“As long as there’s been something in the corner of your eye, or creaking in your house, or breathing under your bed, or voices through a wall; they’ve been running your lives for a very long time now, so keep this straight in your head. We are not fighting an alien invasion, we’re leading a revolution.”
In episode (6:2), following 6:1, ‘Impossible Astronaut’, the Doctor confronts and dispatches ‘The Silence’, that hidden sect that has been troubling mankind so long.
They laid claim to the Earth, saying, ‘This world is ours. We have ruled it since the wheel and the fire’ and River Song suggests they are ‘parasites’. The Doctor agrees; “Super parasites; standing in the shadows of human history since the very beginning. We know they can influence human behaviour any way they want.”
They have achieved this dominance through post-hypnotic suggestion aided by the fact that they are immediately forgotten once gone from sight; only their influence always remains.
In the end they contribute to their own destruction when the Doctor manipulates the telecast of the Apollo landing to include video of a wounded member of the Silence carelessly boasting, “We have ruled your lives since your lives began. You should kill us all on sight.” The Doctor announces, “You’ve given the order for your own execution, and the whole planet just heard you. You just raised an army against yourself. And now, for a thousand generations, you’re going to be ordering them to destroy you every day.”
Two points of this story suggest parallels with our Christian experience, to me at least; the necessity to recognise our sins and to deal with them, even violently.
- Though we are influenced by others and even Satan himself, we may never deny responsibility for sin in our lives and we are to deal with our sins ruthlessly. Jesus used particularly strong language in this regard. He said, ‘If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away’ (Matthew 5:29). But how, when we are so easily inclined to ignore our sins or even forget them?
James describes this tendency to see ourselves in the spotlight of God’s Word but then look away without taking any action. ‘Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.’ James 1:21-24
- And C.S.Lewis colorfully illustrates Jesus’ suggestion that strong action is required.
In ‘Reflections on the Psalms’, Lewis deals with the ‘cursing psalms’ by suggesting that we may apply them to dealing with our own sins as well as to the enemies of God. He writes, “Of the cursing psalms I suppose most of us make our own moral allegories. We know the proper object of utter hostility: wickedness, especially our own. From this point of view I can use even the horrible passage in Psalm 137 about dashing the Babylonian babies against the stones. I know things in (our) inner world which are like babies; the infantile beginnings of small indulgences, small resentments, which may one day become dipsomania or settled hatred….Against all such petty infants (the dears have such winning ways) the advice of the Psalms is the best. Knock the little bastards’ brains out. And ‘blessed’ he who can, for it’s easier said than done.”
“Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Romans 7:24, 25