Once again, our country has witnessed horrific mass shootings motivated by ethnic hatred – one in Buffalo, New York and one in Laguna Hills, California. According to the Gun Violence Archive, we have had approximately 200 mass shootings in 2022 (not all are racially motivated). Just over 19 weeks into the year, this averages out to about 10 such attacks a week. We ended 2021 with 693 mass shootings. The year before saw 611. And 2019 had 417.
We, the Mosaix PDX leadership team, want to express our shock, grief, outrage, and compassion on behalf of all of those impacted, directly or indirectly, by these actions. We realize that our response must be much more than a statement like this, but it cannot be less.
One thing emphasized during our recent racial conversations series was this: the indifferent silence of the white evangelical church speaks volumes to our minority brothers and sisters. When Black and Brown brothers and sisters, many of them fellow believers, are gunned down, we white evangelicals can’t find it within ourselves even to acknowledge the tragedy and pain in our worship services.
If we truly want to see the body of Christ move toward a unity that impacts the world, we must speak up on behalf of our Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Jewish fellow image-bearers, making clear our rejection of all race-based hatred and violence.
White supremacy isn’t a thing of the past in the US, nor is it confined to a small radical fringe. It is being promoted or tolerated, in some form, by many prominent politicians and media personalities. It sometimes traffics in “replacement theory,” described by Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal as “the idea that white populations, both in North America and in Europe, are being replaced by minority populations, largely through immigration." It believes that leftist and Jewish elites are engineering the ethnic and cultural replacement of white populations with non-white immigrants that will lead to a “white genocide” (Reuters, 5/17/2022).
We’re not suggesting, as some do, that white supremacy is the root of all our social ills. We recognize that the sin of racism expresses itself in all people groups. But in this cultural moment, a general condemnation of racism is not enough. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ needs to specifically call out this toxic evil of white supremacy – because elements of it are circulating in many majority-culture Christian spaces. Acting from the love of Jesus, we must speak up both to White Christians who tacitly support racial discrimination and to our brothers and sisters of color who are suffering.
Our motive in all of this is not to right the wrongs of society, but to bring people to a knowledge of the truth, found only in Jesus Christ. True healing and reconciliation will only come as we confess our partiality and lack of love, entrust our lives to Jesus, and go all in with his agenda. Let us pray toward that end.
We invite your feedback. We seek to cultivate a culture at Mosaix PDX where we engage, rather than withdraw, when we see things differently. This was the thrust of our most recent meeting, which you can view here.
Your Mosaix PDX leadership team: Dave Martin, Cliff Chappell, Susan Sloan, Phil Yien, Sergio Aguirre