The movie “300”

Today I went to see the movie 300 with a friend of mine.  It is the comic book version of the battle of the Spartans against the Persians.  Great liberties were taken, of course, with history.  The major one, I suppose, was with the anachronistic view of Greece as viewing freedom and justice and reason the way Americans do.  At the very end of the movie one of the principle characters (Boromir from Lord of the Rings) says that Sparta and Greece fight for the end of mysticism and tyranny.  Ironically, neither of these seems to be absent from the Greece of the majority as it is represented in the movie.  But it is understandable, then, how the Iranians have claimed that this is an anti-Iranian movie, especially when the Persians are represented as “barbarians” given to merciless atrocities and worship of their king as god.  It is hard to see how the Greeks fare any better in their use of atrocity and their “worship” of their Spartan king.

Nonetheless, this movie was amazingly entertaining, marred only by unnecessary appeal to more sensual interests with it’s nudity and portrayal of sexuality.  The action scenes and the camera work in and of itself are astoundingly beautiful.  The movement of the story and the character development keep one glued to one’s seat (as long as one has had the foresight to go to the bathroom before entering the theater and the wisdom not to drink a soft drink during the movie).

What spoke to me the most in this movie was the commitment of the Spartans to defend their country at all costs.  In contrast to one Spartan who was deformed and wasn’t allowed to fight, and who then betrayed the Spartans for a payment from the Persians, none of the rest could be bought, especially Sparta’s king.  I want to be unbuyable.  I want to have an integrity that stands the ultimate test.  I suspect I can’t do that without help from the Lord Jesus Himself, who displayed exactly that kind of integrity at the cross and throughout His time here on earth.  He struggled, and so will I, but He came out victorious by submitting to death on the cross.  God honored His submission with the resurrection.


What’s So Amazing About “Amazing Grace”?

I recently saw the movie “Amazing Grace” and loved it.  It was amazing on several counts.  First, the production quality never left me feeling like I had stepped out of a real experience (unlike another recent Christian-themed movie, “The Last Sin Eater”).  The acting was amazing and realistic.  The depiction of William Wilberforce’s struggle to make slavery illegal in England was excellently done.  The Christian message was present but not overdone or made to feel like a sermon. 

But most amazing of all was the feeling I left with that I too must be willing to sacrifice to see a wrong righted, to see Christ’s kingdom furthered, in a sense, to redeem my life.  What good is a life that is not lived in love for another and seeing others’ lives bettered because of it?  And yet, I have to consciously stir up that feeling again and again, because I find it waning from me, choked out by the busyness of life and a hundred other priorities screaming for attention.

So even by writing this I am doing some stirring of my soul.  Lord, help me to stay fervent, serving you, and in so doing, serving those You love, as well.