The God Who Is Absent In Movies

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The God Who Is Absent In The Movies, is present in real life

The thoughtful creative for whom God is of central importance notices God’s absence in the movies and refuses to accept it.

The 23rd Psalm begins with the familiar phrase¢â‚¬¦

The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.

The Lord IS.

David did not argue for the existence of God. He assumed it and thought people who disbelieved in God were fools! (“The Fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”)

This is because David’s understanding of God was communal and experiential.

The word for Lord in Psalm 23 is Yahweh.

It is the name God revealed to Moses at the burning bush.
Tell the people I AM, WHO I AM.
TELL THEM, I AM, SENT YOU.

IAM, or Yahweh, is my shepherd¢â‚¬¦

The word Yahweh means:

¢â‚¬¢ The One Who Is. (“The Lord of the Whole Earth” as differentiated from the proliferation of polytheistic gods created by man.)

¢â‚¬¢ The One Who Causes to Be, (“The God of Creation.”)

¢â‚¬¢ The One Who Speaks (Ugaritic for “The God of Revelation.”)

¢â‚¬¢ The One Who Shows Passionate Love (Arabic)

1) The knowledge of Yahweh was passed on, in community, from generation to generation.

After God said IAM¢â‚¬¦he went on to say–tell the people “The Lord, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.”

2) It was also expected that humans would encounter Yahweh/God personally in daily life.

Linguists Friedrich and Kittle say of the name Yahweh—

“It is as non-intellectual as a name for God can be.”

Yahweh is the God who is involved in human events and in our personal lives.

Which brings us to the silence about God in popular culture¢â‚¬¦

In movie after movie the key characters face some crisis
And in movie after movie they don’t pray or ask God for help¢â‚¬¦
They rely on their own understanding¢â‚¬¦
They turn to their friends
Or an all-wise and knowing heroic character¢â‚¬¦.

King David know nothing of facing a crisis alone¢â‚¬¦
When he faced a crisis he immediately turned to God¢â‚¬¦

Rabbi Harold Kushner said of the 23rd Psalm—

“To philosophers and theologians, God may be the First Cause, the Unmoved Mover. But to people like us, what is most important about God is that He is the Presence that makes the world seem less frightening. The primary message of the Twenty-Third Psalm is not that bad things will never happen to us. It is that we will not have to face those bad things alone.”

For people who love movies and spend a lot of time watching them¢â‚¬¦

I want to warn you—the theology of most movies is that God is not here¢â‚¬¦

The belief that God exists but is absent¢â‚¬¦ is called deism, and according to researcher Christian Smith it is what most Christian teenagers believe today.

David and people of true faith are theists¢â‚¬¦.

Theists believe God exists.
Theists believe God has revealed Himself to us.
Theists believe God is actively involved in human history and in our personal lives.

Thoughtful creatives for whom God is of central importance notice God’s absence in the movies and refuse to accept it because The God Who Is Absent In Movies, is present in real life

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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  • PS 3.

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    Posted in Staublog in July 11, 2007 by | No Comments »

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