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Statement of change

The Statement of Change was born out of a desire to help elevate the Christ-centered church as key facilitators for racial unity and harmony.  The first step in addressing a problem is acknowledging it. 

Preamble

The One true God and Father and maker of all things visible and invisible, sent His only begotten Son who was: born of virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, buried, resurrected, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and promised to return personally and visibly to the earth in great power and glory. 

Under the influence and power of the Holy Spirit which proceeds from the Father and Son, the Bible was inspired.  It is entirely trustworthy and the only supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.  In it we discover the eternal truths on which the universal church was established, with the apostles as the foundation and Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone. 

The church is comprised of fallen men and women, who through faith have been born from above into a new and diverse spiritual family, whereby each family member is a bearer of the Holy Spirit and recipient of divine grace that results in love for God and all others.  This love is demonstrated in a commitment to truth, as revealed in scripture, the person of Jesus Christ, and our collective desire to share His redemptive message with the world through word and deed. 

God promised in His Holy Word, II Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The prayer, seeking, repentance, and healing that this verse describes is all predicated on heartfelt humility.

As leaders in the evangelical community, we humble ourselves and confess to one another and the God of all creation, our failings and desire for change.      

Racism

We affirm that the United States of America is a nation that has received tremendous favor and blessings from God but has embraced racial discrimination since its founding.  The Three-Fifths Clause of the United States Constitution was ratified in 1788, normalizing slavery.  Though most of the Founding Fathers held Christian denominational affiliations, it was almost one hundred years later that the 13th amendment finally outlawed race-based slavery in 1865. It would be nearly another 100 years before all Jim Crow laws were struck down by the Civil Rights Act in 1964.  Though laws have changed, pernicious and ungodly attitudes have stubbornly continued.

For the purposes of this Statement of Change, we define racism as unfairness or antagonism against any person due to their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group.  We recognize that sin in various forms will continue to exist in society at large and the church in general until Christ returns.  However, after the pattern of our fathers (Acts 6:1-7, 10:1-48 and 15:1-35), the undersigned express unanimous consent that racism is inconsistent with the heart of the Holy Spirit, teachings of scripture and purpose of the cross.

Social Justice

We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. As followers of Jesus Christ, we thus share His concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every form of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex, or age, has an intrinsic dignity and should be respected and served, not exploited.

Cultural Imperialism

We affirm and celebrate racial and cultural distinctions but disavow any presumed superiority of any culture over another. All cultural activities are to be evaluated in the light of ethical imperatives declared in scripture. We continue to affirm the age-old credo, in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things agape (Christian love).

Conclusion

It is the goal of this Statement of Change to acknowledge the historical pain suffered by ethnic minorities in the United States at the hands of practicing Christians and further the process toward mutual understanding, forgiveness, and unity. We believe both the spirit and clear moral imperatives of scripture require the Christian community to lead the way in defeating racial bigotry. May God continue to make his face shine on the United States of America.

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