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This document reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery.
What is the Assemblies of God position on racism?
The Assemblies of God recognizes biblical guidelines that (1) support certain universal rights for all people regardless of race, and (2) condemn prejudice toward any person because of race. We also recognize that racism (a belief in its basest form that one race is superior to another) continues to confront the church.
The Bible, our infallible guide in all matters of human relationships, speaks clearly and explicitly against racism, prejudice, and discrimination. The Old Testament declares that all people are created in Gods image (Genesis 1:27; 5:1,2). The New Testament notes that barriers separating us from one another have been broken down through the life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-28; Colossians 3:11). In the Early Church the apostles confronted racial divisions, and it is clear that their response was reconciliation through the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:1-7; 10:1-22). Based on these unequivocal biblical mandates, the Assemblies of God considers racism, prejudice, and discrimination to be sins against our fellowman, and therefore sins against God, who has created all humankind in His image.
The church calls to repentance any and all who have sinned against God by participating in racism through personal thought or action, through church and social structures, or through failure to address the evils of racism.
The official position of the Assemblies of God concludes with an affirmative definitive stand against racism. "We pray for God to give us the courage to confront the sin of racism where it may be found in our lives, in our churches, in our society structure, and in our world." We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit in actively rooting out racism at home and abroad and seeking the reconciliation of men and women to God and to each other.
This commitment of the Assemblies of God took practical form in 1994 when the Assemblies of God, along with other members of the predominately Caucasian Pentecostal Fellowship of North America disbanded and joined with Black Pentecostals in forming the Pentecostal/Charismatic Fellowship of North America.
Although problems of discrimination and prejudice have usually been linked with racist attitudes toward Blacks, the Assemblies of God is also concerned about discrimination and prejudice toward other ethnic minority groups.
The above statement is based upon our common understanding of scriptural teaching. The official delineation of this position is found in the 43rd General Council Minutes, resolution 20, 1989.
All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise specified.