God's Mighty Men are all white. This is if what is we believe what is happening under the banner of Shalom Ministries, lead by farmer turned movie star, turned Messiah of South Africa's men. Maybe its not the intention of Shalom Ministries, but we know where the road paved with good intentions leads to, right ?
If we follow the website of Shalom Ministries, the ministry behind the "Mighty Men" then, simply based on the photos and the people running this industry, it would seem that this is the case and that black men in South Africa are not part of this new 'move of God' in South Africa. Of course Buchan would deny this. He would say that God loves us all and that his message is for all. In fact he would most probably also argue that, at least in South Africa, he don't see black and white anymore and amongst his fans, he don't see black and white; he only see hungry men, hungry for God. With my sinful eyes, however, I only see white men- can't anybody else see this?
I can imagine that many a black brother, would now turn up and they would point me to blacks somewhere in the crowds, or even involve in the production ( maybe even the ground staff, bus drivers, cleaners would be dragged in front of the camera as deeply and highly respected mighty men. Predominantly black churches, would also be cited to supposedly support this move. The truth of the matter is however glaring: this phenomenon is predominantly another manifestation of the mega-events theology of the 90s, where Christians would be duped into believing that when we can stage a major 'christian' happening, then we have made a difference. It's however not that simple. We had Love Southern Africa, Joshua, Jubilee, Transformation Prayer Days, and now lately the Mighty Men. But this is not my biggest critique of these 'moves of God'. My biggest critique, whilst still affirming all the good intentions and I suppose, wonder-full impact, is that it does not address the reality that the inequality in power and resources within Christians remain. This inequality is rooted in a colonial version of Christianity, of which legacy remain with us and which we have to re-form. White South African Christians still remain in charge of God's move- believe me- I have been in the heart of these industries. In a weird way, it mirrors the economic realities, where a new entrepreneurial individual would rise up and build his empire, possibly linking up (partnering its called) to broader multinational ministries and local BEE partners in the township and create a whopping profit (not prophets!) in the space of a few years. They would have their own Social Corporate Investment (social ministries-welfare, HIV efforts with the leader posing for a photo with an unfortunate victim) as well as hiring some big name black preacher or a retired archbishop to say a few nice words of endorsement.
Has it changed reality?
Does it cause poor black men to ( also) find hope and rise up from despair?
Is there strong black voices, prominent in this 'move' that challenge this Christian empire?
How is patriarchy addressed in a society where domestic violence spills over in the streets?