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After the September 4, 2010 earthquake in Christchurch, Andrew Strom called for the evangelical Christians there to hold a praise and worship time to thank God for His mercy. Recall that there were no casualties as the result of that quake.
I have organized large events before, so the Christian Radio network knows me – and quickly agreed to promote the event for free. The PA sound people also agreed to supply excellent sound for a very low cost. And the Christchurch City Council couldn’t have been more helpful. Everything was looking good. But then we ran up against the Christian leaders.
One of the main “networking” Pentecostal leaders in the city told me that we could count him OUT of any support for the event. Then I spoke personally with the Dean of Christchurch Cathedral who told me that we could NOT use the main Square in Christchurch for a worship event for the whole Body. (Today this man’s Cathedral lies in ruins. It had survived the first quake, but it did not survive this new one).
I called a number of prominent pastors and worship bands around Christchurch. I said we had the support of Radio, the Council, the sound and everything. No response. Worship bands not interested. Pastors not returning calls.
He says no one was interested among the Christian leadership in Christchurch. So guess what happened? Andrew Strom continues:
In fact, it was such a no-brainer that the secular people themselves decided to do something. A number of the top bands and musicians from New Zealand came down and gave a free concert in the park for the traumatized city. It was heavily advertised on Radio – and 20,000 people showed up. Of course it was a secular event – not Christian. The Pentecostals, Charismatics and Evangelicals of Christchurch had made virtually no public sound at all.
Perhaps Andrew was seeing evidence of the sandy foundations under the Church. I think the lesson here is, as he says, "a no-brainer." The Christian leadership has been the problem since the second "year" of Saul's reign in the Church. Unfortunately, the people who follow them are the big losers. It is usually those most innocent who become casualties in a time of war. Yet these individuals stand in harm's way by supporting the Saul-type leaders.