21 January, 2006

End of the Spear

I read about this movie briefly in WORLD magazine this morning (or was it afternoon? Today was my sleep-in day, so I'm not sure.) This story has always aroused a conflict in my heart. Today that conflict may have been resolved.

Why did those five missionaries face certain death when they had young families that needed to be supported? I admired their martyrdom, of course, but I didn't understand. Doesn't the Bible say that it is better for a man to remain unmarried so he could continue in ministry without the burden of wife and child? Why, then, if they already formed the commitment to family, did they continue in their plans? I also didn't understand how these wives and their children could continue reaching out toward a people that had killed their husbands. Yes, of course, it's forgiveness, but it's forgiveness that I don't have.

I realized today, however, the importance of the Gospel to these men and their families. Sacrificing anything for the Gospel is so worth it. If God had been leading these men, then there was absolutely no commitment that could hold them back. And nothing should have held them back. I realized today that, when/if I ever make the commitment of lifelong marriage to one man, I need to be willing to turn away from that marriage altar knowing that God has already called my husband to His will, possibly separating us for a time. But I need to go beyond acquiescence and support my husband whole-heartedly in his decision to follow God's will. Ouch. Hopefully I'll be ready when the time comes. (Why does it seem easier to give my own life away than the life of those I love? Maybe I'm just ignorant.)

Something else I discovered when I was talking to Nater: One of the lead actors, Chad Allen, is a "gay activist." Why was a homosexual man chosen to be the lead part? In the interview quoted on this blog , John MacArthur repeatedly calls Mr. Allen's homosexuality a sin, and the author of that blog (along with others) seems to think that this sin is the reason why he shouldn't be playing the part of a missionary and his son who are deeply respected in the Christian community. Why does this matter? If homosexuality is a sin, and it is equal (in God's sight) to all other sins, and all people sin, then it is a logical conclusion to say that any other actor would have been just as bad of a choice. Of course, the men portrayed by Mr. Allen were sinners themselves, so it would be silly to have a sinless being portray a sinner.

I can understand how this particular sin of Mr. Allen's could be a hindrance, since it is under some serious social scrutiny. However, if Christians are to extend grace toward every sinner, then Mr. Allen should not be discounted from this role simply because of his particular sin. The five missionaries' display of love and acceptance to the Waodani should be exemplified by Christians to homosexuals.


Clear Ambassador said...

Good post! Good point about homosexuality. It gets at something that has bugged me subtly for a long time.

Your point about the missionaries, their families, and the gospel, sorta goes along with something I've been feeling a bit recently: that it really is all about God. We are joyfully and overflowingly blessed and satisfied in that, in the end, but fundamentally it's not about that, it's about God making much of Himself. If men must die and leave their families, if hell must be instated and filled, if sicknesses must go unhealed, if desires must go unmet, so be it. None of those trump the glory and magnification of God.

A new prayer of mine has been for God to help me enjoy Him making much of Himself. May it be so!

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Yes! My prayers have been answered (in part).

The Christian "community" has treated homosexuals as freaky outsiders for too long. Hel-LO!!! We're all freaky outsiders! EVERY ONE has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I've been thinking about this issue for a while...perhaps a longer blog post will follow.

jondaley said...

I think there is a difference between sinning and repenting (or at least trying to repent) from a particular sin, and sinning and enjoying, and not having the slightest interest in repenting.

Therefore, one particular sin isn't any worse than another, perhaps the sin of not repenting is worse? I made up that part, but I think the bible does talk quite sternly about not repenting.

So, I say that we should take other "accepted" sins in the church more seriously than most people do.

As for the movie, it does look like it could be good, though I don't know much about it, other than someone just recommended it to me, your blog post, and the two trailers on the site.

jondaley said...

BTW, I am going to see this movie on Wednesday night, if you are interested in coming. It is at 7:10PM at the Waterworks theater. We are leaving from my house at 6:30.

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Thanks for asking! I was at work tonight. How did the movie go? (I probably won't be seeing it for a while, and I'm not afraid of spoiling the end :-))

Jon Daley said...

I thought it was excellent!
When it was finished, I just said, "wow".
And then during the credits there were some humorous quotes of when the main native character came to the US for a visit, and his reactions to grocery stores, and moving trails, etc.
The quotes were quite funny, but took away from the impact of the ending I think.
I thought there was an excellent presentation of the gospel, in terms of "spears", and that word was used about eight times in the span of the couple sentence summary of what Jesus did on the cross for us.
It was quite convincing that that way of talking about Jesus was the way that this man would understand it best in relating it to his own life's experiences.
There was a bizarre scene at the end reflecting back on the dad's death where, "jumped the Great Boa when he was alive", as opposed to trying after you die, which is the belief of the tribe. I am not sure what the bright lights were supposed to portray. Angels coming down to get the missionaries? Maybe I missed some critical theological point there.

Prior to us arriving in the theater, there was only one other couple there. I guess I haven't been to a theater on a Wednesday night before. It is kind of nice.