Monday, August 31, 2015

Spock, Messiah: How Leonard Nimoy Saved a Southern Boy

Ears, shmeers - I'm telling you, you're gonna
plotz when you see him.
As a devoted follower of Christ, Bible teacher and jail preacher, I know Who my savior is, and that is Jesus Christ. What makes me laugh and smile is how He, the messiah, used a Jewish actor to save my heart and soul for Him.

I am so grateful for Leonard Nimoy and so saddened by his death this year, it has taken me this long to write what he meant to me as Mr. Spock.

I was 8 or 9 years old when I met Mr. Spock. I remember Ted Simpson, my older brother's 16-year-old friend watching TV with me and saying during the  commercial for the series, "Oh man! Star Trek is coming back on!"

"What's Star Trek?" I asked.

"Oh, it's cool, man. They have a ship and go to different planets. You'd like it. Look, that's Mr. Spock!" On the screen, I saw this fierce-looking man with a cool demeanor, sharp eyebrows and pointed ears wearing a blue shirt with insignia on it.

I was hooked, I think, at that moment.

This was 1975, two years before Star Wars. I was a baby-faced boy with teenagers around me who listened to Led Zeppelin, Three Dog Night and Jimi Hendrix. I was intimidated by them; I was in awe of them.

Ted Simpson said Star Trek was cool; ergo, Mr. Spock was cool.

I watched Star Trek, you betcha.

Back then, we GLUED props together.
In a short time, I was a complete Trekkie. I had Mr. Spock pyjamas, a model of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and the landing party Exploration Kit, which, strangely enough was scaled to fit the hands of a child. Funny that.

I collected all the novels and books, and seriously knew every episode title and number. I loved Star Trek. It was years before I really knew why.

It wasn't the morality tales or the action as much as the interaction between Kirk, Spock and McCoy.

Now, I was a geek. Did not like sports, but loved reading, math and science. I did not have a lot of compassion for my fellow man, being usually mocked or ridiculed by my fellow man at recess, at the bus stop, in classrooms...

Guess, take a wild guess, which of the three characters I admired the most.

The strongest, smartest, most capable, most logical, most self-controlled member of the U.S.S. Enterprise - Mr. Spock.

Leonard Nimoy made Spock happen as a fully realized character. He made choices that showed he had a heart and loved and had all the noble qualities of a noble man. He also was a bit of a mystic scientist who used his mind to the Nth degree. He was not ruled by feelings or emotion, yet it was a lie to say he was cold and heartless. Something he was accused of, constantly by the over-exhuberant Dr. McCoy.

I needed a role-model like that. I needed to know that my feelings should NOT rule me. I needed to see Geek as Cool. I needed to know feeling like and alien and lonely in school or being mistreated was not the end of the world.

Nimoy as Spock showed me that. Unselfish and forthright, he was a truly admirable character. He had flaws and pride, but he was never unjust or petty or willing to sacrifice his character.

Damn, we need more like him, don't we?


Well, anyway.

When we see our messiah in scripture, we honestly don't associate logic to Him, do we? We have been too abused by the emo-fascism of the worldlings who refuse to think past their pain and self-pity.

In other words, Dr. McCoy has been doing most of the talking from our pulpits. If you are a pastor, everyone loves to come tell you how scared they are, how worried they are, how they are upset about their children, their health, their finances or radical Muslims.

It is enough to make you scream. It's as if the moment any emotion showed up, they lost any hope or faith that God is in control and will help those who ask.

They are ruled by their emotions, not reason. Not logic.

Mr. Spock taught me that logic wins. Emotions are fleeting - and don't worry, you'll be afraid of something different tomorrow, I assure you - but reason and logic rule inexorably.

I do not want to throw you off: strict naturalism is not logic. In other words, if you pooh-pooh the existence of the supernatural, you are not being logical, you are merely being a strict naturalist.

You are an anti-supernaturalist. That is not the same as being logical.

Your presuppositions that there is NO supernatural realm blind you. Your assumptions limit you.

True logic works from givens - established facts and rules. It extrapolates from there. So when Jesus is dealing with supernatural problems, we ignore His logic because...

...well, we just can't go there.

So listen to what the supernatural man-god said  to his opponents, about how ridiculous their accusations were. They were, in fact, saying he was a demon prince because he was breaking all their human traditions and rules.

Matthew 12:22-29

22 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.

25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, [then] by whom do your sons cast them out?

Therefore they will be your judges. [Sons judging dads?! Outrageous!]

28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

Do you see the bolded and the underlined words above? Yeah, those are logic operands.

If "X", Then "Y". If Condition of "X", Execute "Y".

Jesus is showing these men who hate Him how ridiculous their false accusations are.

He just blasts them with logic. Yeah, we are talking about doing something weird and supernatural - exorcism - but we are speaking of using our reason in the same breath.

Mr. Spock taught me to use logic while loving, and wisdom when I did not have all the facts. He even taught me a little bit about faith and hope at the same time.

Because, face it folks, a superstrong, half-alien first officer of a starship with a computer-like mind should not be second-in-command - nor tolerate one-twentieth of the jealous diatribes that the chief medical officer threw at him unless he had a good reason.

A very good reason.

He loved them.

It was the logical thing to do.


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