Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Gospel in Star Wars


I just finished watching the original Star Wars trilogy. Two days ago I felt like watching something, perhaps "The Color Purple", but then when I opened up the cabinet and saw Star Wars in front of me, I suddenly wanted to watch that.

Dare I say it's been a spiritual experience?

No, I don't mean the neo-buddhist or new age-ish leanings of the film's mythological religion. But when you watch something that taps into so many veins of the human heart's deep longings (as all good myths and fairy tales do), when you watch with the Holy Spirit in you, well, you never know what He might say to you.

(For all you ol' Adventists: Yes, that means that your angels do indeed go to the movies with you, and more than that God goes with you, too!)

In a word, what I learned in each of the original three movies is Called Out, Brokenness, and Liberation of the Captives.

Star Wars (Episode IV) - Called Out

The first movie begins in the middle of a raging war. Luke Skywalker lives with his aunt and uncle who are farmers. Though he has a strong stirring in his heart, he is made to be a farmer too, until fate (the force) arrives at his doorstep calling him out of the farming life. At first he resists ("That's your uncle talking", Ben says). Ben Kenobi recognizes that the force has arranged these things, and that Luke is being called out. Uncle Owen, however, has tried to raise Luke to "not get involved", but to stay on the farm. Nevermind the war going on. But there is no ignoring the war or the enemy, and tragically Uncle Owen and his wife are killed by the very thing he tried to "stay out of". Thus Luke has no other way to go but out into his destiny. His life will never be the same, and he must learn all he can to survive and fulfill what the force has called him to. He must go out and become who he was born to be.

In the same way, we too have been born into the midst of a raging spiritual war. Try as we might, we cannot escape it. For a time we may try to bide our time "farming", but we were not born to be "of this world". We were born for God's glory, and God is calling us out of living according to the world our eyes see. He is calling us to learn His ways and see as He sees. In fact, the word "church" in Greek means, "the called out ones". That is who we are. The called out ones. The Skywalker family. The ones who overcome the dragon by faith in Jesus Christ. We overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and not loving our lives to the death.

Sadly, many of our "guardians" and even "parents" try to urge us not to follow the faith, not to get "extreme" or "idealistic". Be practical. Don't get weird. Don't get involved. Focus on your tasks. Let others fight the war. The problem is that this is not who we were born to be. And whether or not we know it, God knows who we are and the enemy knows who we are. Neither will leave us alone. God will call us out, and the enemy will try to destroy us ("The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I come that you may have life to its fullest").

Some elders (Ben Kenobi) recognize this calling on our lives and help us on the way, learning the walk of faith and teaching us to see by the Spirit instead of by sight. But other elders speak as Uncle Owen. And right away, like Luke, we may find ourselves in the midst of a bigger battle than we expected. Our first teachers may even be taken away from us (like Ben was taken from Luke), but we are never alone because God will be with us always. Even as children in Him, we overcome the enemy by faith --

I write to you, dear children,
because you have known the Father...
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:13-14)

You, dear children, are from God
and have overcome them,
because the One who is in you
is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

For everyone born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that has overcome the world,
even our faith.
Who is it that overcomes the world?
Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5)

We now set out on the beginning of our journey, already overcomers merely because of who we are, because we have been born of the Spirit, because the Greater One is living in us. We can take heart and do not need to be afraid of the journey and battles that lie ahead of us. We are born overcomers and the force (rather, God!) is on our side. And a powerful ally He is! The most powerful of all.

The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)

(For more about this being "Called Out", read this comment below)

The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V) - Brokenness

Of course, the enemy is not going to be happy about this. The "griefs" and "trials" Peter spoke of will indeed come, and for a time may seem stronger than ever. Oh how we long to just go back to "farming" when these trials and griefs come! But there is no going back. Even if we have not had our old "farming" life forcibly removed as Luke did, we nonetheless cannot go back. God will not let us go, and the enemy will continue to hunt us whether we like it or not.

