Christians should be at the forefront in demonstrating love and understanding and in trying to solve the racial tensions which can eventuate in the breakdown of law and order and still greater acts of aggravation and violence.
The situation is so electric with emotional reaction that the voices of moderation on both sides of the issue are being drowned out by the louder voices of “rights” without reference to the realities of the situation or the only way whereby they can ever be solved.
In September, 1956, the writer participated in a symposium on race relations sponsored by Life magazine. Near its conclusion we presented the following statement, which won a strong measure of approval and was later incorporated into a report of this meeting (Life, Oct. 1, 1956):
“1. Christians should recognize that there is no biblical or legal justification for segregation. Segregation, as enjoined in the Old Testament, had to do with religious separation while the New Testament lends no comfort to the idea of racial segregation within the Christian Church. For these reasons it can be safely affirmed that segregation of the races enforced by law is both un-Christian and un-American.
“2. It can be demonstrated with equal logic that forced integration of the races is sociologically impracticable and at the same time such forced alignments violate the right of personal choice.
“3. The Christian concept of race may be expressed in the following way:
a. God makes no distinction among men; all are alike the objects of his love, mercy and proffered redemptive work.
b. For this reason, all Christians are brothers in Christ, regardless of race and color.
c. The inescapable corollary of these truths is that Church membership should be open to all without ...1
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