Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Who Watches the Watchers?

I just watched a fascinating episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The episode is called "Who Watches the Watchers?"

The entire episode is a thinly veiled mockery of beliefs about God and anything supernatural. But two interesting moments from Captain Picard vividly illustrate the problem this anti-God view creates.

In the episode, a group of people on a distant planet have come to believe that Captain Picard is a god - "The Picard" - capable of bringing gentle winters, good hunting, and even raising people from the dead.

Captain Picard vehemently objects to the suggestion that he should go down to the planet and pretend he's a god, to rescue a captured crewman:

"Doctor, your report describes how rational these people are. Millennia ago, these people abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement? To send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? NO!"

The dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear. What an achievement it'll be when humanity shakes such impediments to real progress!

But despite the supposed advances in intellect and achievement that take humanity to the stars, there is one thing they lack.

Later in the episode, Captain Picard must face the truth that no self-delusion, supposed intellect, or technological advances can overcome.

As he stands over the body of a fallen colleague, he must crumble in humility. Forced to explain the broken finality of haughty humanity and seemingly infinite achievement, Picard is reduced to this:

No matter how proud and mighty we proclaim ourselves to be, we are just as powerless as we've always been to prevent the inevitable.

But there is a man who walked this Earth who claimed He was not powerless to prevent the inevitable:

"Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 
But He was speaking of the temple of His body." 
- John 2:19-21

This man claimed to have power over life and death - for Himself, and for you:

"Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 
- John 11:26

This man backed up His claim, as eyewitnesses recounted:

"Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said." 
- John 2:22


"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 
the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 
that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 
And these things we write to you that your joy may be full." 
- 1 John 1:1-4

God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Today, you have a choice.

You can trust in yourself - your might, your brains, your experience, your will, your creativity, and your skill.

Like Captain Picard, you'll one day crumble under the admission that you're completely powerless over everything that matters most to you.

Or, you can lay down your pride. Put aside the trust in yourself that leads only one place - to your destruction.

Instead, place your trust in the only one who can save you from a powerless, tragic end. Repent and believe the Gospel, "so that your joy may be made full."

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