Statement About The Deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor
June 4, 2020
Updated February 10, 2022
33 comments 18774 views
This statement is also available in Spanish and Korean (see attachments at the bottom of the post).
Racism is sin.
We must all stand up and speak, work, and preach against the sin of racism. This is not political action; it is a biblical position. Biblical and theological foundations for this faith-based vision can be found in “God’s Diverse and Unified Family” (adopted by Synod 1996, also available in Spanish and Korean).
As denominational leaders in the Christian Reformed Church in North America, we grieve with the families of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. We also recognize that they were killed because they were seen through a lens of racism. While these incidents create moments of crisis in the lives of non-black people, they actually expose centuries-long patterns of racism and prejudice in the United States that are lived every day by people of color.
These high profile cases are not anomalies. They are not simply the result of some rogue police officers. Instead, they underline the systemic nature of racism and its pervasiveness in our culture. George Floyd is one among way too many African American men disrespected as image bearers of God in the US. And in Canada, there are similar systemic realities that result in precious children of the Creator taken too soon.
The CRC’s Office of Race Relations has a 50-year history of working with congregations and collaborating in the public square on issues of racialized injustice. Most recently leaders from congregations and classes in the United States and Canada have asked the Office of Race Relations about actions to take in response to recent killings.
We thank God for this interest, but we also understand that the news cycle will soon move on. It is imperative that, as a church and as individual Christians, we remain focused on the socialized beliefs and assumptions that perpetuate such racist acts, even when the media has moved on to the next news story. Racism is a stronghold in our countries that will not go away overnight. The remedy is a commitment to sanctification. We invite you to walk with us in this sanctification process.
Each of us—pastors, leaders, church members, and classes—must ask ourselves questions like these:
What is God saying to change us, heal us, renew us?
What common narratives will this moment change?
How much priority will we give to anti-racist spiritual formation?
What will it mean to have a Reformed world and life view in responding to racialized inequality?
Will we allow ourselves to be crucified with Christ, so that we no longer live, but Christ lives in us?
These recent killings have exposed racism to our collective attention. Some of us have participated in peaceful protests, but racism has not gone away. Turning from it toward equity and love will require remembering who we are in Christ, memorializing the murdered cloud of witnesses, taking the historical blood-stained sins to the cross, and raising our eyes to the hope of Jesus leading us to a beloved community.
This may be easily said, but it will require a ministry commitment to humility, kenosis, education, conversation and action for it to be realized. Most of all, it will require sacrifice, especially for white members of our community. Pursuing a change like this will be costly. Yet, we believe that such sacrifice is not only necessary, it also reflects the type of sacrificial love Jesus showed most gloriously on the cross.
So, let us allow ourselves to be enabled by the Spirit to take action. Let us sacrifice and die to ourselves, for the sake of love of brothers and sisters, who must live with racism directed against them every day. Below are some suggested actions that you—particularly our white sisters and brothers—can take individually, communally, and systemically. Please join us in moving beyond “thoughts and prayers” to truly becoming a church of reconciliation and justice.
Your partners in ministry,
Carol Bremer-Bennett, World Renew - US
Kevin DeRaaf, Resonate Global Mission - Canada
Mike Hogeterp, Centre for Public Dialogue
Sam Huizenga, Raise Up Global Ministries
Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, World Renew - Canada
Zachary King, Resonate Global Mission - U.S.
David Koll, Candidacy
Michael LeRoy, Calvin University
Jul Medenblik, Calvin Theological Seminary
Bonnie Nicholas, Safe Church Ministry
Denise L. Posie, Leadership Diversity
Sarah Roelofs, Chaplaincy and Care Ministry
Darren Roorda, Canadian Ministries Director
Chris Schoon, Faith Formation Ministries
Kurt Selles, Back to God Ministries International
Mark Stephenson, Race Relations / Social Justice / Disability Concerns
Lis Van Harten, Congregational Services
Cecil vanNiejenhuis, Pastor Church Resources
Colin P. Watson Sr., Executive Director, CRCNA
Suggested ways for church leaders and congregations to spiritually discern and take actions to be anti-racist:
(Many of the links below are to resources created by CRCNA ministries. Note that for those that were produced outside the denomination, we do not necessarily endorse every link or every statement on their websites).
