Star Trek And Besetting Sin

star-trek-into-darknessI realize I’m late to the party, but at long last I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness. (The good news is, I saw it at one of those incredibly low discount theaters and only paid $2.00! The screen was truly BIG, and the chairs literally shook whenever the Enterprise went into warp drive.)

The short version of the story is that young Captain Kirk chases after a murderous, vengeful “superman,” named Kahn, who was genetically enhanced. In many ways, Kirk and Kahn are alike. Both are captains willing to lay down their lives for their crews. Both have suffered loss. Both feel murderous rage as a result. Both initially seek revenge. Both are capable of formulating intricate plots to get what they want, acting as renegades to pull off their schemes.

But what separates them makes all the difference. Kirk has a friend, Mr. Spock, who tells him the truth. And he listens. Kahn, on the other hand, places himself above all other humans.

While Kirk accedes to Spock’s urging to reject the role as judge, jury, and executioner, Kahn embraces it with no regard to the hundreds of people who will die in the process of carrying out his revenge.

The common thread running through both men’s lives is more than their similar circumstances. They both have what some might call a “hero’s complex.” They think putting things right is up to them, and they both are willing to disregard regulations or safety concerns or common sense to do what they think needs to be done.

Another way of saying this is that both men have a huge ego. They think they see things right and everyone else needs to catch up, shut up, or give up.

Except Kirk realizes at one point that he was wrong. Besides listening to Spock and putting his desire for revenge behind him, he apologizes to Scotty and elicits his help. He even admits that he doesn’t know what to do to get them out of trouble, that Mr. Spock is more fit to be the captain.

And despite Kahn’s talk, it is Kirk who actually acts on his proclamation that he would give his life for his crew.

Nevertheless, what I found fascinating in the movie is that both the hero and the villain shared the same besetting sin–the old problem of pride common to Humankind. Pretty interesting for a movie that got in at least one anti-supernatural line.

It seems that literature cannot deny the truth that in all of Humankind there is the likeness of God, mixed with the sin of Satan–the pride and desire he put before Eve to be like God. And how ironic–they who had been created in God’s image, desiring to be like God. Apparently they didn’t realize they already were like Him. Instead, they settled for willfulness, selfishness, self-centeredness–things which Kirk and Kahn shared. Things which all humans share.

Published in: on August 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm  Comments Off on Star Trek And Besetting Sin  
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