It is impossible for the church to stay silent about the terrible injustices that have occurred far too frequently in our nation. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery (along with many others throughout history whose names and stories we do not know) were horrible, needless and inexcusable crimes. They underscore a reality that generations of African Americans know all too well – racism, inequality and fear can be commonplace in everyday life. It is unbiblical, unfair and unacceptable.
People across our country are outraged, frustrated and deeply saddened. We are as well. We stand in solidarity with all that continue to suffer because of the inequalities that still exist in our society - black, brown, rich or poor. We hear and echo the call for justice.
We strongly affirm the Biblical view of humanity: that we are each made in the image and likeness of God, and we each deserve the dignity that comes with that existence. We call for equal opportunities and fairness for all Americans, and we commit to stand together to be an example of what our nation so desperately needs right now - men and women from all kinds of cultures and backgrounds loving God and loving one another.
We also affirm the many incredible first responders of all races that rush to our aid when we are in trouble. We’re thankful for EMT’s, firefighters and police officers that serve with honor to protect the lives of all Americans. While we certainly support reforms that will result in necessary policy changes, we will not generalize and label an entire group based on the terrible actions of some. We recognize the need for growth and change, and we look forward to walking with you into a new future that’s more equitable for all.
We will continue to preach the biblical truth that God is adamantly opposed to hatred of any and every kind. We will continue to teach our children that racism, in all its forms, is evil. We will continue to have cross-cultural conversations to make sure that every person that calls PORVA home has an opportunity to be heard and understood. And we will continue to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and present it as the only hope for the world.
We will remain as passionate about the solution to racism as we are about the problem itself: embracing and living the truths of the Bible. It is God alone that has the power to change the human heart, heal the wounds of the past and reconcile a divided people. We know that He is accomplishing His will during this chapter of history, and we place our total trust and confidence in Him. Though these are challenging times, we are full of faith and hope for what lies ahead as we emerge from this a better, more united, more equal and more compassionate society.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, KJV)
For God shows no partiality. (Romans 2:11, ESV)
From one man [God] made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth…. (Acts 17:26, NIV)