Hundreds of faculty and staff members at Wheaton College released a statement this week decrying last week’s riot at the US Capitol and the behaviors of rioters who they say improperly celebrated their actions as being done in Jesus’ name.
The statement, which had racked up more than 260 signatures as of Wednesday, reads:
“The January 6 attack on the Capitol was characterized not only by vicious lies, deplorable violence, white supremacy, white nationalism, and wicked leadership—especially by President Trump—but also by idolatrous and blasphemous abuses of Christian symbols.”
Wheaton College, itself, also released a statement.
“(The college) joins citizens across the United States and the evangelical community in decrying the violent attack on democracy and lamenting the way perpetrators used the name of Jesus to promote violence, display racist symbols, and attack our nation’s leaders," the statement read.
Ray Kollbocker, lead teaching pastor at Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, said he hopes Christian churches will learn from the attack on the Capitol.
“What Jesus called us to do is not what happened in Washington, and it’s not right whether it happens in Washington or anywhere else in the world,” Kollbocker said. “We’re called to love our neighbor, love our enemies and to be peacemakers.”
Pastor Philip Miller of The Moody Church in Chicago said he was shocked and aggrieved by the violence that rocked the Capitol.
“Tragically, many people will see that flag bearing the name of Jesus and assume that kind of violence and outrage is what Jesus is all about,” Miller wrote online. “I weep when I consider of the damage that has been done this week in tarnishing the name of our Jesus.”