A Word from Our Pastor 2017 May


Flora and Honor (and friends) have been knitting hats that say “Resist” on them.

They have quite a few now, all kinds of beautiful colors and patterns. The phrase “RESIST” has become very popular, a way of protesting against Trump’s policies and actions. Today as I write this, there is a “March for Science” event in many places across the country. Of course participants may have many different reasons for marching, but generally, I believe, it is to make the point that science has resolved some questions as facts, and the government should not dispute these facts. For example climate change, for most scientists, is undoubtedly proven to be a phenomenon that is the result of human activity. There are some who do not agree, but most scientists have concluded that climate change is a fact, to which there are no “alternative facts.” In other words, it is not a matter of opinion, but proven. So if someone were to say, “I believe the world is flat,” that is an opinion, but it is essentially a meaningless opinion, because, in fact, the world is “round.”

Many of us have lots of things we want to resist about our new government – the list may be long, and diverse – not everyone cares about the same things. Others want to give Trump a “chance,” hope that he will be better than some of his worst moments (insulting people, intentionally (?) misstating things) and hope that he really can “make America great” again. This is all well and good: the controversy has been healthy for American’s involvement in our own government: people on both sides (and in the middle) seem to be paying attention in a way I’ve never seen before.

Resisting takes a lot of work. You have to pay attention, first of all, to see what’s going on so you can decide WHAT you should resist. And then you have to figure out what you’re going to DO to resist it. Now, you may think that this is an awfully negative way to go about life: looking for things to oppose. But actually: it’s what we as Christians are supposed to do! The old King James version of Romans 12:2 says:

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In a more modern version:
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Jesus taught that “the world” was not our true home: we are not “of” the world (John 17). This has been paraphrased that we are supposed to be “in the world but not of it.” I don’t think it is going too far to say that we are supposed to “resist” the world, because far too often it’s values and ways of doing things are not in keeping with what Jesus taught us.

In the past, many Christians were taught that to resist the world meant to abstain from things like smoking, drinking and dressing in certain ways. You will not go wrong if you follow those rules. However, I think that Jesus had more in mind when he said his followers were supposed to live differently than “the world.” Jesus wanted us to live in the Kingdom of God, and to uphold the values of the Kingdom of God, we must resist violence, oppression, exploitation – of humans, animals and the environment. It’s a much bigger project. . .

So, resistance has found its place in our society – so let’s join the movement, but on our own terms, the terms of our faith. What is God calling you to resist today? How is God calling you to be transformed?

Rev. Naomi

P.S. “Resistance” will be the theme for worship and Faith Clinics April 23 – May 21. . .come and explore how we may be more faithful!

Peace Camp-save the date
July 17-20, $150 Please let family, friends, neighbors know, and consider volunteering; thanks! See Minister Chai. https://bmuc.org/peace-camp-2017/