- (Photo: The Gospel Coalition)
Renowned Pastor Tim Keller is speaking out for the first time against New York City's ban on church use of public school buildings.
"Grieved" that more than 60 churches will be forced out of public schools this month, Keller called the city's ban "unwise" and is hoping for a reversal.
"It is my conviction that those churches housed in schools are invaluable assets to the neighborhoods that they serve," the senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church said in a statement Tuesday. "Churches have long been seen as positive additions to communities. Family stability, resources for those in need, and compassion for the marginalized are all positive influences that neighborhood churches provide."
"Let them be those good neighbors."
Another well-known megachurch pastor, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, also voiced his opposition to the ban, tweeting on Tuesday, "Please tweet @MikeBloomberg to reverse the ban #discriminating against churches in NYC! INFO http://bit.ly/xI4ZNO Please RT."
Both pastors' appeals were made amid accusations that megachurches have been silent on the issue.
Pastor Bill Devlin of Manhattan Bible Church told The Christian Post earlier that many church leaders involved in protests against the ban have been asking, "Where are these pastors who have these huge churches?"
"We need your help," Devlin has told megachurch pastors, including Keller.
Redeemer had denied requests for an interview and instead issued a statement to CP earlier this week, saying, "Redeemer has been actively engaged with the pastors who have been directly affected by the school decision. We have hosted daily prayer meetings for them and are providing support as we can."
"Therefore, we should all mourn if disagreement with certain beliefs of the church is allowed to unduly influence the formation of just policy and practice."