After 28 years of service, Richard Cizik resigned under pressure from his position at the National Association of Evangelicals on December 11, 2008.
Leaders throughout the evangelical community organized this letter to affirm the broad, whole-Gospel moral agenda that has united Christians across the political spectrum and express gratitude for Richard, who has been a leader in shaping that agenda.
This letter is not attached to any institution or organization. We invite each of you individually to join us in supporting NAE president Leith Anderson's stated commitment to continuing to pursue a broad moral agenda at the NAE and to working as a community to lift up the whole-Gospel agenda.
National Association of Evangelicals
We know Richard Cizik's departure from the National Association of Evangelicals has been difficult for you, him and the organization. Effective leadership is not easy, and we write to reach out to you in Christian friendship.
We respect the right of the NAE to select spokespersons that represent the organization's stated priorities. At the same time, we release this letter in order to show our deep gratitude for Richard's 28 years of leadership at the NAE, in which he has had a guiding hand in shaping a broad Christian moral agenda that has helped define American Evangelicals' public witness.
Richard's faith, compassion, courage and intellect have strengthened the Church, and his moral witness will resonate for many years to come. His unwavering commitment to a broad, whole-gospel agenda is reflected in the NAE's official policy statement, For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility, which he helped write and implement. Its principles of protecting religious liberty, nurturing families, the sanctity of life, justice and compassion for the least of these, human rights, seeking peace, and protecting God's creation must remain an enduring contribution to the Evangelical public witness in America.
The NAE exercises a powerful leadership role in the family of American Evangelicals, even in churches that are not part of an NAE member denomination. As Christians belonging to both NAE-affiliated and non-affiliated churches, it is our sincere hope the NAE's next Vice President for Governmental Affairs will carry out Richard's vision of a broad Christian moral agenda-rooted in the Gospel and relevant to the full range of moral challenges facing us in the 21st century.
Please know that the NAE will remain in our prayers during this time of transition.Rev. Paul Alexander, PhD, Professor, Theology & Ethics; Director, Doctor of Ministry Program, Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University
Joe Battaglia, President, Renaissance Communications, Inc.
Cliff Benzel, Executive Vice President, Evangelicals for Social Action
Craig A. Boyd, PhD, Executive Director, Institute of Faith Integration Prof. of Philosophy, Azusa Pacific University
Steve Bradbury, International Chairman, Micah Network
Randy Brinson, President, Redeem the Vote
Don Bromley, Executive Pastor, Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor
David Bryant, President, Proclaim Hope!
Jason Chatraw, Publisher, Ampelon Publishing
Calvin B. DeWitt Ph.D., President, Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists, President Emeritus, Au Sable Institute
Serge Duss, Visiting Fellow, Mark O. Hatfield Institute of Public Service
Joel Edwards, International Director, Micah Challenge International
Daryl Eldridge, Ph.D., President, Rock Bridge Seminary
Chris Elisara, Ph.D, Creation Care Study Program, Julian, CA
Carl H. Esbeck, Professor of Law, University of Missouri
David Gushee, President, Evangelicals for Human Rights
Rev. Derrick Harkins, Senior Pastor, Nineteenth St. Baptist Church, Washington, DC; Member, Board of Directors, World Relief
Peter Heltzel, Assistant Professor of Theology, New York Theological Seminary
Lynne Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church
Peter Illyn, Founder/Executive Director, Restoring Eden
Jim Jewell, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Flourish
Cheryl Bridges Johns, Professor of Christian Formation and Discipleship, Church of God Theological Seminary
Robert K. Johnston, Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
Anna Jane Joyner, Co-Coordinator of Renewal: Students Caring for Creation
Jan Kary, Senior VP, Marketing & Development, World Relief
Rev. Dr. Andrew Lindahl, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Austin, MN
Rick Love, Ph.D., Consultant for Christian-Muslim Relations
Ben Lowe, Co-Coordinator of Renewal: Students Caring for Creation
The Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, Chair of the Board, World Hope International
Gabe Lyons, Author and Founder of the Fermi Project and Q Conference
Steve Martin, President, Vital Visions, Inc.
Brian McLaren, Author/Speaker
Teri Merrick, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy & Theology, Azusa Pacific University
Jonathan Merritt, Faith and Culture Writer/A Southern Baptist voice on creation care
Rev. Marlon Millner, co-founder, Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice, Philadelphia, PA
Stephen V. Monsma, Research Fellow, The Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics, Calvin College
Richard J. Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary
Bryant L. Myers, Ph.D., Professor of International Development, School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary
Mary Nelson, President and CEO, Bethel New Life
Carey C. Newman, Director, Baylor University Press
Rev. Adam Phillips, Chair, Micah Challenge USA
Lowell (Rusty) Pritchard, Ph.D., Editor, Creation Care magazine
Mark Rodgers, Principal, Clapham Group
Dr. Tony Richie, Senior Pastor, New Harvest Church of God, Knoxville, TN
Rev. Gabriel Salguero, Executive Member, Latino Leadership Circle; Sr. Pastor, The Lamb's Church of the Nazarene
Andrew Saperstein, Associate Director, Reconciliation Program, Yale Center for Faith and Culture
Ron Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action
Matthew Sleeth, MD, Director, Blessed Earth
Glen Stassen, Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary
Rev. Eric Steinkamp, PhD, Northwest University
Brian Swarts, National Coordinator, Micah Challenge USA
Clyde Taylor, Former Chair, World Relief
Peter Vander Meulen, Coordinator, Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America
Dr. Bob Wenz, The Kings College and Seminary
Tyler Wigg Stevenson, Director, Two Futures Project
Ken Wilson, Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor
Note: Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.