Preaching for Hope and Shalom!

“God is not done with you. He will give you a future”

I feel like preaching this morning 🙂

Even those who are incarcerated to a life sentence behind the mighty prison bars need to hear a message of hope & love from the Almighty God.

The young lady or the single mother who has been/is a victim of physical abuse and rape needs to hear a message of restoration and freedom from the God of Hope who is the Repairer of broken branches and lives. 

The individuals who are victims of racial humiliation and discrimination should set their hope in God their Maker. 

The worker who has been exploited at work needs to know God will give you justice. 

The immigrant who has been abused  and humiliated at the workplace and other public spaces need to hear it loudly that  God is not done with you. He will give you a future.

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Who is a Friend of God? To love justice is to love God

” Who is a Friend of God? To love justice is to love God”

At the moment, all I have to say about the problem of race relations and grace within American Evangelicalism is that the American church is very reluctant to embrace fully and live practically the biblical teaching on anthropology and the underlying truth that all people regardless of their race or color are created in the Image of God (To follow up with this debate, see current articles published on Christianity Today on race relations and the problem of justice and grace in American Evangelicalism. It involves the following individuals: Lecrae, John Piper, Ray Chang, Roger Colson, Le Bryan Loritts, Scot McKnight, Carl Ellis Jr., and a host of other individuals.) The current state and attitude of modern American Evangelicalism toward race and justice conversarions is graceless, humiliating, and Christ-dishonoring.

American Evangelicalism as a tribal group in the greater American Christianity is tragically shaped by a set of cultural hermeneutics and is identified itself with the cultural politics of this age that challenge biblical authority and the way of God. Total submission to biblical authority and the life application of biblical ethics and biblical discipleship in human interactions constitute the major crises in modern American Evangelicalism.  The integration of biblical values into the  Evangelical life is a significant lack and failure of Evangelical churches. Another serious pitfall in/of American Evangelicalism is its ardent zeal for and relentless pursuit of cultural fame and capitals, which often compromise  Christian integrity and loyalty.  The cultural alliance is the most threatening antagonist of modern Evangelicalism.

American Evangelicalism  does not interpret life and human dynamics within the paradigm of effective biblical hermeneutics and constructive biblical ethics–as a way of life. This is both a tragedy and a dilemma that have postponed racial unity and reconciliation in our churches and various Evangelical guilds in the American society. When American Evangelicalism reject its cultural identity and the political framework that sustains it and guides its (moral and ethical)  decisions in matters relating to social and political issues such as race relations, social justice and equality, immigration, poverty, abortion, gender relations, political party, etc., then it will find its soul again.  We are not a people of grace. We are not a people who love justice. 

No wonder non-Christian people ridicule the way of American Evangelical Christianity and the practices of American Evangelicalism. Sadly, I have to say that American Evangelicals are the enemy of the Biblical Faith and a stumbling block of the spiritual transformation and cultural progress of Biblical Christianity in the American society. The problem is that we are not a group that loves justice and grace for all people nor have we the willingness or desire to engage in justice conversations for the sake of human flourishing and the common good. 

The Biblical God is a God of justice, grace, and love who makes a clarion call upon his people to model in practical life these virtues in their community, city, and nation. Those who are not friends of justice, grace, and love are not friends of God.

When Academic Writing Keeps Me Up…

Friends: I’m very anxious about life at this moment….very nervous right now–BIGGLY, REALLY BIGGLY!!! 🙂 –for the following FOUR reasons:

1. My acquisitions editor at Fortress Press has asked me to submit the final manuscript to him for the book on Jean Bertrand Aristide (“Aristide: A Theological and Political Introduction to His Life and Thought”). Second request.

2. My acquisitions editor at Lexington Book has emailed me requesting the final manuscript I, Jean Eddy Saint Paul, and Glodel Mezilass are co-editing on Jean Price-Mars (“Beyond Two Worlds:Price-Mars, Haiti, and Africa”). Second Request.

3. My acquisitions editor at the University of West Indies sent a message to me to submit the final manuscript for a book I’m co-editing on Edwidge Danticat (“Approaches to Teaching the Work of Edwidge Danticat”) Second Request.

4. My acquisitions editor at Wipft and Stock Publishers has requested the final manuscript for a personal book I ‘m writing on Jean Price-Mars (“For a Better World and Toward the Common Good: Price-Mars on Religion, Pan-Africanism, Humanism, and the Haitian Revolution”) Third request.

