Christians plan massive rally in Washington in July

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Nick Hall. Photo courtesy of PULSE

Nick Hall. Photo courtesy of PULSE

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Nick Hall. Photo courtesy of PULSE

Nick Hall is hoping to repeat what Promise Keepers did almost two decades ago — bring a massive crowd to the National Mall. Photo courtesy of Pulse

WASHINGTON (RNS) Nick Hall is hoping to repeat what Promise Keepers did almost two decades ago — bring a massive crowd to the National Mall.

Hall, a layman on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals, says he feels the country is too divided and needs to come together in faith.

“The goal is that people can come from different backgrounds and that we can unite under this belief that we need to look at Jesus as a leader and as an example,” said Hall, 33, the head of Pulse, a Minneapolis-based organization that plans large prayer and outreach events for young people.

He said that unlike the 1997 men’s event, he’s seeking both men and women for the “Together 2016” event on July 16, 2016, and forecasts that 1 million will show up.

Together 2016 Logo + website. Photo courtesy of PULSE

Together 2016 logo + website. Photo courtesy of PULSE

Hall said there will not be a focus on party or denomination, or stances on abortion or gay rights. Instead, he looks to the example of Billy Graham, who was able to draw a wide swath of Christians to stadiums across the globe.

Although the event has a number of committed evangelical speakers (Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell) and musicians (LeCrae, Hillsong United), Hall said he’s reaching out to Catholic and mainline Protestants as well.

(Adelle M. Banks is production editor and a national reporter for RNS)

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  • Everett

    Ugh! Nothing like Washington City in hot, humid July. At least it’s not Texas in July.

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  • “The country is divided, so all of you have to come together under my religious beliefs!” Nick Hall “And even catholics and protestants are invited, Women too!” “We will not discuss those issues where our pastors are against other people, in hopes that those other people will come to the Gathering.”

  • G Key

    Or Florida in August. Had to go there once on business, and could barely breathe. I concluded it was the heat & humidity that gave alligators their nasty disposition.

  • Ben in oakland

    The boy seems to think that the problems of the country will be solved if we all just come together in faith.

    Attention, Mr. hAll. tHere are a sizable number of people who think that the reason the country needs to come together is because of the actions of the faithful.

  • Eric

    “Hall, a layman on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals, says he feels the country is too divided and needs to come together in faith.”

    Bwahahaha! Evangelicals! Uniting! The Country! Ahahaha!

    Please tell Mr. Hall to get back to us when he leads evangelicals in a multi-decade ritual of repentance for all the division they’ve sown and then maybe he can lead a parade like this.

  • First … why do I doubt that a million Christians are actually going show up to this thing? The number will be more like a few hundred, tops.

    Second … didn’t their Jesus tell these folks:

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven…. When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Mt 6:1,5-6)

    Given that, do they seriously think he’d approve of this sort of very-very-public expression of righteousness!?

  • Fran

    Thank goodness I live in Nevada… Although I would not attend such an event! It’s a DRY heat over here! ❤️?☝️

  • Fran

    Yes, we need to accept both saviors, God, as well as his son, Jesus, whom God gave as a perfect ransom sacrifice for all imperfect mankind, so that humans may finally live forever on a paradise earth (John 3:16)!! What amazing love both God and his son have for the human family! ❤️?☝️

  • Fran

    Neither Jesus, his disciples, apostles, nor the first-century Christians got involved in politics and/or wars. That speaks volumes for true Christians of today. Who are following that example today?

  • Fran

    The entire world is divided, no doubt about that!

  • Amber E

    I dont think the intent is to put on display any acts of righteousness, But to come together as one people regardless of dominations but as the body of Christ to pray for our nation. Not to elevate ourselves or put down others but come together as Gods people and submit to him and ask for him to pour out his spirit on this country.

  • Diogenes

    Such rallies are fine in and of themselves, but they typically do not lead to sustained change/efforts in a given culture. A day to day living out of the precepts that Christ taught us is the more practical measure, and that is a difficult task indeed. To unbelievers I say this, while Christians may often fail to display all the commands of Christ consistently, they are generally sincere and grieve at their own failures, and acknowledge them. In all my survey of RNS, I have yet to find any unbeliever willing to acknowledge any transgression against man or God in either their comments or actions. This is a noteworthy consideration.

  • Jim

    Christians are God’s people? Who says? Are the other 5 billion people on earth not God’s people? Who gets to decide?

  • Jon

    The country is divided, so let’s hold a divisive rally! Buddhists, Hindus, nones, Atheists, Jews – hey, they aren’t true Americans (TM) anyway!

