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‘…when a good man goes to war…’

DOCTOR:
And, when people come to you, and ask if trying to get to me through the people I love… is in any way a good idea…. Oh, look! I’m angry. That’s new; I’m really not sure what’s going to happen now.
MADAME KOVARIAN:
The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules.
DOCTOR:
Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.

 

‘A Good Man Goes to War’ is (6:7) of the Doctor’s adventures; the people he loves are Amy and Rory and River Song who is revealed as their daughter, Melody Pond-Williams; (‘Melody Williams’ is a geography teacher, says Amy, when Rory complains as the Doctor calls her Melody Pond, ‘Melody Pond is a superhero’.)

So, when Who (the good man of the title) goes to war, it is to save Amy and Melody in particular from Madame Kovarian and The Silence who have imprisoned them on the asteroid, ‘Demons Run’ aiming to raise Melody as the perfect weapon in their hands to kill the Doctor.

River Song explains the meaning of the name ‘Demons Run’, citing a verse which says in part, ‘Demons run when a good man goes to war…’

The Doctor sets out to gather an army; all the usual suspects, plus some who are in his debt; Vastra the Silurian, Strax the Sontaran and Dorium Maldovar; even Captain Henry Avery and his son Toby put in an appearance.

It is the Doctor’s comment to the over confident Kovarian, ‘Good men don’t need rules’, that caught my eye here.

In the conflict that is the Christian life, so often described as spiritual warfare in the New Testament, when Christians are called out of and sent into ‘all the world’ to make disciples in Christ’s Name, what are the ‘rules’?

  • Is there a place for anger at all?

Well, Jesus himself showed his anger at those who desecrated the Temple, even coolly taking time to make a whip before forcibly ejecting them from his Father’s House (John 2:15).

Be angry, but don’t sin, says Paul in Ephesians 4:26; while James offers this warning, ‘My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.’ (James 1:19, 20)

  • What about deception?

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard against men…’ (Matthew 10:16, 17)

But remember, Paul warned, ‘Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.’
(2 Corinthians 4:1, 2)

Clearly, even a good end does not justify some means.

  • Paul wrote about the defensive aspect of this fight as well;

‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ (Ephesians 6:10-12)

  • This is obviously a subject that bares far more serious thought than this space and time allows.

We have this assurance concerning outcomes though, as Paul wrote to the Christians of Rome;

‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Romans 8:38, 39

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2 comments on “‘…when a good man goes to war…’

  1. The thing I found most interesting about this particular episode was River’s speech near the end just before her reveal. The Doctor does have a God complex (It took a Muslim to tell him that) and needs reminding of the effect that this has on those around him.

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