I’m going to run away and leave this country. Why was I thinking to put all these responsibilities upon my shoulder? 

lol

#runawayfromwriting

#leavingtheusaforgood
******

Here’s the good news: Both # 1 and 2 are done. I just have to put a final touch on them. # 3 is half way complete, and # 4 is 3/4 done.

Three Newly Published Articles

I’m pleased to announce the publication of three peer-reviewed articles, as seen below:

  1. Viv Dechoukaj Long Live Uprooting Aristide s Politico theology of Defensive Violence,”  Black Theology, 15:3 (2017):185-208
  2. Beyond Ethnic Blackness: Black Transnational Consciousness (BTC) and the Practice of Black Intertextuality” (English Version),  Vanguard / vol. 1(1) / 2017 /43-68.
  3. Más Allá de la Negrura Étnica: La Conciencia Transnacional Negra y la Práctica de la Intertextualidad Negra (Spanish Version),Vanguardia/ vol. 1(1) / 2017 /44-70

Happy Reading!

Only Jesus

“Jesus se tout bagay for me”

What do people mean when they sing “I’d rather have Jesus more than everything”  (I love how it sounds in Creole: “mwen pito gen Jezi pase tout bagay”)?

Do they mean any of the following ideas:

A) Jesus is more valuable than earthly treasures, fame, and goods.

B) Nothing on this earth is comparable to Jesus.

C)  Jesus owns everything both in the heavens and on the earth and that what he has is also mine; therefore, Jesus is “all” sufficient and more adequate than “everything.”

D) The supremacy of Jesus Christ over “everything,” and that Jesus satisfies all earthly treasures and joys.

E) While one may posess a great deal of wealth and fame  in this world, life in this world without Jesus is not that cool; it is dangerous, hopeless,  and meaningless.

“We will seek You and hope in Your Providence”

Let us seek the God of Peace and Comfort in prayer on behalf of the families and victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.

“We will seek You and hope in Your Providence”

Our Father and our Great God, we pray that you would come near the brokenhearted and the suffering families at this moment, and that You would also move us speedily toward mourning, empathy, and compassion. 

Oh Sovereign God of the universe, we are a nation in crisis and a people whose collective experience is defined by a life of trauma and a life of fear.  We bear them in our own lives and our relationships. Because we refuse to place our hope in our  strength and human boldness, we turn  to You for hope and for You to teach us what it means to be human and how to love our neighbor.

Oh Father of Light and Life,  we will trust You and depend on You for a more hopeful future and opportunities to promote the sanctity of life and maintain the dignity of all lives. We live in dark moments and walk in the shadow of death, but we are not hopeless and alone. Your grace is sufficient for this nation.

Our Creator and Maker, we pray that Your Spirit of Life will move us toward a heart of remorse and repentance for failing to love our neighbor and treat them as individuals made in the Imago Dei. Whenever we fail to love others as You commanded, we miserably sin against Thee. Whenever we fail to exercise justice toward another individual as You ordered, we dishonor Your glorious name and fame in the world. Hence, we turn toward repentance and forgiveness that Your Spirit of Grace may grant us.

Lord, remember us in our suffering, trauma,  and pain. Remember the victims and the suffering families in Las Vegas.

Remember us who are weak and with no strength.

We will seek Thee and hope in Thy Providence. 

Amen!

​Early Morning Thought about Prayer and Praying…

Early Morning Thought about Prayer  and Praying…

I woke up at 3:36 am this morning meditating about the importance and power of prayer in the Christian life and how personally, I need to spend more time in prayer with God and to actively  engage  in intercessory prayers on behalf of others.

 One of the characteristics of the early Christians in the first century is their devotion to prayers.  As the early Christian Historian Luke records:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”–Acts 2:42

“O what peace we often forget.

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer!”—Joseph Scriven 
Prayer is not only communication with God; prayer does in fact move the hands of God and transform us. Therefore, let us pray fervently  and continually for the people in our community, neighborhood, and city who are currently suffering and experiencing difficult moments and hardships. Let us also pray diligently and in faith on behalf of the earthquake and hurricane  victims in Houston, Dominica, Saint Croix, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Barbuda, and other countries in the world. 

O Lord, comfort those who are hurting and suffering; strengthen and empower them in the midst of their tragedies and life’s uncertainties.Oh God, our Deliverer and Cornerstone, give them your  peace and heal their wound and restore their land. O Lord, teach us how to suffer with the individuals and families who are suffering and prompt us to intervene in their life in kindness and with acts of compassion and grace. 
Amen!