“The Problem of ‘Cheap Grace’ in American Christianity and America’s Legal System”

“The Problem of ‘Cheap Grace’ in American Christianity and America’s Legal System”

The action of Judge Kemp and the statement of Brother Botham Jean that he does not even want the killer cop Amber Guyger to go to prison falls under the category of “cheap grace.” Cheap grace is the most destructive force to biblical Christianity; yet it is a fundamental characteristic of American cultural Christianity, the “civil religion.”

Cheap grace is a false gospel that is silent on the structural injustice embedded in this country’s legal system and the hidden unethical motives of public policies. It is silent on pressing issues such as xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, (antiblack) racism, white supremacy, racial violence, systemic injustice and oppression against the weak and the disadvantaged population–in this society. It defers human flourishing and the common good in the world.

Cheap grace is not a liberative faith; it undermines the importance of God’s justice in society and the value of redemptive justice in interpersonal and legal matters. Cheap grace in the manner of Judge Kemp’s gesture toward the murderer and Jean’s brother’s powerful and careless statement (“I don’t even want you to go to prison”) word undermines the sanctity of (Black) life and the dignity of the (Black) victim.

This kind of grace prolongs human (black) suffering and delays (interpersonal) redemption and (racial) reconciliation. Cheap grace does not liberate; it condemns, shortens, and cheapens life. We must reject cheap grace to save Christianity in this culture and repair the legal system in this nation.

***In Christian theology, the atonement of Christ for the sins of the world reminds us that grace is never cheap. The sacrificial death of Christ, which produces forgiveness upon true repentance, is a demonstration of God’s justice against sin. Justice & grace walk hand in hand. Forgiveness is the result, not the starting point.

A Free Book for Pastors & Ministers!!!

A Free Book for Pastors!!!

Hope for Today Outreach (HTO) is giving away a free copy of Dr. Joseph’s new book, “The New Life Catechism” (Hope Outreach Productions, 2019) to the first 15 pastors who make the request by this Friday, September 27, 2019.

To receive the free book, just send us an email at hopefortodayoutreach@gmail.com and tell us that you would like to receive a free copy of Dr. Joseph’s new book, “The New Life Catechism.” Do mention which version you would like to receive:

1) The English only version or
2) The Kreyòl only version or
3) The English-Kreyòl bilingual version

*

**Don’t forget to provide us with your mailing address!

Kind regards,

HTO Team

10 Positive Attitudes and Characteristics Haitians in the Diaspora Need to Cultivate to Contribute to Positive Change and Human Flourishing in Haiti

10 Positive Attitudes and Characteristics Haitians in the Diaspora Need to Cultivate to Contribute to Positive Change and Human Flourishing in Haiti

1. Commit yourself to a cause in Haiti—such as in the area of education, healthcare, community development, children’s rights, sanitary water projects, business, etc.—and maintain consistency in carrying out this cause;

2. Because commitment is associated with service, responsibility, and sacrifice, you need to keep your promise to the cause in # 1, that is, you would need to invest your time and resources (i.e. knowledge, money, goods) to realize that dream or objective;

3. Find a location, a place, or a zone in Haiti to contribute to that change; it could be a neighborhood in a rural area in Haiti or a metropolitan area (i.e. Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Cap-Haitien, Port-de-Paix, Jacmel, Jeremie, Govaives, La Gonave, Saint-Louis Du Nord, etc) in the country;

4. Do not focus on the negativities about Haiti or stereotypes about the Haitian people; rather, focus on that vision of yours and make it happen;

5. Be genuine to the people you are serving and empowering and be truthful about your service and dedication to that cause;

6. Love the Haitian people you are aiding and do not dehumanize or humiliate them; not only you are committing yourself to a cause, you are dedicating yourself to helping the Haitian people grow, flourish, and be independent;

7. Remember that people are not objects or things, but subjects of your affection and zeal;

8. Do not wait on strangers or another country to make a difference in Haiti and transform Haiti’s civil and political societies; be that difference and that change you envision for your country and the hope you want to be for the Haitian people;

9. Get rid of the victim mentality and stop blaming individuals, institutions, entities, or other countries for Haiti’s woes and the plight of the Haitian people; rather, take up your cross by assuming your own responsibility so you can contribute to meaningful and transformative changes in the Haitian society;

10. Remember that committing yourself to a cause in Haiti is not an individual project; rather, it is a teamwork and collaborative endeavor. Find yourself some good people to work with and some credible organizations to partner with to bring that cause or dream of yours to fruition.

