Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
“The gospel which we possess was not given to us only to be admired, talked of, and professed, but to be practiced.” J.C. Ryle
This expounds the commitment of Evangelicals through history. One of the more recent manifestations of this was the Evangelical Awakening in Europe in the 18th-19th centuries.
More recently, and not just with the EFCA, this captures what we have been talking about for quite some time. Although Evangelicals have been saying it, and are committed to it, the final statement has been limited in its scope of application. Racial reconciliation is one of those limitations.
We need to remember that when we address patience, or being long-suffering, we will live with a tension. For the white or majority community, some are coming to realize these limitations in application. They need some time to figure this out and work through what this means. It is important this be done in community, and not just with other majority folk.
For our brothers and sisters in the minority community, they have generally suffered long and experience some racial fatigue. How many times do they have to go through fits and starts, how often do they have to hear public and corporate repentance, both of which are good and right, but they are waiting for the next step, the costly and sacrificial step of love lived out and “practiced.” And, as noted previously, a vital way to do this is in community, to engage in dialogue together in the context of relationships.
May God give us the wisdom, grace, kindness, patience and courage to speak and live the gospel.
Please plan to join us at our upcoming Theology Conference, where we will address the theme, “The Gospel, Compassion and Justice, and the EFCA.”