Following the recent killing of George Floyd in the United States and calls for change around the world, the leadership of Cedar Grove Church came together to discuss how we would respond in keeping with God’s Word. The result is the following 10 commitments that address not just events in the U.S. but how we believe God would like us to engage with a racially broken world. We ask that the entire membership of Cedar Grove prayerfully join us in making these commitments as a church.
Our Commitments on Racial Justice and Reconciliation as a Multi-ethnic, Mission-oriented Church
- We acknowledge that racism and unjust treatment of any ethnic group is a sin that is rooted in fleshly pride, self-interest, and evil disregard for our common humanity as people created in the image of God.
WE COMMIT to praying, preaching, and teaching against the sin of racism, faithfully calling those who practice it to repentance, forgiveness, and transformation through the shed blood of Jesus.
Genesis 1:26 | Philippians 2:3-4 | James 2:9 | James 2:4 | Proverbs 8:13 | Proverbs 13:10 | 1 John 1:9
- We acknowledge that racism, like all other sins, continues to persist in human hearts, minds, and in society, and that unlike in the past, it may deceptively manifest itself today in ways that are not as easily recognizable, such as prejudice and stereotyping, as well as in more overt forms.
WE COMMIT to being watchful and vigilant, seeking the help and discernment of the Holy Spirit to recognize and identify anything in our own lives and around us that fails to welcome and dignify people of different races, and to learn more about their experiences.
Psalms 139:23-24 | Jeremiah 17:9 | John 16:8
- We acknowledge that racism and unjust treatment of any ethnic group anywhere in the world is an affront to God’s will for humanity and His purpose for our common flourishing as His loving creation.
WE COMMIT to speaking forth against racism, and its variants, to the extent that the Lord makes us aware of it, in nations around the world, and whenever possible, partnering with like-minded Christian organizations in these countries to seek justice for the oppressed.
John 3:16 | 1 Corinthians 12:26 | Matthew 22:36-40 | Luke 4:18
- We acknowledge that as the universal Body of Christ, we have been especially called to and equipped for a ministry of reconciliation on the issue of race.
WE COMMIT to working in the unity of the Spirit and Scripture to serve as God’s agents of racial justice and reconciliation, allowing nothing to divide us from our brothers and sisters of different races in this common purpose in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:18 | Galatians 3:26-29 | Ephesians 2:14-16 | John 17:20-21
- We acknowledge that inequities in how society values and treats people of different ethnicities is a real and obvious consequence of the fall and contrary to God’s heart.
WE COMMIT that although human institutions, structures and organizations cannot be fully rid of actions that privilege some ethnic groups over others, we will be a light in these places, ready to be used by God to expose and change unfair practices and all conduct that dishonours the value God has placed on all people.
Genesis 4:8-9 | Matthew 5:13-16
- We acknowledge that the Church has historically fallen short by its past actions and inactions towards racial and ethnic groups that have been oppressed through colonialism, slavery and other forms of injustice.
WE COMMIT, along with the Body of Christ, to learn from our past mistakes, to seek forgiveness of those hurt by these sins, to remedy these wrongs where possible, and to humbly repent whenever we fail.
2 Chronicles 7:14 | Matthew 6:12-13 | Matthew 5:23-24 | James 5:16 | Luke 19:8
- We acknowledge that although peaceful protests and calls for change are legitimate and sometimes necessary to bring attention to racial injustice and inequities, violence and destruction is counter-productive and contrary to Christ’s teachings.
WE COMMIT to showing support for oppressed racial and ethnic groups who employ peaceful and reasonable means to draw the world’s attention to their plight.
Exodus 5:15-16 | Acts 16:35-40 | Matthew 26:51-53 | Proverbs 31:8-9 | Proverbs 21:13
- We acknowledge that ministry to disadvantaged ethnic groups requires a combination of the gospel, community development, individual empowerment, and the meeting of pressing physical and material needs.
WE COMMIT to international missions and local benevolent programs that bring Christ’s love in a holistic way to needy and marginalized people of all races.
James 2:15-16 | Matthew 6:33 | Matthew 25:31-40
- We acknowledge that the Church can be a beautiful model to the world of racial peace and harmony, drawing into it people of all ethnicities, bound together by the love of God in Christ Jesus.
WE COMMIT to building a multi-ethnic congregation that is both diverse and inclusive, with varied opportunities for people of all races and nationalities to bring their cultural and spiritual gifts to the worship and service of God.
Genesis 12:1-3 | Acts 2 | Acts 10 | Mark 11:17 | Galatians 3:26-29 | Ephesians 2:14-16 | 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
- We acknowledge that racism, like all sin, will ultimately be removed from human hearts and society at the coming of Christ to establish His eternal reign.
WE COMMIT to pointing the world to the hope of the coming Kingdom of God, where all saved in Christ from all races and nations will praise the Lamb together with one voice, forever.
Revelations 5:9-10 | Revelations 7:9| Isaiah 11:6
Adopted by the Board of Overseers, Cedar Grove Baptist Church, June 2020
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Below are some helpful resources, including educational materials for families and church groups, on the issue of race and Scripture
- Statement on racism from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada: https://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/Communications/Official-statements/June-2020/Statement-on-racism
- Indigenous rights resources from Kairos Canada: https://www.kairoscanada.org/what-we-do/indigenous-rights
- Racism and the Responsibility of The Church - message by Craig Groeschel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc7H7DYWMhI
- Dr. Brown Speaks with Prof. Craig Keener about Racial Recognition and the Gospel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkIHSlv7_qo
- Resources on racial justice from the National Association of Evangelicals: https://www.nae.net/tag/racial-reconciliation/
- Bible study plans on racial reconciliation from YouVersion: https://blog.youversion.com/category/bible-plans/
- Racial reconciliation resources from LifeWay: https://www.lifeway.com/en/special-emphasis/racial-reconciliation
- Racial reconciliation resources from The Gospel Coalition: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/topics/racial-reconciliation/
- Resources on race from The Village Church (USA): https://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/topic-index/race
- Resources for Racial Justice and Reconciliation from the Lausanne Movement: https://www.lausanne.org/updates/resources-for-racial-justice-and-reconciliation
Resources Converge (formerly known as the Baptist General Conference) from Bethel University. Biblical Diversity: Let's Get Personal - https://converge.org/biblical-