Windows on the World: A look into a discussion on the how Gospel is meant to heal our broken world

      On November 9th, Pastor Amy K. Butler spoke at Eastern’s Windows on the World event. She expressed the importance of preaching the Gospel to a broken world that’s longing for a Savior. Butler is the Senior Minister of Riverside Church in New York City and is also the first woman to ever hold this position. With degrees from several well-known universities such as Baylor, Butler has been in professional ministry for several years. She was the director for a women’s homeless shelter in New Orleans for a number of years until she went on to pastor a few churches after her time at the shelter.

      Butler began her talk with discussing the Charleston shooting which occurred three years ago and the impact it had on the members of her predominantly Black church in New York City. Butler mentioned that after this tragic event, police showed up one Sunday at her church and told her of their concern of making sure that a copycat shooter would not try to perform this act on her church as her building is one of the tallest in America. The officers remained in the church throughout the service, and Butler mentioned how the atmosphere of worship was seemingly off. Though usually joyful and uplifting, worshippers felt uneasy being around the officers, and tension was in the air. She mentioned how these security measures continue even now due to the steady increase of gun-related tragedies across the world.

      “I can’t believe all the fear and anger inducing events that have happened in our world. In national and local news” Butler said. She went on to name Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as victims of gun violence as well as naming other injustices such as officers being killed, members of the LGBT community not being able to use the bathrooms they identify with, and other things.

      Butler then discussed the nature of the church in today’s world and how it has lost the early church’s boldness for challenging the political system under which they lived. She believes that the Body of Christ as a whole has in some ways settled for a “secular American” form of Christianity in which Christians do not get involved with the issues of the world, but instead practice their faith only within the walls of the church. However, Butler challenged believers to imitate the loving walk of Christ and not to  conform to this secular form of Christianity.

      “People say all the time that the Church is dying; well I hope that that [form of] church does that. But to the Church that has the courage to preach the radical Gospel that will not shy away from the prophetic task I would say this: the world needs us more than ever” Butler said.

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