What does the Joker and Luke Skywalker have in common? They both oppose order: be it rational order in Gotham City, or the Empire’s New Order.
But don’t take my word for it. When two blogs that I follow type up very similar posts, I have to wonder if they are reading each other (actually, I know they do).
But check out these quick hits because anytime theology, Batman, and Star Wars are in the same post, you know it’s gonna be good.
Blake Huggins: The Joker was/is right . He writes about the Joker quote while he was in the hospital room with Two-Face. But he had this tidbit which caused me to think a bit:
[W]e had all been conditioned to go along with “the plan,” even if, as The Joker notes, the plan is horrifying. The plan was indeed horrifying, but most everyone went right along with it because the establishment said so and had, in effect, manufactured the consent of the masses beforehand.
It seems to me that unless this hegemony of thought is somehow subverted, not necessarily by complete chaos, but by intentional anarchic acts of liberative resistance and inquiry, the established Order will continue to see that everything goes according to plan.
[W]e’re left with the same question Darth Vader presents to Luke. “Join me and we can bring order to this planet.” Taking these men down seems right. But in doing so, we’re left with the question of which side we’re joining. Is control and order really the answer? Is force really the most restorative pathway?
Because once I join the effort to control, I then approve of its measure. If I approve of the killing of these people, to remove what seems like the chaos of the universe, I approve of the removal of me the moment I create chaos. And that line of order becomes entirely subjective on any side. It can be moved at any time based upon whim and circumstance, or as the men above choose. And what eventually occurs is a culture based in fear, not freedom. The order that was supposed to happen occurs, if only for a select group of people. As long as we’re on the good side, we’re safe. But step over the line and we’re at risk.
Done reading? Good. Thoughts?
- Think about religion and politics abuses like these idiot pastors. By amassing political power into the church, they risk prescribing Christian behavior instead of embracing our human freedom to choose it. And that’s a failure of the church even if it results in outlawed “unChristian” behavior.
- Think about church growth. By systematically encouraging church growth through marketing principles with an “ends justify the means” paradigm, we risk Order overturning the chaotic relationships that often result in Christian discipleship.
- Think about pastors and church leaders. Do you regard them as prophetic in every word they say? I have to wrestle with and challenge even my closest of prophetic friends, because I won’t let them sell me a plan that I’m not with.
- Think about Jesus. Better yet, read what both these bloggers write about Jesus and Order.
Blake : maybe Jesus has more in common with the Joker than we are willing to admit. Indeed, perhaps Jesus goes even further than the Joker by actually taking on the violence of the established Order and unmasking it for what it is — and the best part is that he, unlike the Joker, refuses to play by the rules of the Order, that is, by participating in violence. Thus, Jesus is the ultimate villian of the established Order.
Jonathan : I keep thinking of the moments Jesus is standing in front of Herod and dying on the cross. He could have assumed control and brought order to the world. But to do so would be to go against love. Instead he established a world based in chaos that allows people to harm each other. But more importantly, he provides the ability to transcend that chaos through love by the power of His Spirit. It’s a culture based in the exact opposite, in freedom not in fear.
I’ve got a lot to think about. I don’t really have a well-thought-out plan of how to respond to these excellent (and geeky) posts. Do you?
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