A Threatening & Unsettling Thing

In Acts 16:16-40, the story goes that Paul sets a slave girl free of a demon (the power of Jesus can do that). The problem is this slave girls well-being ruins her owners’ business plan. They were doing very well profiting from her problems and trafficking on her trouble. And Paul was poking holes in their pocketbook. ⁣

Like a mob on a mission they drag Paul and his co-worker Silas to the marketplace to settle their grievance with the magistrate and the court of public opinion. People stop buying and selling to see what’s going on. Being the savvy business men they are, the owners accuse Paul and Silas of putting not only their well-being at risk, but the whole city’s well-being at risk too. They plead their case with compelling arguments and clever legal language. The crowd is sympathetic to their losses and cries out for justice. The magistrate has no choice but to judge in their favor. Paul and Silas is stripped, beaten, and incarcerated. ⁣

That day the Christian message shook the ground of Philipi. It wasn’t an easy-going domesticated message that played well with the values and concerns of moral or political preferences. It was a revolutionary, threatening, and unsettling message of liberation, but only for people who really wanted to be free. ⁣

That was then. ⁣

But it could be now. Christians have a choice to make. I pray we will make the right one. 

(from Sunday’s message)

About Fred

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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