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?


The Texican said...

Are you available to come down here in "view of a call"? Great message. Perhaps we'll see you on television every Sunday in the near future. Thanks, Pappy


Sure, I'll come on down. (laugh) Been a long time since I've been to Texas!

Anonymous said...

Hey, great and to the point!! I also get disturbed that we do the categorizing. Recently, it was revealed that someone I knew had spent time in prison, and a family member's reaction was "you need to be careful around him." But I thought, why? Should I change my feelings now, because he is forgiven, and that's in the past? No. He will be treated the same by me, always.
PS--I wanna see the movie, too!

Technonana said...

Preach on my brother!!! God can and will use all those He chooses.
I wonder if anyone on this series was or is searching for the truth.


Jade - This may be a generalization, but it's probably true in most cases that the problem is not really with the person who has made the mistake, but with the individual(s) who cannot let go of prejudices or judgments.

Techie - I don't know the spiritual beliefs of anyone on the show, but I think the two principle actors aren't Christians. There might have been someone on the writing or production team, though, who was open to the possibility that there's a God.

Eaglewing said...

Good post, intriguing thoughts. Now I want to see the movie too.


Eagle - It's strange, but I liked it.