Orthodox Presbyterian Church Clarifies Racism Incidents In General Assembly


The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) addressed four racism incidents brought up to them by the Eastern University during their General Assembly (GA) last Friday.

After issuing a public apology, the OPC investigated further the four incidents of racially disparaging interactions on Eastern University by those associated with the OPC GA. In their recent updates, on the final day of GA Tuesday morning, OPC Moderator David Nakhla noted with gratitude about the new information they received.

The first two incidents were verified to be a poor attempt of making a joke about the 13th Amendment which ended slavery in America by one commissioner. OPC said he has subsequently apologized for his poor choice of words and shown a desire to reconcile with those who were offended.

The third incident which OPC considered the "most egregious" was later distinguished as not made by any OPC commissioner. According to the EU, the person charged with using such foul language has not been seen on campus since the incident.

The final incident was a confusing exchange between one commissioner and staff regarding self-serve pizza at the cafeteria that people present misinterpreted.

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OPC Commissioners Regrets Racism In General Assembly

EU prompted the OPC GA about the four incidents of racism last Friday, stating that one more incident would result in the OPC GA being barred from campus in light of the EU's zero-tolerance stance on racism.

The OPC GA said they were startled and dismayed by the reports and were compelled to communicate quickly their stance on racial disparity to the school staff and children, saying it has no place on OPC or any place of Christ's church.

As a reflection of their statement of faith, saying "every human being was made in God's image and should be treated with the basic respect and dignity that such image-bearers deserve." OPC GA issued their "Statement of Regret and Sorrow."

In their statement, they rejected and condemned all forms of racism, bigotry, and prejudice as betrayals of the Holy God, who commanded people to love and honor others.

Peter Bringe, an OPC minister and General Assembly commissioner, told Christianity Today that the announcement last Thursday left the commissioners shocked and spent time praying.

The report also said that one commissioner had come forward and confessed to his statements about slave labor that he said in jest. Another one also apologized for the argument with one of the staff workers.

The EU expressed gratitude for their apology and informed the OPC GA that the issue was concluded. Though the OPC GA expressed gratitude for the EU's positive response, the commissioners remained keen for a resolution to the four reported events and pushed reconciliation with individuals who had been insulted.

Throughout the Assembly, the OPC GA's Committee on Arrangements continued to work with EU employees to probe the alleged events. Based on the investigations, the four racial disparities that transpired were misunderstandings and the other one was not from OPC GA.

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