I’m sorry for the offence: Rivers Church pastor Andre Olivier apologises after being accused of delivering a racist sermon

Senior pastor of the Rivers Church in Sandton Andre Olivier apologised on social media on Wednesday for comments he made during a weekend sermon that has been widely criticised for being racist.

The sermon in question was delivered at the church’s 11:15 service on Sunday.  News24 published audio of the sermon, which you can hear below:

In the Sunday sermon, Olivier talks to the congregants about how some people are sent by God to help others that are feeling abandoned.

“If you are black God will send you white people,” he said.

“Don’t say the problem in South Africa is the white people. No, we are not. We have contributed to this nation, and we still do.

“If you want to know why white people still have money, it is because they work. So don’t drive them away. They can speak into your life,” he said in the sermon.

“Now don’t get too stressed. If you are white, God will send you black people… God will use people unlike you to do something in you.

“Don’t push them away. Let them be the voice of God to you.”

‘We took nothing from no one’
“You are all okay this morning? I must say I get very annoyed when I watch television and I see people saying that the whites are the problem in the country. No, we are not. No, we are not. We helped build this nation,” he then says.

“We took nothing from no one. Maybe the law favoured us, but we worked, and I am still working. And when you tell me I need to share my wealth, what are you suggesting? Are you suggesting I give away some of it? Are you giving any of yours away? Excuse me?”

The church said in a statement following the incident that it was “deeply saddened by the damage that has prevailed from this weekend’s message”.

In a six-part tweet posted on Wednesday, Olivier said: “Reflecting on my sermon last weekend, I believe that it is right for me to express my regret for the hurt and offense [sic] that was caused by my statements made during my message. For that I unreservedly apologise.

“I recognise that my words were poorly chosen, particularly in [the] context of where this country comes from. My comments did not reflect my intention, and I acknowledge the harm that has come as a result.

“I love all South Africans and am committed to build the country to overcome the wrongs of the past. Words cannot express my full remorse. I trust that my future actions will support the sincerity of my apology.” – News24

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