Thursday, December 29, 2005

Secondhand Lions

I just watched a movie called "Secondhand Lions". (2003, info, Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, Haley Joel Osment) I highly recommend it; the movie is very warm, funny and well executed. Not perfect, but still a good movie. There are some great lines that made me immediately think of the primary religious questions I personally wrestle with: 'What are my religious beliefs?' and 'Why do I have them?'

"Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in."

These are so very similar to the ideas I consider to be the heart and soul of Christianity. Honor, courage and virtue are all-important, (self-sacrifice needs all three, in my opinion.) Money and power are not. Good triumphs over evil. And love is the center — the reason — for everything.

But, what about the other things, such as 'The virgin birth?'... Well, it's interesting, but not really too important. It is not relevant to the concerns of my everyday life, anyway.
'Is there a hell, or is everyone going to heaven?' ... Pah! I know a few people I like to imagine burning in eternal damnation. (Politicians, mostly.) But in the grand scheme of things, I (try to) concern myself mainly with my own personal business and how I live each moment of my day.
How about other things, such as 'Original Sin?', or the 'Transcendance of God?' etc? We could go on and on...
Well, yes, these are all fascinating questions. And they are important no doubt, each in their own way. I do think about them and wonder about them and I read and study specifically to learn more about what others have said about these things.
But aren't they tangential to the heart and soul of what makes Christianity so meaningful, and so powerful and so valuable?

Shouldn't we always go back to the more basic, core 'things a man needs to believe in the most' — those far more simple and eternal truths — because they are: the things worth believing in?

Anyway, some wonderful moments and lines are in "Secondhand Lions".
It's worth renting and watching.

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