Christianity Today is calling on churches to "lead the way in biblical restitution" for racial sin, claiming that "repentance is not enough."
In a new editorial published Wednesday, Christianity Today's President and CEO Timothy Dalrymple labeled slavery one of America's "original sins," adding that the Christian church was "silent in the face of slavery or even complicit in it."
"Many of the same ministers who defended slavery in the antebellum South likewise defended the racist systems that followed after the Civil War," Dalrymple wrote.
Dalrymple also referenced the story of Zacchaeus, in which the unscrupulous tax collector, upon meeting Jesus, promised to "give half of my possessions to the poor" and make reparations to those he had cheated (Luke 18:8).
"Zacchaeus had not personally designed the unjust system of Roman taxation. But he had not denounced it either; he had participated in it and profited from it. So Zacchaeus did not merely repent of his ways; he made restitution," Dalrymple said.
"He set up what we might call a "Zacchaeus fund" in order to restore what belonged to his neighbors. Are we willing to do the same? Black lives matter. They matter so much that Jesus sacrificed everything for them. Are we willing to sacrifice as well?"
Although Dalrymple believes "the country is not ready to make reparations," he asserts that racial injustice "demands a response" from the church — both personally and corporately.