Wednesday evening was special. A group of friends from the Diepsloot squatter camp drove to the suburbs to be with us. We had a vey good time together. Together we decided to do questions and answers. Claypot asked a question followed by an answer from Diepsloot and then a question from Diepsloot was followed by an answer from the Pot. It was fun and we all learnt a lot.

Eddie and I were censored (for we talk a lot) even though Eddie cleverly sneaked in a question by posing as a Claypot member – he asked “As a Claypot member I would like to know why you would like to fellowship with us?” We all had a good laugh at his subversive tactics.

The answer to Eddie’s question left me with an intense struggle for the last few days. One of the answers was the following, “We like to fellowship with you because you have the keys to prosperity”.

Now first of all in this sentence the word prosperity has to be deconstructed. It is not prosperity in the sense of a second and third car, an extra vacation house or other aspects that we in the suburbs would define as prosperous. For this person it means the basics needed to survive. And for him we had the keys towards this and we could teach him to also open the future with these keys.

It’s hard for me to verbalize why I feel uneasy being placed in this position. What I do know is that Jesus gave his original disciples the ‘keys to the kingdom’ not the ‘keys to prosperity’. This whole incident reminds me of Kierkegaard’s quip that,

Gold and silver I do not have, but I give you what I have; stand up and walk,” said Peter. Later on the clergy were saying: Gold and silver we have – but we have nothing to give. Provocations (free e-book) p.226

For this dear brother our fellowship could help him to get access to ‘gold and silver’. And please understand me; I do believe that there is a place for economic restitution and education in the post-Apartheid South African church. It’s just that this statement shocked me into the reality of how poor the white church has become if we are only viewed as those who ‘have the keys towards prosperity”.