Star Trek doesn't describe the Christian life: Jesus does

By Rev. Dr. Howard S. Russell, CHM President & CEO

From the December 2018 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

The original “Star Trek” TV series in 1967 aired an episode called “The Return of the Archons,” in which the U.S.S. Enterprise crew encounters a planet where everyone “enjoys” a form of peace and tranquility.

The civilization is controlled by the visual projection of a man, Landru, treated as a god by the planet’s inhabitants. Here is how Landru describes life on the planet: “You have come to a world without hate, without fear, without conflict, no war, no disease, no crime. None of the ancient evils. Landru seeks tranquility, peace for all, the universal good.”

I’ve long wondered if this Star Trek episode treatment was a cloaking device to criticize Christianity without coming right out and doing so. Condemning Christians wasn’t as trendy or accepted then as it is now.

The truth is that the Christian life is a struggle. But it’s a good struggle. And while there are present-day opponents and critics who try to sometimes paint believers as followers acting in a Landru-worshiping way, we know better.

On the one hand the New Testament tells us that relying; trusting; depending; believing; and surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ is our responsibility—and our privilege—as those who believe in him.

On the other hand, as humans, Christians deal with temptations, diversions, personalities, and desires that interfere with trusting, believing, surrendering, etc., to God.

If that weren’t the case there’d be no reason for anything more than the Gospels. There would have been no need for the Apostle Paul to write his letter to the Corinthians, or for the books of Peter, James, and the other New Testament writers.

God not only sent us a helper in the form of the Holy Spirit, He sent us the New Testament writers to share with the people of that time—and the people of all times until the end of this earthly age—that which is expected of believers and which will give them the greatest experience and the most joy in life.

The peace of God is the sure and certain knowledge that in whatever situation we find ourselves, if we follow His direction for our lives we will find that we’re never alone. This is true regardless of what we may face. Furthermore, our eternal life with Him is assured.

God indeed promised us peace when we rest in Him. And as the Apostle Paul writes, the body has many parts, but not all parts are the same. One has one use, the other has another use, but all work together for good to do God’s will and to trust in Him.

Christian Healthcare Ministries is an example. We are all Christians, showing Christian love and support for each other through this ministry, but individually none of us are the same. What we have is a shared belief in Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Jesus Himself never demanded of His followers that they become robotic members of a body that permits no deviation from one person to another. He walked what we call the Holy Land with His disciples. They were men who were different, who came from different backgrounds, and who didn’t lose their personalities or their personhood when they became Christ’s followers.

What God has done is free us from sin. He calls us to repentance. He tells us to love and serve the Father in heaven. The peace we experience is the gift from God given to us by the greatest gift of God, His son.

And for that, we need never apologize. Instead, we need to take every opportunity to share it. In our own ways, because we’re all different.

And because God is love, always.

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