First Presbyterian Church Leadership (the Session) voted Wednesday evening, March 20, 2019, to endorse and issue a statement addressing white supremacy. This statement was adapted from an earlier statement issued by the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church USA, the Rev. J Herbert Nelson:
We acknowledge that Scripture has been misused to justify white supremacy and racism. However, we proclaim that the Bible’s message presents a far more consistent and insistent witness to God’s love for diversity and justice. This may be observed in God’s delight in the varied creation; heard in the words of prophets who reject oppression and commend justice as true worship; seen in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, who values all persons regardless of any aspect of their identity; and experienced through the work of the Holy Spirit, who consistently blows through all the divisions we create, to reveal God’s love for all humanity.
White supremacy and racism stand in stark, irreconcilable contradiction to God’s intention for humanity. They reject part of the human family and are utterly contrary to God’s Word made incarnate in Jesus. They are idolatries that elevate human-created hierarchies over God’s freely given grace and love. They are lies about the human family, for they seek to say that some people are less than other people. They are lies about God because they falsely claim that God favors some people over the entirety of creation.
The leaders of First Presbyterian Church of Corvallis repent of our complicity in allowing white supremacist language and systems to go unchallenged. By God’s Grace we commit to proclaiming, in word and deed, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the equity of all humankind that is foundational to Christ’s message.