Sunday, February 8, 2009
A Weird Place to Find a Sermon
I just finished watching the extended cut of The X Files: I Want to Believe. I didn't know what to expect, other than it would be strange. It was, and thought-provoking.
Scully (Gillian Anderson) cannot come to terms with the idea that good might come from working with an ex-priest--that he might help in finding a kidnapped FBI agent and solving a series of murders--because the man is a convicted pedophile.
I don't believe God gives people psychic powers, as suggested by the film, but I do believe He forgives. I don't believe we have to jump through hoops to earn that forgiveness, as also suggested by the film, but I do believe all we have to do is ask (repent).
The priest, Father Joe (Billy Connelly), is subjected to Scully's and an agent's skepticism and verbalized judgments, and he later calls Scully on it: Why, if he cannot judge her, is it okay for her to judge him?
Despite the fact that sin is sin, across the board, we humans categorize it--adultery is better than murder, rape is worse stealing--and yet, at the core of all it, is self. How absurd and self-righteous of us to think "my sin is less sinful than your sin."
I admit, I wouldn't be at ease in the presence of a pedophile, even one who claimed to be forgiven and that God was using him, yet I am faced with these questions:
Can God use a liar?
What about Jacob?
Can God use a self-righteous, hateful man?
What about Jonah?
Can God use a murderer?
What about King David?
Can God use an adulterer?
What about the woman Jesus saved from stoning?
Can God use a turncoat?
What about Balaam?
Can God use a thief?
What about a couple of tax collectors, Zaccheus and Matthew?
Can God use someone filled with hate?
What about Saul who became Paul?
Can God use a pedophilic ex-priest, or any one of us sinners?