Use resources such as those on the Network and the Office of Race Relations (ORR) website to learn about racism and whiteness.
Host a socially-distanced watch party of Just Mercy, based upon Bryan Stevenson’s book. You can rent it for free during the month of June through any digital movie platform.
Take the suggested steps and resources of others on your journey of racial awakening and pursuing racial justice. Here are a few that were recommended to us:
Actively listen to the voices of people of color, hearing their pain, frustration, anger, and fear. Follow Black leaders on social media and read books written by Black authors (see ORR website and “suggested steps” links above).
Give financial support to marginalized communities of color through entities such as the National Bail Fund Network, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the DACA Renewal Fund
Get involved with organizations in your community already doing racial justice work; consider local chapters of Showing Up For Racial Justice or Movimiento Cosecha.
Work with your church leadership to make and share a statement condemning race-based violence and lamenting alongside our Black siblings in Christ.
Host ORR and OSJ for workshops on racism, whiteness, cultural intelligence, immigration, and policy advocacy. Virtual workshops are available upon request.
Do a book study with your congregation using the books recommended by ORR and in the “suggested steps” links above.
Add anti-racism to your worship practices. Resources have been curated by the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship. Use in your worship service the prayers and litany offered on June 3 by the Office of Social Justice (OSJ) Do Justice Prayers.
Contact your local elected officials about police reforms that can be made in your city. For those in the U.S. one, campaign you might consider is 8 Can’t Wait
Take action with Campaign Zero to contact U.S. state and federal elected officials about passing legislation that addresses police violence
Encourage voter registration (U.S | Canada) in your community and work against voter disenfranchisement
Vote in any and all elections, for all governmental levels of leadership (not just federal, but local level, too!), and encourage others to do so as well through voter registration and education on voting rights (this resource U.S. only).
Attend your elected officials’ town hall meetings and ask what they are doing to promote racial justice and equity in their policymaking
Subscribe to the OSJ’s action alerts or the Centre for Public Dialogue’s action alerts to receive to your inbox opportunities to communicate with your elected officials about social and racial justice issues
To learn more about how to advocate on social and racial justice issues, consider hosting the CPD/OSJ Faith In Action workshop at your church.
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I appreciate this post. I do find it unfortunate though, that it starts off by trying to say that this is not a political action. I agree whole-heartedly that working for justice for all, and fighting racism, is a biblical position. However, many of the suggestions given to work toward becoming a church of reconciliation and justice are political. It's not a bad thing for it to be political. They are religious and political, let's own that and not hide from it in fear of potential backlash.
Great post, I think this long over due! Thank You
Interesting that the riots weren't mentioned at all in this piece.
Yes, racism is a sin that should be preached about, acknowledged and confessed, but violence should also be condemned. There are police officers who have been assaulted and killed. There are both white and minority businesses that have been destroyed. This morning, I was listening to the radio where a minority woman had her business destroyed and she doesn't think she will ever reopen it again. The Bible speaks out about hate, but it also addresses killing, stealing and disrespecting the authorities that God has placed over us. Yes, governments have flaws and can become corrupt, but the worst form of "government" is anarchy. Anarchy hurts everyone.
May the Church give calm and healing to our grieving to this broken and hurting world.
Hi Don, thanks for your note. I'm one of the authors of this statement. You are right that violence should be condemned. I grieve for the families of police officers who were injured and died in the violence in recent days, and for business owners whose property was ransacked and stolen by people with a wide variety of motivations. Condemning violence is the main point of this statement, the violence of racism that has ransacked and stolen the lives of black and brown people in the United States and Canada for centuries. That's what we want to highlight. If you have the stomach for it, you can read the names of thousands of African Americans killed by police since 2013 in this list prepared by the World Communion of Reformed Churches. And indeed, your concluding statement is also our hope and prayer, that the church can be an instrument of God's healing. We provided suggested actions to assist God's people in moving toward that vision.
