Jul 31, 2020

Statement on Racism: Action Steps

  1. Study the issues for yourself. The problem and solutions are knowable and accessible. Prejudice, systemic racism and racialization have been studied in great depth from nearly every perspective. Powerful means of addressing them have been developed and tested over centuries. You have the means and opportunity to educate yourself, and you should do so before you offer your perspective or ask for explanations from people who are already engaged.
  2. Learn from community leaders. Find people who are taking action in your community, preferably people of color, and pursue a conversation with a posture of learning.[1] Seek out their perspectives on the greatest challenges and opportunities facing your community. Ask how they see you, your church, or churches in general, participating in oppression, knowingly or out of ignorance. Ask how they would deploy you and your church’s influence and resources to best effect. Seek out opportunities to join them on a project, initiative, or event, even if it is unlikely to be your long-term method of engagement. No one is perfect; you will ultimately have to compare everything you see and hear against the standard of Scripture and your own calling and conscience. However, the experience will almost certainly be of tremendous value.
  3. Discover your individual calling. There are myriad ways to engage racism in society, and all will be needed to solve this crushing problem. You may be called to speak out publicly, to march, to engage legislators, to run for local office, to write, to lead Bible studies, to serve the poor, to visit prisoners, or any of a million other things. You should seek input from others and try several approaches for yourself, but ultimately your role and methods are between you and God.[2]
  4. Act. Do not wait for perfect understanding, comfort or opportunity before you start to engage. It is much easier to steer a car in motion. You will inevitably need to receive feedback, reevaluate your approach and repent from missteps, but inaction can have as much of an impact as a mistake. If you step out in faith and obedience, God will illuminate the path before you. 


[1] You may not agree with all their methods or beliefs but be careful not to get diverted into a debate or refuse to be challenged and learn. Some of the best theological insights in the history of Christianity have come from carefully considering ideas from outside of the faith tradition.

[2] Immigrant Hope Statement of Faith, Point 8: Christian Living.

We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.