December 13, 2009

POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY: The New STAR TREK and Christian Discipleship

Sometimes, STAR TREK illuminates God’s word for me.

Take for example, the STAR TREK reboot – designed to draw in the oldsters like my dad and me with the names and feel of the original series as well as using actors that Gen-Xers connect with.

I’m sure you see the clear connection between the movie and this passage of Scripture:

"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Luke 14: 26-30

Uh…you DON’T see the connection?

Hmmm. Let me try to shed some light then.

Remember the scene in the new STAR TREK where Captain Pike has ordered Sulu, Kirk and Chief Engineer Olson (who was wearing the obviously deadly RED space suit of death) to do a space dive in order to destroy the Romulan mining machine as it tries to poke a hole into Vulcan and drop its load of red matter? Just before jumping, Olson gets excited because he finally gets to “kick some Romulan butt”. His focus; his life at that moment is the personal satisfaction he’ll receive from beating the Romulan threat. He serves himself first and secondarily his boss.

Shortly after that, he is disintegrated by a gigantic drilling beam.

Kirk on the other hand, after being on the sharp end of Captain Pike’s tongue (“So, you want to be the only genius-level repeat offender in the Midwest?”), joins StarFleet and embraces the mission of the Federation, which his father died serving. Not that Kirk isn’t above self-serving, selfish decision-making. James Tiberius Kirk is NOT a saint! But he serves a higher purpose. He serves the Federation. He gets his butt kicked an uncounted number of times (the next time I watch the movie, I’m going to count the times Kirk is punched, poked, slapped and otherwise abused…by his friends. Stay tuned for a PIE on that little statistic) – but after nearly dying at the hand of the Romulans, he becomes the permanent captain of the ENTERPRISE.

The connection between the new STAR TREK and Luke 14 should now be clear: Olson served himself and was disintegrated by a Romulan mining beam. Kirk served the Federation and while he got beat up, in the end, the Federation used him to its greater glory. For Olson, there was no cost involved in “kicking Romulan butt”. By the end of the movie, Kirk was willing to give everything to serve the Federation.

This is how we should serve Christ. Do we? You might, but I don’t – not yet anyway. STAR TREK is another reminder that in service to Christ, He is the only source of power; submitting my will to His is the only way I can serve Him. I have to do this every day, every hour, every moment. Thank you Lord, for using STAR TREK to reiterate Your message to me.

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1 comment:

Becky said...

Woot that you also noticed the red suite! My family and I had a bit of a chuckle over it every time we watch.
Also good point. Kirk also shows how we don't have to be perfect to serve God we just have to give all we got and He'll take care of the rest.