Editor’s Note: The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary on the campus of Andrews University has issued a statement titled “No Excuses” that calls on Adventists to speak “out when we witness an act of injustice” and care “enough to act with compassion and do what is in our power to stop these things from happening.” It is signed by Jiří Moskala, dean of the seminary, and Teresa Reeve, associate dean.
The full statement is reprinted below, and is also available on the Seminary’s website:
No excuses. Treating a person as less of a human because of skin-color (or social class, gender, job description, education, etc.) is wrong, a sin in the eyes of God. Likewise inexcusable is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian observing such acts and turning away, thinking this doesn’t concern me (like the priest or Levite of Lk 10:30-32), is not a major problem, or that I am not a part of it.
Anyone who carries the love of God in their heart is grieving this week as we learn of new acts of violence and prejudice against our black brothers and sisters, which evidence the perpetuation of the long and deeply grounded history of racial injustice in North America. Every individual on this earth, is created in the image of God, and is our neighbor whom we are commanded to treat with love and respect. No one should have to wonder if they are safe in stepping out of their house.
Real love turns recognition and grieving into Christ-founded action. God’s kind of love means we will connect with our brothers and sisters and seek to understand life through their eyes. It means allowing God to reveal our own erroneous hidden assumptions and misconceptions and attitudes, and repenting of them. It means speaking out when we witness an act of injustice. It means caring enough to act with compassion and do what is in our power to stop these things from happening.
We have visited enough countries in the world to know that because of our sinful nature, every society has groups they unjustly marginalize, whom culture has cultivated in us through stereotypes and false myths, to believe from the time we are born are somehow less than us and deserving of being treated as such. Thus we are all implicated. God help us each to put His kind of love into practice today.
Image courtesy of Andrews University.
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