Our nation has experienced a season of tragedy. Over the past month, we have observed another instance of police brutality and the unjust killing of an African American man. We have also seen peaceful protests evolve into rioting, looting, and chaos, leading to destruction.
As a church, we grieve. We long for justice and reconciliation. Since the fall of Adam and Eve and original sin recorded in Genesis 3, all human hearts are bent inward, focusing primarily on ourselves and personal interests. This sadly often leads to every person pursuing self-exaltation at the expense of others.
As Baptists, we stand on the Word of God. Ultimately, the only hope we have is the gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s Word gives us the answers to injustice, racism, and all sin. The person and work of Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life, died in our place for our sin, and rose again defeating sin and death for all those who repent and believe the gospel. Salvation, hope, and any measure of peace are found only in a personal relationship with Him. We want to offer a few brief statements on what we affirm as a church family.
1. We affirm the equal dignity, worth, and value of every human being
God created all things. He created his most prized possession, people, in His image. Because all people are made in the imago Dei, all people are equal in worth, value, and dignity. Racism is evil and demonic. It has no place in the life of the church or any follower of Christ. Christ’s death has torn down dividing walls and unites people from all ethnicities (Ephesians 2: 14-16). Christ has also promised that one day we will worship with people of every tribe, tongue, language, and nation (Revelation 7:9). To be racist is to be against the Lord Jesus and the beautiful picture of eternity promised to all Christians.
2. We affirm just rule, law, and order
God has given governments the power to enforce justice for good in our world. Scripture calls us to submit to our governing authorities (Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2: 13-17) insofar as they work for good and justice. We are thankful for all the freedoms promised to all citizens of the United States, and thankful for many police and public officials who work toward those ends. We grieve an incomplete and imperfect system, one where racism and injustice appear through the hands of fallen men and women. We pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:2) and for the swift prosecution of all wrongdoers.
3. We affirm striving for justice
Sin will continue in this world as people rage against one another, and ultimately God (Psalm 2: 1-2). Sin always leads to destruction, both personally and corporately. As Christians, we cling to the promises of Christ. For all who repent and believe there is hope (John 14: 15-20, 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18). We will love unconditionally in the name of Jesus, strive to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), look not only to our own interests but the interests of others (Philippians 2:4), and proclaim the gospel of reconciliation boldly to all as we strive for justice (2 Corinthians 5:16-21).