I have a relative who is a Christian and constantly posts on Facebook derogatory comments about Joe Biden and and all things Democrat. They are the kind of posts you would find offensive if you were a Democrat. So, I asked him one day if he had any friends who were Democrats. He said, “I don’t think so.”
I mention this example because it is indicative of too much of evangelical Christianity today, which seems more interested in confronting the world over politics and culture than the gospel.
First century Christians had a lot more politically and culturally to take issue with than 21st Century Christians, yet I don’t see any indication in the New Testament that they were picking fights with the pagans over such things. Rather, I see Paul, for example, using the Athenian culture to reach the Athenians on Mars Hill. See Acts 17:22-34.
Jesus said Christians should use money to make friends to reach them with the gospel. Luke 16:1-9. Christians today are too often doing the opposite with their politics.
I have reviewed many movies here, but I rarely mention whether a movie has nudity, sexually explicit scenes, or other offensive content. I figure if that is primarily what a Christian movie critic is offering the public, it is not worth the effort. Pagans will act like pagans, even when they make movies; we shouldn’t be surprised. I try to overlook it and focus on the themes, messages, and entertainment value of the movie. After all, movies are supposed to be a form of entertainment.
A movie’s biggest sin then, is when it fails to entertain. When it does so after 2o minutes of resorting to every shocking image the most perverted pagan can conceive, from a grossly obese man enjoying a golden shower to a midget on a pogo stick made into a giant penis spraying its pretend semen all over the audience, you know you have a monumental loser on your hands.
In fact, the most fitting metaphor of this movie was the elephant in the first scene defecating all over the man transporting it to a Hollywood party. Call it foreshadowing. After twenty minutes of this movie, I felt like that man, and the only thing I could think to do was look for the exit and the nearest shower. It was perhaps the single worst, most banal and offensive, boring excuse for a movie ever put on film.
I have been a fan of Damien Chazelle’s movies in the past, particularly Whiplash and La La Land, but I seriously doubt his judgment after seeing this one. Chazelle should give back whatever he was paid to write and direct this movie. In fact, he should pay me back. After seeing this abstract-excrement-on-celluloid-excuse for a movie, I feel like I have been robbed at gunpoint and felt-up at the same time.
Save your money. Don’t waste your time. Get a root canal, a colonoscopy. Anything is better than being subjected to 189 minutes of this. GS
I have to admit, I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime. I had hoped, and hopefully done my part. I sued an abortionist who perforated my client’s uterus while in the act of killing her unborn baby. I represented a pro-life protestor wrongfully arrested for protesting outside an abortion mill. I have functioned as legal monitor for pro-life protestors who were working the sidewalks outside abortion clinics, and I have voted pro-life for forty years.
From the first time I read Roe v. Wade in law school in 1986, I thought it was a tortured, result-oriented opinion. If a first year law student could see that, why did it take 50 years for six Supreme Court justices to see it?
The truth is that many more have seen it than have admitted it, but as C.S. Lewis described it, we have been creating men without chests, i.e. men without the virtue to guide their intellect or emotions. That is not to say those on the Supreme Court now are any more virtuous than those in the past. More likely, Evangelicals have simply been successful in making the fight against abortion a key component of the Republican platform, and the party has finally thrown Evangelicals a bone, and it is a very big bone.
Brainwashing is a terrible thing. It’s what happens when a person is exposed to only one point of view and any opposition to it is always portrayed in a negative light. In totalitarian regimes brainwashing is done through control of the media and promulgation of propaganda.
Have you ever wondered how Germans could have followed Hitler in support of his hellish policies? It’s easy actually. Germans thought Hitler was right because their state controlled monolithic, propaganda-producing media, told them he was right, and they were never told he was wrong.
The same thing is happening in Russia right now. More than 50% of Russians support Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. They do so because Putin and the state controlled media are telling them Ukrainian leaders are Nazis, are persecuting Russians in Ukraine, and are controlled by US and Nato forces intent on destroying Russia. None of that is true, of course, but Russians believe it, and they believe it because they are told that and told nothing to the contrary.
Evangelicals look at the examples of the Nazis and modern day Russia and thank God they live in a country where the government cannot brainwash them, but then they voluntarily choose to brainwash themselves. They do this by getting their news from only one source (typically Fox News) or from the same ideological stream of sources (Breitbart, Newsmax, Fox News). As a result, all that evangelicals hear merely reinforces what they have already heard.
From a purely practical perspective what happened at last night’s Oscars was truly ironic. Chris Rock was wrong to say what he said about Jada Smith but as it is, Will Smith’s physical assault of Rock, and Rock’s professional response completely reframed the event and made Rock the victim and Smith the villain.
I’ve been a fan of both Rock and Smith for years, and what happened last night was bad for everyone involved. There is plenty of blame-casting going on in social media and in the news today. I am not here to pile on.
Instead, I want to add a different perspective-the Kingdom perspective. It is why this blog exists, to offer a perspective of how things should be when the world is functioning the way King Jesus intends–how it will be when the kingdom of God covers the earth as the waters cover the seas. All the trendy talk about “toxic masculinity” misses the point, as does facile condemnations of violence. Masculinity is not toxic any more than femininity is toxic, and violence is sometimes necessary, as it is right now in Ukraine to stop an evil Russian dictator from going Hitler on his Ukrainian neighbors.
Let’s start with Chris Rock. In the kingdom of God, comedians exist to entertain people by making them laugh. Some comedians are funnier than others, and there are different styles of comedy, but the purpose is the same for all: entertain people by making them laugh.