Statement on Recent Events
During the past several weeks, we have witnessed many troubling events in our nation. We have grieved instances of police brutality, racial/ethnic injustice, widespread rioting and looting, the unlawful destruction of public and private property, and the failure of local governments to maintain order in their communities. In our own city, many businesses have been boarded up downtown in the aftermath of rioting, and the recent protest of a local statue turned violent when a man was shot and critically injured. This all comes after many months of suffering the devastating health, economic, and social effects of COVID-19 and the government restrictions enacted in response to it.
These are troubling events and troubling times. The voices around us are loud and seemingly ever-intensifying. Members of our church land on different points along the spectrum of pressing social issues. Most of us feel stressed and anxious, and many of us are angry about injustices we have witnessed or experienced.
We write to affirm to you that the Elders of North Church are unified around the Gospel of Jesus Christ in approaching these challenging issues and events. As expressed in North Church’s Core Beliefs, we believe that all men and women, of every color and tribe, are made in God’s image and consequently have inherent worth and dignity. We believe that all people share a common identity in Adam, that all have inherited a sinful nature from conception, and that all have therefore become alienated from God. With much joy, we also believe that all people can be reconciled to God and one another through Jesus Christ, our great Mediator, who bore the wrath of God for our sin on our behalf on the Cross, who was raised from the dead, and who rules and reigns in heaven over all things. The Bible is clear that the life of every person is significant, valuable, and worthy of respect.
We affirm to you that we cherish the diversity reflected by our members. We categorically denounce white supremacy, racism, and any other form of claimed ethnic superiority. Such concepts are sinful, abhorrent, and antithetical to Scripture. The Bible is clear that followers of Jesus ultimately come from every color and tribe, and as such we are to love and serve people from every color and tribe.
We affirm to you that all members of our church should pursue justice for all people. The Church has a rich heritage of serving and building up people and communities that have suffered great injustices. While the American Church has at times and to her shame lamentably remained silent amidst, and even fostered, acts of great injustice, the Church should be at the forefront of efforts to realize justice for all. We acknowledge that the Church and Christians as individuals have at times failed in this area and sinned against image bearers of God. Grieving this fact, we encourage individual and corporate confession of such sins to Christ.
We affirm to you our understanding that civil government, including its police power, is an institution provided by God that is to be both respected and stewarded. We strongly denounce the unnecessary or disproportionate use of force by law enforcement. The government should be organized to best serve its citizens—all of them. It is neither just nor right for the police power of the government to be employed for the abuse of its citizens. We encourage lawmakers to seek wisdom from God in establishing the laws of our state and our country, and to reevaluate and, if necessary, revise laws which have proven to precipitate injustice, particularly with respect to minority populations. We believe that God approves of civil disobedience only insofar as it is required in order to obey God’s commands.
The Church must not get swept up in social movements embracing a secular understanding of humanity and justice. As followers of Christ, our understanding and our goals must be based on biblical truths which are desperately needed in this time. We strongly encourage you to research and become informed concerning organizations or movements focused on important social issues prior to promoting, supporting, or affiliating with them, and to avoid organizations or movements whose beliefs and principles are antithetical to biblical Christianity.
We acknowledge that the issues above are complex and implicate complicated aspects of history, sociology, politics, economics, and law. We encourage you to extend grace and mercy to others when addressing these and similar issues. Further, we note that many of the relevant terms connected to these issues are not consistently well defined, and that there are many who employ them, particularly in the public sphere, for demagogic purposes.
Lastly, we find it important to acknowledge that our church has had men of various ethnic backgrounds serve as elders in the past. We do not doubt God's providence concerning the calling on the lives of the current elders at this particular time. That said, we believe that all local evangelical churches should reflect the general population of the areas in which they are located. In that light, because our church resides in an ethnically diverse region, we desire to see a greater diversity among the men leading the church. We encourage men of all backgrounds and ethnicities who are faithful members of this church to prayerfully consider whether God is calling them to serve this body of believers as a pastor. We ask you to join us in praying that God would raise up such men to faithfully serve the church in this way.
