Did you see Star Wars in 3D? I did. That was fun! Maybe not quite as much fun as seeing the original movie for the first time. I was grateful to again be reminded that “The Force” became a metaphor for God a generation ago and perhaps is becoming a concept for God even for the current generation of young movie-goers. But wait. Could God have a “dark side” as The Force appears to have? My colleague, Eric Nelson, writing for the January 11, 2016 edition of Communities Digital News, poses just that question and provides Bible insights on this universal inquiry about the nature of the Divine. Here’s Eric:
Just when you think desert scavenger and part-time spaceship pilot Rey is about to lose her battle with Kylo Ren toward the end of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” something surprising happens.
Despite all the commotion – and the fact that she’s about to be taken out by Ren’s lightsaber – Rey becomes suddenly aware of her innate ability to use “The Force.” She closes her eyes gently, as though she were praying, and moments later finds herself exhibiting near-superhuman powers in a fierce counterattack, leaving Ren wounded and cowering in a pile of snow.
Whether you’re a seasoned “Star Wars” fan or a newcomer to the franchise, equating this force with some sort of divine power, even God, is hardly going out on a limb. Whether or not it’s a fair comparison, however, is another matter.
At first blush the Force appears to be a pretty cool thing, described by Wikipedia as “a binding, metaphysical, and ubiquitous power” generally used for noble purposes. But it doesn’t take long before you discover that this power also has a dark side (think Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and the aforementioned Ren), fueled by such emotions as anger, greed, jealousy, hate and fear.
For anyone living in Old Testament times, such a mixture of good and evil qualities probably seemed like an apt way to describe God. Come to think of it, that’s likely how a lot of people today think of him. But by the time you get to the New Testament, more often than not God is portrayed as a consistent force for good….