Jesus at the Cinema

by Daniel Wright

When was the last time you watched a film and thought, ‘Is this honouring to God? Is this shaping me into a more Christ-like character? How would I talk to a non-Christian about this film?’

It doesn’t have to be a film. It could be a book you read, a TV show, an article, a song, a YouTube playlist.

I imagine we’ve all been made uncomfortable by things we’ve read or seen that clearly didn’t honour God. But that kind of thing is obvious, so we don’t need to worry about it. What we need to be more careful of is what we’re imbibing into our worldviews without realizing it. What kind of spiritual or ethical ideas is the culture around us promoting? Is this something that we can’t accept as Jesus’ disciples? Is it something which could be redeemed? Is this something we can give a holy thumbs-up? Or is this something completely indifferent?

This week, the Interns have been given the assignment of answering these questions, about a film of our choice, in twenty minutes, to an audience of the other Interns and some of the staff. That way we get to critically engage with culture, and practice public speaking skills at the same time.

So this morning (4th June) we gathered in the Bunyan Room at the office to present to each other. Maria chose The Impossible, about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and found a gospel hook in the question, ‘Who do you turn to in times of crisis?’ Matthew spoke enthusiastically about Goodnight Mr Tom, and saw a vision of God’s love in the story, despite its negative portrayal of religion. I did The Big Short, and reflected on how Christians should behave in the finance industry. Kate shocked us all with The Silence of the Lambs, but showed us how the symbolism of the film could be interpreted in a hopeful way, even amidst the horror.

Please pray for:

  • Abi to get better soon as she’s been sick
  • June Project preparation over the next fortnight
  • Our Monday and student placements that are ending soon