Friday, 17 July 2015

The Interstellar Fifth Dimension

Matthew McConaughy stars as Cooper in InterstellarIn the 2014 Hollywood blockbuster movie, Interstellar, touches on some deeply profound themes about what it means to be human. Set in the not too distant future, the earth's soil is fast becoming sterile and the ability to produce sufficient quantities of food is drastically and dangerously reduced. Dust storms now sweep across the earth creating respiratory disorders which is compounded by a fungal disease known as blight is fast consuming all the oxygen in the atmosphere. NASA has been commissioned to investigate evacuating Earth. What transpires in the movie appears to be a showcase of the best Sci-fi Hollywood can deliver - but these initial appearances can distract the viewer from the powerful messages about God, human uniqueness, and the nature of family. These themes coalesce when we are taken into "the Fifth Dimension." 
¶ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant First Corinthians 13:4
The Fifth Dimension transcends time and distance. When the NASA crew discover it, it becomes another piece of evidence for the invisible guiding hand of the Supreme Being whom the NASA scientists tamely refer to as "they". When Captain Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, asks who "they" are, he is told that the evidence shows that it is an intelligent personal being. Perhaps they mean what Astrophysicist, Professor Brian Green, identified as the Grand Organising Designer or G.O.D. for short. At each stage of their mission, just when they needed it, something phenomenal would occur or appear that saved them. "They must have put it there" they conclude. And when Captain Cooper enters the Fifth Dimension he enters a realm that transcends natural physical limits, distance and time and discovers that he has a connection with his daughter on Earth when in this dimension. "Love!" he declares. "Love is the bond!" he discovers. 
(Love is not) rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth."
First Corinthians 13:5-6
Murphy and Cooper
In a world of robots with artificial intelligence and personality-programs, the movie explores what it means to be humanHumans thrive best when connected in families is one of the powerful themes of the movie. This theme is highlighted several times throughout Interstellar. From the outset we are introduced to a family. Initially it appears that we are intruding on three generations of the one family living together, but by the time we get to the end of the Movie we realise that we were introduced to at least four generations of this family (this is not at all obvious when first watching the movie). Multi-generational families living harmoniously together is not Hollywood's usual depiction of "family"! The bond between Joseph Cooper ('Cooper') and his daughter, Murphyis very strong. Cooper knows his children, Tom and Murph. He treats them differently (boys and girls are different). When Cooper arrives in a distant galaxy where Dr. Mann (played by Matt Damon) has already scouted as possible earth-like substitute, the contrast between a man who cares for his family (Cooper) and a man who has desired no family ties is painfully stark. It is after this disastrous rendezvous that Dr Brand was vindicated in her choice of going to her friend on a different planet rather than going to Dr Mann, despite how irrational her choice was. Love made sense after all. 
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.First Corinthians 13:7
Cooper and MurphyAfter several years in far flung space, Captain Cooper's desire to be reunited with his children is as intense as ever. In a world which seems treat the institution family as "an oppressive, patriarchal institution designed to suppress women", the strong family themes of Interstellar are almost counter-cultural. Not that they should be. But when countries like the U.S.A. and most of Western Europe campaigned against last week's UN Human Rights Council resolution, The Protection of the Family, which called for support of the family unit comprising of Dad, Mum and their kids, you have to wonder if the 'blight' of Interstellar might have been more accurately depicted as an orchestrated attack on the family unit? Eric Metaxas writes-
The resolution, approved by a vote of 27 to 14, urges member states to adopt laws and policies that support the family—yes, the family—definite article. It calls the family, "the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children."
It goes on to insist that while governments have a place in protecting the human rights of all, "the family has primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children."
While our country was splashing rainbows on government buildings to celebrate our un-defining of marriage and family, the global community was reaffirming God's created definition. It's an important moment that shows why, in the long run, federal judges cannot change the truth.
Murphy CooperFrom the very beginning of human history some 60,000 years ago, our Creator established the human beings should flourish best in families (Genesis 2). The foundation of a family was also established by God when He provided Adam with a bride. Marriage, as designed by our Creator, is the foundation for human flourishing, the only legitimate context for sexual intimacy, the ideal for a family nucleus, and the profound analogy for the identity, nature, and character of God Himself. This is why marriage and family should not be trifled with. It is also why the Enemy knows that if our understanding of marriage and family can be perverted, our understanding of God, our identity, and right and wrong, will also be perverted. Despite the disproportionate mainstream media support in favour of those who seek to dismantle what family means and the stigmatising of those who defend what marriage and family actually is, the social research data continues to show that the vast majority of Australians believe that marriage is uniquely between a man and a woman, and that children always fair best when raised in a loving household by their married parents. This was yet again borne out by research conducted by Melbourne University of 17,000 people which showed that people who are married are far more likely to be happy - especially men.
