Rev. Cecil Murray and Rev. Mark Whitlock were interviewed by Antoine Hawkins on his radio show, Talk Back Live.
Here are some highlights:
Asked about his calling, Rev. Murray said that in his senior year yearbook, his high school classmates predicted that he would someday pastor a large church. Rev. Mark Whitlock, meanwhile, credits Rev. Murray for putting him on the path to ministry.
Hawkins began the conversation with a discussion of the role of the church in social issues.
“The church exists not only within the walls but beyond the walls. It is a church that has no mission, no purpose if it only exists within the walls,” Murray said.
“Its not enough to preach Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It’s not enough just to bring somebody to salvation for heaven, but how do you provide salvation on earth?” Whitlock added.
When Hawkins asked whether churches were still following Murray’s model of leadership, Whitlock critiqued pastors who accumulate wealth through their ministries.
“The problem is, if the pastor is called to speak for the least, the left out, the left behind, then how can he relate to them if he’s acting more like Donald Trump than Jesus Christ.”
Both pastors spoke of the growing number of Americans who aren’t affiliated with a religion, saying that churches have lost their prophetic voice. “Those pews are sending a message,” Murray said.
Hawkins then turned the conversation toward the shooting at Mother Emanuel Church in Charlotte and the Black Lives Matter movement. The three discussed forgiveness versus justice, how the African American and Latino communities can step up and the role for white supporters of racial justice.
“Optimism is not alone enough,” Murray said. “We’ve got to have energy, the synergy, the focus. We’ve got to walk together and work together or else we will self-implode.”