Newly-Released GC Statement Admits “Dehumanizing” Racial Ideas of Church Entities and Apologizes for Insufficient Action
17 September 2020 | In a September 16 statement released by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the denomination apologizes for racism among members and church entities.
The statement is titled “ONE HUMANITY: A HUMAN RELATIONS STATEMENT ADDRESSING RACISM, CASTEISM, TRIBALISM, AND ETHNOCENTRISM.”
Halfway through the third paragraph of the statement comes the acknowledgment and apology:
“Still, we acknowledge that many members of our worldwide Church fail to uphold this biblical truth about the equality of all persons. Contrary to the teachings and example of Jesus, many believers and church organizations have absorbed sinful, dehumanizing ideas about racial, tribal, caste, and ethnic valuing that have led to practices injuring and wounding the human family. These ways of thinking, and the practices resulting from them, undermine the very truths we have pledged ourselves to live and teach. We apologize where in the past we may not have spoken or acted boldly enough on these matters.”
The statement is not focused on racism in specific regions but addresses global issues of discrimination.
It contains no details of historic or current racism experienced in the church globally.
Adventist News Network (ANN) framed the statement saying denominational leaders “believe this new statement should be a call to every Adventist member to demonstrate the love and peace of Christ in their communities.”
ANN reported the statement “comes after recent events led the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) World Affairs Committee to vote on July 1, 2020, to explore the need to produce a new church statement on global issues involving racism.”