By Sarah Carlson, Copy Editor
I Am The Enemy
I spent a month in Washington, D.C., this summer at a journalism program through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. A group of 15 students and two directors lived, worked and worshiped together, and it was an amazing experience.
While in Washington, my group and I met with many Christian journalists from the area because the entire point of our month in the capital was to learn to be salt and light in the world of media. We met with a movie critic from USA Today to watch and discuss the movie Saved!
I recommend that Christians see this movie. I’ll warn you ahead of time that parts of it will make you uncomfortable or even offend you, and as our group discovered, it opens up many areas of dialogue for Christians. That’s good. Parts of it also will make you laugh. However, I think the overall idea of the movie completely misses the mark on what it means to be a Christian.
The basic thesis of the movie is if God’s plan isn’t working out for you, get a new plan because everything is a gray area now. The only type of Christians portrayed in the movie either condemn sin altogether and send people away to reform houses, or they are completely tolerant and think things like sexual immorality and homosexuality are acceptable with Christians. It shows no in between.
The adults in the movie are also rather incompetent, and they use the old “Why would God give me these feelings if he didn’t want me to act on them?” routine.
“It’s like those monster vampire high school kind of movies, only here the monsters are Jesus-freak teenagers,” said Michael Stipe of R.E.M., the movie’s producer.
Now, this movie could have been hilarious had it been made by Christians, or at least by people who have a better concept of what life is like for evangelicals. But as is apparent from the quote above, the film’s makers have no idea.
The basic problem, as I see it, made clearer to me this summer is that the world does not understand us because we don’t even understand ourselves.
We can be so busy worrying about whether we are the right kind of Christian, or the right kind of Church of Christ member or any other affiliation for that matter, that we forget to be Christians.
The reason a compassionate Christian, who stands by his or her beliefs while continuing to support and love others, was not depicted in the movie Saved! is because many non-believers don’t think that Christian exists.
How many times has an abortion clinic been bombed or a gay person been beaten all in the name of Christ? How many of us only become good friends with the people at our Christian school or at our church and only reach out to surrounding communities with service on designated Saturdays? How many Christians demand certain Constitutional amendments that only segregate society and fuel the fire for many left-wingers?
So many Christians condemn everyone, even other Christians, for not believing exactly as they do. Churches that preach about the evils of ACU and how we are all going to Hell do exist my friend, and they are not dying out as you would hope.
Jesus was the biggest human rights activist to ever live. One can learn how to live and treat others from the Sermon on the Mount where he calls us to love everyone, even our enemies. His preaching is not the blurred theology of Saved! where everything goes, but it’s also not throwing the first stone. It’s just about love.
Compassionate Christians need to make themselves visible.The state of our society now makes that necessity even more apparent.
We will always be different and aliens in the world; that’s a given. We see things too differently. But we can still reach out to the world and bring them to Christ through example.