An Iowa pastor and newspaper owner drew national criticism on Monday. During his sermon at Central Reformed Church in Sioux Center on Father’s Day, Chris Godfredsen said that the church has no credibility in reconciling racial rifts and seemingly agreed that America has “never loved black people.”
“In the midst of a global pandemic, how are we thinking about the least of these, or the most vulnerable among us,” he started.
Then he pondered if people have kept quiet about what the Scriptures say and teach about diversity over fear of what our fathers and mothers might say.
He then quoted Mark DeYmaz, founder of Mosaic Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, and co-founder of Mosaix Global Network which bonds ministries pursuing multiethnic church planting, growth and development, and Oneya Okuwobi, who said the American church has “virtually no credibility in society’s eyes when it comes to addressing racial rifts.”
“Did you hear that? We are the church of Jesus Christ and we have virtually no credibility in reconciling racial rifts,” he said.
He then quoted a friend and colleague, “Reverend” Denise Kingdom Grier, who said, “America has never loved black people.”
Godfredsen said a history lesson “makes her case.”
“I remember a time when Denise was here not that long ago, a couple of years ago, and she flew into Sioux Falls, she’s aware of Sioux City, she drove through Sioux Center to a meeting we were having in Orange City and she said, ‘where are they?'”
“And I said where are who?”
“She said, ‘The Sioux.’ I was like, ‘whoa.'”
He said the church has been silent on issues of race for far too long.
“The days of Jim Crow and the lynching era are supposed to be behind us, but our black sisters and brothers can’t breathe,” he said. “Our black friends and brothers are being shot and killed unnecessarily, our sisters are fighting for the rights of their families to be treated in the same way that their white friends are being treated where in fact there is little hope that this will happen.”
Godfredsen said Jesus came to free the captive — both the captive who cannot breathe and the captive who is still oblivious to the part that “we’ve played in oppressing our black friends.”
“So I stand here today, not sure what father and mother and brother will say when they hear me say that I believe Black Lives Matter,” he said. “My parents like everything I post on social media until I get to this topic. And sadly it’s kept me quiet for too long.
“But no more can I stay quiet. I can only imagine the pent up anger that 400 years of oppression might bring.”
Godfredsen said he won’t say again that all lives matter until he can say that black lives matter.
TruNews did a segment on the sermon, which you can watch below:
“The pastor’s Facebook page profile is this symbol, which definitely doesn’t represent the love of Jesus Christ, and its message is just wrong,” said Kerry Kinsey, the TruNews host.
After showing a clip from the sermon, Kinsey said, “well no wonder his parents and other relatives are not on board with this. Whatever happened to pastors preaching confession rather than conflict. No mention of sin, repentance and holiness either.”
You can watch the portion of the sermon that dealt with race here: