A Parable of American Evangelicalism

The crowd waits in anticipation. The crowd awaits their leader, the long-awaited victor. They open up the gates of their hearts to welcome their savior. They shout, “Save us! Deliver us from oppression! Save us, oh chosen one of God!”

The crowd waits in anticipation. They place their hope in him. They say to one another, “Pray for him! Pray for our savior, the one who secures our life, our liberty, and our happiness!”

The crowd waits in anticipation. But their leader does not come. They hold open the gates of their hearts, but no one enters in.

Far off in the distance comes one whose skin is dark and hair like wool. They look beyond him to see who follows, to see if their savior is coming. But it is only the man. They close the gates of their hearts. They look to him and cry, “We thought our savior would come. We thought he would deliver us and secure our liberty. We thought he was the chosen one of God!”

With a blood-stained brow the Man speaks, “If only you knew that the oppression from which you long for deliverance is brought upon you by yourselves. If only you knew that it is your notions of life, liberty, and happiness that hold you captive. If only you knew that it is not from these things must you be saved, but it is from yourselves and your self-centered ways.”

Stirred with anger, the crowd looks at the man, “You do not know what you are talking about! Our savior will come! He will secure our liberty and give us life. He will deliver us!”

And the crowd scatters and everyone in the Church goes home.

Written November 5, 2020 and published on 12:21EST

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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