Wednesday, February 27, 2008

ER on January 17th 2008

Update: Apparently the clip of this interaction is now on Youtube (see below)

I don't usually watch ER (not like Heros), but I did watch it last night. I did watch it last night, and I was pleasantly surprised. No, they didn't get rid of the gratuitous sex. Instead, what I was amazing and surprised in a good way about was a section of dialog between the so called "chaplain" and an older patient who was a doctor in the prison who would administer lethal injections to those sentenced to death.

He ended up in the ER because he had jumped into the frozen lake to save a boy who fell in. As the show continued we find out that the reason he did this was because he had administered the lethal injection that killed the boys father only to find out later that the police officer who testified at his trial lied and the boys father was not guilty. He was racked by remorse and wanted forgiveness because he was dying of cancer. So Pratt brings in the relatively new character who is the hospital chaplain, Julia.

Julia is one of those make up your religion from a little of this and a little of that. Here is the dialog of her interaction with this man seeking to have his sins and guilt dealt with:

Man: (Recounts how when he first administered the lethal injection it did not work, and the family considered it a sign from God of innocence. Instead of listening he administered a second injection which kill the man in 90 seconds) Seven months later a police officer came forward. The boy was framed for the murder. He didn't do it.

Julia: (Look at him with sad eyes) You couldn't have known that.

Man: God tried to stop me from killing and innocent man and I ignored the sign. How can I even hope for forgiveness?

Julia: I think sometimes it's easier to feel guilty than forgiven.

Man: (Looks in confusion) Which means what?

Julia: That maybe your guilt over these deaths has become your reason for living. Maybe you need a new reason to go on. (Pratt enters in background)

Man: I..I..I don't want to go on. Can't you see I'm old. I have cancer. I've had enough. The only thing that is holding me back is that I am afraid. I'm afraid of what comes next.

Julia: What do you think that is?

Man: (Looking more surprised) You tell me. Is atonement even possible? What does God want from me?

Julia: I think it's up to each one of us to interpret what God wants.

Man: (Flabbergasted) So people can do anything? They can rape, murder they can steal all in the name of God and it's ok?

Julia: No! That's not what I'm saying.

Man: (Agitated interrupts) What are you saying? Because all I'm hearing is some New Age, God is love, one size fits all crap.

Pratt: Hey Dr. Truman.

Man: No! I don't have time for this now!

Julia: Greg, it's ok. I understand . . .

Man: (Interrupts angry) No you don't understand. You don't understand! How could you possibly say that. Now you listen to me. I want a real chaplain who believes in a real God and a real hell.

Julia: I hear that you're frustrated, but you need to ask yourself . . .

Man: (Interrupts again) No I don't need to ask myself. I need answers, and all your questions and your uncertainty are only making things worse.

Julia: I . . I know you're upset . . .

Man: God, I need someone who will look me in the eye and tell me how to find forgiveness because I am running out of time.

Julia: I'm trying to help.

Man: Well don't! Get out! Get out! Get out!

(Julia leaves upset)

What amazed me is how a show like ER. A show that is so in the dark on the things of God, would have even one writer who would write such dialog. In the end the conclusion of this situation was not very satisfactory, but it does show that this user friendly gospel light that is so prevalent today will not satisfy. What a man like the one portrayed in this episode of ER needed to hear was the gospel. Is there hope of forgiveness for someone like him? Is their atonement? Yes! In Jesus, God's own Son who died for him. He thought the only one he had put to death that was innocent was that young man. But the only innocent to ever die is Jesus and he did so for sin of people like me and like him.

Update:

At last this is hitting the blogosphere. It probably had to wait until the clip showed up on YouTube as most people will not type out the dialog as I did.

Here is the clip:


Dan Phillips posted on this today (2/26/2008) over at Pyromaniacs.

2 comments:

Peter said...

I don't watch ER either, but this really wuite amazing. Thank you for the clear and simple Gospel. Why do we continue to believe that God's Word is not enough? (And that He is confused???) -- Peter

Peter said...

It should say "was quite." I guess "w'uite" is a contraction.

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