Recent events surrounding the wrongful deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minnesota illustrate severe racial injustices in the United States. Multnomah University recognizes and grieves these circumstances; we must work together to change them.
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) recently shared a statement that we, as a university, support:
The NAE laments the recurring trauma experienced by African Americans. We condemn racism and the violent abuse of power, call for justice for victims and their families and exhort churches to combat attitudes and systems that perpetuate racism. We are grateful for law enforcement officers who honorably serve and protect our communities, and urge our members to uphold them in prayer. Christians believe that racism is an affront to the value of individuals created in God’s image and to the divinely designed diversity of redeemed humanity. This denial of personhood and belonging runs contrary to the peace and unity that God intended in the beginning and that the Bible depicts as our destiny.
Racism appears in beliefs or practices that distinguish or elevate one race over others. When accompanied and sustained by imbalances of power, prejudice moves beyond individual relationships to institutional practices. Such racial injustice is the systemic perpetuation of racism. Its existence has unfairly benefited some and burdened others simply due to the color of their skin and the cultural associations based upon perceptions of race.
No race or ethnicity is greater or more valuable than another. Evangelicals believe that the good news of Jesus Christ has the power to break down racial and ethnic barriers (Ephesians 2:14–18). Racism should not only be addressed after tragic events. Our communities of faith must pursue sustained efforts in this labor of love and justice.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we must stand together against all forms of racism and violence towards any person or community. We ask with the psalmist, “How long O, Lord?” And, we commit to standing against racism for the glory of Christ to love our neighbors as ourselves which will include listening to the cries for justice, taking an honest look at our own institution, and backing up our words with loving action.
Multnomah University leaders recently authored a two part series on a biblical perspective for racial injustice. It can be read at multnomah.edu/blog.
You can read the full article from the National Association of Evangelicals here: NAE Article.