Liberation is not easy. Liberation is not pain free. Liberation often involves difficult battles and suffering. It may well be liberating to swim naked in an ocean but true liberty is the freedom to be ourselves; to accept and love ourselves for who we are.
I share this story as a simple lesson in unconscious bias. As pastors in training we demonstrated our own prejudice. No doubt we demonstrate such prejudice every day without thinking as we did in the comfort of our classroom. Prejudice is sin; prejudice is a deep rooted sin in the church and we need to reflect, acknowledge and repent of our sin.
I will admit I can find it somewhat pretentious to talk about the prophetic. I think it comes from the experience of preachers claiming to be prophetic, having prophecies or claiming a title of Prophet and making bold claims that God is speaking to them about specific issues of the future. Frequently these claims are broad brushstroke type claims that really say very little and come across a bit like a horoscope. The prophetic church empowers the disempowered, speaks to the places of power and acts with integrity and humility for and with those who are powerless because these are the ways of God.
A few years ago I was doing some research about the eucharist or communion for my own understanding of the different beliefs people have about what happens. The different beliefs lead to a variety of ways of sharing the bread and wine, who is authorised to serve the elements and who is permitted receive them. … Continue reading A Vision for Church: Inclusive
It is fairly common to refer to the church as a body. This stems from the writing in the New Testament attributed to Paul which refers to the church as the 'body of Christ' (Ephesians 4:12). The church is a body. It is not perfect and nor should it be. It is broken and it can be beautiful when we accept its gifts, diversity, fragility, disabilities and scars.
Family is a wonderful analogy. I suppose the image that people usually have when they talk of 'family' in relation to church is that we are to be close in relationship, sharing life together, looking out for one another, supportive, encouraging, loving, and so on and so forth. What people tend to forget when using family as an analogy is the pain, suffering and hurt experienced within families.
As a team of mostly white European Christian’s we rely on our money, tablets, bottled water, lotions, potions, phones, wifi, we don't rely on God. We rely on our intellect to win the game of politics of church power and control. We rely on safe foods, hand sanitizer, ability to bride, insurance, contacts in high places ... who is our God?
You must have a framework of justice! Be guided by the principal of justice!
I wonder about the history before Rhodes, but this is a history almost destroyed by the era of colonisation and post-inpendence. I'm concerned that only looking back to the days when Zimbabwe was apparently known as the breadbasket of Africa will not bring the answers Zimbabwe needs.
He also left me with the question, “what is the face of the church?” At the moment I am unsure. I am not sure that the Church is a positive reflection of Jesus. It may well be a body that is broken and beaten but not necessarily from the doing of others but of self harm and self abuse.