Dear Friends at 5C:
I received a number of inquiries about recent protests in many cities including our neighborhood. People have asked questions in the midst of riots across the country: Where does the church hold her position on the death of George Floyd? Will Christian faith have anything to do with social justice? What is Christians’ response to Black Lives Matter movement? What does the Bible say about what we are experiencing now? Last but not the least, What is the future of our country? To do my best in this brief letter, I try to tackle these complicated questions with simple answers.
First of all, let me clarify the separation of church and state, which was established by the founding fathers of this country. The first amendment grants religious liberty for all who live in this free land, prohibiting the government from intervening in religious matters. Likewise, the church should not be involved with lobbying or sponsoring political parties or candidates. Through centuries, this constitutional right has been proved to be effective so that the church fully focuses on her mission. Therefore, our church will not publicly endorse any presidential candidate in the coming election in November, and no one is supposed to promote his or her political view through church platforms such as church meetings, gatherings, WeChat groups, or email communication, etc. Otherwise, the church violates the codes and may lose 501(c) (3) tax exemption status. Of course, as the Bible teaches, Christians should always pray for the government and their local leaders.
Is social justice a political issue? The answer is “Yes” because it involves every level of our government as we are seeing in recent weeks, and also the answer is “No” because it is far exceeding political level and penetrating into every aspect of people’s life. In addition, social justice has been Christian mission for centuries, countless believers have devoted their lives to this cause. For this reason, the church can’t place herself outside the controversy, and American society should hear the voice of Christian faith on this issue. And then, what is our answer to this controversial issue? The power of the gospel brings equality among all people on earth, no matter where a person comes from, matters like gender, race, family background, education, and profession. The work of Christ on the Cross eliminates all the division or enmity among human beings. Through Jesus Christ, all people can be united into one people under God. Therefore, Christians have a good message at hand for this generation as racial tension is running high throughout our society.
Based on the above consensus, it is easier to answer those tough questions. For George Floyd, we denounce the excess force that police officers carried out as the result of killing an innocent person. For protests around the country, we denounce the riot and looting in any community under the cover of a good excuse. For political leaders, we are calling, this is not time to promote your political agenda but put aside your disagreements and serve this country for a common good. For fellow Americans, we are pleading, be calm, and resistant to evil. It is important to promote awareness but social justice can not be achieved on the street. Rather this accomplishment must involve the government of all levels, intellectuals of all wisdom as well as people of all kinds. Through working together, America will be able to come out of this distress with greater strength in exemplifying her values and faith in the world.
My dear friends, America is under attack, not only from a malicious virus from the outside but also from racial divisions within. It is time for us to face reality and resolve this racial issue through collaborating with one another. In this process, the church should have a voice and Christians should be a part of social justice advancement. Let us pray that God shows His mercy upon America, so our country may return to the ideology where this country was founded- One Nation Under God. I have confidence in this great country and people, and a bright future is certainly possible in decades to come.
Please feel free to join me during Pastor’s virtual office hours on Friday if you would like to discuss more these issues.
Look forward to seeing you virtually on Sunday.
首先,讓我澄清一下由美國開國元勳所奠定的政教分離政策。美國憲法第一修正案,賦予生活在這片自由土地上的所有人擁有宗教自由,禁止政府干預宗教事務。同樣,教會也不應當參與遊說或贊助政治黨派或政黨候選人。兩百多年來,這項憲法修正案被證明是合理有效的,因此教會才可完全專注於她的使命。因此,對於 11 月即將到來的大選,教會不會公開支持任何總統候選人,會員也不應當通過教會禮拜集會、小組聚會、微信群或電子郵件等任何教會平台來宣揚其政治觀點。若教會違反此項準則,可能會失去 501(c) (3) 免稅資格。當然,正如聖經所教導的那樣,基督徒應始終為政府及領導人祈禱。