Geeks of Christ Presents… October 26th Edition

Here’s a list of what I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, whatever from around the web. To kick it off, here’s two from the excellent website Christ and Pop Culture.

Counting Moral Indiscretions Is Not a Movie Review

by Brad Williams

I have always felt that numbering expletives is a sort of strange way to review a movie. It is like dissecting the innards of a hamster to figure out if it might make an appropriate pet.

All Hallow’s Read: Why We Should Read Scary Stories for Halloween

by Erin Newcomb

My three-year-old loves to feel the shivers, with this story [Frog and Toad] and others. Yet when I started reading fairy tales to her, I edited them. I took out the part where the first two little pigs get eaten by the wolf, but numerous re-readings and my daughter’s adept memory soon ended that practice. I couldn’t keep up with all of my extemporaneous revisions, and I soon started to wonder if I was trying to protect my daughter or myself from the real text. It seemed like I had to decide forever betwixt two things—read the story or not. All right then, I thought, I’ll go to hell. And we all got the shivers.

A More Accurate Definition of the Word Integrity. You May Have More of it Than You Thought.

by Donald Miller

Religious communities love the word integrity but I don’t think many of them understand it. Sadly, the word is often used as a way of painting ourselves as righteous, or worse, to describe another person in unrealistic terms.

True Confessions of a Gen-X Trekkie

by Shanna Gilkeson

The Undiscovered Country Project continues their month-long tribute to that endlessly fascinating hero of sci-fi, Spock. You can still check out [PLUG ALERT] my article for Spocktober, here.

Shanna Gilkeson provided this touching and charming piece recently:

As Star Trek nears its 50th anniversary, we all know by now that fandom in general – and Star Trek in particular – attracts those of us who’ve felt different from everyone else, who’ve been marginalized by the various communities to which we belong, who feel like outsiders in our own towns, our own schools, and even our own homes at times.

Eleanor asks, :”What scares you, Theodora?”
Theodora answers, “Knowing what I really want.”

 

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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.)


It’s Federation Day!

SOLAR NEWS NETWORK HARD COPY EXTRACT 10.11.2161
IT’S FEDERATION DAY!
5 sign new UFP Constitution
SAN FRANCISCO, Earth (SNN) – Declaring it a landmark day in the history of each of their worlds, five envoys today breathed life into the fledgling United Federation of Planets with the signing of the new organization’s Constitution amid much pomp and circumstance.
“We are truly entering a brave new world of peace, exploration and security with the establishment of this Federation, declared Earth ambassador Thomas Vanderbilt, whose remarks were echoed by representatives from Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, and Alpha Centauri.
“Following the end of your world’s war with the unseen Romulan enemy, such a union as we create here today is the most logical course of action any of our peoples can take,” added Ambassador T’Jan of Vulcan.
UESPA Maj. Gen. Georges E. Picard, an aide to Vanderbilt, noted afterward the irony of the conference – which met in exactly the same fashion as the founders of the Earth’s old United Nations, who came together only 215 years earlier in the same city in the aftermath of the horrors of another costly war.*
“What is occurring here today is one sign that some good can come of such a scourge,” Picard noted.
“We defy anyone, even the Romulans, to test our resolve now for collective security,” declared AmbassadorNatha Kell of Tellar, while Sarahd of Andor spoke of future greatness for the infant union and predicted rapid expansion. Ambassador Titus Oleet signed for the newly independent Centauri system.
Today’s events were but the ceremonial endgame for the often-tumultuous negotiations, which began in earnest after the defeat of hostile forces at Cheron effectively ended the Romulan War only a little more than ayear ago. Even today, some sources reported a later fracas involving the Tellarite Kell and Sarahd.
Although those taking part today waived off revealing many specific details, the five after signing immediately convened the first-ever meeting of the UFP Council long enough to elect Vanderbilt as president, with Sarahd as vice president.
Also, the Council sources unanimously voted to continue meeting in San Francisco, with an all-new building in the design stages near the historic old Presidio fort and Golden Gate Bridge. Council sources predicted at least three months would be needed before the fledgling UFP bureaucracy would be ready for business.

Captain’s Blog

I’m taking the week off.

Regular Star Trek and Doctor Who reviews will start spilling out of me again next week. This week I’m taking it easy.

