Thursday, January 30, 2014
Working Too Hard To Redeem Something
The United States is not an easily satisfied nation. A hunger for more is built into its history, its economy and the majority of its movies. And so it came as a bit of a shock while watching Pain & Gain to realize that the film - a bigger-is-better action comedy from Hollywood titan Michael Bay - was championing, in its own subversive way, the Christian virtue of contentment. “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want,” Paul wrote to the Philippians. Pain & Gain knows something of this secret too.Maybe - but when you have to work this hard to find the value in a movie, does the value really exist? As I watched the film I was so horrified by the stupidity of the primary characters and the heinousness of their acts that it pretty much blotted out any thing else. This is a phenomena of communication that we often blot out.
Communication occurs on many levels. - Not just the verbal. While lyricists pour heart and soul into songs, the music can completely blot out what they say if it does not compliment the words. Images are even more powerful. Thus, as I watched the Rock barbeque a corpse' severed hands in an effort to eradicate fingerprints and avoid identification of the body I was not thinking about contentment.
I wonder as we work to "shed the old and be relevant" with how we design our churches and their activities is we do not miss this important point. How we communicate matters just as much as what we are attempting to communicate. The best message poorly communicated cannot be heard. If our medium counterplays our message, it is often the medium that does the communicating.