Matt Chandler, Samuel Rodriguez call for repentance in sermons after Capitol storming

U.S. Capitol
President Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. |

On the first Sunday since a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, influential pastor Samuel Rodriguez called on the Church to “repent” for “making the person who occupies the White House” more important than God. 

Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and pastor of New Season in Sacramento, California, told his congregation Sunday that America needs to hear a message of repentance.

“We must all repent; even the Church needs to repent. The American nation will be healed when the American Church repents,” he said.

“Do you realize the great things that happen when we repent?” he asked. “When we repent ... there is perfect restoration of everything that was lost ... The moment God’s people repent, this nation will be healed …. To repent is to invite revival.”

Rodriguez, who previously advised Trump, stressed we “must repent for making the person who occupies the White House more important than the one who occupies our hearts.”

“We must repent for permitting the donkey and the elephant to divide what the Lamb died for on the cross,” he said. “We must repent for voting for individuals whose policies run counter to the Word of God and the spirit of the living God. We must repent because our children are watching.”

The pastor said he was praying for a season of “instead of”: “Instead of riots, revival ... Instead of destroying property, building altars. Instead of confrontation, conversations …. Instead of storming the Capitol, storming the gags of Hell ... Instead of many under fear, one nation under God.”

Earlier in the message, Rodriguez said that if John the Baptist were alive today, he “would’ve been blocked” from social media because his message of repentance is “too controversial.”

“I'm going to preach the saving grace of Christ,” he said. “I'm here to tell you that before Facebook, the Gospel of Jesus was around. You can't cancel the cross, you can’t cancel the upper room. You can't cancel the blood of Jesus. So I'm here to tell you, if you don't see us on social media platforms, let not your heart be troubled. We will continue to preach the Gospel, Jesus like never before.”

Rodriguez was not the only evangelical leader to decry Wednesday’s riots, which took place when Congress was scheduled to count Electoral College votes and confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Five people died amid the violence. 

The Rev. John Hagee of Cornerstone Church on Sunday called those who assaulted Congress “a rebellious mob.”

“The Secret Service had to escort the vice president of the United States to safety out of the Capitol building. Gunshots were fired. Tear gas was deployed in the Capitol Rotunda. People were killed ... This was an assault on law. Attacking the Capitol was not patriotism; it was anarchy,” Hagee said.

“This is what happens when you mob the police. This is what happens when you fire the police,” he added.

“This is what happens when you watch a policeman shot and belittle his sacrifice for the public. Wake up, America! America and democracy cannot function without the rule of law. We back the blue.”

In Flower Mound, Texas, Village Church Pastor Matt Chandler led his congregation in prayer for the “deceit that plagues this culture ... and the deep divisions that even divide your bride.”

Chandler, who is also head of the Acts 29 church planting network, urged his congregation to examine their own complicity in the division currently seen across the U.S. 

“Have you over the last few years misplaced your hope?” he asked. “If you have, you've participated in the unrest. Have you with your online persona participated in the unrest? Have you with your prayerlessness participated in the unrest? Has a lack of seriousness around real discipleship of really following after Jesus helped you to participate in the unrest?”

“If we don't know how to take that stuff to [God], then it oozes out of us onto our online platform, into our kind of picking a team rather than going, ‘I’m on the Lord’s side,’” Chandler emphasized. 

“And we'll need to repent of that, personally own our stuff. I don't want to be a subject matter expert in everyone else's send. I do want to be pretty dialed into my own. It'll keep me in a place where the Lord can bless me, where I can get a sense of His presence more richly, and ... walk in the power that He's promised me.”

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