I’m a sucker for magical and sci-fi movies and TV shows. If a show involves anything remotely related to supernatural powers, flying, magic, time travel, and legends, I’d watch it. So I watched the movie StarGate, the prelude to one of the longest running TV shows in America, StarGate S-1.
I’m also a sucker of good theology. I often kid myself that when I grow up, I would like to be a combination of John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, RC Sproul and D. A. Carson. If I could manage to get a bit of Philip Yancey and Charles Swindoll on the side, that would be really, really awesome.
If you think there’s a huge disconnect about me liking magical fantasies and sound theology, relax. C. S. Lewis did it. I’m not alone. Now back to StarGate.
The StarGate movie had a simple plot. Egyptian civilization was started by the sun god Ra using his advanced technology. He came to earth via a device called StarGate, a portal that could take you to other galaxies. Ra took some ancient Egyptians to another planet to work as his slaves, but in order to avoid the mistake he did with Egyptians from Earth, he outlawed reading and writing there. The people spoke Ancient Egyptian dialect but they can’t read and write simple glyphs.
Ignorance kept the people on the yoke of slavery. Illiteracy bound them for generations. Not knowing and “not caring about knowing” subjected them to hard labor, fear and superstition, until the reading of ancient, worn out glyphs paved the way for their freedom. Egyptologist Daniel Jackson broke their chains with simple knowledge.
The spiritual parallel is unmistakable here. But unlike them, we suffer from information overload to the point that we consciously avoid necessary information. When you begin to speak or write something sensible, people’s automatic response is: “That’s deep! You’re weird.”
Critical thinking is never deep. It should be as normal as breathing. Careful analysis is never weird. It should be natural to anyone who is sane. Herd mentality and gullibility, that’s what’s weird. Following fads without asking WHY, that’s deep, as in deeply disturbing.
Ours is a culture of ignorance by choice. And if our society and culture go down the drain, we have nothing to blame but our self imposed ignorance and refusal to read and write sensibly.