05 Jun Crosspoint Statement on Racial Reconciliation
Our nation has experienced a week of tragedy. We have witnessed yet another instance of police brutality leading to the unjust killing of an African-American. Peaceful protests over the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have been derailed leading to chaos and destruction.
We grieve and lament. We grieve with families and friends who have lost loved ones. We decry the injustice displayed. We lament the historic and continued systemic oppression of black and brown people in the United States, which leads to fear and uncertainty for many in our own congregation and our community.
While we are thankful for the freedoms promised to all citizens in the United States and the many police and other public servants who work honorably, we mourn the many instances in which disregard for human life and racism become manifest. We grieve an incomplete system in which injustice continues at the hands of fallen protectors and support the swift prosecution of wrongdoers.
From the first act of disobedience against God in Genesis 3, the human heart has been bent on self-exaltation and partiality, often coming at the expense of others. All sin is wrong and is an affront against our holy God–most notably the unjust killing of God’s image-bearers (Genesis 9:6). Sadly, the sins of humanity seem to multiply and mutate with every passing generation.
As Christians, we cling to the promises of Jesus. Sin and hatred will continue in this world as people who are resistant to God’s saving grace and transforming power rage against one another and ultimately against the Lord (Psalm 2:1-2). Sin causes people to turn inward for their sense of right and wrong and heap destruction on themselves and others (Genesis 6:5, Judges 21:25).
But even still, Christ has promised present comfort by his Spirit and future rescue from pain and darkness. For those he calls his own, those who have submitted to his lordship in repentance and faith, there is hope (John 14:15-20, 16:33).
Jesus’s death on the cross unites people from different ethnicities into one body, breaking down racial barriers and putting hostility to death (Ephesians 2:14-16). God loves the world and is reconciling to Himself people from every tribe, tongue and nation (Revelation 7:9-10).
Jesus’s ascension reminds us that he is actively at work bringing all things under his lordship through the power of his Spirit and the transformation of human hearts (Ps 110:1). We long for the day in which all oppression will cease and righteousness will reign in every corner of his kingdom. The King will wipe away every tear as his people dwell with him forevermore.
In obedience to Christ and as part of our calling now, as we walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), we must not only look to our own interests but also to the interests of those less fortunate, less privileged, and those especially vulnerable to the sin of racism (Philippians 2:4). Let us not forsake the opportunity we have now as stewards of God’s great plan of restoration to proclaim His gospel boldly and pursue justice for all people (Isaiah 1:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21).
Let us pray for comfort on behalf of those who are hurting. Let us pray for healing and reconciliation in our communities, looking first to address complacency or latent racism in our own hearts. Let us seek understanding when we don’t understand the plight of others and opportunities to advocate on their behalf, especially within our church family (1 Corinthians 12:25).
We invite you to contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel you may need counseling to process grief during these trying times or if we can serve you in some way.
If you are interested in learning more, we recommend the following resources:
First, the South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) adopted a helpful Resolution on Racial Reconciliation in 2018. Our current SCBC President, Josh Powell, has published a timely personal resolution as well.
Additionally, listen to the recently published episode The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation on The Ninety-Eight Podcast of Crosspoint Church and the sessions from our 2016 Restore Conference on Race and the Image of God.
Finally, there are a number of helpful works we’d recommend for anyone interested in further self-reflection on racial reconciliation in a fallen world.
- “We Need to be Uncomfortable,” an article by Phillip Holmes at the Gospel Coalition
- “The Gospel and the Pursuit of Justice in Your City,” an article by Jamaal Williams, Timothy Paul Jones, and Jarvis Williams at the Gospel Coalition
- Advocates, a book by Dhati Lewis
- From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race, a book by Daniel Hays
- One New Man, a book by Jarvis Williams
- Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention, a book by Jarvis Williams and Kevin Jones
- The Gospel and Racial Reconciliation, a book by Russell Moore and Andrew Walker
- The Gospel in Color – For Kids, a book by Curtis Woods and Jarvis Williams
- The Gospel in Color – For Parents, a book by Curtis Woods and Jarvis Williams