Update: First Day of Class at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port Margot, Haiti)

Update: First Day of Class at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau (Port Margot, Haiti)Hello, Friends: Today (Monday, September 16, 2019) was the first day of class for these amazing and talented Haitian boys and girls at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau. It’s both a joy and delight to see this collective dream of ours is being realized. I truly believe that education is one of the important vehicles to transform a country (Haiti) and help prepare the Haitian youth to become engaged and responsible citizens who will contribute to the common good and human flourishing in the Haitian society. In the context of Haiti, an engaged pedagogy is the most promising tool of decolonization and reconstitution of the (Haitian) mind toward a sustaining community and an effective and strong nation. Investing in education is to foster hope in life and impute optimism in human interactions and relationships; correspondingly, to invest in people and their future is to lead to the good life and the good community we all envision and covet.That is what we hope to accomplish at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau.The photos below of these haitian boys and girls attending their very first day of class brought tears to my eyes. I just can’t believe what’s happening today. The staff of Hope Academy de Bois d’eau and Hope for Today Outreach (HTO) and the parents of these little ones would like to thank you for all the support you have provided to make this dream a reality.We continue to count on your collective support and the cooperating efforts of various communities so that the students and (their) families at Hope Academy de Bois d’eau could fulfill their their dreams and goals in Haiti 🇭🇹 as well as the mission of HTO: (1) holistic and sustainable development, (2) improved and better human conditions (i.e. economic, political, cultural), and (3) strong civil and political societies in Haiti.Peace and Blessings,
Celucien Louis Joseph, PhD
President and Founder
Hope for Today Outreach

Update about the School: Hope Academy de Bois d’eauUpdate about the School: Hope Academy de Bois d’eau

Update about the School: Hope Academy de Bois d’eau

We would like to thank everyone who made a financial contribution through gofundme to support the opening of the new pre-school “Hope Academy de Bois d’eau,” in Port-Margot, Haiti. The first day of class is Monday, September 16, 2019. 75 parents came to the School’s office to enroll their children to attend the new school. Unfortunately, we had to limit the number of students we can take and support fully to 25.

A Gift for you!

Would you please send us an email (hopefortodayoutreach@gmail.com) & provide us with your mailing address so we can send you a free copy of this new book, “The New Life Catechism for Children: 100 Questions & Answers to teach us how to live peacefully & relationally in the world” (Hope Outreach Productions, 2019) by Celucien Joseph

Please continue to keep these precious 25 young Haitian children and their family in your prayers and thoughts.

***By the way, since this book is published in three editions: The English edition, the Bilingual Kreyol and English Edition, and the Kreyol only edition, please do let us know which edition you would like to receive.

Blessings and Peace!—Docteu Lou

“Hope for Today Outreach’s Six Major Projects for Rural Haiti 🇭🇹: Toward Sustaining Development and Human Flourishing”

“Hope for Today Outreach’s Six Major Projects for Rural Haiti 🇭🇹: Toward Sustaining Development and Human Flourishing”

1. Establish fully funded (and free) schools (Preschool to High School) with arts programs, pre-vocational programs, medical clinics/facilities, and clean and sanitary water projects in Haiti’s poorest rural areas–10 schools per department;

***Haiti is divided in 10 Departments or Provinces, including Artibonite,
Centre, Ouest, Nord, Grand’Anse, Sud
Nippes, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest, and Sud-Est.

2. Create literacy programs for illiterate Haitian adults in the most empoverished areas in the country: 10 literacy centres per department;

3. Establish vocational/professional schools with programs such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity, refrigeration, masonry, barber, culinary arts, etc., in 10 most needing rural areas in the country;

4. Create religious programs and theological schools to provide decolonial spiritual formation and training and to promote postcolonial hermeneutics and indigenous ecclesiastical practices: we’ll need 10 major centres: one per department;

5. Create Community libraries and community-activity centers: we’ll need 10 of those per department in rural regions in the country;

6. Create Teacher Education Programs & Leadership Schools in rural Haiti: we’ll need 10 centres per department

How to fund these programs and projects:

A. Through the development of Haiti’s agriculture and natural resources;

B. By soliciting assistance from Haitian professionals in the Diaspora to invest in these projects;

C. By establishing scholarship funds and grants;

D. By soliciting Haiti’s wealthy class and rich private sector to invest in these projects;

E. By promoting (and selling) Hope for Today Outreach’s intellectual resources such as books, cds, teaching materials such as seminars and workshops on leadership, health, and education, etc.

F. By encouraging generous and humanitarian individuals and families to add Hope for Today Outreach to their living wills, trusts, and estates.

***We are making the first step in realizing a small portion of our goals. In September 2019, Hope Academy de Bois d’eau, located in the rural area of Bois d’eau, Port Margot, will start running with 25 students. In the next five years, our goal is to start a medical clinic and provide sanitary and clean water to the population there.

Dr. Celucien Joseph is the founder and president of Hope for Today Outreach (HTO).

Our motto is “to remember the poor.”