Last Sunday we had a special guest speaker at our church, Calvary Chapel Boise. Dr. Clark Peddicord teaches Philosophy and Theology in Berlin, Germany, where he lives and works with his wife Ann in an intentional spiritual community based in the southwest center of the city. The project is called “Philosophia Europa.” He was visiting Boise, ID and gave his views on the book series and movie called The Hunger Games. Below are my notes from the second half of his message. (Note: I have not read the books or yet seen the movie; the words here and opinions expressed are those of Dr. Peddicord. Also, Part 1 of this message gives away the plot, so consider this your spoiler alert!)
Yesterday we examined three main things The Hunger Games shows us: 1) Basic humanity is in danger. 2) Life has immense value. 3) Human beings are deeply flawed. Today’s message will focus on something The Hunger Games fails to address: What is the foundation for the value of human life? We will examine this question using a biblical and spiritual approach.
To save humanity, we need something far deeper than tribal loyalty, or even species loyalty. In the third book one of the game masters, who is actually a rebel, tries to comfort Katniss and says, “Maybe we’re evolving far enough that we’ll stop killing one another. Katniss basically says, “Are you an idiot? Look at reality. Is that any kind of hope?” There is this gaping hole in the middle which isn’t filled in this book series or movie about the WHY human life is so valuable, so important.
Here are three points to address this issue that Dr. Peddicord offered:
1) We need a transcendent reference point outside of ourselves that gives value to human life. Human value and dignity is a fragile thing. It has to have a reference point that is beyond change or relativism. Otherwise, when life becomes difficult, it gets compromised. Nazism gave rise to a culture of death. Death became glorified. What is to ensure we won’t go down this same path today? We need to have some way to orient ourselves to true justice.
2) We need a global ethic and core rules for humanity. These are found in every one of the world’s religions and great philosophies of human history. There are human universals and ideals for every society. The Bible says that God’s law is written upon our hearts. Human beings are made in the image of God and immensely valuable. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall become children of God. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Blessed are the meek.” Meek people recognize their own limitations are their own fallibility. We need to rediscover this this idea in our world.
3) We need an ultimate solution to our broken and flawed human nature. Jesus is God’s “countermove” to give a final solution to our human brokenness and how damaged we are as a species. The apostle Peter once said that there is going to come a time when justice does take place. When wrongs are made right. When God will restore all things. He linked this statement to the person of Jesus. He said that Jesus is the one who will bring back the good that has been lost. We’ll see Christ as the “Pentocrator,” or world ruler. We need a final, absolute solution to our brokenness. I would recommend Jesus. He offers Himself to us as the solution.
The Bible says:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” Psalm 139:13-15
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
“And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Genesis 9:5-6
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:5-10
Do you know you were created by God and made in His image? Do you know that God values your life enough to come to Earth as a human, suffer trials, and even death on your behalf? He loves you more than you can ever imagine. He wants you to spend all of eternity with Him! We truly are fatally flawed as humans. We all carry a sinful nature inside of us that wants to do evil over good. We are at war with ourselves, with the devil and with this world. Evil leads nowhere but death and destruction. Jesus offers life and hope and peace. Have you accepted Him into your heart? This world can change for the better, one life at a time. God cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness and perfects us day by day into His image. Without the sacrifice Jesus made upon the cross, humanity would be doomed. There would be no good. No hope. No love. No life. What a sad place this world would be if God did not love humanity so much. Praise God that He has sent a Savior to this dark world. Grasp onto Jesus Christ today and receive life abundantly! Each and ever life is important to God. The Bible says, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent” Luke 5:7. When you turn from your wicked ways and choose to follow God, He notices – He rejoices over you and welcome you as a son or daughter into the Kingdom of Heaven!
The Hunger Games Discussion Part 1: https://faithfull4him.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/the-hunger-games-discussion-part-1/