The Pastor’s Message for November 2016

In just a few days the polls will open for voting and I encourage you to consider the following quote from the journal of John Wesley, the organizer of the Methodist movement in England and the Methodist Church in the United States.

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

This has been a frustrating and irritating campaign season on many levels, regardless of one’s personal political views. While I’m not at all concerned about any readers selling their vote as Wesley referred to in his first point, the second and third points seem particularly relevant. I have seen how anger has become the method of entertainment in our day, particularly when we can share the anger of those we watch, listen to, or read. Wesley was right to advise those who want to follow Christ more closely to “not speak evil of the person they voted against;” and “to take care that their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.’

Wesley’s advice sounds much like Scripture’s frequent advice to the early Christians to bear with one another patiently, particularly in Ephesians, Corinthians, and Colossians. The men and women of the early church came from so many different backgrounds and cultures that the message of Christ, to seek after the timeless kingdom of God, could well have been drowned out by voices of prejudice and dissension. The apostle Paul focused much of his preaching on the temptation for the early church to reflect the divisions of the world around them.

In these turbulent times, I am convinced that the Church has a powerful witness to offer to the world if we can continue in the journey of Paul and our early ancestors in the faith. Let us show the world that while we each engage in critical issues of our day; we can do so without bitterness or minimizing the humanity of each other. Let us bear witness to those outside our faith that we have shaped our lives in the image of God so that we can listen to and learn from one another as we seek to follow Christ as we hope to point the United States to the greatness of its highest ideals and dreams

In the coming election and in the months after, I encourage to remember Wesley’s advice, and follow the Christ who has called us all.

Pastor Carter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *