Dear pastor Brian
It’s been along time since you spoke, and I thought perhaps it’s been a long time since anyone spoke to you too.
It seems a bishop has come and taken your body, your spirit, your life, and your once community church and turned it into a mega church almost completely at odds with your humble beginnings of loving fellowship atop an emptied out industrial warehouse.
Maybe you don’t know what’s going on or who this bishop man that’s using your skin is so let me fill you in.
You know your little church in Tauranga that used to welcome all? Well he’s taken it and moved it out south, it’s massive, it’s extravagant, and it’s exclusive now.
Remember the young people that used to play sport in the auditorium and have a refuge from the violence on the streets? Now he’s teaching them hate towards their fellow man, firing them up with notions of religious war and sending them back out to the streets of Auckland to further the violence and fear you sought to protect them from.
The recording studio that encouraged teens to be creative and free, (I myself recording my first song in it), he took it down, and he’s stunting their creativity, killing their individuality and swapping their expressive freedom and young wondering minds for brainwashing and conformity.
And I’m sorry to tel you pastor Brian the bishop has even taken your men’s ministry and twisted perhaps your greatest work of domestic violence awareness and replaced it with the very gender stereotypes you worked so hard to abolish.
The men that you taught to rise up and look hard at their abusive behaviour towards their wives, children, and fellow man and admit fault, get help and change from abuser of the weak to protector of the vulnerable, they are getting shoved back into their former stereotypical roles, angry, macho, entitled.
The woman that you sheltered with your own arm and the children that hung off your not so designer church suit to feel safe, now tremble once again at the fists of the men you delved into the hearts of and patiently taught to humbly love.
The faith community that began to talk for the first time about the rampant problem of toxic masculinity, power and control, and violence now speaks of the bishops proclamations of fear and hatred. The community you brought together into the almost light of understanding, now divided half thinking the bishop is crazy and swearing off anything you ever taught them and the other half blindly following the other of this man they still think is you.
So as you can see pastor Brian it’s bad, this bishop fellow has taken over and you are nowhere to be seen.
He has many followers now many whom you loved and held dear to your own heart not so long ago, he’s toxic and the pollution of his teachings is spreading fast. We need you pastor Brian, for only you can reach the heart of this twisted bishop and love him back to understanding.
I asked you for help a long time ago as a ratty little 13 year old and you put your big strong hand on my small weary one and told me it would be OK, you told me to come back anytime and ask for pastor Brian if I ever needed help.
Well I’m back and I’m asking for pastor Brian because your faith community need your help to deal with this bishop Tamaki that only you can fight.
Yours sincerely and hoping this will reach you
Ruby is a 25 year old sex worker, and social activist. Lives in Auckland