Please read the following statement and indicate your support at the end of this document (English and Spanish versions).
We are thankful for the courage and commitment to action by leaders from Richmond, VA from whom we adapted this statement. We join their unity efforts and encourage others to do the same.
METRO WASHINGTON DC PASTORS AND MINISTRY LEADERS
STATEMENT OF UNITY
August 21, 2017
PREAMBLE As pastors and ministry leaders in the Metro Washington DC region, we desire to express, with a unified voice, our sorrow over tragic events in Charlottesville and other places. These events underscore the broken state of our country, and our world. America has a dark history of racism and violence. As Christian leaders in this region, we declare, with a unified voice, that the gospel of Jesus Christ speaks clearly and relevantly in this particular moment. In this light, the undersigned pastors and ministry leaders of Metro Washington DC unite to announce what follows.
WE AFFIRM that every human being is created in the image of God, and therefore carries the inherent value and dignity of God’s design. We affirm that the variety of human cultures on earth is a beautiful expression of God’s love for diversity. We affirm that Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected not only to offer humankind the gift of eternal life, but also to shatter every division—social, political, economic, or racial—which would separate us. We affirm that God’s consummated Kingdom will be a place of rich diversity and cultural expression. We affirm that the church is called to be a community that reflects that present and future Kingdom.
WE REJECT the ideology of white supremacy, including antisemitism, as an unqualified evil, a denunciation of the gospel, and a heresy which wars against God’s design for human culture and creation. We reject the notion that white people, or any collection of humans of any culture, are superior to any other. We reject any ideology that seeks to erect or maintain divisions that God has torn down through Jesus Christ. We reject the efforts to place the good of one race or one nation above the good of all, for God desires all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
WE REPENT because the church has been complicit in the sins of racism, either through the defense of slavery, segregation, and discrimination, or through passive silence and inactivity. We repent because Christians have played a major role in helping create the segregation and racial injustice that we see in our city and nation today. We repent of our own racism, fear, and hatred, both conscious and unconscious. We repent of our reluctance to be agents of healing and reconciliation in our churches, in our city and in our nation.
WE RESOLVE to preach, teach, and advocate against the sins of racism. We resolve to lead in the way of love, and to seek ways to heal the divisions that separate races and cultures in our city. We resolve to listen to those who have been wounded and dehumanized by racism. We resolve to pray fervently for God’s healing and reconciliation. We resolve to help our churches become more hospitable and welcoming communities to diverse people.
Finally, we resolve to pursue Jesus Christ’s perfect standard of equality, justice, and love in our churches, region, and country.