It was good to hear from you again. May the Lord continue to bless you in your work.
Thanks for your good and important work as well as your comments here, Mark. I am not surprised, however--I presume you aren't either--that the push-back and criticism would be strong and at times harsh from among what I believe and hope is a very small yet very vocal minority of folks. Thanks too for providing the link to the list of names of those image-bearers of God--who happened to be African American--that have been killed by police since 2013. Their lives are no less sacred than the lives of the unborn. Yet, until now the vast majority of white Christians have typically remained silent, assumed the person killed was responsible for their own death, defended the killer, and became highly agitated and angry if one would even dare suggest that racism--individual or institutional--played any role in the death of the victim...especially if he happened to be black. My prayer is that the eyes and hearts of more and more white Christians will be opened to the reality of the sin of racism in our country and churches and that God would use his Church to bring the kind of peace and justice which in turn will bring true reconciliation that leads to and reflects the Shalom of God's glorious reign to and among all people.
Jack, you're kind of setting it up where if I defend myself against some of your points, I don't think I'm a sinner or have ever had a racist thought, but here goes. I have read about many instances of police brutality and I'm disturbed by them all, white, brown or black. Do you know the names Daniel Shaver or Justine Damond? Those were horrifying examples of police brutality but didn't much press so you may not have heard of them. Not many people know the name of the retired police officer murdered in the riots in St Louis, either, but they should. It's not that we don't care, it's just that we're feeling manipulated because we're told who to get mad or sad about and who isn't worth even hearing about.
Don, I agree that all violence is wrong and it is true that a few evil people hijacked some of the protests for wrong motives. However, to focus on that is to completely miss the point. Racism, white privilege, centuries-long oppression and injustice must be addressed. It seems to me that these explain, not excuse, the actions of those who resorted to violence and thievery. We have to focus on the foundation and perhaps the other matters will be resolved
A few years ago the CRC Synod adopted the Belhar Confession as a contemporary testimony of the church. What steps has your church taken to live into this confession? Do you use any pieces of it in your liturgies? Have you studied it together in light of the latest incidents of oppression of people of color (POC)? Have you considered how to promote strong leadership by POCs, women, and young adults within your congregation? Have you held listening sessions where folks were encouraged to honestly share, lament, repent, and work to dismantle systemic racism within your spheres of influence? Now is a good time to recommit yourselves to anti-racism. The world is watching. So is the One who redeemed you.
First to the authors, thank you!
Criticism will come because you actually took a stand. It's sad and weird that something so unbelievably simple and straightforward as Racism is sin wouldn't be met with anything other than Amen.
Nevertheless it strikes a nerve in the church.
So that I'm clear as a black reformed pastor in CRC: We have work to do in this area! Sit with that. It's uncomfortable and real.
Be present and don't assume too soon that you "get it"
The Lord is our help. I believe He abides in the uncomfortable space.
Fred - Your Brother, A Pastor, still Reformed and still Black
Why don't you grieve for the 40% of Black children that are murdered in the womb?
Why don't you grieve for the Black people that are murdered every weekend in Chicago and other large cities? Blacks make up 35% of Chicago's population and account for 76% of the homicides. Looks like a cultural problem.
Why don't you grieve for the 60% of Black children that live in single households?
Why don't you grieve for David Dorn, the Black retired St. Louis cop killed by rioters?
Where is the systemic racism? Name the policy that specifically targets Blacks for unequal treatment?
What statistics do you base your racism on? Last year, according to the Washington Post database on police shootings, 1004 people were killed. Of them 9 were unarmed Blacks and 19 unarmed Whites. Of the 9 Blacks, five were shot while attacking the officer, one had a weapon is his car, one used a car, and in two cases the officers were charged with a crime. Where is the systemic racism?
Breonna Taylor was involved with a drug dealer who shot at police when they entered the house. The police returned fire and Ms. Taylor was unfortunately killed. Many details are in question. The address, the no-knock policy, the warrant. Tragically sad. Racism?
George Floyd was arrested for a counterfeit $20 bill. While some details are missing and there are conflicting autopsies as to how he died, what the officer did is unconscionable and criminal. He was arrested within hours. Racism?
