A word about grace

I offered a word on grace to the WCC family today. We spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be rescued and liberated by grace. But after reading Paul’s words in Ephesians 2:1-4 (through verse 10), I closed with these words:

“Now before we think how basic and obvious all this talk about grace is to our faith, remember this truth about grace has always existed. The truth of grace existed when in the 11th century Pope Urban II initiated the crusades and incited what become generations of holy wars.

The truth of grace existed when European colonizers in Virginia used the Bible, namely the story of Noah’s son Ham and the curse that was placed upon him—called the Hamitic curse—as their theory to degrade and dehumanize black-skinned bodies.

The truth of grace existed when Virginia passed a law in 1667 that said, “It is enacted and declared by this grand assembly, and the authority thereof, that the conferring of baptism doth not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or freedom.”

The truth of grace existed when Virginia passed far more laws governing the ownership of the enslaved to define the legal status of the enslaved and their enslavers and regulate interactions between 1639 to 1705.

The truth of grace existed when President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 and in 1831 marched the Choctaw people out of their land without food and water where thousands died.

The truth of grace existed when women throughout our nation met at Seneca Falls in 1848 to discuss equal rights while White Christian pastors denounced their meeting. The truth of grace existed when Jim Crow laws were passed and when liberation was resisted by White Christian pastors who said to Dr. King, ‘We agree with you but it’s not the right time.’

I say all of this to remind us that is possible to worship God with our souls saved while our minds are still held captive by sin.”

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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