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Racial Reconciliation Manifesto

 


The Memphis Miracle was a meeting of North American Pentecostals in October of 1994 where the Racial Reconciliation Manifesto was drafted and signed and the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) Task Force was formed.

 

Challenged by the reality of our racial divisions, we have been drawn by the Holy Spirit to Memphis, Tennessee, October 1 7-19, 1994 in order to become true “Pentecostal Partners” and to develop together “A Reconciliation Strategy for 2lst Century Ministry” We desire to covenant together in the ongoing task of racial reconciliation by committing Ourselves to the following agenda.

 

I. I pledge in concert with my brothers and sisters of many hues to oppose racism prophetically in all its various manifestations within and without the Body of Christ and to be vigilant in the struggle with all my God-given might.

II. I am committed personally to treat those in the Fellowship who are not of my race or ethnicity, regardless of color, with love and respect as my sisters and brothers in Christ. I am further committed to work against all forms of personal and institutional racism, including those which are revealed within the very structures of our environment. 

III. With complete bold and courageous honesty, we mutually confess that racism is sin and as a blight in the Fellowship must be condemned for having hindered the maturation of spiritual development and mutual sharing among Pentecostal-Charismatic believers for decades.

IV. We openly confess our shortcomings and our participation in the sin of racism by our silence, denial and blindness. We admit the harm it has brought to generations born and unborn. We strongly contend that the past does not always completely determine the future. New horizons are emerging. God wants to do a new thing through His people.

V. We admit that there is no single solution to racism in the Fellowship. We pray and are open to tough love and radical repentance with deep sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as Liberator.

VI. Together we will work to affirm one another’s strengths and acknowledge our own weaknesses and inadequacies, recognizing that all of us only “see in a mirror dimly” what God desires to do in this world. Together, we affirm the wholeness of the Body of Christ as fully inclusive of Christians regardless of color. We, therefore, commit ourselves “to love one another with mutual affection, outdoing one another in showing honor (Romans 12: 10).”

VII. We commit ourselves not only to pray but also to work for genuine and visible manifestations of Christian unity.

VIII. We hereby commit ourselves not only to the task of making prophetic denouncement of racism in word and creed, but to live by acting in deed. We will fully support and encourage those among us who are attempting change.

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Category: Ministry, Spring 2000

About the Author: Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., Ph.D. (Fuller Theological Seminary), is Senior Professor of Church History and Ecumenics and Special Assistant to the President for Ecumenical Relations at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God who has served at the seminary since 1974. His work on the Azusa Street revival is well known. His ecumenical work, since 1984, is highly respected around the world by Christian leaders outside the Pentecostal Movement. He continues to serve as a bridge between Pentecostalism and the larger church world, leading international dialogues, participating in ecumenical consultations, and working on and writing about church-dividing issues. He appears regularly on the AmericanReligious.org Town Hall weekly telecast. He co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Pentecostalism (Cambridge, 2014) with Amos Yong, The Azusa Street Revival and Its Legacy (Wipf & Stock, 2009) with Harold D. Hunter, and The Suffering Body: Responding to the Persecution of Christians (Paternoster, 2006) with Harold D. Hunter. He is also the author of The Azusa Street Mission and Revival: The Birth of the Global Pentecostal Movement (Thomas Nelson, 2006 and 2017) and Prophecy in Carthage: Perpetua, Tertullian, and Cyprian (Pilgrim, 1992). Faculty page

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