Pastor Harvey Burnett, of New Bethel COGIC, is encouraging all churches, but specifically churches with predominately white congregations, to embrace the discussion of racism in America and within our community by directly engaging the issue of white supremacy and the damage that the ideology has had within our country for both white, black and other racially diverse families and individuals.
In his blog post, the Dunamis Word, Pastor Burnett challenges congregants to address and work with their leadership and create active and healthy channels of communication and biblically based evangelism towards those who hold racist, and specifically white supremacist ideology. He challenges pastors and church leaders as follows:
“From the pulpit, WILL YOU CALL OUT RACISM AS UNGODLY AND RACISTS AS LOST AND IN NEED OF REPENTANCE? Will you let the ALT-RIGHT and WHITE SUPREMACIST RACISTS know they are not saved and in danger of hell’s fire?
We know that ALL hatred is sin! However, we are dealing with the sin and evil of white supremacy, which had its stronghold on this nation for generations. That sin has cost the lives of families for all generations. That hatred separated and damaged not only black families, but white families forever. It is this form of hatred that must be condemned. No one need be detracted from the message of condemning that form of racist hate as un-American.
The reason we call the church to action is because the faith that we share and have in common, the faith that Jesus is Lord, has been responsible for converting hearts of men away from racism to brighter and better futures for generations. It is that faith with its teachings on love and racial reconciliation that is able to change the unregenerate hearts that embrace racism.
We believe this call to be appropriate for all churches and a method to engage the community with a redemptive purpose. Although hate has no boundaries of color, in VA we have seen an aggressive push of individuals from various parts of the region and country who feel that their beliefs are not only appropriate for the preservation of alt-right and white supremacist values but are essential for the “reversion” to and “restoration” of their ideals as the American standard.
We believe that it is time for white congregations across the land to put these ideals down in an unequivocal manner and specifically engage white supremacist ideology.”
Pastor Harvey Burnett can be reached at (309)648-5351 for further comment.