Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sméagol and Gollum - Dual Natured?

I recently watched the trilogy Lord of the Rings. …again. It was during the time that I was writing the “Is the Christian Dual Natured” series of thoughts.

Do you remember the scene when Sméagol is having a conversation with Gollum and Gollum is telling Sméagol how he saved their life when things were bad, how they survived because of Gollum and his wiles? Gollum goes on to tell that Sméagol isn’t so innocent. After all, he is a liar and a thief … murderer! Do you remember what happens next? Sméagol tells Gollum “Leave and NEVER come back!” Sméagol repeats this phrase three times, and then, with a look of wonder, he seems to “realize” that Gollum is actually gone. He jumps for joy and shouts in that squeaky voice “Sméagol is freeeeeeeeee!” Anyone who is as familiar with this story knows that Gollum is really not gone. He comes back and brings doom to himself and Sméagol.
When we first watched this movie with our kids, (yikes!) we had to keep explaining to them that they were wrong about their idea that Sméagol was the good guy and Gollum was the bad guy. We told them, “They are both bad.” Still, since one monster seemed a bit cowering and the other was so fierce, they couldn’t get the good/bad idea out of their minds.

The whole scene reminded me of false religion. If we are not born-again as a result of the saving gospel of Christ who can cleanse us of all the lying, thieving and murdering … but we decide we want to shape up our life and “give religion a try” … we will fail miserably. We are hypocrites in such a state, pretending to be something we are not. We could put off some of our sins and try to “be a better person,” but underneath, skulking in the shadows, is our wicked self, who is much more powerful and sneaky than any attempt we can make at reformation. If this is who we are, we haven’t got a new nature, only a sad attempt at reshaping the old one, which can sometimes leave us in a worse situation than if we would have gone on as we were. Why is it worse? It is worse because we are deceived ... and Gollum will return.

"When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation." (Matthew 12:43-45)

Real change must happen from the Spirit of God. By seeing yourself for who you really are … a desperately wicked person who has no right to enter God’s presence, you have hope. Desperately wicked doesn’t mean you catch fish with your bare hands and eat them “raw and wiggling.” It means that you are not perfect. You are selfish, self-absorbed, you lie, you wish evil on others, you desire things that aren’t yours, you’re jealous etc …. For the purpose of entering God’s presence, (eternal life – Heaven) only perfection will do … everything else is desperately wicked. Therefore, as is, we will not be able to enter His presence without burning up (eternal death – hell.) Here enters Christ. He becomes one of us, lives in sinless perfection and then goes to the cross. There, he takes on the sin of the whole world. (That means all your sin and mine too.) If we receive Him by faith, we become born-again, given His life in exchange for our sin that He had taken. Now … we have hope because the Holy Spirit, the very nature of God, comes to live within us, regenerating us into a new man. This new man cannot sin. He is not just a nicer or more timid version of the original you or me. He is a completely new man! Sméagol and Gollum had different dispositions and personalities, but both were wicked. If we are born-again, we have a new nature that is not just a take-off of our old. This is a new man that cannot sin and he will live forever with God! The old man will pass away at our death. Before physical death, we can triumph through the Holy Spirit as we feed the new man with the Word of God, prayer and fellowship with other believers. Upon physical death, the wretched man (sin nature) will indeed leave and NEVER come back!

Poor Sméagol!

the END

13 Comments:

  • That crossed my mind more than once when I watched the Lord of the Rings.

    How old are you kids, Rose?

    By Blogger Carey, at 2/26/2006 9:51 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Stray thought. We were watching The Two Towers in the theatre, in the balcony area, when a little kid below started talking . . . and talking . . . and talking . . .

    Like everyone else I became annoyed with him, so decided to walk right above him, lean over the railing in the darkiness and hiss in my best Gollum/Smeagol voice:

    "It must be quiet precious, yes, it must be quiet, or we sqeeeezes it!"

