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Black and White Christian Leaders Lament Charlottesville

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Conference call tries to turn ‘pain and anger’ into ‘resolve and commitment.’

They’re angry and sad and scared.

About a dozen Christian leaders shared their reactions to Charlottesville on a Friday conference call organized by Civilitas Group president Doug Birdsall.

“We want to hear of the pain and anger from African American leaders, and we want to hear the resolve and commitment from white leaders,” stated Birdsall, past leader of the Lausanne Movement and the American Bible Society, in an explanatory email. “We also want to hear the pain and anger from white leaders, and the resolve, commitment, and vision of African American leaders.”

The call came amid public condemnations of white supremacy and racism issued by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and the World Evangelical Alliance. “Racism should not only be addressed after tragic events, but regularly in our communities of faith,” stated the NAE. “Churches in the United States can lead the way in combatting attitudes and systems that perpetuate racism.”

“The greatest crisis revealed by the election and post-election reality we live in is the exposure of the white American church’s participation in and identification with racism,” stated Fuller Seminary president Mark Labberton in advance of the call. “That this has been historically true is an unlamented fact, and that it is and will define our future seems to me unquestionable.

“Disillusionment with the church and Christian faith has many elements,” he stated, “but this fundamental inconsistency to demonstrate we are living out the faith we proclaim must be high on the list of causes.”

“I feel the frustration of Moses,” said Mark Whitlock, executive director of the Cecil …

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Source: Christianity Today Magazine

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