Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Kingdom of Heaven

Went and saw the new Ridley Scott movie with my wife last night. This is partly a review, but more a response to the subject matter of the film.

I enjoyed the movie, and found it inspiring. Orlando Bloom did a good job in the lead, and there was great support throughout the film. I thought the scenery was very well done, and ofcourse the action sequences were brilliant, though a bit bloody for my taste. The story of a young man searching for redemption in Jerusalem, and defending the city from the attack of the Muslim armies was a bit predictable, most movies are these days. It was also not historically accurate at all, which doesn't bother me either. It inspired me to learn more about the history, and the real events in this horrible time, which is an added bonus.

Spiritually I found this film to be a bit testing. The obvious power of "God wills it" to motivate people to all kinds of behaviour is nothing I have not thought of before. But in this film it is contrasted with the ideals of nobility, and righteousness in a strong way. I found myself more intensely motivated to the anarchist thought that power corrupts. One of the strongest lines in the film says we may be moved around the board by kings, but our soul is in our own hands and we are accoutable to it before God (paraphrased)

Ultimately I was disgusted by the fight. Everyone wanting to be God's instrument of judgement, destiny, or power. Everyone feeling like they were doing God's will, and that the others were instruments of the devil.

I have recently come from a situation where this kind of attitude has caused me some hurt. Ofcourse now we do not hit people with swords and axes, I actually might fare a bit better in those circumstances, but we hit others with insults, accusations, and declarations. I am truly saddened by it all. There is truth, and I will not bend on what I believe the truth to be. However truth is not a weapon to crush others with, but a call to a noble life, and a loving heart. How often have I fought for the truth, the good of others, and to defend the faith, and been guilty of betraying the one absolute truth I hold dear, "God is love".

The weapons may have changed, but I seriously wonder if we will ever learn.

the rev

1 comment:

Richard said...

Good review. When I first saw the trailer for Kingdom of Heaven I immediately wanted to see it. I am sucker for any kind of Medieval drama. But alas I probably won't see it till it comes out on DVD simply b/c that's how we see most of our movies. The last movie we saw on the big screen was The Incredibles...and I'm so glad that I did.

Aside from the other good comments, you touched on how the emerging church's tendency to bash on the established church. I've been reflecting on my participation in all of that. I think it's about time to strike a balance. Does the church need to move forward in the very obvious cultural shift...yes, I still think it does. But we should also recognize where we came from. Recognize the importance of our church parents as it were. Just like our biological parents, we may rebell against them for a time. But when we mature, we usually realize the important contributions they made to our lives. Sure, their getting old...and they may not understand or even approve of what we've become. But like it or not, they are part of our heritage. Part of who we are. And we should be proud of the good stuff that they gave us.

Good comments as usual. Later.