Picture: Southern Poverty Law Center

Today I remember the Tree of Life synagogue and the devastating outcome unnamed racist and ethno-cultural superiority like antisemitism can create. In a society where people are weary of hearing about it, there are neighbors who are weary of living in the face of it.

It seems to me that Christ-followers should be compelled to name it, confess it, dismantle it, and eradicate it, first from our lives and the Church, and then as a community of witnesses, do the same in society. It’s what Christ-shaped love does if we are to take seriously the command to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves” and “do to others as we would want done to us.”

P.S. As an aside, I find it astounding how Christian’s want to “stand with Israel” with such great passion and commitment to ideology, but dial it down when it comes to standing with those living among us whose roots are in Israel.

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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2 Responses to Remembering

  1. Thayer Cory says:

    Well said, as always, Fred. I continue to be astonished by how many Christians have no idea that Jesus was Jewish – that The Last Supper was, in fact, a Passover Seder. I think if more people really understood that and understood how the Old Testament and New Testament are related, it would become impossible for Christians and most people to hate Jews. An act of hate against Jews is really an act of hate against Jesus.


    • Anonymous says:

      Brother, I agree 100%. And even more so, if Jesus is to be taken seriously in Matthew 25, an act of hate toward any neighbor, especially a vulnerable one, is an act of hate to him. Of course Torah made this connection too, but, well, as you mention we don’t know the Hebrew text as well as we should.


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