With the recent protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the leaders of eight local churches sat down and composed a video for the public addressing the subject of racism.
"We got together and discussed making a video. When it comes down to it, not everyone agrees on all the details of what's going on," said Senior Pastor Chris Frost of Mountain Bible Church.
Following the meeting, Frost drafted an introduction to the video.
"I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement with everyone before we recorded our video — to make sure we were speaking in one voice... We created a video in an attempt to put others' interests above our own and speak life words into our small community," Frost said.
The following introduction, in parts, was written by Frost, and agreed upon by the other seven church leaders:
"Today our nation is experiencing a spiritual pandemic. Our greatest need is Jesus Christ. He is also our greatest example of how to move forward."
Frost went on to quote the Apostle Paul, who writes, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself. Do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others (Phil. 2:1-5).”
Although the pastors disagreed with some of the details, Frost said they shared a commonality.
"We realize we will not solve the racial tensions in our nation with one video. The conversation must be continuous... We renounce racism in all forms. We realize the problem of racism is much bigger than we all realize. Reconciliation is more than one-to-one relationships; it is the restoration of people groups and demolishing of corporate structures that tend to oppress the weak and vulnerable in our world."
As for the recent violence as seen on televisions across the nation, Frost wrote, "We renounce violence, looting and destruction of one’s property or another’s body. We support our law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, and all medical teams on the front line of this pandemic and rioting. Our goal is to stand united and present the gospel of hope. The gospel is our only light in a sea of darkness. It is the vaccination to our spiritual sickness. It addresses humanity’s real problem — our need for reconciliation to God and each other."
In addition to Frost, the video features the leaders of the following seven churches:
Pastor Kyle Philips of Grace Fellowship, who spoke on the importance of reconciliation.
Father Wes Clare of St. Jude's in the Mountains Anglican Church, who spoke on the collective support the leaders of the church have for law enforcement and first responders.
Pastor Mike Safford of Mountain Vineyard Church, who spoke on the denunciation of racism.
Pastor Henry Shaeffer of Roots Christian Fellowship, who spoke on the importance of inclusive biracial relationships and friendships.
Pastor Kevin Caudle of Christian Life Assembly, who spoke on the importance of listening and empathizing with others.
The Rev. Rob Brooks of Tehachapi Nazarene Church, who spoke on the importance of humility and the chance of reconciliation within the country.
Pastor Nathan Hiner of Country Oaks Baptist Church, who spoke on The Good News of the Bible.
Said Frost, "We really feel that if change is going to happen, then reconciliation begins with us. We want to take a positive role in humility here, and do whatever it takes to heal our country."