Activism or Peacemaking

There is a difference between activism and peacemaking.

Activism can sometimes be motivated principally by justice, which is good. Sometimes it can be motivated principally by a kind of anger, even righteous anger. Sometimes it can be motivated principally by vengeance. But as I see it over the past 20 years of this kind of work, the noble work of activism, to see rights restored and wrongs set right, can still miss the mark of peacemaking in light of my faith tradition.

Peacemaking is a direct reflection of the peace one possesses in their heart.

Peacemaking longs for shalom for all, oppressed and oppressor alike. Peacemaking is less about choosing a side and more about choosing the possibilities of human flourishing for all, where every person’s dignity and worth is rediscovered, oppressed and oppressor alike. Therefore, peacemaking is always concerned with revealing and upholding the truth. Therefore, peacemaking needs to see that wrongs are set right and rights are restored. Therefore, peacemaking needs to see justice. Therefore, peacemaking needs to see that systems of oppression and injustice are dismantled. Peacemaking is principally motivated by a desire to see human flourishing for all, enemies and neighbors, because that is what Christ has done for the peacemakers. It is why the peacemakers are called sons and daughters of God.

This is also why a community of peacemakers is stronger than a community of skilled and trained warriors. Peacemakers enter into the fray with abandon and courage, and with hope, and hold within their hearts the possibility of eradicating the violence and fear with love, because we believe that no one is liberated until all are liberated.

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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