Confronting Racism

The church should be an example to the world.

The United States has been in social turmoil in recent days due to racism, racial tensions, and riots. Both racism and unconscious or unacknowledged bias are real problems in human society, and the church needs to stand against them. We cannot minimize the problem or explain it away. As a nation, we have made much progress over the years, but we need to keep moving forward to secure civil rights, equal justice under law, and racial and ethnic inclusion. “If you really fulfill the royal law according to Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9, NKJV).

Peaceful protests are important, but rioting and looting are not the answer, and they often hurt the very communities they are theoretically trying to support. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21, NKJV).

In dealing with individual situations, we should promote truth, justice, and due process of law. Doing so is the best safeguard for all of us. We must hold people in authority accountable to fulfill this duty. Americans must maintain unity around the country’s ideals: “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We cannot let race, politics, or ideology cause us to hate one another or attack one another.

Even more importantly, we must maintain unity as the church, composed of every race, ethnicity, color, language, and national origin. The ultimate hope for our cities, our nation, and our world is the church and the gospel of Jesus Christ. The church needs to represent all people, be composed of all people, and speak with one voice on righteousness and morality. It must proclaim repentance from all sin, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, the baptism of the Holy Ghost with power to fulfill God’s will, and the pursuit of holiness both inwardly and outwardly, both personally and socially. The church should be an example to the world. The local church should be a witness in its community and minister holistically to the needs of people. Every person is important to God and to the church.