Ahmaud Arbery was killed on video. Hunted? Chased? The trial will show the details. The DOJ is investigating for possible hate crime. Perps are possibly racists. Would systemic racism investigate?
So without statistical evidence about "racism", without an ounce of evidence that in any of these killings was based on the perpetrator/officer being a racist, you have publicly past judgment on these individuals and society without due process. Hardly the Christian route of justice. In other words this statement is nothing more than virtue signaling. Shame.
The most frustrating thing about all that you're saying is that it ignores the 40 million afro americans who are pleading with their white counterparts to just believe us.
Systematic racism is simply racism through systems. It is also know as institutional racism. With Jim Crow less than 2 generations ago, with Brown v. Board less than 2 generations ago, with Rodney King less than 1 generation ago, are you telling me that you need more evidence that American has systematically hindered the plight of black people? These systems were out in place to stunt the growth of an oppressed people and they worked.
You want policies? Sure I'll give you policies. Gerrymandering. Redlining. Stop and Frisk. Restricting Housing Contracts. The accessibility of health care/insurance. Disparity in criminals sentencing. Lack of representation in head coaches and decision makers in many professional sports. The Wealth Gap.
To be honest, it is incredibly demeaning as a black man to have to "prove" injustices to my brothers and sisters in Christ. Out of all the people, you should be the ones standing along side of us.
You need to take a step back, before you criticize the protests and the riots and ask: what is the point? Why are we so upset? I think most people in America would agree that the police need better training. I think most people in America believe that when police make mistakes, such as sister Breonna, they need to be held accountable for it. Instead of blaming the vicitum, try to look at the system of how and why it even came to that moment.
Last point, and then I'm done. You cited the Washington Post article. However you failed to mention that black people are killed at a rate of 31 per million which is 8 (per million) more than Latinos/Hispanics and more than double than whites (12 per million). When you cite numbers, please provide context and not just raw data.
I'm saddened and hurt as a black man that you feel like it is "virtue signaling." But I will continue to be a member of this denomination with pride for denouncing racism in all its forms.
Michael, I stand with you! Thank You
Thank you CRCNA for speaking on this topic. It is of the uttermost importance that the racism that the black community has experienced be heard and felt by the church.
The resources listed below are amazing as well! I'm so proud to be a member of this denomination!
Thank you! Thank you for speaking out and acknowledging the abhorrent OVERT racism that exists in America today.
I think those that loudly protest the rioting fail to realize that when you are oppressed there is no acceptable way to fight against your oppression. You get branded “unpatriotic” for peacefully taking a knee to protest against police brutality. Or vilified if you take to the streets in an 'angry' manner. We can't win.
Dr. King once said "[a] riot is the language of the unheard. “And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that … the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity.” Of course, violence is wrong but those that focus on this have to ask themselves whether they are equally (or more) outraged at the rampant injustice toward black men and women? Or are you really more concerned with tranquility? And by the way, how exactly do you go about ending police brutality and systemic racism in America? I'm all ears.
The CRC was the church of my youth and I have stayed in touch. I’m happy to see this resolution.
I'm concerned the author either is not familiar with BLM or agrees with their positions.
I'm disappointed in any group, policy, and the like that connects a great name (Black Lives Matter) with content or policy that does not follow the name.
I can support the name 100%.
Please however read their positions before recommending joining and supporting the group (BLM) not the name/idea (Black Lives Matter).
Four years ago, what is now known as the Black Lives Matter Global Network began to organize. It started out as a chapter-based, member-led organization whose mission was to build local power and to intervene when violence was inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
In the years since, we’ve committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.
Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state.
Enraged by the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, and inspired by the 31-day takeover of the Florida State Capitol by POWER U and the Dream Defenders, we took to the streets. A year later, we set out together on the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, in search of justice for Mike Brown and all of those who have been torn apart by state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Forever changed, we returned home and began building the infrastructure for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which, even in its infancy, has become a political home for many.
