Apocalypto: Knowing The Story We Are In

Culturally Savvy Christians know the story we are in¢â‚¬¦

Recently Elton John announced that he favors banning religion:
He was quoted as saying: “organized religion doesn’t seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.” Elton John believes the human story is about good people who occasionally do bad things¢â‚¬¦Christians believe that without God humans are fallen self-centered people who occasionally do good things¢â‚¬¦

During Christmas we are reminded of essentials of the Christian Story:

1) Since Adam and Eve, human rebellion against God has resulted in the deterioration of humans into wrong-headed, ill-behaved worshippers of the autonomous self. The Bible describes our thoughts as evil, only & continually¢â‚¬¦ Without God we love darkness rather than light.

2) In a dramatic twist, the Christmas story reveals that God so loves rebellious humans that he sent his son Jesus not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved¢â‚¬¦In Jesus, God is revealed to be full of grace and truth¢â‚¬¦Jesus is the light in our darkness. Jesus came not to make is better people, but to make us NEW people.

3) The early Christians took Jesus seriously. He said all the commandments could be summarized in this way: Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. Christianity prevailed against pagan religions because those early Christians were “new creatures” who out-thought, out-lived, out-loved and out-died their pagan counterparts¢â‚¬¦

The story we are in tells us that rebellious humans make the world a darker place and those influenced by the true spirit of Jesus bring light and love into a dark world.

This is one of the messages conveyed in Mel Gibson’s new movie

The movie starts with a Will Durant quote reminding us that civilizations die from outside attacks only after they have died from within¢â‚¬¦

In his R-Rated Apocalypto, Gibson reveals a violent, barbaric, primitive 15th century Mayan culture of almost unimaginable cruelty, brutality and inhumanity. This is a society eroding from within. This is a society that needs to be saved¢â‚¬¦

In his R-rated passion of the Christ, Gibson reveals the violent atoning death of Jesus for human sin as the only antidote for a society needing to be saved.

God sent his son to save such people, and the arrival of Christianity properly practiced brings such salvation¢â‚¬¦

One film critic observed that the effect of Apocalypto is to make even romanticists of primitive culture or detesters of Christianity relieved to see the Christians arriving. Why?

Because left to our own devices humans don’t get better¢â‚¬¦we get worse¢â‚¬¦

Elton John needs to understand that
Though historically Christians have made inexcusable mistakes¢â‚¬¦
Its overall impact on history has been positive:
It is a restraining force against evil
And transforms people from self-seekers to
Those who serve others¢â‚¬¦

As I left the theatre and headed into the streets of Seattle
I saw homeless people on the streets¢â‚¬¦
I saw hip teens with their ripped jeans, nose rings & primitive markings¢â‚¬¦
I saw the newspaper’s headline about a brutal murder of innocents¢â‚¬¦

And I thought.
American civilization is eroding from within
We are heading for Apocalypto & we need the Passion of the Christ
Who was born in a manger,
died on a cross,
ascended into heaven
and will one day come again¢â‚¬¦

Culturally Savvy Christians know the story we are in¢â‚¬¦

Posted in Staublog in December 17, 2006 by | No Comments »

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