From the Pastor and Staff of Hillcrest Baptist Church:
In light of recent events that have demonstrated the brokenness and racial division that still exists within our country, Hillcrest Baptist Church issues the following statement.
The mission of Hillcrest Baptist Church is stated as follows: “Loving and Serving God and Loving and Serving Others” (Matthew 22:37–39). We believe that “others” is an all-inclusive term referring to every single human being as created in God’s image, regardless of his/her skin color. Jesus exemplified what it means to love and serve others by reaching across all racial, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries. Jesus commissioned his disciples to carry on this same mission by making disciples “of all nations” (Matthew 28:19–20). We believe that God envisions His kingdom as a people made “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9). Presently, we believe that God has created the church as the place where people from every race and background are made one in Christ (Galatians 3:26–28). We believe that God has called the church to renounce all forms of hate and to love one another as He has loved us (I John 4:19–21). We believe that through Christ, God desires for His church to be the place where all racial hostility is abolished and where reconciliation to God and to one another is fully realized (Ephesians 2:13–22). We believe that God has called His church to be the light in the world that demonstrates His vision of unity through His Spirit. (Matthew 5:14–16).
These biblical truths compel us to make the following declarations. First, Hillcrest Baptist Church firmly denounces every form of racism as sinful and demonic. Specifically, we grieve over any injustice suffered by our black brothers and sisters. We are committed to affirming their inherent value as equal image-bearers of God and to rebuking any thoughts or actions that would denigrate their God-given value. Second, our church is committed to pursuing racial reconciliation through Christ. We are committed to pray for which steps we need to take towards racial reconciliation. We are committed to listening and understanding one another so that we might experience true unity in Christ. We are committed to celebrating the racial diversity that exists within our church while also pursuing a biblical vision of unity. We are committed to building bridges across all racial gaps. We are committed to loving one another as Christ loves us. Third, we are resolved to continuing the mission of the Gospel because we believe the Gospel is the answer to every racial injustice and to all racial hostility. We are committed to proclaiming the Gospel to all people regardless of race or ethnicity. We are committed to be an example of racial reconciliation to our community. We are committed to pursuing racial justice in our community and our country. We are committed to confronting the evil of racism and celebrating the value of human life, at home and across the globe. We are committed to herald the true peace that comes only through Jesus Christ.
We pray that God would bring healing to our communities, cities and country. We pray that God would empower us to be a witness of the Gospel which changes hearts and brings us to unity with Christ and with one another.