Our broader United States of America collection of churches-the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches-has a committee which articulates helpful positions regarding social concerns for our churches and leaders. Because of the decentralized nature of our Fellowship, these statements are typically proposed, revisited and approved as resolutions at the time of our annual national conference each July.
Because of the gravity of the Charlottesville incident, the committee felt that a response was needed. The following information and statement was circulated and we felt it important to be shared also with the network:
Subject: FGBC SOCIAL CONCERNS: Social Concerns Committee Response to Charlottesville Incident
Date: August 21, 2017 at 1:25:12 PM PDT
To: Pastors and other Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches Leaders:
We are all heartbroken by the incident in Charlottesville. Worse, subsequent events have deteriorated our nation’s fabric and our ability (willingness?) to communicate and seek reconciliation even more.
The Social Concerns Committee is passing on this important information ( attached Charlottesville Response.FGBCSC):
- The Committee’s Position Statement on the Charlottesville incident (see below)
- Restatement of our Conference-adopted “Essential Civility” resolution with recommendation for you to use it widely
- A statement by the National Association of Evangelicals
- A statement by Charles E. Blake, Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ
- “Charlottesville Through the Eyes of an Ex-White Supremacist”
Prayerfully for our country, affected citizens, our leaders, our law enforcement officers and many more.
Dr. Don Shoemaker
Chair, FGBC Social Concerns Committee
Evil and Tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017
A Position Statement by The Social Concerns Committee of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (August 21, 2017)
The God-given dignity of persons and how it was violated
We affirm the essential equality and dignity of all human beings. All are made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God has made us morally responsible—ultimately to his commands and judgment, intermediately to the just laws and courts of human government (Acts 17:31 and Romans 13:1-7).
This inherent equality is not affected by race or nationality (Acts 17:24-26). Therefore, racism is repugnant to God and an insult to our humanity. Racism includes any words or attitude or conduct that supports racial superiority or inferiority or uses race as criterion for either inclusion or exclusion.
With these basics before us, and with humble confession of our own failures, we must pass moral judgment on the recent tragic, evil events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We must condemn the racism that was verbally advocated and violently demonstrated. We must condemn the lawlessness that occurred in all its forms.
We must pray for the reconciling power of the Gospel, demonstrated and advocated by all who embrace it, to have a powerful impact on the Charlottesville participants and on all of our country. We must also pray for law enforcement at all levels as it fulfills its difficult responsibilities.
– Social Concerns Committee of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
See the attached document for all of the statements and information>> Charlottesville Response.FGBCSC