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Phoenix Seminary Statement on Racism

Phoenix Seminary
June 11, 2020

At Phoenix Seminary we are grieved by the racism that still exists in our society, and we stand with those who call for its end.

As theological educators, we are committed to preparing ministers of Christ who can, with power and authority, stand up in the face of sin, preach the truth of Christ, call for repentance from sin, and proclaim forgiveness that is found only in Jesus, first for themselves and then for others.

The whole of Scripture speaks out against racism.

Image of God: Racism is unequivocally an affront to God, his good creation, and the gospel. Every single person shares the indelible mark of the image of God (Gen 1:26–27). With Paul we affirm our common ancestry: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). In Christ, God is making one new man (Eph 2:15). God has sought to bless all the families of the earth through his people, ultimately in the sending of his Son, and he desires his people to seek the welfare of the cities in which they find themselves (Gen 12:2–3; Jer 29:7).

Unity: Scripture calls us to weep with those who weep (Rom 12:15). In solidarity with our black brothers and sisters in Christ, we seek to end racism wherever it exists. We must be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). We also seek unity with our neighbors of color who do not know Christ but who desperately need the healing that only God can provide.

Justice: God hates oppression and partiality (Exod 20; Lev 19:15; Jas 2:1). God’s justice treats all people with equity. As believers in Christ, we too must treat everyone with dignity and honor and work for their good in all circumstances, as we seek “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God” (Mic 6:8).

Reconciliation with God: The crucified Savior died to ransom people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Racism contradicts the Savior’s love for the world. In Revelation 5:9 a new song is sung, which says, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Jesus’ blood will ransom people from everywhere. We long to see people of every ethnic group come to know the reconciling love of God in Christ.

Reconciliation with Others: In Scripture we see how God removed the divide between Jews and Gentiles, which teaches that any ethnic or racial barrier that stands between people can be broken through the power of the gospel. Paul told the church in Ephesus, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14). The disease of racism can lie deep in the human heart. But God is a great physician who heals the human heart of sin, including every kind of prejudice. We glory in the God who saves and reconciles.

As a Seminary, entrusted with training pastors, missionaries, counselors, and other leaders, we must confront evil with the timeless truths of Scripture. In obedience to the two great commandments of our faith, to love God and our neighbor (Matt 22:37–40), racism must not exist in our Seminary or in our churches because it does not exist in the Creator and Savior.

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