  • ATP

    Jim- If you created something should somebody else get the credit?
    No and it’s the same with God. Only one God/Jesus died for our sins
    because the God of the Bible is the only God! All others gods are false.
    Read the book Jesus among other gods by the author Ravi Zacharias.

  • Re: “I dont think the intent is to put on display any acts of righteousness …”

    Actually, it is. But even if it weren’t, that makes no difference. Jesus’ injunction against public piety is a blanket one, and as he stated clearly, was intended to PREVENT any possibility of someone showing off his/her righteousness publicly.

    Christians, quite simply, CANNOT do this. It’s forbidden to them. Period. Jesus made that crystal clear. Rationalizing away his injunction against public piety isn’t going to help them when their judgement comes; for Jesus also said:

    “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter…. And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Mt 7:21-23)

  • MarkE

    You know what Christians could do to help bridge all the divisions in this country? How about Deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Christ? You remember him – the one who taught that those who want to be greatest must be the least among us, that the first should be last and the last first, that those who have been blessed with much have more responsibility, that when you serve the least of these (poor, homeless, hungry, forgotten, sick, imprisoned, oppressed) you serve Christ.

  • G Key

    Just as some theists admit to & apologize for their mistakes and others don’t, the same holds true for atheists. I’ve seen several apologies from other-believers on this site, and I’m one of them.

    I caught my most egregious example — reading a post too quickly, finding the comment to be terribly offensive, and responding in anger before considering possible alternative interpretations — and immediately & abjectly apologized. How could I not? I had wrongly accused the commenter of something that might or might not have been merely my misinterpretation, without giving that person the benefit of the doubt or asking for clarification.

    But later, when I went back to see whether the commenter (or anyone else) had read & replied to my apology, I found that the original comment and both of my replies had been deleted.

    I’ve seen this happen with other people’s posts & replies as well, involving mistakes on the part of atheists as well as theists.

  • G Key

    Re acknowledging any transgression against man, I most certainly do grieve at my failures.

    But since I don’t personally believe in God, naturally I don’t apologize for not following commands attributed to God which violate my personal guiding values (Equality, Respect, Empathy) and my personal belief that the Golden Rule means (among other things) respecting other people’s boundaries — including their beliefs — as I want them to respect mine.

    I support religion. It gives billions of people hope. My parents’ faith carried them both through a terrible final year. Everybody cherishes their own spiritual/existential beliefs, and their rights to have them — and “everybody” includes both theists and atheists.

    The only times I stand up to anyone else’s beliefs (theist or atheist) are when they are (ab)used to violate other peoples’ boundaries. And even then, it’s the behavior — the violations of other’s boundaries — that I challenge, not the beliefs.

  • Such a lovely sentiment. For just one day, let all Christians forget their differences over whether treating fetuses as persons is more doctrinally correct than treating LGBT people as non-persons. Let all Christians (i.e., the country) come together for a massive public display of piety, just as Jesus commanded. Right?

    Of course, atheists are holding Reason Rally 2016 in June, which undoubtedly has some clever Christian comedians dusting off threadbare jokes about atheists gathering to discuss nothing, so why not? D.C. businesses will benefit from both events and everyone gets to feel like they’re participating, so it’s all good.

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  • Jack

    Too late in one sense…..If this is on Jesus’ model for leadership, this should have been held for now or even earlier, with the primaries in full swing rather than over.

    On leadership, let’s see…..

    Basic Human Decency 101 on leadership:

    Boastful and arrogant? Probably not. Foul-mouthed and vindictive? Hmmm…..Nah. Sadistic and demeaning? Hmm…what would Jesus say? Tough one….I’ll take a wild guess: I doubt it.

    I’m picturing the Apostle Paul in a room, dressing down Jerry Falwell, Jr. and that silly fellow who runs First Baptist in Dallas, virtually endorsing Trump.

    To say there would be fireworks in that room would be the understatement of the ages.

    Anyway, the damage done to the reputation of the Gospel at the hands of such “leaders” has been pretty much done. Hopefully this rally in July will at least enable people to get their heads on straight for the general election, at least on how to think about true leadership.

  • Gregory Peterson

    It’s interesting that Mr. Hall picked a name for his organization, ‘Pulse,’ that’s also been a popular name for Gay nightclubs around the world. I see that there are Pulse nightclubs in South Korea, Germany, Canada, Great Britain, the USA….

    I guess that people who love using loud throbbing music to create a sense of a shared, young adult group identity think alike.

  • Rick

    Nicely stated, Ben.