Saturday, 20 March 2010

Stargate 1 series and faith

Leviticus 24:10-23 took on additional significance because we have been watching some of the Stargate 1 series. In that series, the priors of the ori kill off the disbelievers. They use their powers to force people to believe or at least into subservience.

In the Leviticus passage, the judgement is that a man should be put to death for blaspheming the name of God. Knight says that what this man was doing was “stirring up trouble” among the people to encourage them to be “disloyal to the Lord” (p 147). He goes on to talk of this man trying to destroy ye faith of Israel.

This could be argued that this is exactly what the Stargate team are doing with respect to the people's faith in the ori. Now the precedent has been set in Israel, there is the threat that those who endeavour to draw others from belief should be put to death.

Is disbelief the same as drawing others from belief, maybe more accurately actively trying to stop belief? The Stargate series seems to want to promote the idea of faith but tinged with the uncertainty of what that faith means. In the context of the Leviticus passage, that series begins to make Israel's faith one of fear in possibly a false God.

There are some other interesting aspects of the Stargate series. The Stargate team claims to go out to build bridges and in peace to learn about new people but is reality, they go out prepared to do battle with those they meet. If the people attack then they will defend but they don't see that carrying weaponry is a provocative act.

I can understand that we may push a person out of the community of fellowship who actively seeks to destroy the fellowship. In the times of Moses, this may have meant death. The question is whether Israel would have tolerated the doubter or the person who disbelieved.

The implication of the passage is that God declared the death sentence and that it was carried out by the people. It wasn't Gods representative, Moses, who made the judgement and completed the sentence. This could be considered a contrast with Stargate although the prior or his representative have tended to conduct the fulfilment of the sentence.

These parallels should cause us to think about our faith and what it means. The ancients in the Stargate series could be seen as ancestors who have ascended. This leaves the concept of faith open to many of our world religions. Even the concept of incarnation seems to be present. Is this series questioning faith or arguing for faith even in a technological world?

Reference:

Knight, G. A. F. (1981). Leviticus. Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press.

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