Three Questions to Ask Before Watching a Movie
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… 2 Corinthians 10:5
Here are a few of the questions I asked the girls before watching “Doctor Strange” and then we talked about after the movie.
- What did you like about the movie?
- What didn’t you like about the movie?
- What are some differences between his reality and ours?
- What are some of the unusual similarities?
- What are some TRUTHS that you saw/heard in the movie?
- What is Doctor Strange like at the first of the movie?
—Who does he care about?
—What is he willing to do for others?
- What is he like at the end of the movie?
— Who does he care about?
— What is he willing to do for others?
During the scene when the Ancient One is showing Strange all the things he doesn’t know exist (when she says, “Open your eye!”) Scottlyn (or 7 year old) asked, “How much of this is true?” I paused the movie and said, “Well… obviously we know that there are many things that are unseen that are true. Whether or not there are ‘infinite realities’ or ‘dimensions’ I don’t know. Some people — some Christians — believe there may be. We do know, that if there ARE then God is God in all of them.” Scottlyn smiled and said, “Yes. Like the song, ‘God of wonders beyond our galaxy…'”
Scottlyn also asked, “Why does he have so many watches?” I answered, “Because he’s super rich.” Even (our 5 year old) said, “That’s part of his problem! Like James 1 says; and then she quoted it, ‘Let the lowly boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.'”
The more flippant your tendency in defending a position the more seriously, and with sober-mindedness, you should consider the arguments against it. 1 Peter 5:8
I recently had the privilege to hear Paul David Tripp speak again on the heart and how we can tell a person’s heart by the fruits they bear and how we cannot change the mind or behaviors without first addressing the heart. Afterward I asked him if he had read, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.”
“Not in a while,” he replied.
“It’s my favorite horror story,” I told him.
“You know,” he said, “not many people understand why it’s scary.”
The truth is Paul Tripp was right. Not many people DO know why it’s a scary.
Now you be thinking, “I know why Jekyll and Hyde is so scary. What’s he mean?”
Let me see if you think the same thing if I say this… it’s not scary because Mr. Hyde is a monster, it’s scary because of Dr. Jekyll’s heart! Because you see, Mr. Hyde could not exist if he did not first exist inside Dr. Jekyll. Hyde is a monster not because of his appearance — in fact, “Edward Hyde was so much smaller, slighter and younger than Henry Jekyll” 1 — but because of his inner being, his “roots.” He is a monstrous tree and thereby his fruits are monstrous. As Luke 6:43-45 says,
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
As Paul Tripp states so clearly in his discourse on “the heart”, what is inside is what comes out. When you shake a bottle full of water with the lid off water will come out but water does not come out “because you shake the bottle”… water comes out because water is IN the bottle in the first place. So it is with Hyde. Jekyll “shook” himself to the core and Hyde came out.
In the story Dr. Jekyll was able to take his heart — his true being — and remove it from himself using a potion. So he removed what was “inside” and made it into a wholly separate being. He reasoned this would allow him to remain “good” as himself. To throw off the hinderance of the evil he was suppressing and let it live on its own. The problem is Jekyll can’t let the heart — his true self — run wildly unrestricted without also cultivating it and letting it grow more powerful. Soon his default state begins to be that of Hyde and Jekyll is no longer the one he “reverts” to but the one he must force himself into instead.
This is a terrifying thought. It’s terrifying because we are everyone of us aware of the good and evil inside ourselves. Our fleshly bodies are prisoners of the flesh and subject to the law of sin and death. We are evil. In fact so often we find that our “Hyde” has come into the open and, as the apostle Paul says by the Spirit in Romans 7:21-24,
21 …I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
Dr. Jekyll knows this terrifying position he has put himself in. He knows he is truly a slave to Mr. Hyde and to the evil heart he himself has cultivated. He is unable to keep himself from even the great horror of murdering a fellow human who dared to “be civil” to him. Yet even in that state he knows he must force himself back to Jekyll. And, as Hyde is laughing and singing and toasting to the deed he has done he drinks the potion one last time and changes — no longer reverting — to the man with the double soul. From his true heart back to his white washed exterior, from reveling in the sin back to horror and mourning at himself. This is something that every Christian man and woman who desires to please God has felt again, and again, and again.
Like someone who has lost control of their mind and body this… is… TERRIFYING!
Of course, praise God, the apostle finishes his statement in Romans 7:25 with the hope we have that our good Doctor could never have in and of himself.
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
As the blood bought elect of God our dead spirits have been quickened once again, brought to new life, by His Holy Spirit that dwells inside us! So, instead of waking daily to see that our “Hyde” is growing ever stronger and our good selves are going slowly away we see instead that our good [true] selves are growing stronger daily by Grace. Our fruit is becoming better!
Let’s be ever so careful to not “Hyde” our sinful heart in a way that is actually cultivating it and making it stronger. Let’s pray that God takes our entire being, every side of us, and brings us into the light as His children to bear fruit for His kingdom!
