DULUTH, GA, June 5, 2020 – The body of Christ is a tapestry of multi-ethnic believers who come from many different cultures. All believers are unified under Jesus Christ, who is the Head. The Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) reflects that diversity with 536 predominantly non-Anglo churches that have a membership of over 113,000 and represent 32 different ethnicities. The Georgia Baptist Mission Board exists to serve pastors and church members of every race and is committed to dignity and equality for all people.
We grieve the losses that have occurred as a result of hatred. George Floyd, killed May 25, 2020, is only one in a myriad of racial injustices that has plagued our nation since its infancy. We have recently experienced this in our own state with the death of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020. We continue to pray for the families and friends impacted by these unthinkable acts.
In a statement signed by Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond, Jr. and other denominational leaders, the Southern Baptist Convention stated: “The images and information we have available to us … are horrific and remind us that there is much more work to be done to ensure that there is not even a hint of racial inequity in the distribution of justice in our country. We grieve to see examples of the misuse of force, and call for these issues to be addressed with speed and justice.”
As we witness these examples of injustice, we grieve for the soul of our nation and with our minority brothers and sisters who daily feel the impact of racism. The Bible tells us that we are to weep with those who weep and, as followers of Christ, we must do that and more (Romans 12:15).
“Therefore, as a matter of Christian obedience and devotion, followers of Jesus Christ cannot remain silent when our brothers and sisters, friends, and/or people we seek to win for Christ are mistreated, abused, or killed unnecessarily” (SBC Statement).
Let us also continue to pray for our government officials and community leaders as they make decisions regarding justice. We pray for pastors and church leaders as they shepherd their congregations and lead them to eliminate the presence of hatred and prejudice in their communities. We know this is a sin problem, and our only hope is found in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we must strive together to change our world and always love justice, do mercy, and walk humbly with our Lord (Micah 6:8).
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