Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reflection: Two recent movies, discipleship, justice for the oppressed

Two recent movies reflect elements of what I have been thinking in my studies and in my work in an overseas aid and development Christian organisation. Of course different people have different takes on the movies. But here are my reflections.

(1) Movie: Of Gods and Men

Based on a true story, this movie is about the choices made by a group of monks in a monastery in Algeria when their lives were threatened. I think true discipleship is ultimately about following Christ's sacrificial way of life, which is expressed in our solidarity with the community, not least those who are vulnerable and powerless. This is no abstract theology or theory, but a call to be authentic followers of Jesus.

Click here for a review from Guardian, UK.

(2) Movie: Oranges and Sunshine

This movie is based on true events that happened in the 1950s and 1960s, in which thousands of children were transported to Australia from England wrongfully. I think this movies highlights the fact that we need to recognise the fact that injustice and oppression is often embedded in a web of systemic social and individual sins. There are political, social and even religious systems and structures that oppress the vulnerable in our world. We need to stand in solidarity with those who suffer from injustice because of their powerlessness. Unfortunately Christians often are unaware of this, despite the fact that the Bible speaks of this in the Prophets (not least Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Jeremiah, Zechariah) and in Jesus' own ministry.
Click here for a review from ABC At the Movies.

Putting the above two reflections together, I think the church is called to participate in Christ's life, suffering, death and resurrection, just as he participated in human frailty in order to accomplish his atoning sacrifice for our sins and his redemption for his entire creation. We are to proclaim this Christ to all humankind - through our words and daily life - so that people may have hope and shalom through faith in Christ Jesus.

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