April 26, 2021

Statement on Racial Unity and Equality

STATEMENT

One of the privileges and callings of the body of Christ is to carry one another’s burdens. This is true for all congregations but especially so for ours in light of our diverse representation of the body of Christ.

The history of racism in our country still leaves open wounds and it is sickening to see this kind of racism alive and active in our world today –  even carried out and defended by some who claim to be Christians.

In addition to overt racism, and perhaps even more problematic – because it is less overt and more pervasive – is the problem of racial inequities and inequalities. This problem is complex, and we do not believe in easy answers, but Christians need to acknowledge that the history of racism in our country has contributed to this problem of racial inequities and inequalities, and that we ourselves have been complicit.

In light of these realities, as a church we want to emphasize some crucial biblical truths in response to this burden:

  • We believe that all human beings are created in God’s image and worthy of all dignity and respect.
  • We believe that God condemns as sinful racism in all its forms: personal, cultural, institutional, etc.
  • We believe that all human beings are worthy of equal protection under the law; we believe this truth should be emphasized all the more in light of past violations in this country.
  • We believe that all human beings, and especially all Christians, should affirm these truths and work hard to pursue and defend them in all the ways that they can, including working to identify and correct racial inequities and inequalities.

Believing these truths, we feel called to pursue them as a church in specific ways:

  • Encouraging our congregation to learn about the history of racism in our country.
  • Encouraging our congregation to listen to the experiences of those who have experienced racism in our country.
  • Encouraging our congregation to become a genuinely intercultural body that reflects the community where we live.
  • Encouraging the members of our congregation to involve themselves in the community in order to address racial injustices socially, culturally, and politically.

DENOMINATIONAL RESOURCES

The Pursuit of Gospel Unity – A compilation of the actions of our denomination related to overcoming prejudice and the pursuit of the unity taught in the Bible.

PCA Unity Fund – Provides grants to educate, train, mentor, and develop minority leadership in our denomination.


BOOKS

Beverly Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race – Shows why having conversations about racial identity is essential as we seek to transcend racial and ethnic divides.

Michael Emerson and Christian Smith, Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America – Explains why racism involves more than individual actions and why overcoming racial inequity requires more than repentance and conversion.

DeYoung, Emerson, Yancey, Kim, eds., United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race – Offers historical and sociological explanations for why Christian churches are divided by race as well as theological arguments for why Christians must seek to correct this problem.

Michael Emerson and George Yancey, Transcending Racial Barriers: Towards a Mutual Obligations Approach – Thoughtfully engages both conservative and progressive approaches to overcoming racism while emphasizing the relative effectiveness of mutual obligations and group interest theory.