Ferguson helped to catalyze a movement to which we’ve all helped give life. Organizers who call this network home have ousted anti-Black politicians, won critical legislation to benefit Black lives, and changed the terms of the debate on Blackness around the world. Through movement and relationship building, we have also helped catalyze other movements and shifted culture with an eye toward the dangerous impacts of anti-Blackness.
These are the results of our collective efforts.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network is as powerful as it is because of our membership, our partners, our supporters, our staff, and you. Our continued commitment to liberation for all Black people means we are continuing the work of our ancestors and fighting for our collective freedom because it is our duty.
Every day, we recommit to healing ourselves and each other, and to co-creating alongside comrades, allies, and family a culture where each person feels seen, heard, and supported.
We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.
We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.
We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.
We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.
We see ourselves as part of the global Black family, and we are aware of the different ways we are impacted or privileged as Black people who exist in different parts of the world.
We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.
We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.
We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.
We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.
We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.
I don't see anything in this statement that precludes Christian involvement with BLM. In fact, I would assume that many of the BLM leaders are motivated by their Christian faith to speak out in the name of justice, equity, and love.
That might be true about some who follow the group but no, not one word out of the founders' mouths or a sentence in their own documents mentions Jesus or Christian faith at all. They ironically have statements against the nuclear family, which is the surest route out of poverty and dangerous neighborhoods.
I would not fault a nonsectarian organization for failing to mention Jesus. I also wonder if you misinterpreted their statement about the nuclear family. They say, "We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement [italics added for emphasis] by supporting each other as extended families and 'villages' that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable." To me this statement indicates that BLM recognizes the historic and ongoing role of extended families in caring for children and strives to cultivate a culture of communal caring for each other that exemplifies this rather than insisting that two-parent families are required for this kind of caring to occur. Indeed, the church is called to act in this way, caring for each other like an extended family.
I don't fault them for not mentioning Jesus, I'm faulting our leaders for looking to a non-Christian group for answers to sin. There are many Christian civil rights groups to choose from, The Radiance Foundation is a good one; https://youtu.be/fk1Rg54C7As
Reread the list of resources and suggested action steps. Our leaders are recommending Christian groups, including those within the CRCNA. But in light of common grace, we should also join in the struggle for justice, equality, and righteousness with nonsectarian civic groups as well. I applaud our leaders for recognizing this and urging us into action.
Staci (Network Admin) here. Just a reminder to please keep comments related to the original topic of the post. Thank you for your help.
Rev. Dr. Mika Edmondson got his Ph.D. from Calvin Seminary. He is an African American pastor at a Presbyterian Church in America and gave this address about the Black Lives Matter movement several years ago. According to him, it's not monolithic but is intentionally and self-consciously decentralized to allow for a wide diversity of opinions on many matters but rallying around the emphasis that, in a world in which the lives and bodies of black people often have not mattered, those lives do indeed matter as much as the lives and bodies of every other person.
Mark, the movement may be decentralized and diverse in opinion, but the link in the post is to Black Lives Matter - the organization. This organization makes plain their positions, listed on their website for anyone to see - it is these positions and the link thereto that many of us find objectionable.
I think the church's desire to be salt and light in the world makes it difficult for us to be told that we have done wrong - certainly to be told that we have done wrong in a sweeping and collective sense.
From a missional mindset, the Body of Christ longs to be a community that has the answers and that people look to for guidance - we are followers of Jesus, we have his words of life and the Gospel itself, and it is our mission to offer these incredible gifts to the world around us. We desire deeply (and Biblically) to be agents of salt and light and truth and goodness in the world - and so with the many broad cultural shifts away from the church that we have seen in recent decades, I think it becomes particularly difficult to accept that we, as the body of Christ, have been a serious part of the problem.
I think it becomes REALLY difficult for Christians, as God's missional community, to see people who are not followers of Jesus leading the way and calling on the church to repent. Because it raises fundamental questions for us: If we, the body of Christ, are part of the problem, and there are people who are not followers of Jesus who are following a better path than we are - what do we actually have to offer the world?
I believe the answer is repentance.
