Skip to main content

TV Snapshot: Faith

Former FBI Agent James Ellison has been arrested because a witness saw a terminator model who looks like him—who would have killed Ellison himself if another terminator hadn’t saved him (long story)—kill another man. And he is grateful to new employer Catherine Weaver (who is, unbeknownst to Ellison, an advanced terminator model) for believing that he is innocent. As she leaves from their meeting in jail, he tells her so:

Ellison: Mrs. Weaver.

She turns, stops, and looks at him.

Ellison: Thank you. For believing me.

Weaver: What good is faith if we don’t use it?

--from the "Brothers of Nablus" episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. You can watch the entire episode here.

Rather creepy coming from a terminator whom we’ve seen kill a number of people. But nonetheless, her point is right on.

Faith is more than the commonly accepted definition of simply assenting intellectually to a belief; it is acting in trust—and even more than that, in faithfulness. I found a wonderful exploration of this awhile back in A New Testament Trilogy (below are excerpts from my summary of this section in the book):
By “Faith as Trust,” the authors move beyond our most common understanding and begin to get at the depth of faith: “This is faith that is represented as a radical trust in God as a person and is most clearly what is represented by faith in Scripture.” They point to James, who challenges us that faith is more than belief—“even the demons believe,” he says (James 2:19 NLT). This aspect of faith moves deeper, from giving assent to Jesus as Lord to an “act of personal trust or commitment.” It involves personally encountering the Living God. It is trust in this Person, which the authors suggest can actually be measured in our lives: “Little faith and anxiety go together. Simply, the person who worries or is anxious is a person who lacks trust in God. We can measure the degree of faith we have by the amount of anxiety in our lives.”

By “Faith as Faithfulness,” the authors go even deeper: “loyalty, allegiance, the commitment of self at its deepest level, the commitment of the heart. This type of faith is not faithfulness to statements about God, but faithfulness to God as revealed in the Incarnation, the Bible, and the life of the believing community.” And this plays out in our priorities: “It means loving God and loving our neighbor and being faithful, above all, to these two great relationships.” It means not only “not straying” (fidelity to God) but also paying attention and doing what we can to nurture our relationship with God—“through worship, prayer and the life of compassion and justice as we reflect the light and love of Jesus. To be faithful to God not only means to love God, but to love what God loves, namely one’s neighbor, and indeed the whole of creation.”
Of course, most of that isn’t lost on Ellison, a Christian who is having his own crisis of faith.

As a final note, this episode is loaded with biblical references and allusions—and James McGrath has a great summary of them. And I share his concern: is it just a veneer of religion, or are they going somewhere with this?

(Image: Fox) ttsccctgy


SolShine7 said…
You nailed the power of that scene perfectly.
Carmen Andres said…
thanks, solshine!