An Evening with John Perkins

I had the honor to hear and see John Perkins speak last night, as I returned to the Kindlings Muse. He is a phenomenal speaker, and he shared about his past and passions. He shared of how he grew up with a grandmother because his mother died when he was seven months old, and his grandmother had to give away a number of his other brothers and sisters- only to have his only remaining brother killed by racial hatred. He came from a family of bootleggers, and it was only later that he discovered Jesus, and for the first time in his life, felt loved. Through the process of forgiveness he came to a realization that the Gospel is one of change and Justice, and not just "asking Jesus into your heart". It shouldn't only be an effort to have a good time praising Jesus- too many churches are focused around Sunday morning. The Church should be instead focused on the poor and equality for all, and working to implement the Gospel rather than just a feel-good sermon once a week.

I got a chance to ask him about how best to remove the blight upon our nation- that the most segregated hour in America is Sunday mornings. To hear his answer to this question, and Perkins' talk with Dick Staub, visit the Kindlings Muse podcast. What you won't see is how on fire Perkins was when he talked. You'll hear the passion certainly, but towards the end of the Q&A, he got out of his seat and began walking up and down, connecting with the audience, towards a climax that was utterly moving: It is a parcel of racism to say that slavery at least helped bring Africans into a better land. That implies that the whites invited the Africans into their land of prosperity. On the contrary, it was the Africans who built this land. The Egyptians didn't build the pyramids- it was the slaves. The land of America is prosperous because of African-Americans.

At the end the entire audience rose in a standing ovation to a man who has poured out his life in the service of the Kingdom of God and a true Gospel.


Joe said…
I'm jealous (yet again)! Did you know I spent the summer between my junior and senior year in college volunteering for Voice of Calvary in Jackson, Mississippi? John Perkins had already "retired" to California but I think some of his siblings or kids were still involved. Between the stuff that they taught us and the work that we did, it had a pretty significant effect on my outlook on life.
Muhib, Salam khoya. Glad you got to meet Mr Perkins. I spent some time with VOC in Jackson during college. It was nice to meet him and learn from him. What a cool dude.
Johan Maurer said…
Here's a hello from yet another VOC alum. I was in Mendenhall, MS, in the summer of 1975. I wrote about it here.

I'm glad to get this fresh word of John Perkins continuing to minister with power.

mom said…
..back in 61, I got in a huge fight w aunt catherine in a restaurant in Pasadena over her use of the word "nigra"...she was yr gfather cowper's lst sister; they were brought up in VI and NC, and to them, it was just the way you talked, and to me, an LA girl, fresh out of h.s.,animated by new ideas being tossed about even then, it was cause for taking to the streets (my footage resides in old fbi files, marching down on sunset ave in hollywood). At that time, marches were about house un-american activities hearings and banning the bomb, (i'd meet w linus pauling at after-parties), but the stage was already being set for later moves towards justice...

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