Ninety-five Christian leaders from many parts of the U.S. answered the call to promote racial reconciliation and combat "systemic segregation in the American church" in a piece published by the Mosaix Global Network on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on Oct. 31.
The "95 Theses" was written in the hope that the "collective words will a) help fan the flames of this legitimate movement of the Holy Spirit in our lifetime, (b) spur important conversation, (c) inspire conviction, and (d) motivate literally thousands of pastors, church planters, ministry leaders, to take action in their own local churches, in order to advance systemic change, over the next few years," wrote Mosaix Global Network Co-Founder Mark DeYmaz.
Below are seven quotes chosen by the editor of TogetherLA.net for their profound and simple call for the local church to work toward the change God is calling us to be a part of.
1) Wilfredo "Choco" De Jesús, senior pastor at New Life Covenant Church in Chicago, Illinois:
"Without sacrifice, diversity remains a nice, romantic ideal. In the spirit of reformation, we must move from efforts and ideals to sacrifice and service for diversity to become reality in the Church."
2) The Rev. Elizabeth Childs Drury, professor and pastor at The Wesleyan Church:
"The God who sanctifies the Church is far more freakishly 'other' to us than are our neighbors. If we cannot abide in the discomfort of difference with them; if we cannot relinquish any measure of preference and control for the love of people that we can see, then how can we claim to desire an encounter with the Holy One whom we have not seen? The discomfort of diversity — the fear, selfishness, and pride we must surrender — is part of God's sanctification curriculum."
3) Kevin Haah, founding pastor at New City Church in Los Angeles, California:
"The best way to learn to love one another across racial lines is to do life together and get to know one another's back stories. This begins the process of identifying and eliminating our implicit biases. Multiethnic churches are a critical way to do racial reconciliation."
4) John A. Kirk, director of the Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas:
"Redeeming the soul of America from the sin of racism requires the church to face its own historic complicity in that sin. For the Church, this is where change must begin."
5) Dave Gibbons, XEALOTS in Irvine, California:
"Love God. Love the Different. The same."
6) Matt McGue, founding and lead pastor at One Church in Jackson, Mississippi:
"We can't expect to diversify our churches if we don't first diversify our dinner tables. It's beyond time we follow Jesus and become extremely intentional in pursuit of houses of worship that represent the diversity of the school house."
7) Scott Sauls, senior pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee:
"Christianity without regard for the 'other,' or community with the 'other,' is simply not Christianity. Our savior, Jesus, Himself, a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern man, has created a beautiful mosaic of cultures and colors that, together, represent the fullness of the image of God. Collectively, we are the joy of His heart. Jesus thus intends to bring all these cultures and colors together as one–one Lord, one faith, one baptism–to bring credibility to our witness and wholeness to our lives. The time to move in this direction is not tomorrow; and just waiting until heaven is certainly not an option. The time to come together is now.
This article was originally published at Togerther LA.