FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF LONG BRANCH
STATEMENT ON RACISM
OCTOBER 5, 2020
In the midst of the corona virus pandemic, we in the United States of America have also been dealing with the ongoing pandemic of social injustice, racial prejudice, and police brutality. While what we are currently going through is not new, it is shameful that we continue to go through this again and again. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others, dying at the hands of the police in a very brutal manner, simply should not be tolerated any longer. While we appreciate the courageous work of the majority of law enforcement officers, and we are aware that not all in law enforcement are bad, unfortunately the acts of brutality by some seem to be unrelenting. Sadly, Blacks have been victimized the most.
At First Baptist Church of Long Branch, we stand firm on the word of God. God calls the church of Jesus Christ to be a people of love, grace, equality, unity and justice. God’s word declares to us, “For God so loved world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16). God welcomes all people, irrespective of our color, culture, ethnic or social background to experience his saving love in Jesus Christ. Because God loves everyone, Jesus came to save everyone. In him, there is no discrimination, prejudice or preferential treatment. Before God, there is no Jew, no Gentile – all are equal. All are created in God’s image and are sacred in his sight. We are all equally loved, equally chosen, and equally free. Since God considers all lives sacred, we should consider all lives sacred.
At First Baptist Church of Long Branch, we strive to display the love and oneness of God. We are not a perfect group of people, but our social-cultural makeup and our peaceful and loving co-existence help us grow spiritually. As a multicultural and multinational congregation (about 18 nations and counting), we aim to maintain unity in Christ Jesus our Lord. Our diversity brings spiritual power to church worship. We welcome all people. We love and respect all people and uphold human dignity. We embrace what prophet Micah said, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
We stand in solidarity with the black community and others who have been victims of inhumane treatment. We denounce racism in all its forms – individual racism, corporate racism, and systemic racism. We denounce the disregard of human life. We denounce all abuse of power and social injustice. We will not relent. We will not succumb to fear or intimidation, We will oppose any unprovoked attack of a particular ethnic or racial group. In Christ, we are one. In Christ, we remain one. Jesus who is in us and with us has given us the Spirit of power and love not of fear and hatred.
In our prophetic opposition, we will remain calm and law abiding, but we will stand together to denounce ungodly acts. We will remain prayerful. We will remain peace-loving and peace-seeking people. We will not hesitate to support all who are being oppressed. The Bible says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Eccl. 4:9-10). Together, we will proclaim the good name of our Lord, and together we will stand up of justice. Together, we will overcome these tough and chaotic times. So, help us God.
Here, at First Baptist Church of Long Branch, we stand for justice, we call for justice and we will work for justice. We embrace diversity, as proclaimed in the Word of God. We are a Bible-based, Bible-preaching, and Bible-teaching church. We strive to follow the teachings and practices of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are a welcoming church. Therefore, with the love of Christ, we invite people to come and see who we are and experience the beauty of our diversity. Everyone is welcome, just as they are.