By John D. Gibbon
The release of the new Star Wars movie “The Force Awakens”, after its premier in LA on December 14th, has evoked a predictable media frenzy. For years, friends of my own generation — devout Star Wars fans from the beginning — have half-jokingly signed their emails “May the force be with you …” The ‘Force’ is now invoked almost everywhere. However, it is strange that in a society which has largely rejected conventional ideas of religion, the sci-fi literature of the age and its associated movies still uses pseudo-religious language and costume. The movie-sets look like intergalactic versions of Downton Abbey with the actors dressed in priestly costume. One has to concede that much of this is highly entertaining; e.g. stories about the nature and existence of alien beings in higher dimensions, UFOs, and strange forms of time travel. Such ideas are a convenient security-blanket for members of a generation who feel more comfortable with the concept of an impersonal force yet yearn for the mysticism that many other religions provide. There are now large numbers of people who take this type of material seriously and give it far more credence than the views expressed by Scripture about the nature of God and humanity. The Bible says that God is a Person, not an impersonal force; that he has a Name, and in His Son Jesus Christ, he came to this earth as a man to redeem His people and show us how to live. There is nothing impersonal about our universe. Moreover, He cannot be used as a tool for our own ends, nor can He be coaxed, bribed or manipulated as people attempted to do with the idol gods of the Old Testament. The prophet Jeremiah (14:22) once pleaded “Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers?” For those who look down upon Christianity as a passing and intellectually flawed historical anomaly the Apostle Paul had the perfect answer (1 Corinthians 2:6-10):
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” — these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.