A Choice Freely Made

Hands up if you like Star Trek.

For those who do, the phrase “Resistance is futile” will need no further explanation, but for those who don’t, it is a line used by The Borg when they encounter any free-willed living creature that they seek to conquer and assimilate. The conquered are then stripped of their individuality and identity, resources, and their best creations.

However, please do not misunderstand the Borg; they are not war loving. In fact, they only seek perfection — perfection of uniformity and purpose — and by attaining perfection they believe they will eradicate war and better allocate resources.

Their vision is the one and only true vision for how living organisms should behave. Sounds reasonable enough — or at least on the surface it does — but when you dig a little deeper into the story it is revealed that The Borg actually operate with a hive mentality. They have a queen that sits at the top of the hierarchy and sends the other Borg drones scurrying off to do her bidding, implementing her will and her vision, regardless of the cost in regards to the life of the drones. Upon scratching a little bit beneath the surface we come to see that the mission statement of unity and uniformity is nothing more than the camouflage for a quest for power, and a way to rule without opposition.

Sounds like a formidable enemy!

But hope need not be lost, because there is resistance, and that resistance takes shape in the form of The United Federation of Planets. It is an alliance of planets that work together in matters of trade, politics, and security, each planet maintaining its own autonomy and identity, and still contributing to the aims of the whole group.

*spoiler alert*

Resistance is not futile. Time and time again, despite what seems overwhelming odds, Star Fleet repel the Borg and eventually win the war. How is it that such a collection of peoples, diverse in languages, cultures, and beliefs, could prevail against what seemed such a superior opponent with what seemed a singular purpose? How could they withstand an enemy who had one aim and acted and spoke without deviation?

The short answer is that they understood the difference between uniformity and unity, they understood that there was a peculiar and unique strength that comes from freedom of thought and ideas. They understood that this freedom allowed creative solutions to problems that were unique to individual planets, but that could also benefit the whole group. They understood that freedom of thought and freedom of will are imperative in the resistance of tyranny.

But that’s just Hollywood! A TV show. Real life is not like this.

Anyone who says this missed the history classes on The Dark Ages where the Roman Catholic Church suppressed freedom of thought, and instead ruled through papal edicts with absolute authority and without deviation.

When thought and autonomy are suppressed, what you are left with is tyranny, which is perhaps why God gave humanity a choice in the biblical creation narrative. After all, without that choice, where could humanity have expressed a freedom of will, a freedom to choose to follow God or to decide that they knew better? Without that choice presented to them they would have had uniformity with God’s will in so much as they would have lived eternally in peace and in harmony with one another, never sinning and thus bringing death into the world. However, without that choice they would never have been in unity with God. God is love, and love cannot be forced, it must be chosen.

Throughout time, resistance to tyranny has never proven to be futile. France is no longer under the yoke of Nazis in part due to the French resistance and its allies. South Africa is no longer subject to apartheid because the people rebelled. Chattel slavery has been abolished in the U.S.A. but it required a war to do so. In fact there is only one thing in life that I have ever found to be futile, and that is the saving and life changing grace of God. But even Christ allows and requires that our choice of him must be done freely.

In the Bible, we are called to love God with our minds, our bodies, and our souls. I have made that choice for myself. I have made the choice freely to love God with my soul. I have made the choice to freely love God with my body by serving him. And I have made the choice to love God with my mind first and foremost by freely choosing him.

It is my prayer that all humanity will choose God, and choose him freely.

Jeremy Storm is a father, student of theology, antagonist, and staunch advocate for equality of both race and gender.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9581
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Love is only possible because He first loved us. Great is His faithfulness.

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and hopefully the adventist church will no longer be subject to gender apartheid because enough of us will have rebelled…nothing less is ever going to produce change…efforts towards unity, uniformity and conformity, when things are crying out for justice, only play into the hands of those who benefit from the status quo, and can’t see beyond it…

The history of humankind is nothing but the record of the lives of those who “rebelled” against something and made progress possible. Some even experienced martyrdom.

This would be a good time to ask how a person coms to “choose” to love God. None of us make our choices in a vacuum. We all come with a history that goes back for generations; and that history funnels our choices in one direction or another. The Bible call to “love God with our minds, bodies, and souls” comes to a people who were immersed in a culture of “God worship”; and is a call make God meaningful rather a ritual.

This article isn’t really about “freedom of choice”. It’s about protesting the status quo when there are other choices to be made, and in the light of the fact that the status quo isn’t working for the SDA church any more. It’s about a power struggle between one man’s idea of “loving God” and other ideas about how to love God. It’s about tradition versus relevance; and yes, the freedom, or lack of freedom, Adventists have, in how to love God, based on their own histories. Religious denominations make it extremely hard to live by our personal choices. That’s probably why church membership is declining all over the globe in this atmosphere of “freedom of choice”. Jesus’ mission was not to make better church members. His mission was to make loving God possible.

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Brilliant point Sirje, it caught my attention right away. This appears to be a major issue dividing generations now since the youth appears to be caring gradually less about tradition, rather focusing on relevance only. In this sense, I still feel being very young myself - a good feeling! :wink:

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I’m not sure it’s about age; although, the younger we are, the more adventurous we may be. I tend to think it’s more about personality and a desire to KNOW - to be willing to be open to discovery. It’s actually quite presumptuous to think that we know all there is to know.

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