- God has created each person as a member of one human race (Acts 17:26) and desires a personal relationship with each one through His love and grace (Romans 3:23).
- Racism — prejudice or discrimination based on ethnicity or skin color — in all forms is directly opposed to God’s design and an affront to the sanctity of human lives made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
- The work of the Gospel is focused on reconciliation of people to God and to one another (2 Corinthians 5:16-18; Ephesians 2:14-19).
- The Church by God’s design is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, and we should promote this unified diversity (Revelation 7:9; Acts 2:8-11, Galatians 3:28).
- Racism is an expression of sin in our world and one that the Gospel calls us to address in our ministries and our witness (Proverbs 31:8-9).
THE GOSPEL & RACE
A Small Group Study Catalyst
Pastor Rob Cattalani and Pastor Roger Breedlove
More KEY StartING POINTS
As you begin further exploration of racial reconciliation, these resources from Rev. Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan are an excellent place to start. The first is an in-depth article on “The Bible and Race” and the second is a video of Keller’s conversation on “Grace, Justice, and Mercy” with Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative.
The Work Ahead
The Browncroft Elder Board has been doing work around issues of race and reconciliation over the last many months. It was the feeling of many on the board, in light of what was taking place in the larger society, that we needed to spend some time on these issues.
What does the Bible say about these issues? How has the church — even our church — engaged them? Are the racial divisions in our larger society reflected in our church? How is racial division a discipleship issue and how can we better bring it into the discipleship practices of our church?
First we believe this is a journey, not a destination. We want to continue to grow as a multi-ethnic church, but the goal is more than this. Our goal is Gospel reconciliation and a greater commitment to biblical justice in the ministries of our church. This will require more time in God’s Word, more open and honest discussion, prayer, repentance, and evaluation of our ministry practices.
This past September a work group from the board brought forth recommendations that our pastor and our staff have been working on since. This includes staff training, a small group curriculum that Pastor Rob and Pastor Roger Breedlove created together, new training for ministries doing work in the city, and greater commitment to racial diversity in staff hiring and congregational leadership.
We are making progress and wanted to take this opportunity give you an update. Please keep us and our nation in your prayers.
PRAY WITH US!
God and Father, we come to You today with hungry hearts to know You more and to serve You more fully with our lives. We confess that we have not always lived in line with the Gospel. Help us to better recognize, address, and overcome the issues of racial prejudice that are still alive in our society and the Church.
We know this is a big problem in our culture, but not too big for You or Your Gospel. Lead us in a greater repentance. Lead us in greater prayer for our church and community. Help us not to follow our society but to lead it by the way that we live and the way that we love. Help us to be all the more the Church of Jesus Christ in this area, we pray.