    The little kid shut up just in time, by the way, but it makes me smile to wonder what if . . . :-)

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 2/26/2006 10:16 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Cleopas is weird. I like that (hehe)

    I always feel so slow because I am rarely able to draw these analogies from the imagery of these stories so thanks for pointing this out. ;-)

    Great thoughts on the new man.

    By Blogger Kc, at 2/26/2006 10:39 PM  

  • Great stuff. I'm fond of that passage in Matthew.

    By Blogger Jeff H, at 2/26/2006 10:52 PM  

  • Rose,
    When I read the trilogy back in the seventh grade, Gollum/Smeagol was my absolute favorite character of the books.
    WE identified with him very well. ;)

    By Blogger J. Wendell, at 2/26/2006 10:55 PM  

  • Excellent point.

    I think people in the world are frequently confused about who they really are.

    People getting old often look in the mirror and say 'that is not me'.

    People who are fat often tell themselves 'the real me is slim, I just need to shift this weight.'

    They have a sort of Plantonic idealised conception of themselves.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 2/27/2006 6:43 AM  

  • Hi Carey!
    So I'm not the only one with a wandering mind! Thanks for reading. I mean to check out your blog soon.

    Cleopas,
    That is a hoot! I have a 10 year old son that does a pretty good impression of G. as well.
    I like to say "What's taters precious?" whenever we have PO-TA-TOES for dinner. My brother has the collectors' edition of the films and we looked at some of the extras. It is amazing how they made Gollum and Smeagol. The computer technology is mind-blowing.

    kc,
    I am imagining you, with a southern drawl, saying that comment and it makes me smile. I hardly imagine that you are slow at anything. Thanks for the "great thoughts" comment. I am sure many think I am an ignoramus, so we "nobodys" need to stick together. (remember that?)

    Hi Jeff!
    Thanks. I find it interesting that you would be "fond of" that passage. It sounds like there is a story there. :~)

    Hi John!
    I think you and I would have gotten along well even back then, all four of us. ;~)

    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist,
    Good point! I even say sometimes "I'm turning into my mother." when I see myself doing some of her housekeeping or parenting things. It is silly.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2006 8:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I really liked your post. I love the LOTR movies. I always felt bad for Gollum. You make a great point using this analogy. When you say a new creation that doesn't sin do u really mean Christians shouldn't sin anymore. I thought we won't be perfect and never sin untill we are ressurected!

    By Blogger Dorothy, at 2/27/2006 9:47 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    I like this picture of you the best
    Good Post Rose
    Thank You
    Doug

    By Blogger forgiven, at 2/27/2006 12:27 PM  

  • Hi Dorothy,
    I am glad you got your answer to that question in the previous post. I definately don't believe that, at the present time, my entire being can possibly be without sin, not even for one hour! Thanks for reading!

    Doug,
    That is actually the first picture of myself that I ever posted on this blog. I used it for my second or third pist as an add-on to the text. I have, however, altered the background. Thanks for saying that!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 2/27/2006 3:43 PM  

  • Hahaha... Cleopas, that's funny. If I could do a Gollum voice, I'd probably do the same thing!

    By Blogger Carey, at 2/27/2006 10:36 PM  

  • My little brother sounds exactly like Gollum. He could have been in the movie. I'm planning on recording some of his phrases and posting them on my blog.

    By Blogger Carey, at 2/27/2006 10:39 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    Great post :)

    I like it and agree with it, but I think there's another side that is also true.

    That other side is what I just posted on! But before I had read this post of yours. (So it's not a response to it)You may not quite agree with it:)It's here.

    But basically it's the idea that when someone tries to follow Christ and become a Christian, even when they don't understand anything about eternal life or justification by fatih, they can make significant improvements in their lives. They can stop beating their wife and abusing their children:) And since they think Jesus is great, when he tells them he gives eternal life they believe it:) And then they will have the potential to really treat their family in a supernatural manner, with the fruit of the Spirit.

    Warmly:)

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 2/28/2006 1:40 PM  

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