Please feel welcome to contact any of us with questions or needs you may have, particularly with respect to the issues herein addressed.
We love you and are thankful to Jesus for you.
The Elders of North Church
Coronavirus – Plans and PrecautionsOnline Services March 15thLife at North Church During COVID RestrictionsDevotional Day 1 - Love GodFamily DevotionsDevotional Day 2 - Love NeighborDevotional Day 3 - Love One AnotherDevotional Day 4 - Love Your ChurchNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - March 15th-21stNorth Church Update - Week 2 (March 23-29)Devotion - Monday, March 23 - Keep the Lord Near to You AlwaysDevotion - Tuesday, March 24 - Comfort in All Our AfflictionsDevotion - Wednesday, March 25 - Long Days and The Peaceful Fruit of RighteousnessDevotion - Thursday, March 26 - The Only Truth That Sets You FreeDevotion - Friday, March 27 - What is Eternal Life?North Church Weekly Wrap Up - March 22nd-28thDevotion - Monday, March 30 - The Fruit of SufferingNorth Church Update - Week 3 (March 30 - April 5)
Devotion - Wednesday, April 1 - The Testing of Our FaithDevotion - Friday April 3 - Perfect Peace Found Only in HimNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - March 29th- April 4thDevotion - Monday, April 6 - We Love Jesus Because He Has Finished The WorkNorth Church Update - Week 4 (April 6-12)Devotion - Wednesday April 8 - We Love Jesus Because He Gives Us New LifeDevotion - Friday April 10 - We Love Jesus Because He Sends Us The Holy SpiritNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - April 5th - April 11thThe Resurrected Jesus Meets Mary MagdaleneNorth Church Update - Week 5 (April 13-19)The Resurrected Jesus Meets His DisciplesTreasuring the Gospel During COVID-19The Resurrected Jesus Meets ThomasNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - April 12th - April 18thDevotion - Monday April 20 - Fighting Worry and Uncertainty Part 1North Church Update - Week 6 (April 20-26)Devotion - Wednesday April 22 - Fighting Worry and Uncertainty Part 2Family Resource - Keeping Children Engaged During Home ChurchDevotion - Friday April 24 - Fighting Worry and Uncertainty Part 3North Church Weekly Wrap Up - April 19th - April 25thDevotion - Monday April 27 - Delighting In The People Of GodNorth Church Update - Week 7 (April 27-May 3)Devotion - Monday April 29 - The Common Grace Of Government
Devotion - Friday May 1 - Drawing Near To God In GriefNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - April 26th - May 2ndDevotion - Monday May 4 - Aligning Our Heart’s with God’s WillNorth Church Update - Week 8 (May 4-May 10)Devotion - Wednesday May 6 - Obedience to AuthoritiesFamily Resource - New City CatechismDevotion - Friday May 8 - Who Is My Neighbor?North Church Weekly Wrap Up - May 3rd - May 9thDevotion – Monday May 11 – God’s Glory Manifested Highlights our Weak and Fallen NatureNorth Church Update - Week 9 (May 11 - 17)Devotion – Wednesday May 13 – God’s Glory Manifested Encourages Our ObedienceDevotion – Friday May 15 – God’s Glory Manifested Leads to WorshipNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - May 10th - May 16thNorth Church Update - Week 10 (May 18-May 24)Devotion - Monday May 18 - Gather and HearIn-Person Service - Re-Gathering GuidelinesDevotion - Wednesday May 20 - Quick and SlowDevotion - Friday May 22 - Impossible and PossibleNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - May 17th - May 23rdNorth Church Update - Week 11 (May 25-May 31)Devotion - Monday May 25 - Jesus Promises The HelperDevotion - Wednesday May 27 - Jesus Promises PowerDevotion - Friday May 29 - Jesus Promises God's PresenceNorth Church Weekly Wrap Up - May 24th - May 30th