Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Heaven is For Real

June 19, 2014

I recently watched the movie Heaven is For Real.  I had heard a lot of good things about it.  After viewing the movie I have a mixed response.  The movie is good in that it helps people to believe in a life beyond the grave.  It gives credible support to the existence of an afterlife.  That is a good thing.  Unfortunately, one could easily come away from the movie with the belief that everyone goes to heaven.  I am told that the book did a better job of presenting that a life in heaven came as a result of faith in Jesus Christ.  The idea that everyone goes to heaven is a belief called universalism and is a very dangerous belief.  No repentance, no faith is necessary.  A loving God simply welcomes everyone home to heaven.  That is not biblical truth.  There is a line in the movie where the minister states “What if we truly believed that heaven is real?  Wouldn’t we live differently?”  (This quote may not be exact, but it is close.)  I would suggest a different question “What if we truly believe that both heaven and hell are real?  Wouldn’t we live differently?”  The Bible tells us in Revelation 20:15

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

If we truly believe this to be true, would we live any different?  If only heaven is real, that is one thing, but if both heaven and hell are real, how should we live?

 

Any advertisements that accompany this blog are placed by WordPress.  I do not have any control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

Advertisements

Eat, Pray, Love (movie review)

September 7, 2010

The film “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts is not so much a love story as it is a life story.  Roberts plays a writer who takes a year off to get her life in order.

The first four months she spends in Italy, basically eating and spending time with friends.  This time period represents the need to find enjoyment in the simple, material, things in life.  It also points out the need to slow down, and the value of doing nothing. Tasting life, you might say.

The next four months are spent in India learning the value of prayer, meditation and forgiveness.  This time period helps her to connect with the spiritual aspect of life.  Her earlier existence had been without spiritual influence.  There is a brief prayer in the beginning where she states that she had never talked to God before that point, so this is very new, and difficult for her to learn.

The next four months she spends in Bali.  During this period she rediscovers the importance of human relationships, and yes, love.   Also, she is taught the  importance  of balance.  Balancing the various aspects of life is the final lesson.

So “Eat, Pray, Love” is a story about appreciating, practicing, and balancing;  the material, spiritual and relational aspects of life.  In some ways, it teaches some very valid principles.  Unfortunately, these principles are discovered by pursuing non-Christian religious paths.  The movie could easily be used to encourage individuals to find meaning for their lives through various Eastern religions.

The only true and lasting meaning for life is to be found in Jesus Christ who said that “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6) and “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)

2012 (movie review)

April 6, 2010

A couple of days ago I watched the movie 2012.  I was interested in how they would present the material.  I first heard about the prophecies regarding 2012 a few years ago when a student wanted to do a paper on the information that she had been gathering from various sources.  It appears that in a number of religious traditions, the year 2012 has been suggested as the apocalyptic end of the world.

The movie was ok.  It was filled with the expected action, and special effects that one would expect in this genre.  I was glad that I did not pay to see it in a theatre, but waited for it to come out on dvd because it was not that good.

I noticed that they treated the religious predictions respectfully.  Christianity played only a small role.  I suspect that it was out of respect for various religious traditions that played a major role in the movie presentation.

There was an unexpected benefit.  For all practical purposes, a scenario which could result in a world-wide flood, was presented.  This provides some support for the flood story in Genesis.  In fact, the vessels that are used to preserve humanity in the movie are called arks.  Obviously a reference to Noah’s ark.  So overall, I came away with a small sense of support for religious traditions, which is a good thing.

Avatar

March 1, 2010

The movie Avatar finally came to our local theatre and my wife and I went to see it last Friday.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and will try to get to see it again when it is in a nearby IMAX.  I am sure that it will be highly entertaining.

It should be noted that it presents, in a very favorable light, a philosophical view called “deep ecology”.   This view suggests a very stong, living, connection between all things on the planet, especially living things.  It is a common feature of nature-based religions.  The native religion plays a major role in the movie, and so, even though the movie is obviously fictional, the similarities between the religion in the movie, and actually practiced religions, can result in an increased interest in nature based religions.

That is good news if you are seeking to promote nature based religions such as Daoism, Native American Spirituality, and Wicca.

