I must say I’ve been somewhat amazed at how Christians, Pastors and Churches have responded to the Rivers Church controversy. We’ve acted and responded just like the world responds. Judgement, scinicism, hatred, jealousy and envy, amongst others.
When I see a church respond on the trending tag #riverschurch with their own church’s service times, as if to take advantage of the situation and draw people to their church. When I see Pastors post and add their voice of concern or advise, yet in their very churches women aren’t allowed to preach or be elders, or be ordained. Where are the churches with women who serve as Senior Pators or Lead Pastors? When I see Christians that have responded, who choose to turn a blind eye to their own racism and insist on removing the splinter out of their brothers and sister’s eye. I weep for the church. Our churches see the poor as inconvenient, widows and orphans as a burden and the marginalized, we keep a safe distance away.
Let’s call out the churches who refuse to acknowledge women’s gifts in leading, teaching and preaching. Let’s call out the churches whose Eldership is all white and all male. Let’s call out the churches who pay their workers slave wages, let’s call out the churches who pay their male and female pastors and staff unequally. Enough!
You might have noticed that the church is fair game. No longer are we protected by a populace who sees the church as untouchable, Godly and Holy. We lost that when we justified and supported apartheid. We have a long road ahead of us Church. God will really begin to use the church in our country, when we all see the sinner in ourselves. When we turn from our wicked ways, when we turn to God as an act of repentance for our racism, prejudice and worldly behavior. When we start figuring out that God needs us to work together as one body. Unified. God will use us when we take His commandment of love seriously. When we become a truly inclusive church, built on the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ. When we replace arrogance with humility, judgement with mercy, prosperity with simpleness, envy with peace and hatred with love.
This Sunday, I’m going to be praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ who worship at Rivers Church. I pray for healing, I pray for conviction, I pray for wholeness, I pray that God would convict its leaders of His way in this situation. That He would lead them to full knowledge of how to make things right. Most of all, I pray for everyone, for whom this has become an obstacle in the way of knowing Jesus.