Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Watchmaker (Watchmen)

Jon Osterman's father was a watchmaker and he expected to become one as well. But, after Hiroshima, he knew there was more potential in studying Nuclear Science. A lab accident turned Jon into a glowing, blue, super-powered being. He was soon contracted by the United States under the name of "Doctor Manhattan."

He is the only member of the Watchmen who possesses real superpowers.

These powers changed Jon from being an average, slightly nerdy, scientist to a being beyond any human capacity. His powers took a toll on his life that no one really saw coming. They say, "It's lonely at the top." And, in this loneliness, Jon began to lose his humanity.

Whenever the movie Watchmen is brought up, most people say, "Isn't that the one with the naked blue guy?" Manhattan's appearance is extremely unique, not only to the film, but even from our perspective. There's a glowing nude guy walking around. And, he's unstoppable. That's a scary thought. But, did you know that Manhattan's bare for a reason?

As Manhattan becomes more and more distant from humanity, he loses more and more of his clothes. Before the accident, Jon is always seen in a suit. He's professional. He's clothed. But, after he accidentally enters a sort of godhood, Manhattan goes from wearing a black super-suit to wearing almost no clothing at all. And, by the time his girlfriend walks out on him, he's completely naked (besides public appearances). His mind has seemingly left humanity all-together. And, he goes off into self-imposed exile on Mars.
Just think of it, going from almost nobody to becoming a god... Of course he would lose his humanity. His power is supreme over matter and time. He becomes disinterested in man. As Aristotle supposed, Manhattan seems to go on to consider things that are worth his consideration. As a god, he understands the world as only a god could. And, he goes on to consider only godly things, namely himself and the cause of his existence.

As Manhattan contemplates his course, he comes to one final conclusion: The Watchmaker. There is a dangerous step in between Atheism and Christianity: Deism. There are those who believe in a god. But, they think he must have moved away. After, he set the world into motion, it became self-sufficient. It no longer needed him. So, he moved on. And, the world, like a watch, kept on ticking.

If that is the case, we've stumbled upon more questions than answers. We may run into Dawkins' pestering question: "Well, then, who created the creator?" But, anyone who has had a minute amount of philosophy in their schooling should be able to answer with Aristotle's first cause: There must be something without a beginning in order to set everything else into motion. In the long line of cause and effect, there needs to be a first domino. Not only that, the first domino has to be set off by the person's finger or other outside influence.

It is evident that there are effects all around us. And, the most solid solution to these effects is a first cause. Still, Aristotle leaves us at the same place as the Deists. Even with a first cause, the creator-god, we come up empty in the present.

Something that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, hardly seems to be relate-able in the present. In fact, it would seem that an ancient and distant first cause would have almost nothing to do with us here and now... let alone even consider us in his thoughts.

We are left to ponder, stupefied, just like Manhattan.

There would seem to be no reason, no purpose, no explanation to anything... let alone, everything.

Here, again, we've made one fatal mistake. We've made a god in our image. We've created something arrogant enough to go and contemplate itself, a creature prideful enough to forget about those beneath him, a being so perfect that he has no room for the imperfect. We've created a monster.

Could a (morally) perfect being really ignore its creation?

Again, it is not God who has turned his face away from us, but we have turned our faces away from Him. We haven't readily accepted His own revelation. His gift of understanding Him (the Scripture).

And, we have come to our own, far-fetched conclusion. As Manhattan has already stated, "If there is a God, I am nothing like him."

In reality, God never left. You heard me. Never. The same One who was there at the beginning has continued to work with His creation. He has revealed Himself on mountaintops and burning bushes, still small voices and booming clouds.

Most importantly of all, He has revealed himself through Jesus Christ. He has not only remained present in Being and Spirit, He has became Man. And, in his manhood, He did more than just direct us back to Himself He became the only sacrifice suitable for our permanent redemption. Through His payment, His human suffering death and resurrection, we have become as children of God.

Imagine how much of a sacrifice it had been to be God and become Man. Then, think of the blessing that it is now to know that we are children in God's eyes. He does not go off to ponder vague things, thinking only of Himself. He thinks of us. Just as a parent loves, cares for, and protects their child, He does for us. Just as a father instructs, encourages, and forgives his child, He does for us. Just as a mother bears, nurtures, and strengthens her children, He does for us.

And, here, we have the answer to perhaps the most important question: Why? It is a loving mercy, a caring grace, a heartfelt forgiveness, that God has remained faithful to us. This doesn't only answer the question of why He has remained, why He has sent His Son, and why we are now able to limitlessly love one another... This is the answer to why we were made in the first place.

He is outside of time. He remains consistent. His love remains consistent. He loved us even before time existed... before we existed.

But, still, we flee from Him. Like a smothered child, we take his grace for granted. We insist we can do without. Although the perfect being, the only pure person, God Himself, has become incarnate, lived, died, and rose for us, we turn the other way.

And, in doing so, we lose our humanity.

This reminds me of another man who had lost who he was:

"For a long time he had worn no clothes," like Manhattan he had forgot what it was to be human. He had lost his grip. He had lost most hope. "He had not lived in a house but among the tombs." He was as the dead, certain of his finality. "When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice,

'What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.'

Jesus then asked him, 'What is your name?' And he said, 'Legion,' for many demons had entered him" They feared Him. And, they listened to Him. These are demons we're talking about.

"Even the demons believe--and shudder!"

We must be careful. We must not be swayed by Atheist or Deist philosophies. For, if we are, we become more like Satan than God. And, more like demons than humans.

We were made in God's image. To know Him is to better-know ourselves. (Or, at least, who we should be.)

We were naked. He is the one who first clothed us. And, He is the one who re-clothed us with sanctification bought by the blood of His Son. He is the one who formed us into who we are. He is the one that has given us our humanity. But, not only that, He has bought us our eternity.

He is the one who stepped down from heaven to save us from our own filth and impurity. He cleansed us from the ashes and dust that we are. And, He has allowed us to be something more.

We must not only know God in a rational or empirical way, we cannot only believe that He exists, that He created everything, that He is God. We must also put our love and faith, our hope and trust in Him. He is our Father and our guide.

And, we are His children, His love, His heart, and His Bride. And, we belong with Him.

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