1. Robert Louis Stevenson (1886). The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Retrieved from http://www.learnlibrary.com/jekyll-hyde/jekyll-hyde_10.htm
I posted this picture of me “wooshing” with my son, Nation, on my personal Instagram and Facebook and said, “A father is for wearing a hat and cape to “woosh” with a son.” People loved it and I thought doing a quick podcast about being a father — and 5 things I believe every father should be doing — would make a good episode.
I was blessed with having a great dad. I was also blessed by having cousins and many friends who had great dads. Good male role models in my childhood did a lot of good for me personally and I aspire to be a good male role model not only to my son but to our daughters and to all our kids’ friends as they grow. Being a good dad certainly looks different in every family and situation but I think there are 5 things that every father — no matter where they are or what their situations are — should be doing.
1) Laugh With Your Kids
Not enough good can be said about laughter. It’s the “best medicine,” “instant sunshine,” and as Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
To laugh with your kids is one of life’s greatest joys yet I’ve known many times when I find myself not laughing almost as if I’m afraid to laugh. As if laughing turns me into something less admirable. This is, of course, nonsense and any time I catch myself NOT laughing at something truly laughable then I let it go. Some of the hardest times I’ve laughed in my 44 years of life thus far have been in the last 6 years with my kids.
2) Cry In Front of Your Kids
As important as laughing is the opposite emotional reaction of crying. This is a harder one for a lot of guys because it goes against our social idea of manhood. Even though I’m not a “crier” in the general sense letting myself cry when I do want to cry is, I think, important. I cry at movies and stories. I cry at happy things… sad things… if something makes me cry I cry and I don’t try to hide it from my children.
3) Work for Your Kids
We are living in a lazy, selfish world. That includes me. Showing your children that work is an important part of life is a value they will never regret having. I work from home. My father also worked from home in the 1970s as a wedding photographer and set a great example. He kept a strict schedule. If it was “working hours” we knew what he was doing. No matter where you work, however, make sure you’re giving your job the honor it deserves.
4) Keep Your Word
If there’s one thing a kid learns faster than anything else it’s whether or not they can trust you. That’s why I think it’s so important that if I say I’m going to do something I do it, or I don’t say anything at all. Empty promises are often worse than empty threats but the father who keeps his word in any situation is one to be admired.
5) Pray for and with Your Kids
I can honestly say I have prayed for my children since I was a child. I pray for their future and present friends. Their health, location, desires, likes and hearts and spirits are all part of my daily prayer.
Praying with them is just as important. Not only prayers before meals and/or at bedtime but a concerted effort to make certain they see that prayer is the first and most important step in any situation — seeking the Lord to praise Him, petition Him and subject to Him in all things.
A Few Caveats
Obviously these things all have conditions. You don’t want to laugh at things your kids think are funny which are truly dangerous, insulting, or otherwise not worthy of laughter. You don’t want to cry about things that they might cry about. Work should always stop at the end of the work day and never should it become more important than family. Explaining why you couldn’t keep your word when you can’t is as important as keeping it. The only thing that has no proviso is praying. It should happen all the time regardless.
There were so many other things I thought about putting on the list — letting yourself be wrong, asking forgiveness, reading the Bible and so on and so on. These 5 I decided on because they seemed to be ones that are important and often overlooked.
Do we give celebrities too much power? Do they truly live in a bubble? Is Mark Wahlberg right and should celebrities shut up about politics?!
Fair warning: this one is a bit of a rant. At least as much of a rant as I do.
Links I mention…
Mark Wahlberg Thinks Celebrities Need to Shut Up About Politics
Do you lie to yourself? Of course you do. But to what extent? In this week’s podcast I talk the movie Florence Foster Jenkins and how it reveals the power of our personal point of view. I also talk about new year resolutions and what’s coming up this year in the podcast.
Scriptures I reference…
Movies I reference…
Florence Foster Jenkins
CBS Sunday Morning: 7/17/16: Florence Foster Jenkins
Websites I reference…
What is the efficacy of the cross? Where does faith originate? Did Jesus die for the possibility that all might be saved? These are a few of the questions I talk about on today’s podcast.
Verses I mention…
In today’s podcast I start off by talking briefly about the popularity of my Die Hard Ventilation Ornament then I move on to Star Wars and where my love for it began. I then review Rogue One (with and without spoilers) and also talk about Star Wars in general — what makes it so great and why weren’t the prequels as good as the more recent Episode VII and now Rogue One?
Which Star Wars has been your favorite?
Here’s the link to the article I reference on Circe Institute about “The Homeric Wonder of ‘The Force Awakens'”
Listen as I talk with Vince Zunic — “Coach Z” — about the place of professional sports in our society. Starting with Star Trek we work all the way through what the ideal of sports should be and can be and how it has been sorely lacking in today’s world.
Apologies for the slight glitches in my audio. Chalk it up to learning new recording software.