After spending the last few weeks travelling the country preaching on the streets of cities lined with protestors — from Louisville to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. to Seattle — local HIS Church pastor Brian Gibson is calling on Christians everywhere to join the cause.
Gibson landed in California as the city was being burned by rioters. He was also at the White House in the middle of the Black Lives Matters demonstrations, which were largely peaceful by the time he was there.
Most recently, Gibson spent nearly a week in Seattle’s CHOP zone — an occupation protest and self-declared autonomous zone in the Capitol Hill neighborhood with the goal of creating an area without police. It was established following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
“The CHOP in Seattle gave itself to another of lawlessness that I’ve never seen,” Gibson said. “Whenever that mayor gave up the police precinct on Capitol Hill in Seattle, it sent a statement that this is a land of lawlessness, and you can see it in that city now.”
Gibson said there were dozens of cars operating as “a Costco for drugs,” prostitiution there ran wild, and many crimes were going unpunished.
In telling people they could help bring about real change as well as preaching that everyone is created equally in the eyes of God, Gibson said he and others were met with threatening situations.
“This is not an America that anyone wants to live in,” he said. “It’s a violent situation, and we don’t need that kind of thing spreading across America.”
Gibson said while his message may not always be accepted, prayer is still the answer to healing America. He also encourages peaceful protesting, but said bad actors can lead to negative results.
“The Democrats can’t fix it. The Republicans can’t fix it. The Independents can’t fix it. But I believe Jesus can fix it,” Gibson said. “We want to see people peaceably protest but we do not want to see our cities burnt. We don’t want to see violence. We don’t want to see rioting. These things don’t help anything — they only hurt.”
Gibson said he’ll continue to spread the Gospel, and he thinks it’s the responsibility of other religious leaders to join in the efforts to reach out to the cities who are in the most need of help.
“I think it’s the responsibility for pastors to step out of the safety of their pulpits and to go where the drama and the trauma is,” he said. “I believe the pulpit is powerful and I believe the pulpit should guide America. But when the trouble starts, the preachers ought to be the first people in the hard places.”
Gibson also said he other pastors came up with a “PPP” plan for Christians: Pray for peace; Preach peace; and Partner with peace.
While he hopes religious leaders are at the forefront of spreading God’s word, Gibson is issuing a call to action to all Christians:
“The church has to pray and stand together against evil and stand for light and love.”