We affirm the values and principles of Black Lives Matter “whose spirit of liberation works, ‘vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people’” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
We acknowledge the centuries-old context of slavery and systems of racial inequity that make it necessary to say that Black lives, specifically, matter. Given this history and context, we affirm that it is both right and Biblical to direct special attention to the safety and well-being of communities of color: Indeed, we follow Jesus Christ, who puts the dignity of people who are oppressed at the center of his ministry and attends to their needs for health, economic well-being, and freedom (Mark 7:25-30, Luke 4:18-19). Jesus does not say, “Blessed be all lives,” but, “Blessed are the poor, the peacemakers, the meek and those who mourn.” He does not include the rich, the war-makers, the strong, or those who cause others harm.
At the same time, we reject divisive rhetoric that would falsely link our affirmation for Black lives to hostility toward or exclusion of any other group. We do not seek to harm or disempower any group; rather, we seek transformation of cultural biases – present in all people and institutions in American society — that underlie violence, hatred, segregation and the denial of opportunities to Black people.
Most importantly, proclaiming that “Black Lives Matter” means that we are committed to partnering with our neighbors of color to work together toward equity in education, economic opportunity, healthy food access, and other priorities in our community.