Liberal. Conservative. Progressive. Republican. Democrat. Libertarian. Etc. Etc. Etc.
I’ve been called all these and more. I’ve even thrown some at others. I bet you have too.
After years of label making and label taking I agree with Danish philosopher, theologian and poet Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) who once said, “When you label me, you negate me.”
Placing labels upon another demonstrates a woefully pitiful tendency to childishly avoid dealing with whatever issue is at hand. Casting down labels is a stubborn refusal to deal with another’s personhood.
However, as one who has confessed that Jesus is Lord there is one label I’ll readily take: Christian. It is what I am. All other descriptors and labels are frail attempts to categorize others based upon a faulty logic of managing one’s own party-political ideology.
Jesus won’t be managed. He won’t fit in our ideological categories no matter how hard we squeeze and cram.
Jesus is the Redeemer, not a Republican. Jesus is the Lord, not a Libertarian. Jesus is the Day Star, not a Democrat. When he chose to walk this earth he was a brown-skinned man hailing from Nazareth, not a white man hailing from the West. In self-giving love on a blood-stained cross He showed us that He would rather die for His enemies than kill them. As risen Lord and God of all creation we must come to realize that He may “fit inside your heart” but he will not fit inside our preferences. He is Lord of lords. He is King of kings. He is the ever-present almighty God of life-changing eternal Love. When all other kingdoms become a footnote in the pages of history, His will stand. And He won’t accept split allegiances.
I think Christians in these United States would do well to remember this.
As for me, I am a Christian. I pledge my allegiance to the Lord alone and I am grateful that His grace welcomes a wretch like me.
Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience.
Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas.
Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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