Evil and its Resistance: Let the Call to Creation Flow
For the version of Matthias' sermon presented on 1/31/21, please listen to the audio recording.
Lectionary Scripture: Mark 1:21-28
Below are Matthias' sermon notes and some supplemental materials:
-Good snowy morning to you! In Dante Aligheri’s Inferno portion of The Divine Comedy the third circle of hell is “putrid slush produced by a ceaseless, foul, icy rain”... “The gluttons grovel in the mud by themselves, sightless and heedless of their neighbors, symbolizing the cold, selfish, and empty sensuality of their lives.” Uh oh! *holds stomach*
-Aside from the lectionary passage this sermon spawned from the Kingian Principles of Non-violence that Kent shared last week.
-’3) Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil.’
-This is along with my own thinking about evil and what plagues the world, as I reflected on 2020, trying to sort through all of the tragedy in our world exposed very vividly in 2020 and continuing into 2021 notably on Jan. 6.
-One of the first acts of Christ after his time in the desert, according to Mark
-What do we mean with evil?
-Translations of “unclean spirit”, ἀκαθάρτῳ (akathartō) - “unclean, impure, lewd, demonic” (BibleHub). Occurs five times in Mark and Luke. https://biblehub.com/greek/akatharto__169.htm
-Demon possession is a profound fear that we have--it surfaces again and again in popular media--because it creates a situation where we are not in control of our own bodies, doing things against our will and most likely against our morality.
-David Lynch and demons, possession, dreams… what is real, exactly. Blake (Lost Highway) might have killed his wife!
-Yet we do things against our will all the time, or perhaps it would be better to say we do things we know aren’t good for us, eventhough we’ve made that new year’s resolution ten times.
Washington Post Article July 2016 about Dr. Richard Gallagher: As a psychiatrist I diagnose mental illness and sometimes demonic possession
-There are other risks. There are many believers who attribute all sorts of illness, misfortune, and antagony to evil spirits. This can be as destructive as demons themselves. Look at the Salem witch trials, or how homosexuality is literally demonized and punishable by death in Uganda.
-Evil has also existed within and has been propagated by the Church itself. More recently we’ve been disturbed by so-called Christians participation in the Jan. 6 violent insurrection at the Capitol, doing so in the name of Christianity. But the Doctrine of Discovery that blessed the colonization of the world killed millions and created a massive imbalance in society the world over that we still deal with today.
-Organized Konfusion - “The Extinction Agenda” - “Who can you trust when the Priest is now the beast?”
"This was Brazil’s largest & most dangerous gold mine"
[Sebastião Salgado - Pics from gold mine: https://publicdelivery.org/sebastiao-salgado-serra-pelada-gold-mine-brazil/]
[Smashing Pumpkins - “Bullet with Butterfly Wings: https://youtu.be/8-r-V0uK4u0?t=130]
-How is Billy Corgan feeling when he sings in BWBW that “Jesus was an only son… tell me I’m the chosen one.” He has a point. Is Jesus God’s beloved son or are we all God’s children? Do we somewhere sense some contempt here, and if not us, perhaps others who have felt excluded instead of included by the church?
-The evil comes about when we do not see each and every other being on earth (and beyond) as God’s beloved creation. Seeing the creation within them, the imago dei, and being willing to give our all for their liberation as Christ did.
-Would it make it easier for us to forgive Donald Trump if we were told he were possessed by a demon? What about us? What about when we make mistakes?
-Donald Trump is no longer the President. This is a good thing. But in many places in the world the autocrat is still in power and they may not be going anywhere. Jair Bolnosaro, _____ (Poland), _______ (Belarus), Kim Jong Un in North Korea… Here we breathed a sigh of relief on Jan. 20th when Biden took the oath of office. In Russia Putin changed the law to allow himself to be Premier (?) for many more years. There is no end in sight.
-Chaos in entropy vs. intentional destruction of life. One is “natural” decay, one is vicious. Children are a perfect opposite of evil. Purity and innocence. ‘Come to me as the children do.’
-Jesus preaches with authority. Do I have that authority? How would I know? By faith, as always.
-”The Workings of Evil” Gordon Cosby sermon 1/22/84? Integrity, linking the structure and convictions in our mind with the decisions we make that live our lives.
-BTW I have all the old tapes. I am slowly listening to them and updating the data on listings of the recordings online. But welcome to borrow them!
-Find the harmony Inward/Outward. The cleanliness of our own spirit and that which can be shared with the world.
-Let Psalm 111 be the guide. The Beautitudes. The prophets and teachers and those guided by the Spirit of God (Deuteronomy)
[Psalm 111, Jewish Yemen Tradition, Aharon Amram - תהלים קי"א - הללויה- בכל לבב, תימן, אהרן עמרם:
-”To love a thing means wanting it to live.” -Confucious, from Type 2 in “Wisdom of the Enneagram” book.
-So resistance to evil is a resistance against the force of death.
Creative Life: Called to River Justice, Media, Truth
-I am drawn to the Anacostia watershed, its layers of healing both social and environmental, and being a place from which perspectives outside of the system norm should be drawn out, supported, and lifted up.
-Micah 5-6 (?) - ‘Justice will flow down like a river.’
-Teachings from ISP that you clean the river before you talk about ‘reconciliation.’ First you must reconcile with the environment.
-Remember Terry Flood in response to Ray McGovern Desert Storm event, media problem. The results ae clear. I don’t mean just news media, watched a movie readily available on Netflix with some friends last night, incredibly violent! Not necessary!
-What about healing media, and an archive of our creative past, and a mechanism to restore the voices from that time when nature was closer to the everyday.
-20 year timeline, begins with one step
-Describe interest from Wesley, Mayor’s office, jail itself?
-Within 8th Day and CoS:
-Kip, Michael, Wendy, Carol...
-Clara, Jim Knight, Bread of Life
-Participation in what Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone in their book Active Hope call “The Great Turning”
-Finishing the book A Theology of String Theory is still part of this same call
-First steps? Meetings to gather ideas and form a business plan!