The Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience (ISBCE) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary joins numerous Christian organizations and institutions in denouncing the hateful speech and domestic terrorism that lead to the loss of life in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend. In addition to many physical injuries, many more across the country and globe have injured hearts and spirits. Hatred, in all of its forms, is evil. White supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies grounded in racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and bigotry is evil and a perversion of God’s creation of humanity as image bearers. The violent activities in Charlottesville should cause all of us to pause, reflect, pray, lament and commit to action. While some are visibly shaken, others are paralyzed and silently fearful of how to respond, if at all. We at the ISBCE believe that silence cannot be the response of leaders of the Church. In the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV).
Over the coming weeks, a new website will feature the initiatives and projects of the Institute as we work diligently to expand our reach to each of our campuses. In addition to sharing the expansive influence and impact of the diasporic Black Christian Experience with the Global Church, we are poised to teach, train and lead the Church in accomplishing meaningful work in the areas of race relations and racial reconciliation. Over the coming months, the ISBCE will take a leading role in developing resources and leading conversations around the country to aid in the eradication of hatred in all of its forms. The Institute and the Seminary are both committed to making sure that every member of our community is safe and respected as we lead the Church and our nation towards the healing that Christ’s love makes possible.
Emmett G. Price III, Ph.D.