The USMB Leadership Board and U.S. Board of Faith and Life has issued a statement regarding the violence Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol. On that day, when Congress met in joint session for what would normally have been a perfunctory and ceremonial session to count the electoral votes for president and vice president, a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters seeking to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election stormed the U.S. Capitol and five people, including a police officer, died while numerous others were injured.
The statement says that the violence of Jan. 6 “does not reflect the values or mission of Jesus entrusted to his followers,” and speaks against all acts of violence. “We are dismayed by all displays of violence in recent years, especially by those who profess to believe in Jesus,” the statement says. The statement concludes with a call to “pray for our nation and to refrain from conflating political ideologies with allegiance to God.”
Statement regarding the violence at the U.S. Capitol
As Mennonite Brethren leaders, we believe what happened in our nation’s capital Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 6, 2021, does not reflect the values or mission of Jesus entrusted to his followers. The life and message of Jesus do not call us to violent solutions to the problems in our world. Jesus calls us to live as he lived, exemplified by his teaching on the Sermon on the Mount. He calls us to serve others in humility, to model the holy work of repentance and self-sacrifice. He calls us to seek first the kingdom of God; to seek it first and always.
We are dismayed by all displays of violence in recent years, especially by those who profess to believe in Jesus. The person of Jesus, revealed to us through the Bible, would not have encouraged or supported this kind of action. We urge all Christians to cooperate with others in society to defend the weak, care for the poor, promote justice, righteousness and truth*. As followers of the Prince of Peace, we obey all laws that do not conflict with the Word of God* and should never resort to violence to promote our agendas.
We call our churches and God’s people to pray for our nation and to refrain from conflating political ideologies with allegiance to God. Our nation, our world, needs healing and that comes from the Healer — IF we’ll allow him to work in us. This begins with the saving acts of repentance and reconciliation.
*Taken from Article 12 of the Confession of Faith of the US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Find the full Confession of Faith here.
Endorsed by the Leadership Board and Board of Faith and Life of the U.S. Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches
Connie Faber joined the magazine staff in 1994 and assumed the duties of editor in 2004. She has won awards from the Evangelical Press Association for her writing and editing. Faber is the co-author of Family Matters: Discovering the Mennonite Brethren. She and her husband, David, have two daughters, one son, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law and two grandchildren. They are members of Ebenfeld MB Church in Hillsboro, Kansas.