Two reasons for this: I am busy putting together notes for this year’s NaNoWriMo. Which is exciting.

Tell me it’s exciting.

If you like hastily-constructed novels, I’ll even let you read this book as I’m writing it. I can only assume that reading a crummy novel on a bizarre little niche blog is exactly how the three of you are hoping to spend your November.

Your wish has been granted. I’ll be presenting my NaNoWriMo entry here, every day, for the entire month of November. You’ll thrill at the adventures of Joshua, a teenager living in Nowheresville, 1990.

He might travel through time. I don’t know. It hasn’t been written yet.

Another reason I’m cooling it here at GoC for this week: I’m writing something else. Well, two somethings-else. No direct information will be given on either of these projects because they are collaborations and I don’t have the liberty to spill.

Both are cool concepts and require me to work with cool people.

And I might write another non-GoC thing or two this week also.

ANY

WAY!

Sounds like I have a lot of writing to get to! Those dishes aren’t going to wash themselves!

Check this space next Tuesday for the Geeks of Christ review of the Star Trek Original Series episode The Naked Time !

And, on Thursday, I’ll say some things about the return of Sarah Jane Smith in the wonderful and adorable Doctor Who story, School Reunion!

Star Trek : The Enemy Within

Kirk splits in two. One good. One evil.

The evil side tears through the ship on a passion-driven hunt for sex and power.

He targets and actually abuses Yeoman Rand.

Good Kirk describes Bad Kirk: “He’s like an animal. A thoughtless, brutal animal. And yet it’s me. Me!”

Why does Kirk need to keep his bad side? Why does he insist that the villainous Kirk is still him?

We are bad

One potential reason for holding onto the bad side would be that it’s true that we have a bad side. Since we can’t deny that each of us has a bad side, maybe it’s there for a reason. Maybe we need it. McCoy, in the worst reasoning I’ve heard on any Star Trek, “We all have our darker side. We need it! It’s half of what we are. It’s not really ugly. It’s human.”

But the mere presence of a thing does not indicate its legality. That is, admitting we have a bad side does not mean we should encourage its continued presence in our lives.

We should try to see what’s it’s even there for. Why do we even have a bad side?

Just in case you don’t quite believe that we are bad, here’s the Bible.

  • YAHWEH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
  • How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!” Job 25:4-6
  • Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
  • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
  • We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” Isaiah 64:6
  • For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:21-23
  •  “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
  • None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” Romans 3:10-11
  • For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
  • For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8
  • The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14
  • For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” Titus 3:3

So the Bible says we’re bad. Maybe you noticed a negative review of our badness in those statements.

We are bad and we should not be. None of these excerpts command us to just shrug and say, “Oh well,” or, “So what if I was born bad?”

The glory of God is a desirable thing. It’s something pleasurable, profound, sweet, eternal, and joyous. Falling short of that glory is not something to shrug at. Falling short of that glory is not something to ignore for the sake of having an easy life.

What Star Trek got right

Given over to darkness, even a good person can create massive damage. Captain Kirk is a great guy. He’s a hero! But given a full separation from the influence of whatever light was in him turns him into a howling maniac.

What Star Trek got wrong

Good Kirk would not get weaker if Bad Kirk died. Good Kirk does not need Bad Kirk.

The whole point of this show is to reunite both sides of Kirk’s personality. Kirk’s dark side is a rapist. He attacks women. Why is he needed?

Spock explains, “We see here indications that it’s his negative side which makes him strong, that his evil side, if you will, properly controlled and disciplined, is vital to his strength.”

The evil, woman-attacking part of him gives him his strength? So every bit of power comes from an evil desire that is then tempered by a person’s good side.

This dumb conclusion has a few logical problems. I’ll just raise the questions:

  • If the evil were removed from us, would there even be any good left?
  • Are all decisions made by evil? What about the decisions to not do evil things?
  • Are control and discipline applications that our evil sides would even tolerate?

Who is the most powerful being there is? It’s god, the God. The same one that created the world, brought Israel out of Egypt, crushed nations, rose from the dead, and is coming back to finally reclaim whatever of His creation does not currently acknowledge His supremacy.

And where does His power come from? Did He ever use some inner evil power drive to source His decisions? His decisiveness was never, and will never be, evil.

Is God powered by evil?

Why should we think that we need to be powered by evil?