So recently I’ve watch a couple of movies that involve angels – you know messengers of God. The first movie was called “Gabriel.” Take a wild guess about which angel this is about. The movie is described as a mix between Western and the Matrix. Which is pretty accurate. The other movie was called “Legion.” it’s like the end times meet zombie movie.
I’ll spare you the details of both of these movies and tell you that both movies had really bad theology. Let’s just put it this way – when you movie makes Michael the archangel into a fallen angel or disobeying God’s command, where you get the theology around Purgatory wrong, and where God is so ticked off at humanity that God decides to use angels to destroy humanity, you’ve got some bad theology going on.
Regardless, the benefit of watching these movies is to see how God is popularly displayed for entertainment purposes.
The message that is put out is that God is angry and ready to kick butt and take names.
The message is that the forces of good will use evil means, as if those means were the only option available.
The message is that might makes right.
These of course are the messages that our culture and world live by and have for most of human history.
Last week was Holy Week, which is a big contrast with these messages. Holy Week shows us Jesus who carries a different message. A message of Good News, even if the message is often misunderstood or ignored. That doesn’t matter, Jesus kept on spreading the message anyway.
It’s a message that Jesus didn’t conquer through force, but rather love – self-emptying love. To the point of death.
Evil uses force in order to get its way. It has to. But here’s the thing, in the end, it is that very same use of force that destroys evil. It is self-destructive.
Love on the other hand is different. It’s expansive. Which is exactly what God is.
But I don’t expect there to be a movie that focuses on God’s love. It wouldn’t fit into a popular movie theme. There wouldn’t be a good guy and bad guy. There wouldn’t be fallen angels. There wouldn’t be the use of force to win.
But that’s ok because God’s love isn’t made for a movie. It’s made for life. For us to experience it and for us to live it out and share it with others.