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Posts Tagged ‘Spock’

Star Trek: The Motion PictureEven me, who figures anything with the words “Star Trek” in the title MUST be good, has to admit that the first Star Trek movie was long, sloooow and generally underwhelming.

But when I sat down recently to watch 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion PIcture again for the first time in decades, I was struck by the plot and how it speaks to the human condition right now.

Admiral James T. Kirk busts himself down to captain in order to retake command of the Enterprise and help the United Federation of Planets fight off a truly gigantic threat.

The threat is called “V’Ger” and eventually Kirk and company find out it’s a 20th-century Earth space probe believed lost. But it wasn’t lost; an alien race figured out its mission — to gather information, then return to its creator — and massively upgraded it to complete the mission.

Over 300 years, the probe gathered so much information that it achieved consciousness. But returning to its creator? That was a problem. And without its creator, the probe “finds its existence empty and without purpose” (thank you, Wikipedia).

Perhaps this sounds entirely alien to you. But it hit home for me during a scene where Spock (the Enterprise’s science officer) tells Kirk, “V’Ger has knowledge that spans this universe, and yet, V’Ger is barren. It has no meaning, no hope, no answers. But it’s asking questions. Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?

This monologue strikes me as describing the condition of humanity. And the questions V’Ger asks probably occur to any thinking person who has achieved what our culture considers success (even if that success is “just” a middle-class life).

“It knows only that it needs,” Spock relates a little later. “But like so many of us, it does not know what.”

Is this you? It certainly was me. I had the middle-class success our culture sets up as nirvana — good career, satisfying relationships, disposable income with little debt. And yet it seemed superficial. Boring. Meaningless. I was a miniature V’Ger.

If you’ve found yourself sometimes occupying this mental and emotional space, then be bold. Ignore the relentless call of our world and investigate the questions.

That’s what I did. After much thinking, talking, reading and praying, I came to know there’s a Creator. Bigger than all humanity. Bigger than V’Ger. I came to know this Creator loves His creation — you, me and every other human being on this planet — but we had turned away from Him. So He offers us a gift, a way back to Him.

That gift is Jesus Christ. Christianity teaches that Jesus sacrificed Himself to make up for all the wrong things we’ve done and all the right things we’ve failed to do. Because there’s no human way for us to do that on our own.

Furthermore, if you give the Bible any credibility, consider that it tells us Jesus rose from the dead after three days, thereby destroying the permanence of death that we horribly imperfect humans brought on ourselves.

When you accept the gift of Jesus, all this is open to you. The need is satisfied. The questions are answered.

Sound interesting? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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PerpetualStateOfFear 4.14First of all, let me make this clear: Star Trek ROCKS. Even the not-so-great movies — Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and Nemesis (2002) — were still at least mildly entertaining.

What grabbed my attention about this graphic, posted in an atheism Internet community, is two things:

1. The Spock character never said these words;
2. That said, I absolutely agree with them.

What kind of a god would ever demand constant fear from his creations? Certainly not the God I believe in, or His son (Jesus Christ).

The Bible (if you give it any credibility) addresses this topic in a very reasonable way: Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. It is his punishment that makes a person fear. (1 John 4:18).

That makes a great deal of sense to me. While I don’t fear God the way this graphic suggests, what I do fear is this:

  •  Disappointing Him by failing to constantly strive to be the person He knows I can be.
  •  Saddening Him by ignoring the opportunities He gives me to tell others about how He changed my life through Jesus and how their lives can be made better the same way.
  •  Insulting Him by living my life as if He doesn’t exist.
  •  Belittling Him by not fully acknowledging everything He did for me (and for you, too) by offering the gift of Jesus, who died to make up for the sins of everyone who believes in Him and follows Him.

I like how the United Church of God website puts it:
“God does not want us to be in continual terror of Him, though that may be where we start in our relationship with Him. Proper, mature fear of God means having a healthy reverence and respect for the most powerful Being in the universe and the laws He has set in place for our own benefit.

I also appreciate the words of Christian Post columnist Dan Delzell:
“Think about a family. Parents who dearly love their children also discipline their children appropriately for their good. In those families, children know they are loved. They also have the ‘fear’ of discipline should they choose to push the limits and disobey. That is not a bad fear. It actually is a very necessary part of family life.”

I see logic in wanting to worship a deity like this. Do you? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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