CMDA Statement on Racism
Edited and Approved by the Board of Trustees on April 25, 2018
With the inherent belief that the Bible is the Word of God—and therefore our final authority for faith and practice—the Christian Medical & Dental Associations are committed to living according to biblical principles. Therefore:
CMDA condemns racism in any form, including discriminatory practices utilizing segregation or bias based on race, ethnicity or social status.
CMDA affirms that there is one creator, the God of the universe and all humanity. Through Christ, He has given us a mandate to love others as we love ourselves1 and to love all people regardless of ethnicity, status, gender, genetics, beliefs or practices.2
Definition of Racism
CMDA recognizes that the term “race” has many connotations, yet we believe that God created only one race—the human race. Given that usage determines meaning, for the purposes of this statement racism has been defined as the following:
The belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.
Racism comes in many shapes and forms. It can be overt and intentional or unintended but still present. CMDA views racism as a single core with two parts:
- Active/aggressive racism uses propaganda with hubris and misinformation and/or intimidation to promote an emotionally charged environment with the goal of segregation, superiority and/or domination over another racial group.
- Passive/non-aggressive racism is often bred via a conscious or unconscious sense of superiority and/or self-centeredness, not looking at the world beyond what affects one’s personal comfort and happiness. This can result in a personal conviction influenced by common themes such as cultural ignorance, social laziness, political partisanship and forgetting God’s charge to His people as defined in Scripture.3,4
Scriptural Denouncement of Racism
CMDA believes that there is no place for racism, in any form, in the world, in healthcare or in the lives of its leadership, members or staff. Racism is incompatible with the mission, vision and core values of CMDA which are based on the Bible, and the Christian conviction that all people are made in the image of God, and are therefore equal in value.5 Additionally, we believe that the Scriptures clearly communicate God’s will for mankind to treat people everywhere in all circumstances with love, humility, kindness, compassion and self control.3,6,7,8
Commitment to Combat Racism
Combating racism calls for truthful acknowledgements and reconciliation on an individual, organizational and societal level. Through self-examination, acknowledgment and confession of our sins, the cleansing blood of Christ heals us9 and through obedience to the Holy Spirit, we are being transformed into God’s image.10,11 Racism is not just the result of individual attitudes, and can be perpetuated by social structures and systems. CMDA is committed to addressing and fighting racism wherever it exists, is committed to equality and affirms diversity.
CMDA will seek to oppose racism in healthcare and society and to pursue justice in access to healthcare and equitable outcomes. Individuals within CMDA are expected to take personal action against racism in obedience to the image of God in every person. CMDA will strive for racial diversity in its leadership nationally, regionally and locally, in its commissions, board, staff, membership and in all aspects of its many ministries.
1 Matthew 22:39: A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
2 Luke 10:30-37: Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
3 Deuteronomy 10:17-19: For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
4 Colossians. 3:11: In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
5 Genesis 1:26-27: Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
6 Acts 10:34-35: Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.
7 Revelation 7:9-10: After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
8 Galatians 3:28-29: There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
9 Hebrews 9:22: In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
10 Romans 12:1-2: And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
11 2 Corinthians 3:18: So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.