Peter Veysie from Ridgeway Ministries trying to ‘Bridge’ that Gap
Peter Veysie commented here under my Change Agents article: Ee-mmergency – Releasing Christian youth into the fire
Peter said: “I am first of all hoping that you are a brother or sister in Christ and that your defence of the gospel is for the sake of Jesus and not because you are a very sad and irritated man or woman. I am also sad that we can’t chat to you because you are anonymous, but heh if you need some healing or someone to chat to you have my email address. I am heading up Change Agents in South Africa and am the Senior Pastor of Ridgeway Ministries and you are so far from the truth of what we do, it is frightening. Speak to me if you are brave enough and I will give you the truth and “the truth will set you free”. Pete”
I then found an interview Peter Veysie did on EmergingAfrica run by Nic Paton. I did an article on Nic Paton here: Satan the Trickster Embracing the Emerging Snake
My reply to Peter Veysie’s comment to me @ 2009/09/20 at 5:09am
[DTW comments in green]
[As you can clearly see my stand for the Gospel is for Jesus Christ and to WARN the people you lead astray with your NEW AGE Christian teaching which goes AGAINST the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t need to chat to you face to face to know that you speak a false doctrine. Your smiling face will not hide the feelings you have, or the words that you speak that OPPOSE the gospel of Jesus Christ – unfortunately many will fall for it. But I warn never the less for those who are seeking the TRUTH (there is only ONE truth and that is Jesus Christ the Son of God – not your fasle Christ with many truths). And because they LOVE the Word of God, they will see through you and your new age rainbow/bridge where all faiths lead to one god.]
See related posts at the bottom of this article regarding the New Age ‘Bridge or Rainbow’
Let’s get to Peter Veysie’s VERY revealing interview, shall we:
Interview: Peter Veysie by Nic Paton – Mon, 2008-11-24 13:48 [Nic Paton who believes that Jesus and Satan are one and the same]
Peter Veysie is the Senior Pastor of, Rivonia, Gauteng, South Africa. He is busy with a Doctorate looking at “Bridging the Gap between today’s church and tomorrow’s world in an African urban Context”. His supervisors are Leonard Sweet and Christopher Peppler.
Peter, you describe yourself as Emerging; how long have you done this?
I reckon we have always been since we started in a garage with no ‘covering’ just relationships with other churches in the area and this was 15 years ago.
So, the first thing you “emerged” from was “authority oriented” church?
I don’t think it’s a good definition as I think that so called mainline (including now charismatic) are all wrestling with the issue of ecclesial authority verses Christ authority. We put rules together which come out of our own traditions and when they are so strongly entrenched in our church culture it’s then so hard to question them. I have always questioned things being a preacher’s kid and sometimes I will go back and relook and restore a tradition which I see was from God.
Do you think the advantages of being a Preachers Kid outweigh the disadvantages?
I do think we are a bit more aware of the real challenges of church and also a bit skeptical. As a PK I did go off the rails for a while, but had a calling on my life to be in ministry and am still in it 25 years later (I am now 46).
What distinguishes Ridgeway from other congregations, in terms of your corporate view of God, Truth, culture and scripture?
God is central and we understand the deity thru the “in the fleshness” and “out the boxness” (yes) of Jesus. Truth is the Word and it demands a radical redactionism (which means that we take a text and understand its original context and then put in the space of a context and explore it from here). For example if we were in Hillbrow and amongst street dweller, how would they put the story of the Prodigal son into their own context? It is radical in that it allows for space to know that One Word can express truth in a unique way to really know it. Culture is unique in each and every setting and our space embraces a fusion of cultures all making an equal and valid contribution; no one is more special and or right.
Scripture is central and we are always open to question it and dialogue with it, especially when we are together. We don’t have all the answers but we do celebrate the mystery. No two Sunday’s are the same: This Sunday we have a time of interactive meditation and prayer. We put bowels out for people to wash each other’s feet. Candles and incense for prayer and image and music. Colour and light. But this is not what we do each Sunday. We can also celebrate with song and good music and have a word shared and then debated.
So do you think debate is a key aspect in your ethos – it’s not highly rated in many evangelical circles?
Not always. We will always ask if there is a query or someone has something to add and the reality is that people want to respond and question. I do believe that preaching especially among the Greeks began in dialogue and most of Jesus’ teaching was in the form of debate and dialogue.
You mentioned “fusion of cultures”; does this put you in danger of “syncretism”?
No – Jesus Christ is always central and allows us the freedom to interact without threat. We need to be firm in what we believe and then free to serve and care. The sad thing about Christianity often is exclusivity. We join in the mission of Jesus Christ who’s greatest commandment is to “love one another”. As church, we find it easy to love each other, but not so easy to love those whose belief system may be different to ours. Have you hugged a Hindu today or blessed a Buddhist or met with a Muslim friend today?
