It’s no secret, I’m a fan of sci-fi. One show I really like is Stargate-SG1. Those who are movie-purists don’t like the show, but I bridged the gap. All of my watching has been done in reruns. The show was on for 10 years and it’s spin-off, Stargate Atlantis is in it’s fourth and final season. Late in the SG1 story line, after beating the original bad guys (the guys I can’t spell), and after beating the next bad guys (the replicators), they introduced a whole new kind of bad guy. After all, an adventure show needs bad guys for the heros to beat. These bad guys were called the Ori.
They are supernatural being. They ascended from a physical form to an energy form and live forever. They send out missionaries called Priors to the planets of the galaxy to spread Origin, the teaching of the Ori. What is the Gospel of the Ori? The Ori are good, loving, and benevolent beings who alone hold the truth of reality. They want to share their love, their truth, and the ability to ascend with all who would follow them, those who would devote themselves to worshipping them as the only true gods. If people don’t, they they will be punished forever with fire. This sounds familiar…
The first time I saw these guys I was irritated. Supernatural being of “love” who have the only teaching on the truth, and if you reject it you die and spend eternity in fire. That’s essentially what I believe to be reality. These guys were being portrayed as the bad guys. But there was something wrong. There was something missing. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. This is right, but it is missing something. What is it?!
Then it occurred to me. Actually it was probably the Holy Spirit speaking to me. The Ori, representing Christianity, were delivering a “turn or burn” message. Receive God’s love or perish. It was a matter of choice. The heros of the show tell people that that isn’t so, that people have a choice and those choices need to be respected. It’s like going to a world-view buffet; it’s all good, chose what you want. But in reality it isn’t a matter of choice. I’m not talking about predestination vs. free will, that’s another issue. I’m talking about the fact that we don’t believe in God because it’s what we have chosen to do, it’s what we need to do.
We don’t need to choose to believe in God simply to avoid Hell. We need to choose God because we need to be saved. The Ori approach, which is nearly a mirror image of how the world sees things, is like this. We are all on a ship. Christians (the Ori) are running around the ship throwing life vests at everyone saying, “You’re drowning! Take the vest or you will drown!” when, according to their view, everyone is chilling in deck chairs working on their tan, or playing volley ball, or taking a nap. No one is in the ocean, no one is drowning, no on needs saving. That’s how the world sees itself. That’s how the heros of Stargate see things.
The reality is that the world is in the ocean, it is in danger of drowning, it does need saving, it does need to chose to believe in the one true God because only He can save them. How is the world in the ocean? It’s a question of nature. Mankind is not basically good, it is basically bad. The Bible calls this the sin nature, or the flesh. Because of this nature we are separated from God. Because we are separated from God, if we die in that state, we will go to Hell because God is perfect and He cannot coexist with sin, with imperfection. God isn’t the Ori, trying to make followers because He gets thrills off of it or something. God went way out of His way to save us. He did something that was totally unfair for Him to do; sacrificed His Son to pay the price for our sinful nature, to give us a new nature. To replace our fallen, sinful, flesh nature with His perfect, just, and holy nature.
God’s message isn’t only “turn or burn”, but “Be reconciled to God!” (2 Cor 5:17+). The Ori really are the bad guys. But I can’t help notice that they are a characterization of Christianity boldly claiming that they are the only way to eternal life. They are a counterfeit. I just had to point that out. The reality of Christianity, the reality of the Bible, is not the fiction of the Ori. It isn’t about what we do, it’s about what God has done.
Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.