CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION FOR
The Christian Association for Racial Reconciliation is an interdenominational Christian collective of believers committed to Racial Reconciliation.
Racism is interwoven in the foundation of the United States of America and that includes the church. In fact, scriptures were used to justify slavery and to forbid interracial relationships. Crusades were segregated, Sunday services were segregated, churches split because they didn't want to integrate with black churches, people shared membership in both the church and the KKK, and even still today we see traces of racism in the church. So my cry is for the body of Christ to be one. To love one another regardless of their race. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. There won't be a White church in heaven, or a Black church, or a Hispanic church, but there will be people "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages."
So, my goal is to join in the work that others are already doing in the area of racial reconciliation within the body of Christ. If I can make one small difference, that would be enough for me.
Galatians 3:27-29 affirms this cause. It reads for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.
So we are not judging other believers, we are calling them into a relationship with one another regardless of race, status, or political affiliation.
Will you join us?
To join the Facebook group now click here.
Join the space for believers to encourage one another in this area. To share positive things that are happening and things that we need to discuss and have a safe dialogue about. A place of understanding. A call to action. We may have different perspectives but we must respect each other at all times.
Social justice is defined in many ways by Christians. Some Christians say that we are not to engage in social justice issues. They say that we are to preach the gospel and that in itself is enough. I believe, however, we are to engage in social justice issues. To be clear, I do believe we are to preach. Jesus himself said, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed." Luke 4:18" Then he said to his disciples " “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16" However, that is not the only thing that the bible teaches us to do. We are also instructed to care for the widow (James 1:27), the Orphan (James 1:27), and the poor (Matthew 25:35).
Our Conceptual Framework Of Social Justice
My conception of social justice is grounded in examples from scriptures. So before I give my conception of social justice, I will provide a non-exhaustive list of examples from scriptures that help me to frame the idea of social justice.
" So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,' says the LORD Almighty." Malachi 3:5
"'He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the LORD." Jeremiah 22:16
"This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place." Jeremiah 22:3
"He does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked." Ezekiel 18:7
"The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice." Ezekiel 22:29
"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49
"(They) have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor." Jeremiah 5:28
"if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm," Jeremiah 7:6
"On your clothes men find the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet in spite of all this you say I am innocent.'" Jeremiah 2:34
"If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday." Isaiah 58:10
"The scoundrel's methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just." Isaiah 32:7
"Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:9
"The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern." Proverbs 29:7
The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked." Psalm 146:9
"I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy." Psalm 140:12
My whole being will exclaim, Who is like you, 0 LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.'" Psalm 35:10
" Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the LORD, I will protect them from those who malign them. " Psalm 12:5
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. Psalm 146:5-9
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Proverbs 21:3
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause. Isaiah 1:17
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” Zechariah 7:9-10
Our Organization's Conception of Social Justice
Social justice is doing what is right in your society and speaking up for those that are done wrong. In essence, social justice is you acting rightly and speaking up for those that are done wrongly. It is grounded in the idea that everyone should be treated fairly.
Right and wrong are grounded in the biblical principles of fighting for and defending the cause of the poor, the needy and the alien, correcting oppression, satisfying the needs of the oppressed, watching over the alien, the widow and the fatherless, fighting against extortion, and robbery of the poor.
While this is not an all-inclusive concept, its a start.
We have engaged in the work in engaging in conversations about racial reconciliation and social justice. These are the panelist that engaged in the conversation that took place on place on 6/02/2020. These conversations launched a broader movement of racial reconciliation within the body of Christ and the founding of this association. While the work of this organization is racial reconciliation within churches, we will also provide external links to organizations, and other resources specific to social justice.
Oluwaseun Matthew Kudaisi came to America from Nigeria as a student. He has a BS in Biology with minor in bible and is pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. He lives in Florida with his wife and 4 children. He has served as the youth coordinator at his local church for the past 6 years and is the president of Victory Business Services.
Abigail Thomas did mission work abroad and has returned to the US to work in the corporate world and also advocate and volunteer, with a passion for justice in all spheres, and particularly for women facing sexual exploitation. Abigail has a BS in International Business.
Esterline Vielot immigrated to the states from Haiti at a young age. As a black woman, she had been vocal on racial injustices. She has a BS in International Business and MA in international development. She resides in the north east region of the us.
Austin grew up in South Central West Virginia. BA in Pastoral Studies. and has been pastoring in North Central West Virginia since 2012 where he resides with his wife and children.
After completing her B.S. in missional ministries at SEU Haley comlpeted 2 more years of nutrition school and is certified in several areas of nutrition. She enjoys being a mom to her 2 kids, a wife to her amazing husband, and helping people find wellness in their life.
Queshonda grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio but currently reside in Florida with her husband and children. She received a BS in Practical Theology, Ma in Teaching Math and is pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in math education and a cognate in leadership. Her research interest is in Teaching Mathematics for Social Justice. She has served in different capacities of ministries for the past 8 years and is the Executive Director for Narrow Path Outreach.
Ricky grew up in Georgia. BA in Pastoral Studies. and has is the senior pastor in a church in Georgia where he resides with his wife and son. He is pursuing a Master's in Business administration.
Marlena Graves (M.Div), Marlena is a bi-racial Puerto-Rican whose first language is Spanish but has been on the main land long enough not to have an accent. She is the author of The Way Up Is Down: Finding Yourself by Forgetting Yourself (IVP, July 2020), Enneagram 9 Daily Readings (IVP, Winter 2021), A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness (Brazos Press, 2014), Who's My Neighbor: Loving Our Neighbors as God Loves Us (Discovery House Publishers), and over 200 articles in a variety of venues. She is pursuing her PhD in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University with a focus on Evangelicals and race, immigration, poverty and possibly gender. She lives in the Toledo, OH area with her husband and three daughters. www.marlenagraves.com
The Hate You Give
When They See Us
Queen and Slim
I am Not Your Negro
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
The Kalief Browder Story
12 Years A Slave
Dear White People
The Way Up Is Down by Marlena Graves
Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude Steele
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race
Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church's Complicity in Racism
Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race. Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us.
Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation
Dayton Dialogue on Race Relations
Handling Grief about Social Injustice and
Unease in 2020 thru Painting; a Christian Perspective
Christian Association for Racial Reconciliation
African American History: From Emancipation to the Present
White Privellege (from scraping raisins)
How White Privilege Affects 8 People of Color on a Day-to-Day Basis, by Paige Tutt for Bustle
I’m White, but I Married the Son of a Black History Icon–And This is What I Discovered about Color, by Cara Meredith at For Every Mom
On a Plate: A Short Story about Privilege
The Problem with Saying ‘All Lives Matter,’ by Tyler Huckabee for Relevant Magazine
When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression, by Chris Boeskool for Huffington Post
Links to Book List on Reconciliation and Justice
Church Publishing Incorporated Racial Reconciliation Reading List
West Ohio Conference: The United Methodist Church Reading List