At our 9/16/17 stated meeting, the Philadelphia Presbytery approved this statement, which the Fraternal Relations Team encourages each church to communicate to its members and community.
Statement by the Philadelphia Presbytery, Presbyterian Church in America
on Racism, Anti-Semitism, and White Supremacy
1. As the Philadelphia Presbytery, PCA, is called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, the recent demonstration on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville compels us to publicly denounce racism, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy as sin.
2. Racist ideologies and systems (including white supremacy and anti-Semitism) deny Scripture’s affirmation of the equal value and dignity of all people, who are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27-28). These ideologies expressly deny Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31). Therefore, we reject and condemn every ideology and system that teaches or supports the supremacy of one race or the inferiority of another. We believe, without reservation, that racism, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy are sin, being abhorrent to God and deeply contrary to Scripture’s command to walk in both truth and love (3 John 1:4; Ephesians 5:2).
3. Racist ideologies and systems set themselves against God’s intention to reconcile diverse people to one another in a united community, even as he reconciles that diverse community to himself (Ephesians 2:14-16). The Church is to be composed of people from every tribe, nation, and language (Revelation 7:9). Therefore, we reject and condemn every ideology and system that divides people from one another based on ideas of racial superiority or ethnic purity. We affirm our essential unity as a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multinational people united in Christ.
4. We recognize, with grief and repentance, that Christian churches, ministries, and individuals have promoted, participated, or passively benefited from our racialized society. Too frequently, many of us have stood silent and failed to confront attitudes and actions that have disenfranchised and suppressed minority people and cultures. We recognize our own complicity in this area. We depend upon the work of the Holy Spirit and the grace of other Christians to guide us in all truth as we continue to reflect and repent (John 14:26).
5. With grief and love, we invite those who hold racist ideologies to repent and to conform their thinking and lives to the teaching of Scripture (Romans 12:2).
6. We commit ourselves to both pray for and act toward a more robustly biblical ministry of reconciliation and restoration in Jesus Christ that reflects these beliefs.
7. We stand committed to extend hospitality and comfort that comes with the good news of Jesus Christ who will reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20).