Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
When I first heard the news, I can't exactly describe to you what went through my mind. I wasn't happy, nor was I sad. I was more amazed by the news than anything else. And, being an Adventures in Odyssey addict, I was reminded of the legacy of Dr. Regis Blackgaard.
Of course, I realize that there are a few significant differences between Dr. Blackgaard and Osama Bin Ladin. One was fictional, the other was real. One was responsible for a death or two (that we know of), while the other was responsible for thousands (that we know of). One pursued evil because of greed, the other followed evil because of a corrupt ideology.
However, there are some important similarities, or parallels, too. Blackgaard was the face of evil in the world of Adventures in Odyssey much like how Osama Bin Laden was the face of terrorism during the past decade. It took both individuals several years to come to their respective ends-- unlike many bad-guys in the Novacom Saga and The Green Ring Conspiracy who were captured quickly. And similar to how the youth around the US witnessed Osama's rise and fall, Lucy Schultz witnessed both Blackgaard's arrival into town and finally saw him descend into the abyss many years later. More importantly, in both the fictional world of Odyssey and in our real world, there was an uncomfortable sense that "evil got away". At one point in the series, Paul McCusker reflects back on the life of Blackgaard, "Sooner or later Dr. Blackgaard had to have his comeuppance. We don't want to teach our audience that there is no justice". However, during the years that Bin Laden remained hidden, many of us did wonder, "where was Justice?" and, "will it ever come?"
There seems to be two thoughts growing among Christians after the death of Osama Bin Ladin. Christianitytoday.com posted several pieces on this issue the morning after the news broke. One of them, "Do Not Gloat vs. Joy to the Righteous", records the numerous Bible verses posted on Twitter after the death of Bin Ladin. One group quoted verses like this one, "For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and Live!" (Ezekiel 18, 32); while another group quoted versus along the lines of, "When Justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers" (Proverbs: 21: 15). So, do we rejoice over Osama's death, or don't we?
Gideon Strauss says that we shouldn't: "
The citizens of Odyssey do not flock towards the center of town and begin to celebrate that "the witch is dead!". They do not start blowing up balloons, buy a cake, or chant "Od-y-ssey! Od-y-ssey!" As far as we know, Jack Allen did not post a twitter message along the lines of: "Boy, Blackgaard sure can't take the heat! LOL!" (get it? cause he blew up?).
Surprisingly, Jack, Tom, Jason, and the others, react calmly. What we hear are signs of reverence: "May God have Mercy on him", Tom murmurs, with Jack adding an "Amen". There's a sense that these characters mourned for his soul and forgave him for his actions. Appropriately, John Campbell composes an elegiac/mournful style of music throughout these scenes before episode draws to a close. There is notably no celebration, no laughter. Why? Because while the citizens are relieved that evil has ended, they are also saddened that evil was destroyed at the expense of Blackgaard, the evil-doer. It's a confusing, awkward feeling to capture, but the final minutes of the episode expresses it perfectly.
John Piper writes, "When a rebellious, wicked, unbelieving person is judged, what God has pleasure in is the exaltation of truth and righteousness, and the vindication of his own honor and glory". I, personally, will celebrate when moments of darkness ends, but I don't believe darkness ends entirely of its own accord; the Dawn is always there to push it out and take its place. Therefore, we should celebrate the coming of dawn--His Glory--rather than the departure of darkness.
Posted by Ben W. at 6:27 PM