Rock-solid Christians

The Blind Side offers a kind of liberal Hollywood version of conservative values: all rock-solid valor, all the time. -Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly.

I haven’t seen the movie, but that’s a very perceptive comment.

We often see Hollywood portraying Christians as perverted hypocrites. When someone proclaims (i.e. repeats, based on the plain meaning of Scriptures) God’s judgment against sins like homosexuality, it’s all too easy to change the subject by highlighting the hypocrisies of the Christian. You don’t have to dig too far into anyone’s life to find hypocrisy and sin. We’re all a mess.

However, I never really thought before about how Hollywood creates the even more unreal “rock-solid” Christian who always acts with purpose and kind intentions. This creates a useful standard to judge Christians against, since no one is really this way (though some are closer than others).

I’ve been disappointed by other Christians at times, shocked to see someone I thought saintly to have some weird sinful tendency– egotism here, self-righteousness there. And yet, why should I be surprised that another man deals with envies, lusts, self-absorption, and anger just like I do?

You never see the real Christian life in movies. You never see characters who distrust their own motives. You don’t see those who recognize their ongoing need of a Savior, which only deepens as their sanctification proceeds. You don’t see people who know they need to be forgiven regularly. You don’t see folks warring against their own fallen hearts and minds. You don’t see an ebb and flow to their faithfulness. And you surely don’t see Christians whose proclamation of God’s forthcoming judgment comes from a sure understanding of their own horror of standing naked before a holy God, without the banner of Christ’s righteousness.

That describes the Christians I know. They are flawed, sometimes idiotically so, but they are forgiven. They know on what Rock they stand and and they evince wondrous evidences of God’s work in them all along the way. In the end, they are humbly relying on a righteousness not their own (Romans 3).

It’d be much harder for the heroic and perverted protagonist of countless films to be seen as prevailing against such an antagonist.

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