Monday, August 2, 2010

A movie review with an interesting point

"Charlie St. Cloud" is the type of movie that, in all likelihood, few of our group member will see.  Apparently, this movie is the latest attempt to put the teen idol of the moment into an emotional setting. But a Christian reviewer brings up an interesting point.  Most of the movie deals with notions of an afterlife and the purpose of this life:

"I have no regrets," the paramedic says. "I have lived a full life."
Charlie asks the poignant and well-phrased question, "Is that really any consolation?"
Then comes the lie.
"It's the only one there is," the paramedic answers.
Really? That's a common sentiment, the idea that we have simply to live full lives, avoid regrets and trust that after we die it will all be OK.
The reviewer is offended that the movie does not acknowledge the one purpose of life and the one true path to the afterlife (hint: it begins with a "J"):
To say to yourself, "I'll go to heaven but ignore the way Jesus said to get there," is not only stunningly illogical, it's also hypocritical. It's like supposing you're playing baseball but ignoring both the rules and the umpires. It makes no sense.

While this analysis may seem uncharitable, it does make sense.  Christians made up the story about a Christian heaven, so they can also make up the rules.  There are other afterlife stories, of course, but apparently this movie makes references to Jesus and Christianity, so they are talking about Christian heaven.  Like the copyright holders of Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter and others keeping control of their stories, the Christian establishment (which, like this reviewer is usually self-declared) guards its stories.  A ruling (by the Pope? President of the Mormon Church?  Joel Osteen?) that there are non-Jesus paths to Christian heaven would have as much real-world effects as a ruling that Santa Claus must now visit the houses of non-Christians.

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