I’ve finally started watching the original Star Trek. I grew up on The Next Generation and was satisfied with the adventures of Picard and his crew. Now that I’ve gotten around to watching Kirk and company, I am thoroughly enjoying the original series.
I recently watched the episode “The Return of the Archons”. In the episode the Enterprise visits a planet under the control of a leader named Landru. Most of the planet’s inhabitants walk around in a sedated, mind-controlled state, greeting each other with sayings like, “Peace and tranquility be with you” or “Praise be to Landru.” Landru’s followers see themselves as a collective community and refer to themselves as “the Body.”
As I watched the episode I couldn’t help but associate Landru’s body with Christ’s body. Like Christ’s body members of Landru’s body referred to each other as brother and sister. They also worshipped and venerated their leader, much like the body of Christ. All of Landru’s followers lost their individuality, passions and souls to the collective of the body. In Landru’s body his followers lost what it meant to truly be human.
I don’t know if Landru’s body was an analogy for Christ’s body. If it was then the screenwriter clearly didn’t understand the body of Christ.
It is only through Christ and participation in his body that we understand what it means to be human. True humanity has been covered beneath the stain of sin and Christ is the only who can remove that stain. Once the stain has been removed we partner with Christ’s body and the Holy Spirit to discover what it means to truly be human, what it means to be the people God created us to be.
Our individuality isn’t lost in the body of Christ. Instead we find the unique role we get to play in bringing God’s kingdom to this world.
We aren’t mind-controlled in the body of Christ. Instead we find what true freedom actually looks like.
We don’t lose our passions in the body of Christ. Instead we find how to channel those passions to make an eternal impact.
As an episode of Star Trek I enjoyed “The Return of the Archons.” As a potential allegory for the body of Christ, though, I found it rather lacking.
What does it mean for you to be a member of the body of Christ?