MCPC IS A MATTHEW 25 CONGREGATION. One of the commitments therein is to work for the dismantling of structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty. In all our very best intentions, there is so much we have yet to understand from those who are crying out for justice. In a letter from our Presbytery, we are very passionately called to “be moved by righteous fury to decisive action. It is time for us to truly be the body of Christ, following where Jesus leads, living into the Matthew 25 vision, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and actively working so that God’s KINdom may truly come on earth, on this earth, today.” The PC(USA) Matthew 25 & Racism webpage includes a 21-DAY RACIAL JUSTICE CHALLENGE. This challenge invites us to do something to raise awareness about the perniciousness of racism and encourage action in response to that awareness. Pastor Diane asks, WOULD YOU DO THIS WITH ME? I would greatly appreciate as many of you who are willing joining me, to engage in caring and loving discussion through accepting this challenge.
The Theology Behind Dismantling Structural Racism – From PNNE
Racism is anti-Christian. In 2016, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a comprehensive churchwide anti-racism policy called “Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community.” The policy states:
Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others. It is also a lie about God, for it falsely claims that God favors parts of creation over the entirety of creation. Because of our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against and work against racism. Anti-racist effort is not optional for Christians. It is an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, without which we fail to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Structural racism is not only the “opposite of what God intends for humanity,” but is also an example of how sin is systemic rather than simply personal. As the PC(USA)’s anti-racism policy states, “Reformed theology offers a nuanced understanding of sin. Calvin did not understand sin to be simply an individual belief, action, or moral failing (Calvin, 1960). Rather, he viewed sin as the corporate state of all humanity. It is an infection that taints each of us and all of us. No part of us — not our perception, intelligence, nor conscience — is unclouded by sin.” Psalm 14:3 and Romans 3:10 remind us, “There is no one just, not even one.” The PC(USA)’s policy also reminds us that this realization “does not mean that human beings are awful. Rather, it means that we must have humility about our own righteousness, and that we must cling to the grace of God in Jesus Christ.”
A NOTE FROM PASTOR DIANE: I want to encourage EVERYONE to read the PCUSA church-wide anti-racism policy, “Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community” as it does an excellent job expressing why engaging in anti-racism is a task for all Christians, good background and history done very succinctly.