Forklift Theology

Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.

Hollywood Gospel

Some things never seem to change. Perhaps that is a good thing. I would be seriously surprised to wake up one morning and find that tires on dry pavement had no traction. It would certainly make operating a forklift difficult. I would also be surprised if I were to wake up and find that my forklift burned water instead of propane. Those changes would be overwhelming. However, dry pavement provides the best traction and forklifts don’t use water for fuel, at least not yet.

However, there is something else that doesn’t change. Hollywood. They still make movies in that city. Unfortunately, Hollywood doesn’t seem to have too much going for it in terms of originality. Indeed, many of the titles being released are either rehashes of older movies, or sequels for some movie or another. Nothing particularly new.

Now it is no secret that movies have been made over the years that have Biblical themes. Charlton Heston starred in “The Ten Commandments”. Then there was the mini-series for “Noah’s Ark”. Also there was Mel Gibson and his “Passion of the Christ”. All of these were reasonably Biblical (I am being generous towards the Mel Gibson flick), though they all took their liberties regarding the original tale and how they wanted to move the story along.

Recently, new movies have come out with pseudo-Biblical themes. What do I mean? Simple, the story has certain Biblical elements, but the story is not even remotely close to the original. One example is Russell Crowe’s “Noah”. I’ve seen the previews and read many of the reviews. Count me as less than impressed. Mr. Crowe would have us believe that Noah was a madman of the worst sort, presiding over the destruction of all humanity. Likewise, he’d have us believe that the Nephilim (a type of fallen angels), were turned into some sort of rock monsters.

In a similar vein, we have the recently released movie “Exodus”. I have only seen a teaser for this, but the reviews are very much the same as they were for “Noah”. Basically, a retelling and changing of the Biblical narrative. No surprise. Hollywood has found it quite profitable to bash the Christian faith.

On a slightly, and somewhat surprisingly, different track, we have Nick Cage in a rehash of “Left Behind”, written by Tim LaHaye. Now, it doesn’t take much to find that there two previous movies made from this popular book series. Those movies were “Left Behind” and “Tribulation Force”. Both starred Kirk Cameron, and neither was very popular. It is unusual to think that a putting a popular action in a role from a previously unpopular movie might make the movie better. However, that is probably much of the thinking behind making a new rendition of this movie.

Wait! What is “Left Behind”? Seriously? Seriously!

“Left Behind” is the first in a series of books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, a series in which an event called “the rapture” has occurred. Nevermind that the books make several grave theological mistakes, not to mention many simple departures from logic. I suspect that the remake of the original “Left Behind” movie is an attempt to re-introduce escapist theology to the under-churched and those who have left the church. In short, fear-mongering.

Oh, I almost failed to mention, there is something that hasn’t changed. Yep, the word of God remains unchanged, despite the best (and worst) attempts of us fallible humans. Christ Jesus was born to a virgin, died upon a cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day. This is the same Gospel that the disciples preached. It is still the same Gospel that many churches preach today.

Hollywood would tell you that you can do what you want and it won’t hurt anyone. There are groups out there who are devoted to doing whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone. This is a false gospel that has no real hope, and is thoroughly legalistic. It is impossible to do whatever we want and not risk hurting somebody, regardless of intention. Worse, we may hurt somebody in such a way that they don’t realize it either, at least not for many years. This is not good news.

The only real gospel is that of what Christ Jesus did for our sins. That Gospel is unchanging.This is something that we place all of hope and trust upon.

I don’t expect to wake up and find my forklift somehow suddenly fueled by water. However, I don’t expect God to change his law or his plan of salvation either. We can either accept God’s law and his plan for our salvation or we can reject it (note, God’s salvation is a free gift, we can’t choose it, only reject it). Some things never change, nor should they. For that, I am thankful.

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