Star Trek : Miri

“Bonk Bonk! On the head! Bonk! Bonk!”

Kirk and Co. discover a world very much like earth, but missing one key feature: adults. The planet is devoid of adults. World of the Flies. There are plenty of old people though. They just all look like kids. Some kind of arrested development has stunted their physical, emotional, and mental growth. Though over a hundred years old, these people are really children, inside and out.

Being children, the Onlies don’t believe Kirk is there to help. A real child might believe an adult. But imagine the kind of minds the Onlies have. They’re not simply children. They are hundreds of years old. But they are trapped in their child-like bodies…It’s a strange premise. The tension between being young and old is one that grips every one of us. We tend to long for aspects of youth like being adventurous and energetic. But most of us value certain aspects of adulthood, considering the trade off to be fair. (And impossible to reverse, even if we don’t think it’s fair.) But the poor old Onlies do not retain their youthful vigor for adventure, while maturing intellectually. The Onlies are like kids in the worst ways: helpless, bigoted, and dangerous if given power. And they’re like adults in the worst ways: smart enough to bring their half-formed philosophies to fruition.

The bizarre, but likely, culture of the Onlies leads them to greet Kirk with suspicion. The potential cure from McCoy does not inspire them either. The Onlies are like those half-formed adults of the real world who have mental or intellectual problems, or haven’t been raised quite right, but aren’t needy enough to qualify for some governmental or charitable assistance. These people have the legal rights, given their age, and the financial, physical, and intellectual capabilities of living a life. Many times though, these people don’t have any kind of philosophical foundation for what kind of life they want to, or should, lead. All the power, none of the direction.

The Onlies, and their real-world counterparts, will dash furiously toward nothing in particular. Content (maybe) to live pleasure-to-pleasure, constantly threatening to sue anyone who has slightly offended them, or using violent talk (bonk! bonk!) to raise the stakes of any given argument because it will distract from actually reaching a conclusion.

Sometimes I’m a real-world Only.

But I thank God that I have His leadership and Word to guide me in the right direction. Thanks to God for the pastors, mentors, and friends He’s put in my way whenever I resort to the animalistic grunting of the Onlies.

That’s the point of being a Christian, I think. Being shown that you’re an Only, being given a new life, and then diving back into the pit of Onlies, trying to show others that there is a cure.

Of course, it’s not usually that easy.

Have you ever tried to help someone who didn’t want to be helped? Or who was just content to live with their horrible, yet fixable problem? Jahn was leading his people to their doom, for the sake of power and jealousy. But Kirk…oh man, Kirk is such a Jesus figure in this story! Captain Kirk goes in among them. He becomes infected with their disease. And he endures the mocking, backstabbing, and finally the beating at the hands of the Onlies. The very people he beamed down to save reject him, fear him, and try to kill him.

Kirk is not only a picture of Jesus and His mission. The captain also serves as an example for us! Getting involved with the real-world Onlies is a messy business. They can be annoying, dirty, dangerous, ungrateful, and are often a combination of all four. But by living among them, inviting them into our lives, we can love them. And loving unlovable people is a command from Christ.

Father Damien, the missionary to the lepers of Hawaii who eventually died from contact with them, wrote to his brother:

“I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all to Jesus Christ.”

Captain Kirk truly made himself an Only to gain life for them. What a picture! Imagine Christ with those ugly purple sores all over, getting punched and kicked by over-old children. Christ didn’t come to cure our physical illnesses and jet off to His next adventure though. Christ came to cure our spiritual death first. And He did it to live with us forever. He doesn’t say, “Enjoy your health. You can live over there now.” Paul says, “But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54)

Star Trek : Miri

Here‘s the Guide for Parental Units of Geeks

This is a short one.

The planet is full of children who are all dying and absolutely refuse to admit it. There is overwhelming evidence that their lives will end when they reach puberty. Given the centuries that have passed before any of them must endure puberty, they assume it will never happen to them.

Of course, it’s already affecting them. Miri, the oldest child among them, is nearing womanhood. The strange purple rash has begun to affect her skin. Hiding it doesn’t change what it will do to her. She is going to die. Yet the other children still refuse to believe it. They’d sooner shout and chant and bully and fight.

Christ entered the leper communities, healing and touching souls and bodies.

I’m keeping this review brief because I want to make one simple point: sin is the purple rash that causes death for every single one of us.

Ignoring sin, denying sin, or fighting against the One revealing it to you will not stop its onslaught.

Ignoring the purple rash, denying the purple rash, or fighting against the one revealing it to you will not stop its onslaught.

Kirk entered the sci-fi version of a leper community. Taking on the disease of the people he wanted to save. They rejected him.

Think of how frustrating and foolish Michael J Pollard’s character was. That is what you – and I – do every time we deny that we are sinners. Every time we ignore the fact that we’re going to die, we may as well lift a club to beat Captain Kirk with. Every time we shout at Christ, or His missionaries, about our innocence, you may as well be screaming that you’ll never get that purple rash.

The world is broken, just as broken as the world of the Onlies was. Just as the Onlies did not have the cure themselves, neither do we have a cure for our problem. For the Onlies, there was a hero who descended from the sky, telling them the truth.

Reject the solution provided, and you will die:

Accept the hero and his solution, and you will not only live, you will also join in his mission:

Phil Morris in Miri and in Star Trek III. (I like to think he’s playing the same character.)