Again, from a missional mindset, I think the church longs to have the answers because we believe that having the answers and being a role model is at the heart of what our mission is - and so if we don't have those things, we can no longer be the salt and light that God has called us to be.
But if we look at the heart of our Gospel - a Gospel of failure, and repentance, and forgiveness, and renewal - I think that one of the most powerful witnesses the church has to offer to the world is not having all the answers, but rather modeling the path of humility by listening to others, acknowledging sin, and repenting of it. People who feel they are always right do not get a voice in the lives of others - I know this from personal experience. It is not the impervious man who develops friendships, but the man who is broken - because in the broken man people encounter a real person - and in that real person, they get a window into the actual ongoing work of a living God. And it is God's work on that man that is the testimony that changes lives.
In this moment, our black brothers and sisters are crying out to the rest of us and begging us to draw our attention to things that we are not seeing. We are always most blind to the issues within ourselves (that is a core human trait) - and so we need our brothers and sisters who live in different spaces to see the things in us that we cannot see.
The protests we are seeing today are one of the greatest gifts to white America. They are drawing our collective attention - all of us - to something that is as old, deep, sinful, oppressive, and unbearable as it is a fundamental part of the American normal up to this point. We might not see it - but our brothers and sisters who do see it are giving us an opportunity to do so.
If we can see the systemic sin and hurt that our normal way of being as a society has done to our black brothers and sisters over generations - if we can see it and feel it in a new way - then we can open our hearts to God so that he might break us. Allowing our hearts to break is scary and painful - but if we can trust our brothers and sisters in Christ whom God has placed with us and among us for our mutual benefit - if we can receive this gift - then we can find a new Way that looks more like the path of Christ. And I believe that will be a far more powerful witness than continuing to close our ears to this message and hold on to our rightness.
The deepest gifts of God are often the most painful to receive - but they bear profound fruit.
And so, to my white brothers and sisters (I am a white man) - I invite you to listen to our black brothers and sisters. This thing is real. We will never understand it the way our black brothers and sisters do, but we have an opportunity now to grow in our understanding of it, to internalize it in our hearts, to repent of our collective sins of action and inaction, to be broken, and to be rebuilt by the Holy Spirit in a new path.
How will we respond to this gift? My hope and prayer is that we will stop justifying ourselves, repent, and offer the world the profound testimony that the Holy Spirit still lives among his people and is able to break them and redirect them for His purposes.
Thank You! God bless you!
Thank you so much for your commitment to Justice and for all involved in writing this document.
I pray that God will open our eyes to our blindness and prejudice. I pray that we will repent and repent often for the ways that we have harbor hatred and racism in any way in our lives, including but not limited, to the times that cowardly and comfortably we have chosen to be silenced.
I further pray that the Spirit will do a deeper work in us and prevent us for putting this vital topic under the rug and keep on living our lives like nothing has happened.
I pray that we listen to our brothers/sisters with humility and empathy. Lord help us to die to ourselves and love your people regardless of their color.
En el Amor de Cristo. Aris.
I love your statement! Thanks and God bless you!
Every so often, it might be a good thing to consider reading Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter that he wrote to white pastors in 1963, that MLK wrote from a Birmingham jail after he was arrested for participating in a non-violent protest...
interestingly, in 2020, we hear similar pious sounding excuses to justify silence in the face of injustice, that MLK heard back in the 60s... just change the name of the city...
some food for thought...
2 excerpts from MLK's letter:
You deplore the demonstrations that are presently taking place in Birmingham. But I am sorry that your statement did not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the demonstrations into being. I am sure that each of you would want to go beyond the superficial social analyst who looks merely at effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. I would not hesitate to say that it is unfortunate that so-called demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham at this time, but I would say in more emphatic terms that it is even more unfortunate that the white power structure of this city left the Negro community with no other alternative...
I MUST make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. EOQ
I have been sharing the scriptural principle of "one another"... the Greek word Allelon (one another) is used 100x in the new testament, 59 of those times are commands, and 16 of those commands are to "love one another"... "one another" is a positive way to say "anti racism"...
Thanks Bev for your posts,we need to address this issue the way the Lord intended!
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