hese are unprecedented times! Since March 2020, people around the world have been glued to developing current events. It began with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact upon the world and questions about the future. Then, the attention in the United States dramatically shifted to racism and justice as a result of the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody. His death sparked unrest and protests across the nation regarding African-Americans facing racial injustice.
Racism is sin! God despises it! It is not a matter of “we must do better.” Instead, it is a matter that all people are created equal. People of all races must be protected, respected, and able to live without fear. Racism is an affront to the value of individuals created in God’s image and to the divinely designed diversity of redeemed humankind.
I unequivocally condemn racist acts against any and all people. Such actions are something that should not be tolerated by a God-fearing society. Every man, woman, boy, and girl are created in the image of God. Regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin, every living person has a soul; therefore, we are all His children.
As general overseer, I call the Church of God to pray for and engage in racial reconciliation. As I consider what decisions will help to engage the call, I share three primary important actions:
- Awareness. We must not simply ignore racism. It is a vital issue that we must address, discuss, process, and develop strategic focus on for the future.
- Accountability. Our actions should demonstrate our most well-intended words. May we, with acts of brotherly love, work toward justice and liberty for people of every ethnicity. May we exemplify honor and respect toward all people as we vehemently resist the sin of racism in every way.
- Affirmation. No race or ethnicity is greater or more valuable than another. The good news of Jesus Christ has the power to break down racial and ethnic barriers. We affirm there is one God eternally existing in three persons; namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We affirm that we are one church in thousands of locations around the world. And we affirm that we are all one people representing many cultures and nations united in the Spirit and power of Pentecost.
As we demonstrate awareness, accountability, and affirmation, it is imperative to remember that the common denominator is Jesus Christ—Savior; Redeemer; Healer; Deliverer; Risen, Reigning and Returning Lord.
Furthermore, I call the Church of God to pray for wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and healing. Reconciliation is the end of estrangement and it is what brings us together and opens wide doors of opportunity for the gifts, talents, and anointing of all people to be fully expressed and utilized to impact the harvest. It is manifested by being in “one accord.” Just as on the Day of Pentecost when believers were together in the Upper Room, my desire is that we experience a first-century outpouring of the Holy Spirit, uniting us as a Pentecostal movement joining hearts and hands together in racial reconciliation. God is the author of reconciliation, Christ is the agent, and each one of us is an ambassador.
In 2000, the International General Assembly adopted a resolution, “Racism and Ethnic Disparity,” which clearly confirms the significant commitment of the Church of God
towards the elimination of racism and bigotry, corporately identifying racism and bigotry as sinful hindrances which prevent us from truly realizing brotherhood and Christian love within and outside the body of the international church and the many peoples and races which it reaches and encompasses.
I encourage Church of God constituents around the world to pursue sustained efforts in accepting the call for racial reconciliation “to the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
Tim Hill is the General Overseer for the Church of God.