Interview with Sheriff and Pastor Cornelius Blue
July 7, 2020
At City Church, we bring God’s love to the city, one person at a time, and lead them to become fully devoted followers of Christ. This mission has always included people from every nation, generation, and culture.
We commit to encouraging a diverse church, one in which everyone seeks to follow Jesus as Lord. To this end, we affirm the following:
We all stand before God in an equally sinful state that disqualifies us from relationship with Him. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
God loves the world and sent Jesus to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). God, in Christ, reconciled all people to Himself, removing any walls that divided us, including racial and ethnic walls (Eph. 2:15–16). “There is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11). God is forming a new people through the church from “every nation, tribe, people and language” (Rev. 7:9). We are #onenewpeople.
Racism is a violation of love, and divisions tear down a house rather than building it up. Racism appears in beliefs or practices that distinguish or elevate one race over another or in holding unforgiveness for another race or ethnic group. All people are equal before God, and we strive to treat all people with the same dignity and grace that Jesus extended to us in our sinful state.
We sorrowfully acknowledge our sins of racial pride, racial hatred, and the dehumanization of another race. We ask forgiveness from God and from others. We repudiate the exploitation of and cruelty of other human beings in the form of slavery, human trafficking, the destruction of the family, through economic, legal, and social discrimination, and other injustices.
“God…reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18). Through love, we seek to reconcile people to God and to each other. We come together as deeply broken and frail people. Change starts in each individual heart. In order to promote reconciliation, we confess, repent, forgive, heal, and serve. Our church commits to promote changes to help eradicate racism from the church. The problem is real. The solution is not easy. Only through God and the gospel can we prevail together.
We commit to listening deeply to each other, even when it is hard (Rom. 12:12-21). We participate in uncomfortable conversations and choose not to become offended. “Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it” (1 Cor. 13:5). Maintaining intentional humility is the way of the cross. We hold each other accountable for the jokes we tell, the attitudes we have, the assumptions we make, and the way we discuss political and social issues involving race.
We reaffirm our commitment to invest our time, energy, and financial resources to bring about justice, fairness, and equal opportunities for all.
We pray first. The grace of God directs our conversations and favors our efforts when we invite Him to lead us. The evils of racial hostility and divisions require the power of God to defeat. We pray for God’s wisdom and courage to pursue love and reconciliation.
City Church stands with our Black community and congregants in fighting racism and injustice wherever it is found -- first in the church and then in our culture. We are all constantly learning and then educating. Here are our commitments to see racism abolished in our world.
We welcome and celebrate ethnic diversity that reflects both the composition of our community and the future diverse composition of God’s people in eternity (Rev. 7:9). In the church, we model biblical community by welcoming all who come, no matter their economic, racial, ethnic, or social background. We will treat everyone with dignity and we honor all ethnic cultures.
We are better together, and we want to continue the conversation on racial reconciliation in Small Groups. We offer Small Groups that will educate us on reconciling races and ethnic groups, both in the church and in the community. We equip Small Group leaders so they can effectively lead these conversations.
We encourage the people of City Church to intentionally pursue friendships with people who are different (1 Peter 4:8). We look for ways to connect with those of other races and ethnic groups and to deepen friendships with those we already know. We seek to regularly connect with other families, set up playdates for our kids, go on mission trips together and serve in other ways, and to purposefully spend time together enjoying and learning from each other.
We are committed to partner with other local churches, local law enforcement, and with national organizations to fight for justice and to see any discrimination and disparity eradicated. We encourage Dream Team members to partner together in service to make this happen.
We provide support and resources to ethnic minority ministries, church plants, missionaries, and leaders.
We are committed to raising up the next generation to love, value, and enjoy racial and cultural differences. We engage in productive conversations with students and children about the sin of racism and about pursuing justice in the church and the community, teaching them the ways of God regarding justice, mercy, and love.
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