Racism has no place in the Church of Jesus Christ
Racism has no place in the Church of Jesus Christ. Neither does it have a place in society. Racist beliefs, attitudes and actions have their roots in hatred and are manifest in cruel, life threatening and life ending actions, and betray all of humanity. Racism is sin.
It is incomprehensible that racially motivated murders have been occurring with alarming frequency in the United States. A recent communication from the Council of Bishops named a few of the victims: “The list of innocent Black lives who have been needlessly killed grows each day: Eric Garner, Terrence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Samuel DuBose, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott and now Ahmaud Arbery. These are just some of the ones we know. We are saddened that there are many more names that could be added to this list.” Unfortunately, another person has been added to that list. George Floyd has joined that list of persons who have been murdered.
Oklahoma has seen its share of horrific acts as well. Within the last few weeks, a delivery man, who was doing his job was detained by over zealous persons. He kept his cool, knowing that if he took any action, it could cost him his life. The virtual graduation ceremony at OCU was hacked and defaced with racist filth. The cowardly perpetrator(s) are free to plot more terror. Countless people, especially people of color, live in fear of random racist actions.
Racism is not Christian. It is a lie. It is demonic. It destroys. It is not what we believe.
The 2016 General Conference passed a resolution that I have reproduced below. This resolution was recently included in a letter from the Council of Bishops. It is a reminder of what we believe and a call for us to commit to act on our beliefs.
“Because we believe: 1. That God is the Creator of all people and all are God’s children in one family; 2. That racism is a rejection of the teachings of Jesus Christ; 3. That racism denies the redemption and reconciliation of Jesus Christ; 4. That racism robs all human beings of their wholeness and is used as a justification for social, economic, environmental, and political exploitation; 5. That we must declare before God and before one another that we have sinned against our sisters and brothers of other races in thought, in word, and in deed; 6. That in our common humanity in creation all women and men are made in God’s image and all persons are equally valuable in the sight of God; 7. That our strength lies in our racial and cultural diversity and that we must work toward a world in which each person’s value is respected and nurtured; 8. That our struggle for justice must be based on new attitudes, new understandings, and new relationships and must be reflected in the laws, policies, structures, and practices of both church and state. [Therefore,] we commit ourselves as individuals and as a community to follow Jesus Christ in word and in deed and to struggle for the rights and the self-determination of every person and group of persons.” [2016 Book of Resolutions, #3371]
Let us not be deceived by racist propaganda. It is not of God. Instead, let us follow Jesus Christ.