STANDING TOGETHER AGAINST RACISM
Protests and riots continue across the country over racial injustice and the inequities in our criminal justice system. Because our church has taken a “centered-set” approach* in areas of politics and theology where our people legitimately differ, some may assume racism is an area where we choose to remain neutral. Let me be clear. It is not.
We condemn racism in all forms, from the personal prejudice of individuals and groups to the systemic inequities built into the systems of our society.
We condemn white supremacy as a philosophy and as one of the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” against which we must take our stand.
We condemn abuses of power by police and the careless use of excessive force that has harmed the lives of black people and communities disproportionately.
While outrage and protests are understandable and important responses to injustice, we condemn violence against police, businesses and our communities.
We are thankful for the many good police officers that serve and protect our communities fairly. We pray for their safety and success in reforming the system in which they serve.
As those who follow Jesus in a predominantly white church, it is important for us to stand with our black brothers and sisters during this time and affirm that their lives matter.
This is not endorsing a political position or side. People of color are on both sides of the political aisle. But whatever our political perspectives, we must stand together as one body in Christ, not ignoring our differences, but listening to each other, learning from one another and accepting each other just as God in Christ has accepted us.
There are powerful forces at work in the spiritual realm that want to divide and destroy our country, our families, churches, marriages, friendships and every other good thing God created. The thief still comes to steal and kill and destroy and Jesus is still in the business of bringing life to the full. Both are at work on both sides of our political aisle. You get to choose who you will partner with. Choose life.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:10–20, NIV)
Together in Christ,
Pastor Todd Rodarmel
and The Overseers of Mountain View Church:
Monty Kelso, Marty Mance, Jody Giles, Julianna Wakeling, Andy Valencia, Lisa Krater and Andy McCraw
* “Centered-set” refers to the idea that we are united by a common center as we pursue Jesus rather than by clearly defined boundaries of who is in or out. What unites us is stronger than what divides us. We are brothers and sisters of one Father in heaven. We have one Holy Spirit living in us. We follow one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.