In the wake of Tuesday’s shootings that resulted in eight dead, including six Asian women, the recent fatal assault of an 84-year-old Asian American by the name of Vicha Ratanapakdee, and the many clear acts of discrimination currently impacting them, the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists denounces the recent acts of violence and discrimination that have taken place and wishes to express our love and support to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
It’s a sad and tragic fact that in our nation marginalization towards this community has its deep roots. In the 19th century there was an anti-Chinese movement which expressed itself in openly hostile and at times deadly ways. In the twentieth century tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. Now in the 21st century a recent survey shows that since the pandemic began, four in ten adults say it has become more common for people to express racist views toward Asians.
Throughout the pages of Scripture, we can see that God calls on His people to love our neighbor as ourselves. Leviticus 19:34 teaches that we are love the immigrants who are among us as if they were our own family. Each of the gospel writers share how the Lord made it clear that the supreme law of the kingdom that His people must keep is to love God and their neighbor (Matt.22:36-40; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; John 15:12;). In Romans 13:10 Paul states that love does no harm to a neighbor and James 2:9 teaches that showing discrimination (partiality) is a sin because it is a violation of the command to love your neighbor.
In light of the current reality of discrimination that exists, we call on our members to connect with our Asian and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters and let them know that we love them and that they are in our prayers. As a people called by God to teach and keep His commandments let us show to the world what commandment-keeping really is, as expressed in 1John 4:21 - “And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.”