Statement on Christian Unity and the Denouncement of Discrimination and Prejudice
God created all people in His image
…and, consequently, all men and women have inherent worth. (Gen. 1:27) Disparaging that image in any way is an affront to God. The Gospel calls us to love God with all of our heart and to love our neighbor as our self. (Matt. 22:36-40)
As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must understand what Christ’s expectation of unity actually means for His church. Unity is a matter of first importance as it is a Gospel issue, for the Gospel is not merely a reconciliation of isolated individuals but a forming of one new people, in Christ, who bear witness to the kingdom of God by the tearing down of walls between us. (Eph. 3:1-12; 1 Pet. 2:9-10)
Jesus prayed for us, asking the Father “that they may become perfectly one , so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23) The church, followers of Jesus, are meant to be united, to be one in Christ, and therefore one with each other. The gospel of God’s grace is available to all and gives equal standing to everyone who believes. (1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Jam. 2:1)
We are children of God, brothers and sisters in Christ. As a family, we must “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Rom. 12:15) We must remember that Christ died to “reconcile us both [Jew and Gentile] to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility [between ethnicities].” (Eph. 2:11-16) There is no place for prejudice or discrimination in the family of God and we denounce in the strongest terms possible all of its forms [such as all forms of racism, injustice and exploitation]. We are brothers and sisters who praise Jesus, “for [he was] slain, and by [his] blood [he] ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Acts 2:1-11; Rev. 5:9)
When anyone suffers in the family of God, we must respond with support and care; we are members of one another. “If one member suffers, all suffer together.” (1 Cor. 12:26) We must build bridges and pathways of understanding and connecting in our homes, in our worship services, in our LifeGroups, our community outreach and beyond.
Northeast Bible Church is a family of broken men, women and children who equally need and rely on the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We are one in Christ. (Ps. 133:1)
If you have ever personally felt less than welcome at Northeast because of your ethnicity or background, we want to know and we want to right this wrong. We must right this wrong! Please contact the elders (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we might hear your story and work together to close this gap of disunity. You belong here.