Miles O’Brien in the Pew

This one might be a bit of a stretch…

“Any true definition of preaching must say that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is ‘an ambassador of Christ’. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people.” – Martyn Lloyd-Jones Preaching and Preachers (emphasis added)

“Anyway, let’s move on to somebody even more important, perhaps the most important person in Starfleet history, Chief Miles O’Brien.” – A far future professor Star Trek Lower Decks

If at a first pass neither of these quotes mean anything to the reader it is understandable, so I will clarify. The connection that appears to myself is in the designation of commissioned person and in the case of Mile O’Brien that he was an enlisted man. I think that it is an interesting distinction to kick around. 

In the current age we are a fame obsessed people. We want attention from the adoring masses. From pastors on down the drive is to achieve a level of notoriety. There has been no shortage of pastors displaying a propensity to implode in the pursuit of fame. Recently TGC put out yet another article on the scourge of plagiarism in the pulpits. A chief motivation is to gain an ever larger collection of the public eye (which is a complete and total failure to do what Lloyd-Jones is instructing above). The view from the congregation is to desire even the modest position of attention held in that platform. While the reality for the vast majority of Christians is that we are all enlisted men. 

“Thanks, but no thanks. That’s why I stayed an enlisted man.” – Miles O’Brien DS9 Past Tense Part 1

A few days before writing this Alex Harris (the brother of Josh who kissed dating then Christianity goodbye) was on a podcast where he talked about the blessing of having the spotlight removed from himself after having achieved fame at a young age. It’s rare to hear from someone who can acknowledge their appointment to a humble calling and take joy in it.

To return to my illustration from Trek a ship of all officers will not function any better than a ship of all enlisted crewman. Each requires the other. And while, yes, to aspire to the office of elder is a good thing, in a church, that does not mean that every man is supposed to, or will be, an elder. Officers holding commissions do catch the eye, but the approval of man is not what Christians are called to seek. It is the approval of the eternal God. He, who sees the beginning and the end, and all of the little fiddly bits in-between. Perhaps by over hyping our own importance we actually miss out on the greater remembrance. 

Kirk, Picard, Sisko, and Janeway had their place in history, but they apparently didn’t make the long term cut. It would appear that despite it’s atheistic premise Trek can not stay out of the truth. Faithfulness and Humility last longer and are more impactful that gaining the temporary spotlight. 

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