Kevin’s Conversations: The Gospel According to Jason Bourne

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22 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Nicely done. This is the dilemma that nations face when it comes to things like domestic surveillance and torture of prisoners. We do it in our personal lives as well, as you stated.

  2. Em ... again says:

    this is quite a ponder to start the morning, Michael
    the ends justify the means… the 4th chapter of Pr0verbs was my morning reading… wisdom and understanding need God’s guidance
    long years ago i felt guilty manipulating my children, but dropping that bomb to end that insane war made all the sense in the world – still does – the problem is, now bomb is out there for the use of the power-hungry nature in man – that nature a bomb couldn’t stop (we actually thought it would)
    am i righteous in the guilt that manipulating my children aroused and unrighteous/unwise in affirming the justification of the second? only God knows …

  3. JoelG says:

    The means is the end in Christianity.

  4. Dallas says:

    Good post. This has already been running around in my head after Michael shared that request from Saeed Abedini. You can understand doing whatever is necessary to get someone out of a foreign prison, you can understand the “ends justify the means” mentality, but it doesn’t stop with him.

    Doing the wrong thing for the right reason very rarely ends with “the end”.

  5. Em ... again says:

    the more i think on this, the more i seem to understand that there couldn’t be a more important soul-searching goad than what was posted for us here today…
    God keep us from the emotional rationalizing that is our human weakness – it permeates all our thinking, unless we’re psychopathic and that’s even worse, eh 🙂

  6. Lutheran says:

    So…

    Bonhoeffer was definitely committing an evil act when he plotted with others to kill Hitler?

    Is it possible that in some circumstances, doing a small evil to circumvent a much larger evil might be justified?

  7. Xenia says:

    Avoid all evil and trust God.

  8. EricL says:

    This comparison might feed some egos, instead of bringing conviction.

    “That’s right, we Religious Elites are just like CIA Elites. We are specially trained and talented.Come to think of it, my new nickname should by Jason Bourne-Again.” Don’t laugh; we already have pastors going through “Christian special-ops training” and other silly things that involve paint guns, getting covered in mud, and wearing fatigues. I just hope we don’t have to post a Linkathon post of some Rambo Pastor taking out a congregant for not properly “amening” his finely-crafted sermon.

    Just call me Misapplication Eric.

  9. Kevin H says:

    Lutheran,

    It would depend if killing Hitler was evil or not. Not necessarily an easy thing to discern.

    There are often differences between each and every situation, which makes it hard to apply a cookie cutter “right” or “wrong” to every action. If someone breaks into my house and wants to kill my wife and kids are and asks where they are, I think the moral wrong in this circumstance would be to tell the truth and aid the killer. I believe the moral right would be to deceive him in order to protect my family.

    My concern is when people knowingly commit means they believe to be wrong in order to achieve their end. Or in some cases they are just so focused on the ends that they don’t even give the time of day to think about the morality of their means. All the worse when people or organizations have these types of approaches on a regular basis.

  10. Em ... again says:

    we use “sin” and “evil” interchangeably and i don’t think that is correct… we are told to pray to not be led into temptation (to sin?), but to be delivered from evil… i interpret that to indicate that we are no match for evil (a delusional rationale)…
    for instance when Abraham and Sarah chose to do God’s work using Hagar as the means to the end was that sin? or evil? … basically, the act, itself was sin… the rationale behind it was evil… some sins stem from evil, but some sins come out of our basic old sin nature
    Christians when sinning, should be doing so because of our old sin nature (wretches that we are), but we should not be sinning out of evil intentions (failure to renew one’s mind in Christ) – both require honest confession to God – we have assurance of His forgiveness, in both… trouble is those evil sins often look like ‘good’ endeavors to us 🙂

    that’s how i see it from my rocking chair here

  11. Lutheran says:

    Kevin H,

    Great answer! I was thinking along the same lines. The answers aren’t always evident.

    As my kid says, “Life is messy.”

  12. Em ... again says:

    Kevin H (great post, BTW) & Lutheran – amen – reminds me…

    “Oh to grace, how great a debtor, daily i’m constrained to be – Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee”

    life IS messy – the fact that the planet struggles on is a testament to God’s genius and His grace

  13. Owen says:

    Kevin, this is a great, thought-provoking article. (and I haven’t even seen the movies….)

    My first thought as I read the article (and I think it was mentioned by JoelG), was Jesus’ death. To me, prime example of the end (our salvation) justifying the means (His death.)

    But beyond the obvious, this article brings up a good amount of self-examination.

  14. Erunner says:

    I enjoyed the original trilogy a lot. It seemed that the actions Bourne took were those of self preservation. If he didn’t he’d have been killed immediately.

    So as in tons of other movies he does what he can in order to survive while those out to kill him are the ones who have zero regard for innocent lives. They even kill their own people.

    I believe it’s always important to do a personal inventory and guard our hearts against falling into anything that would lead us into sin.

  15. Erunner says:

    This thread brought to mind something from WW2 that I learned about not too long ago. I imagine this was just one of many does the end justify the means decisions that were made during such a terrible time in history. To this day the bombs we dropped is still hotly debated. Here is a link to what I alluded to.

    http://www.scottmanning.com/content/churchills-sinking-of-the-french-fleet-july-3-1940/

  16. Kevin H says:

    E,

    Most of Bourne’s actions are in self preservation. However, the more of the Bourne movies I watched, the more I came to realize that many of the people Bourne is killing/injuring/putting at risk are not necessarily the “bad” guys who are wrongfully out to get Bourne. Many are just fulfilling their duties and carrying out their orders under the impression that they are doing the right thing. Others are even innocent bystanders who are placed at harm’s risk because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time. I have come to think that even though it is obviously not easy to compromise your own preservation, it would seem to me that some of Bourne’s actions cross the line into the wrong. But that’s only my opinion of a fictitious Hollywood story. 🙂

  17. Erunner says:

    Every time a new character beamed down with Kirk and Spock in Star Trek they knew the poor guy was gonna die. 🙂

    As for the Bourne movies I have found that typical for most action movies. Bourne’s constant fornication was a problem as well!

    I understand your point and the application it has for each of us.

    The link I left is one of who knows how many stories played out in real life that we know of and so many more we’re unaware of. How might I have reacted? Thankfully I didn’t have to make any of those decisions that will be debated for years to come.

  18. JoelG says:

    Hi Owen. What I meant by my comment is the “upside down” nature of life in the Kingdom of God. I think of the Sermon on the Mount:

    “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

    Or:

    “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their lifeb will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

    If our end is life itself, then the means is everything.

  19. filbertz says:

    saw the latest Jason Bourne movie last night with my son Reid…enjoyed the large popcorn, coke, fictional action adventure installment, and the company of my middle son. Didn’t think of any large picture, real-life dilemma stuff…just a shallow guy I guess. 🙂

  20. Kevin H says:

    fil,

    I’m 98% on the shallow scale, too. I only see the movies to be entertained. However, there is that 2% of me that goes, hmmm……

    Plus, it gave me something to write about as I had nothing else yet. 🙂

  21. Owen says:

    JoelG,

    Thanks for clarifying, that is a totally different direction than I thought you were going.

    Really gives a person pause.

    I would have to discard my comment, then, as it doesn’t work with “the means is the end in
    Christianity” – because the means as I told it (Jesus dying) turned out not to be the end.

  22. JoelG says:

    Owen don’t discard your comment. I think it’s good.

    From what I read. Early Christianity was called “The Way”. That implies, to me, a “means”. Ultimately the “end” is our salvation, as you said, completed by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

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