Missing the Point

When a person hates something so deeply, like religion and everything that it stands for, then said person can see something that paints the object of his hatred in a positive light and completely, totally, utterly miss it. Especially when this “something” seems to paint the object of hatred negatively at first.

This clip from the TV series Firefly seems to be painting religion (specifically, the Bible) in a very negative light:

River, always logical to a fault, is trying to “fix” the broken parts of the Bible. At least what she perceives to be broken. Shepherd Book, on the other hand, tries to explain something that uber-logical River probably isn’t equipped to understand: what it means to actually have faith in something intangible yet bigger than yourself.

I like what Book tells her: “You don’t fix faith. Faith fixes you.”

Book points to a deeper truth about faith: that it is meant to fix our broken human condition. We who have faith acknowledge that our condition is flawed and that it requires fixing. We also realize that we aren’t capable of doing that on our own: God is required to heal our souls. That’s where faith–that is, trust–comes in. We have to trust that God is capable of doing that, that God is willing to do that, and that God will do that (see Rom 8:29-30).

In the end, this clip gives an excellent definition of what it means to have faith in something larger than ourselves–faith in the divine. At first blush, this scene seems to be making a negative comment about the Bible itself, and religion in general. In reality, it is driving home what Christianity has always taught: that we are broken and in need of a Savior who accomplishes our salvation through faith. The faith we have fixes our broken human condition.

The real point of this clip is utterly lost on the atheists. If you don’t believe me, read the comments below the clip:

“faith fixes you” my a**. faith breaks you down and then makes you into an unthinking zombie, at least our current faiths act as such.

the only way to “fix” the bible is to burn it and p*** on the ashes. (edited for content, by “theeyeisblind” with four “thumbs up” from other users as of this writing)

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on October 3, 2010, in Bible Thoughts, God, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow. My heart is breaking for those comment writers. I hear a lot of hurt behind those words. This is a great reminder that my faith can’t just be on the inside. I need to live it out so that the world sees what faith is, and even more importantly, the One in Whom I have faith. Thanks for the post!

    • In my ministry, I very often deal with a wide variety of atheists. Some are open to discussing the Christian faith. Thank God that happens to be most of my current set of commenters. But many are like this anonymous character that I quoted in the post: they don’t want God, they don’t need God, they don’t even believe that God exists. Worse, they think that if he does exist that he’s malevolent and unworthy of our worship. It is sad to hear people say things like that; and these are usually the most amoral and potty-mouthed ones of the bunch.

      I think you’re taking it the right way: live your faith out and wear it on your sleeve. St Francis of Assisi said it’s no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching. Be Christ’s love to someone, and maybe you’ll have planted a seed that God will use one day to bring that person to faith. It’s a simple formula and if more Christians followed it then perhaps we’d be seeing a different picture in America and Europe today. Instead of Christianity falling apart and losing all of its influence, we’d see secular folks far more willing to commit their lives to Christ in faith.

      But even the secularization of America has a purpose in God’s plan, and we must ultimately trust him to work things out for the greater good of all. Meanwhile, let’s all take a closer look at our own lives and ask how we can better demonstrate Christ’s love with our words and our deeds. Who knows? We might start a new revolution in the church!

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