As chaos unfolded this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in its aftermath, numerous Christian leaders denounced the violence and the sentiments of racism and anti-Semitism that rocked the city and shocked the nation.
Three people were killed and dozens others were injured after conflict arose between protestors with a “Unite the Right” rally and counter-protestors. Among the protesters were white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK members, and other groups who gathered in protest of the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
“NRB affirms the biblical teaching that every human being is made ‘in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:26) and that ‘there is neither Jew nor Gentile’ (Galatians 3:28) when it comes to the Gospel of Jesus and the love of God for all people,” said NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson. “The twin doctrines of creation and the cross both testify against racism and Anti-Semitism.”
Johnson noted that NRB has passed resolutions in recent years against “both evils, including those who mix these heresies with violence to further a political agenda.” (Those resolutions can be viewed here, here, and here.)
“All of this applies to Charlottesville,” Johnson continued. “As Christians and Americans, we must stand against the KKK, Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and their agenda. We intercede to God for racial healing in our land. We ask God to revive His church. We pray that He will give us strength to stand against evil and to speak up for His truth.”
Other members made similar remarks, via Twitter and other communication platforms.
“Racism has reared its ugly, evil head yesterday in #Charlottesville. Only unified kingdom-minded churches can truly change the direction of our nation.”
— Tony Evans, President of The Urban Alternative
“The issue of racism is from Satan and his demonic forces of hell. Racism is completely opposite of the message of Christ and reconciliation.”
–Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor of Cross Church
“Let there be no misunderstanding. Racism is sin. Period.”
— Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas
“All of us as Americans should condemn racism and bigotry in all of its manifestations. Prejudice and hatred of people dissimilar to ourselves is as old as the fallen, sinful, human heart that produces such wickedness. As Christians we are called to bear witness against such evil and to both proclaim with our mouths and testify with our behavior to the fact that all of us can be liberated from such instincts by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who invariably condemns such beliefs and actions.”
–Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary
“These people in Charlottesville do not represent the Christian faith in any way, shape or form. Racism is sin.”
–Greg Laurie, Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship
“We may not have been physically present, but we were wounded, too. We are all deeply impacted by the scourge of hate and racism. All of us need to lament.”
–Abdu Murray, North American Director with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
“[W]hile Americans enjoy great freedoms to express virtually any idea in the public square, it is important that we simultaneously maintain the right to clearly and forcefully denounce abhorrent ideas—such as white supremacy, racism or hatred of the Jewish people.
AFA calls on members of the body of Christ, especially, to pray for healing in America, and we humbly ask God to forgive our many sins and pour out His spirit on our land once more.”
–Tim Wildmon, President of AFA
In a Facebook post on August 17, Franklin Graham, President & CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, said, “The venomous hatred we saw displayed in #Charlottesville should repulse all Americans. It should take us to our knees in prayer for hearts to be changed. He alone can forgive and heal our land. Everything can change through Jesus Christ.”
While some have tried to push blame on President Trump for what happened in Charlottesville, Graham on August 13 rebuked such efforts as “absurd,” and said it “boils down to evil in people’s hearts.”
“Satan is behind it all,” he stated. “He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. He’s the enemy of peace and unity. I denounce bigotry and racism of every form, be it black, white or any other. My prayer is that our nation will come together. We are stronger together, and our answers lie in turning to God.”