Posts Tagged ‘Twilight Zone’

Below this article is the video, “The Obsolete Man”, from The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling, first aired June 2, 1961.  I issue a partial spoiler alert but even giving away some of the dialogue does not lessen the impact of this short video.

This takes place in a dystopic future ruled by the State (always a capital “S”).  Romney Wordsworth is brought before the State because he is accused of being obsolete.  Why?  He’s a librarian and as the Chancellor says to Wordsworth and the court, 

“Since there are no more books, Mr.Wordsworth, there are no more libraries, and, of course, as it follows , there is very little call for the services of a librarian. Case in point: A minister. A minister would tell us that his function is that of preaching the word of God. And since it follows that since The State has proven that there is no God, that would make the function of a minister quite academic as well….”

To which Mr. Wordsworth replies,

There IS a God!!

(Crowd jeers in shock. The chancellor looks angry)

Chancellor: You are in error, Wordsworth. There is NO GOD! (To the crowd) The STATE HAS PROVEN THAT THERE IS NO GOD!!

Wordworth: You cannot erase God, with an edict!

The current government of the United States is in the first throes of doing the same.  It is not that the Word of God and ministers, books and librarians are actually obsolete, but the government is trying to make the word of God and ministers, if not at first obsolete, at least irrelevant.  Since the ’60s, the institutional church has craved “relevancy” like a beast, in it’s sermons, catechesis and worship services.  The secularists and progressives have no trouble with that. Is it any wonder that what was called the “mainline Protestant church bodies” (Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Methodists, United Church of Christ), now the most liberal, have become the “oldline”?  For instance, by lifting out of context quotes from  statements by the current Pope, the secularist establishment  made him “Person of the Year”, that is, he’s really on their side. The armies of darkness want to enlist anyone in the church who may even sound like they are teaching their false doctrines.

The real reason for the effort to marginalize truth is that they fear truth and the Truth, except what the controllers want as the ‘truth’ which is indefensible:  murder of children in the womb, the union of same sex couples, divorce on demand, ‘hooking-up’, drugs, the self as god.  The Truth made flesh and the truths of God’s law written into the words of all cultures absolutely terrifies the controllers because, well, because it is true as it is absolute, not relativistic.  It is not ‘all relative’ as they have been falsely catechizing in academia and the media for a generation now.  The word of encouragement is Mr. Wordsworth’ s statement: “You can not erase God with an edict”.  Luther knew this as well, when he penned “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”:

The Word they still shall let remain
Nor any thanks have for it;
He’s by our side upon the plain
With his good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child, and wife,
Though these all be gone,
Our victory has been won;
The Kingdom ours remaineth.

Or as the Lutheran Book of Worship has the first lines of this stanza,”The Word shall ever remain, no thanks to foes who fear it.”  Foes do fear it. So the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to Timothy:

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering,bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!  (2 Timothy 2: 8-9;  emphasis my own)

The Word of God survived the State called the Roman Empire.  We are called to teach, preach, learn and live His Word and in His Word in this day. 

  At the end, the Chancellor himself becomes obsolete…but I won’t tell you how, watch the episode! I  said this was a partial spoiler alert. At the end Rod Serling said about the chancellor:

He was obsolete, but so is the State, the entity he worshiped. Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete. A case to be filed under “M” for mankind—in the Twilight Zone.

Yet, it is only the Lord who can truly file it under “M” for mankind, because He is the One who made mankind and redeemed mankind by becoming man, the Word of God made flesh. The state is no god.   

For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Psalm 96: 5

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Intro:  Next to watching the football games during the New Year’s weekend, my two sons love to watch the Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel.  I think it is worth a whole posting to reflect on a Twilight Zone marathon on the cusp of the New Year as something that has meaning!  But I digress:  my youngest son and I were watching and for the first time I saw what was for me a ‘new’ episode:  “The Obsolete Man”.  If you have not seen, I encourage you to watch it.  My only comment right now is that it has a Christian theme and very much akin to C.S. Lewis.  Please leave your comments.  I will post later on this episode:

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