A megachurch pastor has pledged he will no longer preach or teach at churches that aren’t sufficiently multiethnic, likening his refusal to Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 7:6 which talks about not casting pearls before swine.
Ed Ollie Jr. made the divisive comments during a dialogue on Black History Month with fellow staffer Shawn Williams. Both men are pastors at Willow Creek Community Church, a multi-campus 20,000 member church founded by Bill Hybels.
Willow Creek pioneered the church growth and seeker-sensitive movement – the demonic practice of gearing everything about a church service to be as comfortable and friendly to non-believing “seekers” as possible. Notably, in 2007 a major study was released that was commissioned by the church itself, finding the church was failing catastrophically at producing deep, mature followers of Christ.
Now, it seems they are repeating that pattern. Ollie Tells Williams:
I think Willow Creek is this really unique and weird place in that we are aspiring to something that is extremely difficult, and it’s fraught with all kinds of misunderstanding and pain. Because even in this room as we sit, we have Asian, African-American, white. When you start to look at that and you start to look at the reality of what the kingdom really looks like, and we’re trying to bring it on earth as it is in heaven, you will come against all kinds of challenges in doing so.
So I think it’s important to know the environment that you’re in and then be true to who you are and bring all of who you are into the circles that you come into. So there’s some places I don’t go and preach and communicate. Why? Because they don’t have values that are important to me and my family. I will talk to you privately. I’ll help build relationship with you. But until you as a pastor or church take steps to be more honorable to the scriptures, I don’t have to come into your environment and give my pearls in the midst of the reality of swine. I don’t need to do that, and I won’t do that.
And I think what happened in George Floyd was there was an eye-opening moment that happened for all of our culture, Shawn. What happened is people stopped apologizing. And I don’t know fully where this is all gonna go, but people of color, particularly who are evangelical, said, “We’re not coming to your events anymore. We don’t need your validation of our voice. We’re not gonna take that anymore.” There is a new level of awareness that has hit, and I don’t think that we’ve fully gotten to the bottom of where that’s gonna go.
But I think that it will take many moments like this and learnings like we are doing as a church and even our church staff. I have a very diverse staff, and I have a community that is 34% Asian that I’m pastoring. So it’s a part of our life. It’s something we value. But I don’t know if that’s the case for everyone else.
h/t to @wokepreachertv for the clip and transcript
Bonus awful thing said by Williams
Got a great tip on a Black History Month dialogue at an Illinois megachurch.— Woke Preacher Clips (@WokePreacherTV) April 8, 2021
"My experience was all fairly myopic…[A] mentor of mine says, 'For the next two years, you can't read a single book by another white guy.' And that was actually really helpful to me." pic.twitter.com/aQgcoKPwIb
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