Spock and the Duality of the Christian Heart

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When does a story become more than just a story? What makes a work of fiction truly great? I would argue that the “magic element” is the presence of fascinating characters who not only entertain us, but who reflect the truth about ourselves.

With this in mind, if I were asked to choose the one fictional character who I find to be most fascinating, I would have to choose Spock from the Star Trek franchise. Working alongside some of the most recklessly passionate humans to ever exist aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, this Vulcan scientist’s obsession with logic makes him appear to be a fish out of water. Seeing the emotional ups and downs of human beings through his eyes, however, is always highly entertaining:

“May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving with Humans? I find their illogic and foolish emotions a constant irritant.” – Spock

But don’t let Mister Spock fool you – he’s not as cool or as perfect as he strives to appear. While he is half-Vulcan (thus the near absence of emotion and inspiring intelligence), he is also half-human, and watching him grapple with the inner war between his two competing natures is a fascinating experience.

And a familiar one.

The Duality of the Christian Heart

It would be wonderful if we could become Christians and achieve instant perfection – never having to worry with sinful desires or selfish attitudes again. But that’s not how it works. While we are instantly redeemed the instant we ask Christ into our hearts, we will not be completely sanctified, or made perfect in nature, until Christ comes again.

“But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” – I Thessalonians 5:21-24

In the meantime, we are left to struggle with the duality of our nature. As Jesus describes in Matthew 26:41, at times our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak. Each day we face the inner turmoil of a great battle raging within our hearts – the Spirit of God is working to make us more like Christ, while our sinful nature is working to drag us down.

This daily battle is exhausting – and often surprises new Christians. I remember several of my former Sunday School students calling me to talk about daily temptation, and how they felt guilty because “strong Christians” don’t seem to struggle with that kind of thing. My answer was always the same. Every human being struggles with daily temptation – mature Christians have simply fought those battles enough times that they have learned how to arm themselves against the attacks they know are coming. In fact, persevering through these spiritual battles is how strong Christians become strong Christians!

Scripture tells us not to be surprised by this inner conflict. Instead, we are to think of ourselves as aliens and strangers in this world:

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” – John 15:19

“For you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God.” – I Peter 2:10-12

Spock – Grace Under Pressure

Which brings me back to what I love most about Spock. Despite the raging battle within him and the constant onslaught of danger from without, he handles each situation with admirable grace and an overwhelming sense of calm. The reason for his heroic efforts to thwart evil and save the day? It’s only logical, of course!

“Without followers, evil cannot spread.” – Spock

While Spock is a work of fiction, he reminds me that the world is full of actual Christian heroes who defy logic and, in the power of not the Holy Spirit, manage to valiantly tame the beast within and win great spiritual victories against overwhelming odds. Stories of these seasoned veterans of the faith inspire me to no end, and motivate me to follow their example.

May we all learn to walk with the Spirit in this way, and in so doing, to “live long and prosper.”

 

What fictional character do you find most intriguing, and why?

 

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Photo Credit: Free “Star Trek” Wallpaper Images – http://startrekdesktopwallpaper.com

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21 thoughts on “Spock and the Duality of the Christian Heart

  1. Well, since you asked…..lol. I think Thor is awesome. His sheer strength alone is great of course, but i love how he can just stand there and extend his arm and yell HAMMER!!!! And voila!
    Remember you asked. Lol. 😃😃

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  2. Excellent post John. Wish we did just have the old nature annihilated at salvation, but it is Him that is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. It’s not about us but Christ. Thanks!!

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    1. I agree, Levi…and taking up our cross daily through fighting these battles is what allows us to follow Christ’s example. It’s a beautiful adventure, if you think of it that way!

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  3. Reblogged this on The Artistic Christian and commented:

    I was so sad to hear yesterday that Leonard Zimoy, who entertained us for years by embodying the beloved Star Trek character, Spock, passed away after 83 years. I’m reblogging this older post as a tribute to a truly great actor who made the world fall in love with an absolutely fascinating character!

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  4. Reblogged this on Thoughts from a Christian Cowgirl and commented:
    Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played dear old Spock, passed away two days ago at the age of 83. John Mark Miller reblogged this his archives and I’ll reblog it from there. Have a great time reading about the fascinating and hilarious character of Spock.

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  5. I absolutely loved this post! This dual nature is a subject I have been interested in for decades. There are Bible verses that speak of the “spirit”, “inner man” or the “hidden man of the heart” as opposed to the “outer man”, the “flesh” or “vessel” or “tent”. I know we are to strive to follow the spirit, but so many people have forgotten all about the two-fold nature of believers, and distort the passages on the “new creature”. As a result many Christians start to doubt that their faith is genuine. I wish more people would teach what you have in this post.

    I used to find “Lieutenant Columbo” intriguing. He was so clever and let bad guys treat him like he was an idiot, and hardly ever lost his temper. 🙂

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  6. My favorite fictional character is Doctor Who, particularly the Tenth Doctor as portrayed by David Tennant. The character has almost Christ-like qualities, and my favorite moment is when he defeats one of his greatest enemies by saying, “I forgive you.”

    Liked by 1 person

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