The Elders of Faith Tabernacle Church believe that in view of the deteriorating race relations in American society it behooves us to issue a statement on racism and prejudice in order to equip the members of Faith Tabernacle Church regarding how God is leading us to navigate theologically, socially, and practically in these unprecedented times.
In addition to this, our core objective as a church is to obey the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to “go and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19).” In order to accomplish this core objective in our current social landscape it becomes more important than ever to clearly state where we stand as a church on the issue of racism and prejudice, as well as how we seek to address these malignant evils in our local community.
In order to avoid miscommunication and ultimately misunderstanding we want to begin by defining our terms below:
a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race (see Websters).
(1): preconceived judgment or opinion
(2): an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge (see Websters).
On the issue of racism we the Elders of Faith Tabernacle Church affirm and contend that racism of any kind or measure is sinful in the sight of God and He calls us to full and complete repentance in this matter. The Bible clearly teaches that there is no such thing as a superior or inferior race but indeed quite the opposite, we are all descended from the same ancestor and are of one blood:
God also makes it clear, in addition to our common heritage, that believers have been brought into spiritual unity with one another in Christ:
In view of the Biblical reality of mankind’s universal ancestry from Adam and Eve, we are to embrace human beings from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. The fundamental principle of human dignity and our obligation to treat all of humanity with equality and respect is found in the very beginning of God’s Word:
We the Elders of Faith Tabernacle Church affirm that our obligation in the sight of God is to rid ourselves of any and all racist tendencies by the power of the Holy Spirit and embrace every tribe, tongue, and nation with the saving power and love of Jesus Christ.
On the issue of prejudice which often leads to disfavoring certain people in favor of other people we the Elders of Faith Tabernacle Church affirm and contend that prejudice of any kind or measure is sinful in the sight of God and He calls us to full and complete repentance in this matter. Showing favoritism is tempting for all of humanity and is not limited to race. Favoritism can also extend to the realm of social classes and other various factors. The Bible clearly teaches that favoritism of any kind or measure is unacceptable and sinful:
Prejudice is not limited to simply exercising favoritism but also encompasses the realm of our thought life. In Matthew 9:4 we find Jesus confronting the thought life of the Pharisees saying, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?” We also know that Jesus speaks extensively in His Sermon on the Mount about how we will be accountable for our thought life as believers.
We the Elders of Faith Tabernacle Church affirm and contend that Racism and Prejudice is not only sinful at the level of action, but equally sinful at the level of the heart. God calls all Christians everywhere to repent and invite the transforming power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word into our thought life so that we can see people with the eyes of Christ and not through the frailty and sinfulness of our flesh.
Based upon the Biblical mandate to repent of racism and prejudice we the Elders of Faith Tabernacle Church are making the following admonitions to the members of Faith Tabernacle as we move forward as a church: