(I wrote this post a few years ago when the movie “Son of God” was playing. I was scroslling through some old posts and after I read it, I still felt the same way. I like what I wrote so I decided to post it again.)
Long post warning!
OK, here’s where I get into trouble. A lot of you are not going to like what I say. But I promised to be honest. This is about as honest as it gets. It is not my intent to discourage anyone from seeing the movie, the Son of God, but just to get people to think before they jump on board. If you’ve seen the movie, then please read no further. I don’t want to rain on your parade.
If you read my posts you know I am a conservative Christian. Not a conservative as in the Republican party but a conservative as in my lifestyle and beliefs. However, those beliefs don’t transfer to ill-treatment towards those of different faiths and lifestyle. I am not nor have ever been (sounds like a politician :)) intolerant of anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation, etc. (although I have a huge problem with people at motels coming down to breakfast in their pj’s with their hair uncombed, and, yes, they are pajamas, not lounge wear. If you slept in them, they’re pajamas.) I leave judgment in God’s hand, even about the pajamas. I posting this because I think you will be surprised that I’m not necessarily going overboard about “The Son of God” movie opening this
- I have a problem with a Jesus who is so handsome he could be on the cover of any popular magazine. And what’s with the bright, white teeth? Really? Think about the state of dental care back then. Plus, the Bible says Jesus was not handsome as we would define it today, although anyone who followed Him saw His beauty, or maybe I should say “experienced” His beauty. For me, I picture Jesus as beautiful in the ways a person really is beautiful.
- I wonder if Christians are letting the media do their jobs for them. By that I mean, are we letting Hollywood presenting a picture of Jesus to the masses when we should be doing it ourselves?
- No one’s life is going to be permanently changed by a movie. Not even this one. Some people might be inspired for a while. There might even be a few who turn to faith. But for the most part, it’s hype. It’s meant to make money. Let’s be realistic here. It wouldn’t have ever made it off the cutting floor otherwise. Burkett and Downy are power players in Hollywood. They know what they’re doing.
- I wonder about its producers. The language and sexual innuendos of some of their other productions seem very inconsistent with producing “Son of God.” I’m not judging them. I’m just saying this bothers me a lot. They said in a recent interview that producing their other shows supplies them with the financial means to produce movies like this one. Hmm. Is that saying the ends justify the means? And do they?
- I don’t want images from a movie imprinted on my mind as the “real” story. I don’t want my prayer life to be invaded by images produced by Hollywood. I can surmise how Jesus looked based on His lineage and none of the pictures I’ve seen come close.
- I have a problem with watching a movie about Jesus while people munch on their popcorn and drink soda just like they do at any other movie.
- Finally, if I pay big bucks to see this show, what other shows of these producers am I supporting? Do I really want my money to support some of their shows?
- Finally, I wonder if it trivializes the Christian message?
It was suggested to me during a conversation yesterday that as Christians we should support Christian movies. I have in the past. I did see The Passion but wished I hadn’t. I wasn’t quite as willing to buck the Christian establishment then. (Now it doesn’t bother me at all.) It just felt somehow “wrong” to me on so many levels. At least I had the good sense not to drink pop and eat popcorn like I would at any other movie.
I am in the minority among most Christians. Everyone says it’s a “must see”. I don’t like anything shoved down my throat and I don’t do it to anyone else either. But I always feel a little like I’m a “bad” Christian when I think outside the box on issues like this. And I certainly don’t want to put a damper on someone else’s enthusiasm. But without sounding too elitist, at least I do think. Especially when the tide is heading the other direction.
Sometimes I wish I could just go along with people. Sometimes I wish I could be one of the “Christian crowd”. I’m not. Much of that has to do with being a hospital chaplain and experiencing other people’s tragedies up close and personal. (It makes one challenge their own beliefs which I think is a very good thing.) Much of it has to do with my own struggles and my own reality. A large part has to do with the extensive reading I’ve done. I’ve read the “gold standards” of spiritual books, from those who’ve been long departed to the newest of authors. Nothing I’ve read has convinced me I should go along with any popular thinking. On the contrary. Everything I read tells me God is so big that while I shouldn’t put Him in a box, I shouldn’t let anyone else either.
Much of that has to do with being a hospital chaplain and experiencing other people’s tragedies up close and personal. (It makes one challenge their own beliefs which I think is a very good thing.) Much of it has to do with my own struggles and my own reality. A large part has to do with the extensive reading I’ve done. I’ve read the “gold standards” of spiritual books, from those who’ve been long departed to the newest of authors. Nothing I’ve read has convinced me I should go along with any popular thinking. On the contrary. Everything I read tells me God is so big that while I shouldn’t put Him in a box, I shouldn’t let anyone else either.
On the contrary. Everything I read tells me God is so big that while I shouldn’t put Him in a box, I shouldn’t let anyone else either.
Maybe that’s it in a nutshell. The whole “God in a box” thing. I’ve come a long way in letting God out of the box I’ve created for Him. This motion picture is the brainchild of Burkett and Downy. It’s their idea of Jesus and how the events took place although I’m sure they probably did their research. However, I don’t want their Hollywood version. It’s that simple.
I’m sure most Christians are in absolute disagreement with me. That’s ok. As long as my hesitancy surrounding this movie doesn’t bring on judgment. I’m also sure there will be those who will accuse me of turning people away from the faith because I’m not encouraging people to see this movie. That is so inane I’m not sure I should even address it but here goes.
Do you really think a person can be turned away from faith that easily? Do you really think God can’t get through to a person in a thousand other ways than seeing this movie? Then you really have put God in a box. But I wanted to express my objections for some very good reason.
Many people think that all Christians think the same. They see Christians as narrow and closed-minded. They see religion as constrictive and suffocating. They put Christians in a box. I wanted those people who feel that way to meet someone who isn’t afraid to think differently, who isn’t afraid to question their faith. I wanted you to encounter someone who has challenged her beliefs and come out on the other side with an even stronger faith.
It’s OK to question. It’s OK to think differently. God is able to meet us wherever we are on our journey. If seeing this movie is something you’re curious about, then, by all means, see it. Let God speak to you. Certainly, God can use this movie to reveal Himself to you. Just remember, it’s a movie.
God bless and please don’t shoot the messenger.