Our country is splintered. We are at a crossroads. One direction has the potential to bring great redemption; the other has the potential to bring great destruction. As Christians, we must care about the prejudice against the black community. We cannot be silent. Our silence denies the reality of racism. On the other hand, the violent, anti-establishment, Marxist-like anarchism is not only wrong, but extremely dangerous. We cannot be silent about that, either.
Today’s blog focuses on our need to move towards reconciliation and restoration. As a denomination, we have a general statement about the value of all human life in our constitution (The Discipline). It reads this way:
¶214. We understand that God has created all people in His image; therefore, the church respects human personality, which is inherent in every race, nation, and creed. We believe the Bible teaches there is no basis whatsoever for the belief in the superiority or inferiority of any people (Acts 17:26; Galatians 3:27-28). The church, following the example of Jesus Christ, upholds the rights and privileges of every individual as clearly defined in the Bible. The church calls on its members to commit their attitudes, their actions, and their influences in faithful witness to this fact. The church must continually examine her teaching and practices so to be certain that no violations of human rights are being committed within her fellowship or towards the world. The church must motivate, inspire, and encourage the establishment of fair practices, legislation, and law enforcement, which are in harmony with the Gospel as revealed in Jesus Christ. Consequently, we are opposed to such things as prejudice or segregation based upon differences of race or national origin, as well as slavery, prostitution, and the trafficking of human lives, which demean the value of the human life, body and soul.
However, in our current cultural strife, we believe we need a clear, concise statement standing against racism towards the black community. This is a statement approved by our Council of Administration. Please read it thoughtfully and think through changes that we need to make personally and in our ministry.
We Stand United.
Our hearts are heavy as we continue to witness injustice towards our Black brothers and sisters.
The Pacific Conference stands with the Black community.
In all of our interactions, we will listen with compassion and act with integrity. We believe the good news that all people are made in the image of God, loved by God, and welcomed as equal within God’s family. We commit to honor and include people from all races, cultures, and ethnicities within our churches and communities. The current situation demands our concern be with and our efforts be for the Black community.
We are united in our commitment to stand against racism in all its forms, and we call upon others to do the same.
BEFORE YOU GO
Racism cannot be denied or minimized. I have personally seen it. I’ve listened to countless stories of senseless discrimination.
So what what are we doing? What are some next steps?
- We’re learning.
- We’re speaking out.
- We’re asking all our pastors and leaders to be educated about racism and address discrimination in their churches and communities.
- We’re changing our curriculum at our School of Ministry to understand and combat racism.
- We’re inviting and supporting diverse leadership and planting of ethnic churches in our Conference.
What are others things we can be doing to fight racism? Love to hear from you!
2 Comments Add yours
I guess I am curious about your #4 below. What will be changed for curriculum at PESM?
We are planning to address it in our Church History class.