Monthly Archives: December 2017

Cinematic Themes of Jesus

As we approach the date of celebration of the birth of Christ, I love to watch movies this time of year. Movies about, Heaven, God, & Christ are dusted off the shelves and played. I find it interesting that many of the movies I see right now are more about the death of Christ as opposed to his birth. “Ben-Hur”, “King of Kings” and the recently made “Risen” are all about the time of death and resurrection of Christ. “Passion of the Christ” is great, but just too real for meat certain points in the movie. Great movies, but one would think they would be more relevant around Easter. “It’s a Wonderful Life” and its modern-day semi-remake “The Family Man” with Nick Cage are two of my favorites. “The Nativity Story”, “The Birth of Jesus”, and “The Greatest Story Every Told” are all wonderful films.

It is absolutely marvelous when a hidden movie with Christ gets uncovered. I had the pleasure of watching “The Shack” with Sam Worthington today. Had not seen the previews, reviews, and had not a clue to the background of the movie. If you have not seen the movie, there are spoilers in this blog. While I had it on from the beginning, I was not paying much attention until the young Mack appears to poison his alcoholic father for beating him and his mother in drunken fits. That caught my eye and I watched. The story centers around a tragedy of the main character’s youngest daughter being abducted and ultimately murdered while on a camping trip. The abduction occurs in a moment when the father has to rush into the lake to save his other 2 teenage kids from drowning. They are in the water due to one child standing in the boat and causing it to capsize.

This part of the film hit a little too close to home for me. I was able to take my kids camping a lot as they grew up. I have been the dad that dived into the lake when a boat capsized. I have had my little wandering kids disappear on me and there is no greater fear for a parent than “what if”. So when the main character was sobbing to his wife that it was his fault when his daughter was abducted, he was right. The mom could say all she wanted that it was not his fault, but it was. I have been there, as have other parents. When you take your kids out, you are responsible for them. Period.  The film then delves into his guilt and anger.

Mack is enticed by a mysterious letter to return to the scene of the crime where his daughter was abducted. Frustration occurs when no one is there and it appears that Mack attempts to kill himself, only to be disrupted by a deer. What ensures afterward is a discovery of a man who appears to be Jesus that leads him to a beautiful cabin on the lake in spring. There he meets God in female form, as well as the Spirit of the Wind. Having met Jesus, Mack is in the presence of the Holy Trinity. What comes afterwards in a healing process for his soul that I did enjoy.

The reason I bring the movie up is it hit on some points I have been gravitating towards for some time that fall right in line with the Season of Celebration. The first point concerned the wrath of God. Growing up in the Bible Belt and being Sunday Schooled heavily in my early years, the wrath of God is something that you are taught and accept as doctrine. We hear of it from the Old and New Testament; God’s wrath is written in the Quran as well.  I have even seen teachings that God loves war, and allows man to slaughter one another. While I never bought into the war part, I never questioned the assumption of God’s wrath until I became a parent. Once you become a parent, you love your children with all of your heart and soul. Sometimes they do great and wondrous things and sometimes they break your heart, but at no time do you ever wish ill for your child. This message comes out in this movie several times through direct statement and at other times via implied actions. War and slaughter of mankind are acts of evil and man’s inability to properly interpret the world without God’s guidance. It makes a whole lot more sense that God wants all of his children to be loved and saved than condemn them to war, slaughter and ultimately hell. Seems to sound a lot like the message Jesus gave, but a message certain religious zealots seem to forget.

Point number 2 is that there is salvation regardless of the sin. This is based on the fact that young Mack kills his father through poisoning him, albeit it accidentally as well as the fact Mack is told forgiving his daughter’s murderer must be done for him to heal. God wants to “redeem” that man. Powerful message and one I am sure certain religious groups take serious issue with. As with wrath, why would God want to punish his children? If you have kids and have to discipline them, which is needed at times, it does not correlate to an enjoyment. The parent normally gets the worst of disciplining a child and it can be no different for God to send his child to hell without working to redeem and forgive them for terrible sins.

Which brings us back to the birth of Jesus and the Reason for the Season. Jesus preached love, faith, and forgiveness. Jesus asked us to forgive ourselves, our neighbors, as well as our enemies. Through faith you can have everlasting life in the light.

A light shown in the past, which will shine today, and will continue to shine tomorrow.

I hope you add this movie to your list to watch.

Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season of Celebration and have a Merry Christmas!

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Blood of the Bombs

December 7, 1941 changed the globe. It was when the US entered its second World War that would change our great nation forever. What appeared as a victorious maneuver for the Empire of Japan, would eventually lead to its defeat and movement away from an imperial country.

The price paid in blood from the bombs dropped that day continues to rise. The bombing of Pearl Harbor brought global change in weapons technology, weapons that would change geopolitical landscapes. New Powers arose among nations and old empires crumbled. From the US entrance into WWII from the bombings at Pearl Harbor, we can draw a straight line to the Korean War (and we are still dealing with this), Viet Nam, the Cold War, and the War on Terror. There are a whole slew of military conflicts over the last 25 years not declared as wars where US military involvement has made matters worse in most cases. It was after World War II that Israel was awarded land  for its nation by the United Nations. The US was the first to recognize her. The fight between Arabs and Jews go back to Ishmael and Isaac, but this change has placed the Middle East at the epicenter of conflict ever since. The War on Terror is centered in the Middle East.

The blood spilt by the US since WWII, whether justified or not, is a direct result of our nations change in policy of being the “worlds police”. I also know that if the US had not been present to play this role, our world would look much different, and not for the better, than it is today.

Was this the intention of the Japanese when they bombed Pearl Harbor – to have the world in perpetual conflict? Unlikely. Japan’s losses of her own were staggering.  The US played hardball with oil supplies and paid the price of interference. Japan expected America to roll over and get out of the way.

The real question is – did anyone learn any lessons from this day? Do world leaders look back at the sequence of events that lead to this date and work to avoid the same mistakes?

I don’t think so.

Ronald Reagan was declared a war monger during his term for the US military arsenal buildup as a deterrent to the Soviet Union. In reality, Reagan deployed forces 16 times over his Presidency. The most public was Grenada to rescue American students, Lebanon – where the Marines were part of a UN effort to support a shaky  government, and the bombing in Libya where Ronnie sent Gaddafi a nightcap. There were no protracted actions. While there were losses, they were not expounded like the presidents since.

The blood continues to spill and the bodies keep piling up.

So when you pray for those that died 76 years ago today, and you pray for our military at home and around the globe, pray for wisdom to come to all world leaders. Pray for peace from love, hope, and the charitable hearts of mankind.

If we don’t, we are going to drown in the blood of the bombs.

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