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Oakdale Park Church Anti-Racism Council Proclamation

Please note that the following document was written and adopted by Council on January 24, 2000.

WHEREAS, Since its founding in 1890, Oakdale Park Christian Reformed Church has been an effective instrument of God in missions, evangelism, and social ministries; and

WHEREAS, The scriptures teach that “God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right” (Acts 10:34-35), and that “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth.” (Acts 17:26); and

WHEREAS, Racism has divided the body of Christ and separated us from our brothers and sisters in Christ; and

WHEREAS, Jesus performed the ministry of reconciliation to restore sinners to a right relationship with the Heavenly Father, and to establish right relations among all human beings, especially within the family of faith; and

WHEREAS, The world for whom Jesus died and the flesh upon which the Spirit is poured out is without regard to ethnicity, class, economic distinction, or gender.  “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (I Cor. 12:13)

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that we the Council of Oakdale Park Christian Reformed Church at our meeting on January 24, 2000, unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin; and

Be it further RESOLVED, that we affirm the Bible’s teaching that every human life is sacred, and is of equal and immeasurable worth, made in God’s image, and that, with respect to salvation through Christ, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  (Galatians 3:28); and

Be it further RESOLVED, that through the grace of God, we vow to work towards the elimination of racism in our community which includes both, our congregation and the community of which we are a part; and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously (Psalm 19:13) or unconsciously (Leviticus 4:27); and

Be it further RESOLVED, that we ask our brothers and sisters of color to work with us toward this vision, acknowledging that our own healing is at stake; and

Be it further RESOLVED, that we commit ourselves to being “doers of the Word” (James 1:22) by pursuing reconciliation in all our relationships, especially with our brothers and sisters in Christ; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, that we pledge our commitment not only to the Great Commission task of making disciples of all peoples (Matthew 28:19) but also, “A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35), proclaiming that in the church God is calling together one people from every tribe and nation (Revelation 5:9), and that the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only certain and sufficient ground upon which redeemed persons will stand together in restored family union as joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

For the Council,

Steve DeGroot                         Walt VanderHeide

Clerk                                        President