The mission of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference is to equip our churches to actively advance God’s Kingdom. That mission faces obstacles in this world. One of the particular ways in which that mission is hindered or opposed is by the sin of favoritism in various forms including racism.
Racism appears in beliefs or practices that distinguish or elevate one race over others. Its existence has unfairly benefitted some and burdened others simply because of skin color or ethnicity. No race or ethnicity is greater or more valuable than another in God’s Kingdom. The gospel of Jesus Christ has no place for favoritism of any sort and contains the power to destroy the barriers that human hearts have erected with regard to race and ethnicity.
Recent tragic events have brought a greater realization of the continued existence of racism for some. However, racism should not only be addressed after tragedies. Sustained efforts must take place so that it might never be known as what our churches (and our Conference) support, defend, allow, or refuse to speak about. There is no room in our gospel proclamation and demonstration for this sin. We have an opportunity to show our communities the true hope of their suffering, the true liberation of their oppression, and the true vindication of their injustices through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to do better. We will do better.
The Seventh Day Baptist General Conference will move forward with ways in which it can support its churches to defeat racism by seeking diversity in its leadership, promoting racial and cultural sensitivity in their ministries, and providing resources that reinforce the value of all humankind. We are committed to pursuing the end to any systems, structures, and strongholds that affect racism in our organization and its culture.
The leadership of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference laments the continued destruction that racism and the injustice accompanying it has caused to our nations. We are urging all Seventh Day Baptists to:
- seek the peace and welfare of their communities;
- to do justice with humble hearts to the glory of God;
- to mourn with others who mourn and weep with those who weep;
- to love and show grace and mercy even when they do not understand;
- to listen quickly and to speak (or type) slowly in response to tragedy;
- to submit our responses and emotions to the leading of the Holy Spirit;
- to reflect personally on our attitudes and actions and repent of any areas where we have allowed prejudice to take root;
- to contact local, state, and national governments/authorities to share their concerns and to help catalyze change: AND
- to treat ALL life as precious to God.
For Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh Day Baptist churches who are hurting right now, we stand with you. Let us know of any ways in which we can actively support Kingdom advancement or help overcome barriers to every tribe, tongue, race, ethnicity, and color worshipping God in your community.
With brotherly and sisterly love,
The General Council and the Coordinating Leadership Team for the SDB General Conference