You said you viewed Christian Exclusivity as sad. What do you think is at the root of this, and briefly what might your “doctrine of Inclusion” look like?
I would like to think that Jesus is always inclusive. I have been reading a book by John Burke called “No perfect people allowed” and it really resonates with the Ridgeway heart of what church is all about. We want folk to feel that they are able to freely come and bring their friends who are seriously skeptical about church and then to see that there is a non-judgmental accepting and loving space for them to experience. They also have the freedom to ask questions and to know that they have the freedom to do so. We have as our motto “Serving and caring for people with Jesus’ love” and this is important in that we are not watering down the gospel (Good News) but rather filling up the spaces that have been caused by exclusivity in the past.
I didn’t find any mention of terms like “emergent” on your website, how do you view this?
Yes. This is on purpose because I am very wary of labels and when you put yourself out there, even like this, people will always find a million reasons why you are not emergent. We often look like an average any other church. Church is (/ South Africa “are”) the people and we are full of shit (a very biblical word referred to as rubbish), and this comes out because we are human. Authenticity is about acknowledging this.
That’s gross – what’s the Hebrew/Greek again?
Hebrew “aphar” – “mud” and Greek skudalong – dog’s dung. Shit in English get’s close to this word.
In your pastoral ministry do you make room for the “dark side” of life rather than suppressing or ignoring it?
Absolutely – We all have a dark side and need to get real with this. Jesus says ‘Cast the first stone if you have no sin and they all walked away. Jesus says say’s don’t judge and then walks away. I am always reminding our folk and myself to be honest and real in the zone of dark and light. I just think that in order to overcome addictions, we need to invite “The Light” into our darkness. Most of us think of smoking, drinking etc. but I think God is a lot more concerned about how we treat each other and what we do about justice.
You have female elders and pastors; has this ever been an issue?
Yes. I lost all my elders except for two beautiful ex Anglicans 5 years ago because we made a clear stand on this. We also got flack from friends who felt we had flipped out. Crazy when you think that the first Apostle was a woman… Mary Magdalene.
Do you get any negative sentiment from other churches as an Emergent congregation, and why?
Not really as we find that most other churches are pretty much just getting on with their stuff and are not too bothered. We have had a number of burnt pastors join us and also folk who are tired of the lack of unity. I still connect with most of the other churches in our area and love them as part of us.
Where do you think the Emergent movement is going, both globally and in South Africa?
I always pray against a fad. Jesus was emergent and still is and so I think we are just following in His precious footsteps. He loves and serves and cares thru us and has justice and peace on his heart. I pray that our hearts are becoming more conversational and that we are learning from each other. Even other religions as Jesus taught have something for us to learn from. Globally I am excited at what’s going down. We need to stamp African onto the church and this is our challenge – eish !!!
I note you have a regular but separate African Languages service. How feasible would it be for you to have only one service?
This is not seperate, but rather flows from our time together. We have times of integration and times when some of the folk want to extend their time of worship in their mother tongue. It’s more like a home group. Lloyd Martin also runs a younger group which caters for those who really struggle with anything that even smells like church. They continue their conversations in the pub.
What is their tipple of choice?
Heh we embrace the joy of the fine golden liquid and the red and white brilliance of the grape as well as the tender but fine non-alcoholic beverages.
What facets of a full spirituality do you or your congregation lack – where are the growth opportunities?
We are so far from the place where we need to be and yet in a small way we are on the Way. It is so easy to build another pattern or group or even sect without even thinking that you are and we need to guard against this. I do feel that a huge opportunity is to put Jesus at the centre of any situation and then just see what happens. Life in all its fullness starts to ignite and love begins to come shining thru.
“Seeing what happens’ is not a widely celebrated ecclesial approach (aphar happens too) can you give us some examples?
I think it was Spurgeon who said ” I set myself on fire in the morning and people come and watch me burn!” [DTW note: NO, this was John Wesley, a Word of Faith, Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God (Metaphysical Cult) preacher. Spurgeon would never say something like this.] I think he meant by this that when he had moments with the Lord of his life it was a fiery zone in that it was a real connection with the Almighty. When he had been in this space then it was a real “seeing what happens”. I think we are able to discern between what is God and what is not. When we get to see what God is doing among the poor and those who have little and we see the joy of Spirit in spite of the circumstance then we see Jesus at the centre and see what happens!
So what in a nutshell is that “fresh breath”, why is 2008 different to say 2005, 2000, 1990?
No difference at all. We are just needing to wake up each day and smell what God is doing in our world and get alongside of poverty, justice, aids and other issues that are deep caverns between the church and the world often , and then find ways to breathe into these situations. We have so much of “together” to learn about. Our hearts are about Good News and what this means for the next generation. We are one beggar showing other beggars where there might be food.