“Race Perspectives and Relationships in an Anabaptist Context: a collective of believers seeking unity in the Body of Christ through awareness of perspectives while in search of Biblical responses and action.”
Restorative Faith, a collective that exists to promote a healthy community and consequently racial diversity within the church. Through Christ’s example of suffering service, Restorative Faith seeks to utilize the Gospel’s rich resources and Christocentric perspective to understand and bring healing to racial tensions.
We affirm . . .
- Allegiance to King Jesus, the perfect revelation of God, the Word
- The work of building the global Kingdom of God, while interacting with earthly kingdoms only in regard to their limited, God-ordained purpose.
- Scriptures as trustworthy and authoritative for our lives
- Submitting in equitable community to others; giving and receiving discipleship
- The way of Jesus, the suffering love of the cross, as the mechanism for effecting positive change and defeating evil
- Imago Dei – that is the “image of God”. Refers most fundamentally to two things: first, God’s own self-actualization through humankind; and second, God’s care for humankind. (Genesis 1:27, 1 Corinthians 15:49)
- Holiness – that is restoration. People are broken by the sins they commit and sins committed against them. The redeeming work of Jesus includes healing and restoring people as integrated people, that is, the way they were created by God to be. Jesus gives more abundant life. (1 Peter 1)
- Love for Neighbor – that is relationship with our neighbors. The heart of the gospel is that people are designed to live and express relationally as God loves us. (Isaiah 1:17, Luke 10:27-29)
- Equity – that is significance. All people are worth something. Each voice and each story matter. Each person brings value. Each person is redeemable. Holy people love by looking beyond another’s faults and seeing the worth, the dignity, and the need. (Galatians 3:26-29)
- Growth – that is process. While we can be fully redeemed in a moment, life is a process of continuing to grow in grace. We are both holy and being made holy. We anticipate that the effort to improve inter-racial relationships will continue until we are fully united at the heavenly throne. (Hebrews 10:14, Philippians 3:12)
- To amplify the voices of people, and people groups, who are often marginalized in our society and culture
- To educate our community regarding the historical and current oppression of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) by the US nation-state
- To expose as a counterfeit gospel the amalgamation of American nationalism and the good news of Jesus
- To foster communities that embrace a teachable spirit and a willingness to learn from people of color.
Context of Restorative Faith: The Story of Salvation
When God created the world it was good and perfect. He ruled and reigned supreme on earth as also in heaven. He walked and talked in wholeness, in a perfect relationship with humanity. However, when sin entered the world the rule and reign of God were interrupted. A great darkness covered the earth. For a couple of thousand years, sin, death, and the prince of darkness ruled the earth. However, Isaiah prophesied a King would come, Prince of Peace, a Savior who would rule the world. He would found a country where “the government would be upon his shoulders” and his reign would “know no end.” Further, he prophesied that this king would raise the valleys, lower the mountains, and make the rough places plain. This King would restore justice and the rule and reign of God in perfect righteousness. Jesus was born as that King. He preached repentance because his Kingdom was at hand. He taught the laws of that Kingdom in his manifesto, the Sermon on the Mount. He prayed that it would come on earth as also in heaven. It is a global Kingdom that uses suffering love, truth-telling, nonviolence as its premises and levers for progress. Jesus modeled this as a forerunner for us. He laid down his life on the cross in an act of suffering love, and in so doing, defeated sin and death and founded his new kingdom. And then he achieved the resurrection of the dead. When we follow him, taking up our cross, also laying down our lives in suffering love, we can participate in his victory over sin and death, being joint-heirs with him in his immortality. He is our King. He rules. His Kingdom is growing and will, one day, be fully come. We are currently working in his Kingdom as citizens to establish it as Isaiah prophesied and Jesus lived and taught. Restorative Faith is a collective seeking unity in the Body of Christ as the Kingdom of God advances around the world across cultures until believers from “every tribe and tongue” gather at the throne of our King.