Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Blind Side.

I went to the movies and saw The Blind Side last week. Wow, if you have not seen it you need to go. It was a great movie. It made me laugh, it made me cry but most of all it made me think. A day or two after the movie I was sitting around thinking about all of the hype surrounding this movie. This is a low budget, $29,000,000, family movie rated PG-13 and it has made over $150,000,000. So why is it so popular, why is it a top five move for five weeks and has no blood, no murders, no sex and very little bad language? Maybe that is why, no blood, no murders, no sex and very little bad language. It is a movie that I took my whole family to see, we bought five tickets. And guess what, we all want to see it again.

The second thing that comes to mind is the story line. A Christian family takes in a kid who has no home and no family. This family is a wealthy white family and the kids is a very poor black kid. In the movie, there is a scene where Leigh Anne Tuohy, the wealthy mom, is having dinner with some of her high society friends and they are talking about her having Michael live with them. One of the high society ladies says " Is this some kind of white guilt thing, Leigh Anne? I mean charity is the Lord's work but..." And I though but what? Charity is the Lord's work but...not if it is going to require me to risk anything? Charity is the Lord's work but..not if it is going to cost a lot of money? Charity is the Lord's work but... not if it is going to require a lot of time to spend with "those people". Our Tuesday night group just finished the book of James and there is a passage we looked and chewed on for a while in James 1.

James 1: 27 - Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Another passage that parallels this is Matthew 25: 34-40

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

If you read these passages there are no out clauses, no buts and no unless phrases. In other words these are not suggestions, these are not recommendations, these are expectations. This is what we are called to do, and we can either obey and do it or we can disobey! The Tuohy family was living out James 1:27 and the country took notice, heck, even Hollywood took notice! Imagine if the rest of us Christians did something as radical as doing what God's word tells us to do, imagine if we took God seriously! Imagine if we took in orphans, and looked after the widows in our community. Imagine if we fed the hungry and looked after the sick. Imagine if we made disciples of all nations and baptized men and women across our community and around the world. We probably would not get a movie made about our lives but I believe we would stir up a curiosity in our communities unlike anything we have ever seen. I am not saying no one is being obedient however I think too many of us are saying "Charity is the Lord's work but..."

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