"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
24 Series Finale
So Kevin was encouraging me to write about the 24 series finale. I’m not sure exactly what I can say. 24 burst onto the scene in 2000. The second season followed the September 11 attacks with controversy. The show pushed the limits, and brought something new to the screen…real time. I picked up 24 during the 4th season. Promptly went back and watched the first three, and was blown away. There are a number of things you can take away from 24. All of them are emotions that fans would have experienced while watching the show.
Disbelief – I, like many of you, was in utter disbelief as the good guys and the bad guys got wrapped up in some lie. More specifically I really got frustrated when it was the good guys. Some are willing to sacrifice things they believed in for a lie. Or willing to lie for the “greater good”. While the situations in our own daily lives are not to the extreme as the show…we are all faced with these kinds of decisions. Everyday. How do you know you are making the right decision? Prayer, faith. I tie this in with a conversation I had with my wife. As Christians we can’t afford to get caught up in a dogmatic sense of prayer. What I mean by that is that we need to be in prayer constantly. As we walk, at work, a quiet moment at home, before a meeting… it doesn’t matter where. Don’t get caught up in being so traditional in praying on your knee’s only at night before bed that you forget to pray at all. Look at 1 Thessalonians 5:17… pray continually. Do you think that President Taylor makes the decisions she made this season if she were in prayer constantly? I don’t know? But I do know that if the word of God was on her heart and mind… it would have been more difficult.
Virtue – Jack Bauer was a lot of things… did a lot of things. No matter all of the bad things Jack did (primarily the murder, death, kills) he was honest, had integrity, cared for his family, and for his country. Jack protected the things he cared about at all costs. These values (many would say) are passed down by your parents. I would agree partially. God’s word has been planted in every human being’s heart. It is up to us to follow through.
Shock – What can you say about the character Jack Bauer? The name has entered the lexicon status. Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris are now in the same league. While we all would cheer for Jack to stop the bad guys no matter the cost, there was a certain level of shock that came to me every time. How can a man of such virtue have the appearance of so little morals? What I mean by that is… here is a guy who hardly lied, stood for good, willing to defend it all costs… including the use of vengeance. The last 6 or 7 episodes of the series focused on retribution. Here was a man who, having lost someone he loved sought vengeance. Every person who has a family would think about the very same thing. If it were my family… I would want vengeance as well. In Romans 12:19 Paul tells us to never avenge ourselves, and that vengeance is the Lord’s. While all of us may have the natural instinct to seek retribution… know that God will have his judgment upon them.
Here I have to be honest… to what extreme can one go to protect the larger good from evil? This is the question that 24 ultimately left you with in every episode. As we watched Jack torture people to get answers (and you know he is going to get them) you have to wonder… should that happen? Not in the political sense that these things always end up in, but in the Biblical sense. How far is too far according to God? We know about the turn the other cheek verse and love your enemy verse (often quoted, or thrown in the face of Christians who support self defense). This very long and complicated answer deserves its own blog. But it is important to research and think about it on your own.