September 13, 2019
“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
“Racism — a mix of power, privilege, and prejudice — is sin, a violation of God’s intention for humanity” (Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture, 1993).
Centered in Christ, the 2019 Churchwide Assembly was significant in many ways: worship, thoughtful deliberation and prayer led to the adoption of memorials and resolutions that will shape this church for years to come. Among these decisions, this church was called to address the deadly power of racism and white supremacy. Martin Luther’s clear exposition of the gospel — that God justifies, that we are redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus, and that grace is a gift — not only makes it possible to engage in this work but gives us a framework in which to do it. The doctrine of justification is a great leveler. It acknowledges that no one group of people can claim supremacy over others. We are all deeply in need of grace, and God gives this gift to all. Standing equally under the judgement and promise of the gospel, we, as a church, can recognize the overt and covert ways that a culture of white supremacy denies full humanity to all people, and we can work to dismantle it.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, ELCA
The above article is the first paragraph of a longer article which appeared on the ELCA website. That full article can be viewed at www.elca.org/News-and-Events/8005.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.5 million members in more than 9,100 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world.