Look for these monthly features on what we believe which will focus on social statements and social messages adopted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The statement Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture was adopted by the 1993 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. In the ELCA we recognize that we have a strong immigrant history and we are called in Christ to break down walls of cultural exclusivity. Our commitment as a church body was in more than words but included setting multiple goals and adopting strategies that span our church.
Even still, we falter. "We falter in what we do, or in refusing to carry out what we have promised to do. We falter through ignorance of what we have done or left undone. We falter when we cling to old ideas that prevent us from becoming the people God calls us to be."
We must share in the brokenness of society. We must confront racism, recognizing that it is a sin that further fractures and fragments our church and society.
What might we do and strive to see?
- "We expect our leadership to name the sin of racism and lead us in the repentance of it. Although racism affects each one of us differently, we must take responsibility for our participation, acknowledge our complicity, repent of our sin, and pray God will bring us reconciliation."
- "[T]he Church must cry out for justice, and thereby resist the cynicism fueled by visions that failed and dreams that died. The Church must insist on justice, and thereby refuse to blame victimized people for their situations. The church must insist on justice, and thereby assure participation of all people."
- "Participation in public life is essential to doing justice and undoing injustice. … We encourage public witness by members, and stand publically as a church against injustice. We insist on a public forum accessible to everyone, since the interests of everyone are at stake."
- "Our advocacy will take place in partnership ecumenically, among corporations and local, state, and national governments. We look for positive incentives for change and fair distribution of the social costs of correcting past wrongs. We will work for respect of cultures, for example, in mass media and public presentations, in art and advertising, and in other endeavors. We will speak against policy initiatives that discriminate on the basis of language."
Learn more about this social statement and download it in English or Spanish here.