Recently I watched the film “1984” based on George Orwell’s famous novel. I was familiar with “Big Brother is watching you,” however I had never read the book.
The main character, Winston Smith, works in the misnamed Ministry of Truth in a dystopian world where workers removed words, altered photographs, changed history, and even deleted all records of individuals, thus making them “unpersons.” The Ministry of Truth is not at all about truth, but no one would want to say that out of fear.
Some words had been removed from everyone’s vocabulary and replaced by other words from a government-approved vocabulary called “newspeak.” No one ever wanted to be accused of what was called a thoughtcrime. It wasn’t just saying certain words and expressing certain ideas that would jeopardize your life, thinking them (or just being accused of thinking them) could get you killed.
To me, this story showed what life would be like if God was removed first from our words, then from our minds, and finally from our hearts since whoever controls our words could also “kill God.”
For me, removing God is the same as removing all hope. The world in “1984” is a world with no hope, a world where whatever you do, there is only pain and eventual death.
Words are powerful. They are perhaps our greatest tool. They can create, and they can destroy. Words can be used to build faith in God, but they can also be used to kill God, at least in our minds and hearts.
So today’s graphic points to the irony of how the same things God used to create all we see (and don’t see) can also be used to kill God…words.(More about that in a future post with perhaps a different perspective than what you might expect!)
Here in the United States, we may overlook places in the world where words about Jesus Christ can be limited or even forbidden, but those places exist. It is as if no one says anything about Jesus, then He doesn’t exist. He is an “unperson” and an “ungod.”
Here in the United Stated, the words “Jesus” and “Christ” have become almost swear words, limiting their power, respect, and reverence. It doesn’t offend me when people do this. I don’t see it as an attack on my faith. (Maybe I should? But then there is Premise One: God can take care of God.) Instead of being angered, I am saddened to think when someone uses the words “Jesus” and “Christ” in this way they are perhaps distancing themselves just a little more from knowing Real Life Jesus and slowly “killing God” as a presence in their life.
And yet even then…
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3 (KJV)
As long as the heavens are above me declaring the glory of God, those words will prevail, and I have hope.
Thanks for reading!