Men get more of a kick if you like to their happiness from being married, and they also tend to be more satisfied with their partner than women do, which is not to say that women get nothing out of relationships, but certainly not as much as men it seems. Also, in terms of their health too; there's quite a significant health benefit it seems in marriage for men but not women.
But alarmingly for some the research also showed that the saddest people in our society are those who identify as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual.
(Prof.) Roger Wilkins says the survey shows that people who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual on average have poorer health and are less happy. "It's a very concerning finding because there's no reason to think that one's sexuality identity should have any implications directly for your health and wellbeing, and it does suggest that there are social forces at work here that are responsible for that." 
Household, Income, Labour, Dynamics, Survey (HILDA) Melbourne University, July 15th 2015
The response from the LGBTQ Lobby is the usual one: blame society's attitudes. Even those in the media once sympathetic to this 'explanation' now have to admit that despite the continual concessions made to the LGBTQ Lobby have not had the predicted outcomes of their proponents - in fact, there is growing evidence to show that it is making matters worse (physical health, mental health, psychological well-being, happiness levels, and suicide rates). Journalists like Paul Kelly have largely been sympathetic to this appeal from the LGBTQ that if they can get legislative endorsement for their lifestyles and relationships their overall health outcomes will readily improve. Yet as the social data disproving this theory keeps mounting (verifying that anything other than God's design for sexuality and family deprives people of their potential flourishing) journalists such as Paul Kelly are waking up to the fact that something else is actually going on. 
The omens are not good. As the years advance there has been ­virtually no debate about the real issues surrounding same-sex ­marriage. The campaign for change is strong and tactically brilliant based on the ideological slogan "marriage equality", one of the most effective slogans in many decades....Yet the majority media reaction to this situation — "let's get on with the change" — is ignorant and irresponsible. The real debate is probably just starting. It poses an unprecedented challenge for our law-makers. There has never been an issue like this, as the US ­Supreme Court decision made clear.
Paul Kelly, The Australian, July 11th 2015
Cooper distressedThe movie, Interstellar, also makes continual reference to Darwinian Evolution and how humanity has largely failed to adapt to the Darwinian model for human evolution. Family structures and irrational emotions of 'love', 'family bonds', 'guilt' need to give way to the more important goal of Darwinian Evolution. But time and again throughout the movie the characters are confronted with the reality of their world that does not comport to this view of human origins, identity, or destiny.
¶ Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.First Corinthians 13:8-10
Murphy and her Dad, Cooper, discuss howeven time cannot separate them or their love for each other.A final word about the Fifth Dimension to all the men. The happiness research referred to earlier showed that while men deeply appreciate being married, many women did not. It also showed that the longer a marriage lasted, the more likely this disparity grows. As followers and representatives of Christ, men need to pick up their game as husbands and fathers. It is a disgraceful thing for a man who claims to be a Christian to be sexually active before or outside of marriage. As a Roman Catholic priest once said, "Any man who sleep with his fiancĂ© before they are married is teaching her that being sexually intimate with a man you are not married to is perfectly OK!" This has dangerous and very detrimental effects later on in a marriage. I wonder how many men realise that Jesus gave the strongest possible warnings against formication (sex without marriage) in Matthew 15:19, which was later re-declared by His apostles in Acts 15:20, Romans 13:13; First Corinthians 6:18; 10:8; Galatians 5:19; and Colossians 3:5. This is not a trivial matter. Men who claim to follow Christ need to rise up and getting down on their knees and repenting. We men need to be strong guardians of our women and children. We need to treat our wives as people worthy of our our attention, devotion, and respect. We need to treat our children as gifts and treasures from God who deserve not to be the centre of our lives (otherwise they will be devilishly fooled into thinking that they are the centre of the Universe) but to be shown how to adore the One who is the Centre of the Universe. This is living in the Fifth Dimension. It is the Dimension where God dwells. It is the Dimension where love is the currency. It the Dimension where marriage is the foundation of human flourishing and children are the fruit of that flourishing. It is the Dimension that the Church operates in and we each dial into when we enter into our appointed places each Sunday when we assemble together. It is a realm, the Bible declares, where principalities and powers marvel at how the Church can display and be re-energised by the love of God (Eph. 3:10). This is why the Enemy does all he can to destroy in the minds of the watching world what marriage and family really is and why we all need to assemble together each Sunday for the ordinances of the Worship, the Word, and the Lord's Table. Welcome to the Fifth Dimension. Faith in God and the love He shows us and we share with each other ... it really is interstellar.

Ps. Andrew