New evangelical group, Public Faith, aims to advocate for semi-progressive Christians

Evangelical leaders have banded together to form a new group to advocate for semi-progressive Christians who choose not to endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

(Reuters/Kamil Krzaczynski)Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Divine Peace Lutheran Church during voting for the Wisconsin U.S. presidential primary election in Milwaukee, April 5, 2016.

The new evangelical group, Public Faith, was founded by 13 members including Michael Wear, who served as first-term deputy director of the Obama administration's office of faith-based initiatives; Alan Noble, who is an author and professor; Rev. Joel Hunter, who is a pastor from central Florida and had been a spiritual advisor to President Barack Obama; and Janet Vestal Kelly who has worked at the office of Republican former governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell. 

The group is the vision of Wear and Noble who started planning its creation around the start of 2016. They found it essential to create a new model of political engagement given the current dynamics of the United States presidential race. 

The evangelical group can be considered as semi-progressive as a whole. It still is largely conservative on some issues such as abortion and gay marriage but agrees on issues such as race, poverty, climate change and social justice. In addition, it also strays away from supporting the policies of Donald Trump and his campaign.

"We invite all Christians and those of good will to join us as we advocate for a perspective that challenges political parties with a better vision. We call on Christians to work within political parties to advocate these essential ideals and to change parties or create new ones when reform is no longer feasible," the group's vision statement says.

"That's really the impetus especially with this election with evangelicals not having a comfortable home with the Republican nominee. We felt like it was important to do something before the election that allowed and provided a different, a renewed kind of Christian voice in politics," Wear said, as quoted by The Tennessean.