deaconess Foundation & Saint John’s Church
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove School for Conversion
Jim Winkler National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
Ken Wytsma Antioch Church

 

 

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