Monday, March 13, 2006

Crashing Down

Does anybody remember The Passion of the Christ?

When the movie first came out, there was this incredible wave of hype. Some people thought that it was the greatest evangelism tool ever. Churches were renting out entire movie theatres. Some churches were posting Passion-type signs outside of their buildings. My sister told me about strangers hugging each other in the parking lot after the movie. I can't tell you how many cups of tears I lost during the movie. Allegedly a man turned himself in to authorities for crimes he had gotten away with after watching the movie. This was a mega-success for followers of Christ. Sadly, though, not much else resulted in the hype. Not long after the novelty of the movie wore off, much of the fervent support and energy generated from the movie seemed to get cold and faded away.

But, lately, I came in close contact with -- hands down -- the most significant and culturally relevant movies in cinematic history: Crash. Now, I'm really starting to understand why this movie got so much Academy Award hoopla. This movie was seriously the most important movie I've ever seen.

To me, the church needs to promote this movie just as much as it did for Passion. I think that the church, as well as many other institutions, should use this movie as a discussion piece for many of the core elements and principles of which Jesus spoke during His ministry; priniciples involving human nature. Yes. This movie had harsh overtones. Yes. There was violence, foul language, and sexual themes. But, more important, this movie provides critical analysis on important topics like racism, oppression, hate, and fear; things that we, as Christians and humans fight on a daily basis.

Never mind The Passion of the Christ. Crash, in my opinion, is the greatest evangelsim tool to ever hit the big screen.

Your thoughts?


8 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

joanne said...

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree again. I Crash was rated R for a reason:

How many times was God's name used in vain? The f-word was used more frequently than "the" or "and". Violence, sexual tones...How can you say that this is a good evangelical tool? This movie doesn't do anything CLOSE to the same evangelism that the Passion did.

For a Christian to rely on something like this for evanglism is sad to me.

No offense.

Andre said...

Hi Joanne,

Please don't apologize for having an opinion. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy reading your responses -- even if they're opposite of mine.

The point of my post was that we -- including Christians -- don't do enough to face to REAL LIFE problems. We rely too much on scripture, Biblical stories, and anecdotes as our fix.

I never said that the Passion wasn't a great movie. I wish you could have seen how I was SOBBING in that movie. But, Passion was most successful at making me appreciate my salvation, especially seeing how Jesus suffered for it. Crash made me analyze the destructive behaviors (caused by racism, classism, hatred, intolerance, and misunderstanding) that people face everyday.

Simply put: Passion reminded me to appreciate the salvation that I...and will continue to have. Crash helped me to evaluate things that we continue to deal with each day.

saved_sinner said...

I agree with you, Andre. I think that this is an important film that was given to the world at the right time.

I believe that movie was a perfect illustration of real life. It reminds us of the things that we need most in our lives, especially as Christians. We need love, understanding, forgiveness, tolerance, and peace in our lives.

Anonymous said...

I thought the movie was ok. It was a little too much though.

Andre said...

Thank you both for your comments.

I agree with both of you, to an extent.

@ saved_sinner: I agree that they movie challenged me (as it should others) to examine complex ideas -- both good and bad. These are issues that we deal with on a daily basis. I wouldn't say that it "perfectly illustrates" life, but it's about as close as anything else I've ever seen.

@ anonymous: I also agree with you when you said that sometimes the movie was "too much". While I applaud the director's attempt to capture the significance of people's bluntness when it comes to racism, many times it feels like overkill. But, being a victim of direct racism myself, I can't dismiss the fact that sometimes people really can be that confrontational.

Also, I thought that it was a bit of a reach that all the characters were so interconnected -- in one of the largest cities in the world. I mean, I live in proportionately SMALL city (more like a town) and I don't see the same person twice in one month, it seems (unless, or course, I know them). It was a little too convenient for me. But, since one of the ideas behind the movie was to show how we all connect to each other, I'm giving the director a pass.

joanne said...

Isn't being a Christian about having a connection with Christ? Using certain mediums like prayer, meditation, and the Scripture is what helps Christians deal with daily problems.

I'm sorry, but I rely on Peter, John, Paul, and most importantly, Jesus, to give me insight. Not some secular movie full of violence, sex, and profanity.

Andre said...

@ joanne: I totally agree with you that the source of our strength and our enlightenment should always lie in Christ and the Word. But I don't think that we should hide behind the Word. Simply put, we shouldn't get in the habit of quoting scriptures and walking away. The same applies to any other 'religious-based' mediums we use.

For example, if I had an issue with a racist co-worker, please don't expect a response like "just pray about it" to help me in that situation. HOW do you deal with that situation? WHAT do you do?

To my knowledge, the Bible doesn't provide us a roadmap for particular circumstances, only for general principles.

But, I totally understand your point.

Thanks again for blessing me.

djg said...

Good point Andre.

I remember once when I had a horrible experience, some lady at my church try to cheer me up by using some little cutesy inspirational phrase. I wanted to punch her!

I appreciated the attempt to cheer me up, but it hardly did anything to really meet my needs.