Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Face in the Rorschach (Watchmen)

If we're right to stand in a long line of people including Dr. Rosenberg, Friedrich Nietzsche, and King Solomon, proclaiming that life is meaningless without God... A plot can't be written without a script-writer... A purpose can't be applied without a purpose-giver...

This causes those like Rosenberg to give up. Instead of looking for the script-writer and purpose-giver, they assume there is none.

Those who don't assume atheism seem to be stuck in a circular argument for life's meaning. It may be true that there is meaning because of God. And, God gives us meaning. But, that is begging the question. There needs to be more. How does God give life meaning? What evidence is there? How can we tell? Do we have any premises to back up our conclusions?

Without guidance, we are stuck, staring at the world as a rorschach, wondering what it means.

Relativists and Atheists alike are forced to assign a meaning. Without a purpose-giver, they feel the need to fill in the shoes. Their meaning doesn't have to apply to everyone. It doesn't even have to remain permanent. The meaning can change. It can evolve. But, whatever their meaning is, it's personal. It's favorable. It's noble.

It's something like love. Or, it could be peace. Maybe even hope or prosperity.

But, where did those ideas come from?

Let me tell you about the Rorschach.

"This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.

The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout 'Save us!'

and I'll look down, and whisper 'no.'

They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good men... Decent men, who believed in a day's work for a day's pay.

Instead they followed the droppings of lechers and communists and didn't realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late. Don't tell me they didn't have a choice.

Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody Hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers... and all of a sudden, nobody can think of anything to say..."

This quote from the first page of Watchmen echoes aspects of God found in the Old testament.

One of  them is Deuteronomy 32.

The chapter begins by describing God as the father of all. He knows us as His children. He has seen our true face.

But, just as Rorschach's city has fallen, giving into filth, sex, and murder, becoming whores to idolatry,  God's children "have dealt corruptly with him; they are no longer his children because they are blemished;

they are a crooked and twisted generation..."

They had a choice. They knew their Father. But, they chose to turn from Him. They could have followed in the footsteps of righteous men... Men who feared God, men like Abraham, Israel, and Joseph.

Instead "They stirred him [the Lord] to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently..."

And, the Lord said, "I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be. For they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. For a fire is kindled by my anger..." Don't tell me they didn't have a choice.

Although, they reject God, in Egypt, before the Exodus, they had looked up to Him. And again, in the desert, they pleaded with Him. They had cried, "Save us!!"

But, He did not whisper "No."

He would have said, "'I will cut them to pieces; I will wipe them from human memory." But, if he would have, Israel's secular enemies would have thought themselves victorious. They would have taken the Lord's credit. They wouldn't have acknowledged that He is the one who had punished His children. For the other nations "are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them." How else would Israel's enemies have pursued them without the Lord having first given them up? "For their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves." Vengeance is the Lord's, both to avenge His children's abuse toward Him and the abuse of the world toward His children.

But, He did not whisper "No."

At the end, when it's all said and done, it is revealed that Rorschach is the only one who had cared for his city. There was a false blue god, who everyone put their trust into, a god who forgot human nature and became an instrument of emotionless rationality and utilitarianism. There was a man who thought it was his business and his right to control the outcome of the world. There was a woman who had always seemed more lost than found. And, there was a friend, who had given up all hope.

But, Rorschach was the only one who cared from the start.

Instead of building an earthly utopia, instead of creating perfection and/or civil unity, Rorschach had strived for truth. He knew, no matter what the cost, the truth must be known. It is up to the people to believe it. He gave his life knowing that the secret, the actions of the other "Watchmen" were soon to get out.

And, there he stands, his face finally revealed. It is battered and scarred from all of the fights and torture that he has been put through in this world... All of the things he has done, for the sake of justice, for the sake of truth, for the sake of us.

And then, our false gods, our sin, our misplaced trust... kill him...

Although, we deserve him to whisper "No." He can't. It's not in his nature. It may drive us to call him a moral monster. But, it doesn't change who he is. And, in the right perspective, we can almost understand his reason for his actions.

God's book has the same ending for us. Although, He chooses to hide His face from us, it becomes beaten, bloodied, and bruised for us. Through Jesus Christ, He lives and dies to rise again for us. He still bears scars for us.

Although he kills, he makes alive... Although he wounds, he heals... And, there is none that can deliver out of his hand.

While the world continues to remain ignorant,  void of counsel, staring at a Rorschach not knowing that it's a mask, we can understand. We can look behind the mask, we can know the Man who is also God. And, it is only through first hearing Him that we can even begin to understand the meaning of His world, His Rorschach.

If we hear Him by studying His Word, we soon find out How God gives life meaning (through love, through stewardship, through vocation, through His Son), we have documented evidence, it has been proven time and again, it supplies the premises needed to back up our conclusions.

Here, we can see that the meaning that others assign, the nobility, the love, the peace, the prosperity... The things that even they can see coming through the mask... Have really begun through Him.

And, even more-so, it is only through Him, through Christ, that our blemished, crooked and twisted perverse generation becomes clean.It becomes straight, it follows the Way, it knows the Truth, the pure path, and gives up its perversity.

This is not because of what it has done.
It was not faithful.

But, because of what He has done.
He who remains faithful.

"For it is no empty word for you, but your very life..."
Deut. 32:47.

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