Senior Pastor Andre Olivier of the Congregants of the Rivers Church in Sandton, Johannesburg has been slammed by irate congregants for dishing out a racist sermon on Sunday.
Olivier told his members on Sunday that the whites are better-off than the black folks because they did not steal land, they are favoured by God and they work harder than other races.
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He said, “The undertone was black people haven’t worked hard enough to have what white people have or that black people are poor because they don’t work hard enough. why must white people share their wealth, because they’ve worked for it. Would you, if asked, give away your wealth?”
A caller who spoke to Talk Radio 702 on Monday recalled that clergyman told congregants whites have contributed heavily to the country and couldn’t understand why most people want them to leave South Africa.
The caller added that half the congregation reacted to Olivier’s sermon by clapping while the other half did not.
Pastor Andre Olivier Defends Himself
Efforts to speak with Olivier on Sunday were abortive. However, the preacher reacted to the issue on Monday by saying that people misunderstood his words.
“I never said that, you can listen to the CD, in fact you can play the CD on radio, it’s not what I said at all. I said if white people have got things it’s because they work, they are working for it,” he said.
Drawing reference from the Bible, he said even Jesus also often offended people and was persecuted for it.
“Jesus did that, he often offended people, he often challenged people. We need to speak into our nation if we are going to grow and heal it, it’s unfortunate that people are sensitive because we definitely not a racist church,” he added.
According to the Congregants of the Rivers Church website, it is a “Christ-centred church that preaches the truth about Jesus in a fresh, illustrative and creative way”.
The preacher however maintained that his sermon didn’t divide his congregation rather, he only noticed that the blacks did not hail his remarks and that they were just vexed.