The Multi-ethnic church is not a fad or a new kind of church. The first church in Jerusalem was comprised of Jews from around the world, and the heavenly chorus in Revelation will be composed of every tribe and nation under the sun. Even this new testament church was a fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 12. God’s church started as a multi-ethnic gathering and will continue to be so throughout eternity. How we gather and worship between then and now should reflect that reality. 1Charleston isn’t seeking to build a multi-ethnic church movement, we are seeking to call the Church of Charleston to join God as He builds His multi-ethnic church. (Acts 2:5,41-42; Rev 7:9-10; Genesis 12:1-3; Ephesians 2; Ephesians 3:8-10)
Sin separates us from God, others, and creation itself. Redemption and restoration are offered through the substitutionary death and vindicating resurrection of Jesus Christ. This Redemption purchases our freedom from the slavery to sin and enables us to be in a right relationship with God, others, and creation. The Restoring work of the Holy Spirit makes that redemption immediate and tangible by allowing us to have intimacy with the Father, reconciliation with our brother and sister, and a rightful relationship of stewardship with the rest of God’s creation. (Romans 3:9-23; Ephesians 2, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:22-23)
When we say Reconciliation is the Gospel, we reject the notion that reconciliation is an “implication” or is somehow derived from the Gospel. Any understanding of the Gospel that doesn’t include the reconciliation of humanity to itself is a truncated and ultimately insufficient “gospel”. The love for others is how we demonstrate that the love of the Father is in us. And the cross shows us that love is more than a feeling but is action taken for the good of others. (1 John 2:9-11; 1 John 3:13-19;1 Corinthians 12:25; 2 Corinthians 5:18, John 15:13; James 1:27; Micah 6:8; Galatians 2:11-14, John 13:35)
Racial reconciliation is a specific application of these timeless Biblical truths. Therefore the mandate for racial reconciliation is one of Gospel urgency and importance. We are committed to being a part of God’s work in Charleston to see Biblical repentance, reconciliation, and restoration through the Church of Charleston. (Matthew 5:13-16; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, John 13:35, 1 Corinthians 12:25)
1Charleston is a collective of Pastors and Christian Leaders committed to helping equip the Church of Charleston to embrace the full Gospel, specifically regarding racial reconciliation.
At 1Charleston we will often refer to the “Church of Charleston” as a distinct entity. This should not be understood as the name of a specific church, but it is a way of talking about all of the Gospel believing churches in Charleston working together for the Glory of God.