Silent absence of the church

2018-07-24 06:00

Over the past months we have seen and experienced the rising up of communities demanding basic services and constitutionally enshrined rights, such as decent housing, be provided.

Among such communities we have seen Parkwood Estate as one of the prominent communities.

As a mandated community and faith leader I have noted with great concern and frustration the absence of our Christian leadership in Parkwood.

I note how absolutely quiet the Church is on such matters.

I note the lack of Christian leadership during crisis times, the uncaring attitude when being called upon for help, to meet or support.

What I do note is how many churches we have, specifically in Parkwood. Close to 30!

Many today claim to be (senior/chief) apostles, (arch) bishops, prophet [varying in status] and pastors – and so the list of titles goes on! At funerals, conferences and campaigns the stage overflow with “great men of God”, draped in the all American/Western style of the “the elected ones”.

So where is the voice of the church, where are those who profess and proclaim the Gospel of Good News? Why the church is not relevant, does not impact and positively influence?

Why does it not concern the clergy that the very people we claim to be called to serve are living in inhumane conditions? Why does it not concern the church when the abnormal way of living has become normal? Where are the concerns around social decay, the absence of the Godly family structure and preservation, rife criminality and all the well-known social ills?

Has the church and its leadership lost touch with the reality and dynamics of the community it should serve? Where is the reality of God’s Word being demonstrated? Where is the reality of the message of love, peace and unity? Where is Jesus, His wisdom, His guidance and influence in all of this turmoil? Should it not be demonstrated through our actions, our leadership and our presence?

Yes, we fast and pray. Yess we have our church programmes which mostly is based on membership growth [to further enhance leaders status]. Yes, we have the miracle crusades and open air services. Yes, we have soup kitchens. Yes, we tick all the boxes as required to meet “church” standards. Yes, we wear the collar and cloak and do so many theological courses and have all the accolades. Yes, we do wear pointed shoes and gold rings and chains and designer suits. Yes, we have the best worship team and musicians and do drive a smart car, but no, we are not the real church!

The real church does speak out against oppressive and ungodly systems, is not afraid to challenge government and its non-biblical policies, and does not see politics as from the “devil”. Well, the devil is wreaking havoc, destroying generations and robbing our people of self-worth, dignity and destiny.

I salute the few, maybe two, pastors who did dare to stick out their necks and be bold enough to face reality and stand for and with the community of Parkwood­.

I salute the Muslim community who came out in numbers to cook and serve hot meals during those cold challenging winter nights, I salute the so-called “sinners” who brought blankets and contributed financially towards the cause, made sacrifice to assist too numerous to mention here.

In conclusion I will and do not condone any violence, destruction of community resources or any call to promote or instigate such criminal actions.

Pastor Paul Phillips Parkwood Estate

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