Not so good, if you are seeking to promote Christianity.

Sherlock Holmes

February 16, 2010

Last night we went to see the movie “Sherlock  Holmes” in our local theatre.  I had not heard very much about it, except that I had heard one report that it was good.

As it turns out, it was quite unexpected.

Sherlock Holmes is portrayed as being on the edge of sanity, actually, past the edge.  Dr. Watson is a strong, stable companion who helps Holmes cope with reality.  They are both far more physically violent than I had expected.  This is not a story for children. 

The most surprising twist to me was that their primary adversary was an individual who was believed to be a practitioner of black magic. 

I normally do not watch movies with themes centering around the use of magic, certainly not black magic.  I do not take such things lightly.  In fact, I gave serious thought to leaving the movie, when I realized how much of a role the occult played.

In the end the bad guy is defeated, Holmes demonstrates how the various effects, that had appeared to be supernatural, were actually based in little-known facts about the material realm.

That is part of the problem.  Everything boiled down to a physical explanation.  There is no validity given to the possibility of any  reality beyond the material.  Another problem is that the church was portrayed as fearful and ineffective.  So you are left with the sense that both religion and magic, plays on the fears of the ignorant.

On a good note, there is a line where the main adversary is told that he is playing with powers that he cannot control.  There is a hint of ominous, evil presence in the black raven that appears each time one of the leaders in the magical community is killed.  Perhaps people should not trifle with evil powers. 

I can agree with that sentiment.

“All About Steve” a commentary

January 14, 2010

The movie All About Steve starring Sandra Bullock was very different from The Proposal or The Blind Side, all of which came out this past year.  Basically it is the story of a women who creates crossword puzzles for the local paper for  a living.  She loves what she does, but does not make much money, still lives at home, (with a cover story of her apartment being fumigated) and is not in a relationship.  Still, she appears happy with who she is, and her life in general.

One day, after a particularly disastrous appearance at a local schools career day, she literally throws herself at Steve on their first date, which had been set up by both of their parents.  She writes a crossword focussed on him, loses her job and chases him around the country.

At first, I thought the movie was pretty stupid, but then I realized that they were trying to make a point.

Be happy with who you are, don’t let other peoples’ expectations guide your life. 

I like that.  Once I realized that the movie was not just a silly spoof, but a social commentary on how pointless it is to try to fulfill other peoples’ expectations it became much more enjoyable.

Flubber

June 29, 2008

While flipping through channels I recently came across the movie “Flubber” starring Robin Williams.  I remember the original movie coming out in my childhood and when the remake came out we rented it to watch with our children.  There was one enormous difference in the new version.  Flubber was a life form. 

This is important because it portrays life as an accident that can be recreated in a test tube.  I believe that God is the creator of all life, and it was no accident.  Scientists have tried very hard to create life, but have failed.  “Flubber” presents it as a possibility to all of the young minds enjoying the show.  Of course, this fits right in with evolutionary theory, which suggests that life began, and continues to develop by accident, rather than by the intentional act of a Creator.  This teaching removes the need for a creator God, and undermines a belief in both God, and the Bible, which states “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”  (Genesis 1:1)

Subtly Astray (August Rush)

June 4, 2008

Recently, Gloria and I watched the movie “August Rush” .  It was enjoyable, but I wonder how many people realize how well it expressed basic Taoist philosophy?

Throughout the movie the boy is talking about the music that is all around, that he hears and tries to express.  He also believes that as he plays that music he can be reunited with his parents. 

The parents meanwhile are also musicians.  They also express themselves through their music, although they had set it aside temporarily.  They connect to some powerful force, which inspires their music.  When these three musicians are in harmony with the music around them, they are reconnected.

If you substitue the “Tao” for music, it fits pretty well the basic philosophy that we are to try to live our lifes in harmony with the  “Tao” which can be partially defined as “the creative rhythm of the universe”, which is believed by Taoists to be all around us.

I wonder how many people are subtly led into pursuing a line of thinking that is based in a religion that if they were openly exposed to, they would quickly reject?  Our society is filled with teachings and practices that are contrary to the Word of God.  We need to be careful, and to hold on to that which is good.