This weekend I was re-reading a collection of essays and sermons from one of my heroes of the faith, Oscar Romero (we even share the same first name!). He was assassinated in 1980 for his stand with the oppressed poor of El Salvador. I will share two excerpts here. Please, take them in.
“A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone’s skin or a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?
Very nice, pious considerations that don’t bother anyone, that’s the way many would like preaching to be. Those preachers who avoid every thorny matter so as not to be harassed, so as not to have conflicts and difficulties, do not light up the world they live in. They don’t have Peter’s courage, who told that crowd where the bloodstained hands still here that had killed Christ: “You killed him!”
Even though the charge could cost him his life as well, he made it.
The gospel is courageous; it’s good news of him who came to take away the world’s sins.”
The Violence of Love, pp. 44-45
To the christians that opposed him, he said:
“Some want to keep a gospel so disembodied that it doesn’t get involved at all in the world it must save. Christ is now in history. Christ is in the womb of the people. Christ is now bringing about the new heavens and the new earth.”
The Violence of Love, p. 102
In other words, the gospel has something to say to the concrete realities of every society. The Church must enter in to the injustices and suffering and courageously livethe sermon it preaches. We must become the gospel as participants in God’s mission to save the world.
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.
Well said Fred…. Oscar…L…R… whoever! daBreaux
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