We, as the Board of the Evangelical Missiological Society, recognize that we live in a world of great human suffering many times caused by human moral evil including racial injustice. Our own history—as well as Scripture—can be instructive for us as we move toward the future with hope. We speak because, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” We speak because we have hope. Dr. King also reminded us, “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” and we live in that hope, initiated by our Messiah, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 42:1–4 / Matt. 12:18–21).
EMS acknowledges that we have an obligation as evangelicals to recognize the past and present evils and move towards healing, confess our wrongs as an integral part of our Christian life and witness, lament with compassion for those who suffer, repent to acknowledge that no one is perfect but God alone and need him because all are sinful, and encourage and move towards genuine reconciliation through both word and deed.
We are to be witnesses, empowered by the Holy Spirit, for reconciling (2 Cor. 5:17–21) in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). We recognize that historically, the predominant Western missiological view has conceived of Christian mission too narrowly. We acknowledge that this focus on the ends of the earth too often involved failure to prioritize love for neighbor (the second great commandment) who happens to live nearby.
We issue this statement so that our words might stimulate action. Concrete action is warranted to not just be hearers of the Word, but doers (Jas. 1:22–25). EMS is committed to implementing strategies to see the change happen that we so desire and profess, such as funding, supporting, and partnering with underrepresented groups and underserved communities, and inviting them to belong, serve, participate, and lead in unity as we engage in scholarship in support of the Great Commission (Acts 17:26; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11).