The second movie opens with the enemy very upset about being defeated, very upset about the arrival of a new Skywalker on the scene. Probes are sent out to find Luke. More battles come, even some apparent defeats. But all things are happening according to the will of the force, no matter how dark the times appear. Luke's skills develop and his vision is renewed. His old teacher appears to him and directs him to a place where he will receive more training in the way of the Jedi. Though Luke has been at the front of the battle and is needed, he knows his destiny is to become a Jedi, so he entrusts the rebellion to others (and indeed, they've been in it longer than he) and follows the direction of the vision.

However, when he arrives at his spiritual training ground he finds no great school, but a swamp and an unlikely little green man! His frustration and lack of patience comes to a head. Hey, if you and I were in a swamp, I think we'd be at least as equally annoyed! When Yoda is revealed, all of Luke's shortcomings are revealed. His impatience, his desire for action, his temper, his immaturity. And the little green creature humbles him with great powers that silence his protests. Humbled, Luke must now submit to this swamp and trust that his teacher knows best. He must now see how all of these things have worked together to bring him to this point, to realizing his weaknesses. He must accept this breaking of his will and outer strength in order to see in the Spirit, in order to grow in belief that what he cannot see with his eyes (the Spirit) is stronger than what is visible.

God leads us through brokenness, and it is for our blessing. As Charles Stanley said in his book, "The Blessings of Brokenness", God's purpose is not to break our spirits, but break our wills so that we may be clay in the Potter's hand. He knows how to form us. But we are used to looking by sight and trusting our talents and strengths, so He first needs to humble us (with "swamps", etc.) in order to teach us how to trust Him, to flow from His strength instead of our own. We must learn to give Him control.

Like Luke in his training cave, during the training of brokenness, God brings us "face to face" with the difficult things in ourselves. And He begins to show us glimpses of the future. Sometimes we want to run off and pursue these things before our training is finished, you know! The war is going on and we don't want our friends and family to suffer. We want to go battle for them to help them free. But sometimes we jump the gun, we jump ahead of God.

The good news is that God is sovereign and knows what is in our hearts. He loves our love and our desire to help others. Many church leaders, elders and Christians do not understand that this agape love in us is part of God's will, and that His love will protect us against the enemy.

Let's talk about the old "Jedi" for a minute (I'll reach back--er, forward--to the prequels with some of this). Many of the old "Jedi" are focused a bit too much on training, forms, teaching and so on. These things have their proper place, but sometimes God will use our diversions from them to lead everyone into something greater. It was through Luke's diversion that the ultimate fall of the empire came about. For thousands of years the Jedi had forbade their members from loving too much. They did not recognize the power of love -- that it was because of love that Anakin became fearful and fell to the dark side. And it was because of love stronger than death that Luke brought his father back from the dead.

Some things we can't always map out and figure out. We have many wise teachers that have sometimes over-systematized things. We must learn from them and often must submit to them. But there is a call in our hearts straight from God's heart, the cry of love for the ones who do not know Him. The cry for His lost sheep. The love for Anakin Skywalker.

In part the Jedi lost their position in the galaxy because they had walled themselves off from becoming too intimate with this deep love. Their "system" and institution grew too large and they became the galactic police-force, so to speak. They became political. And once too deep into the affairs of the world, they grew to have more to lose and a greater height to fall from. In the same way, churches often become too systemized and institutionalized. We become too attached to our buildings, to our unbiblical hierarchies and "the way things are". We become political and imagine that the church is put in society to be the morality police, so to speak. We set ourselves up for a greater fall. We see it as if we have been making greater gains, but in fact we have that much more that we need to lose. We didn't realize that our control and apparent 'gains' for good were actually helping the enemy build his "empire" (Babylon), which will eventually turn on us. The war will be costly, and many "Jedi" will fall because of it. But it will be a time of brokenness for the church, in which God will bring us into balance, into accepting His heart within us and taking orders from Him only. Through this He will bring about the end.

Star Wars (Episode VI) - Liberation of the Captives

The third film is the Liberation of the Captives. Not only the universe from the empire, but also Han Solo as well.

Let's talk about Han Solo for a minute. Talented guy. Funny. Witty. Great pilot with the fastest ship in the galaxy. And he's got a bounty on his head. It's a debt too great for him to pay. He's been trying to pay it back, but one thing happens after another. He's torn between being a smuggler--and he's a darned good smuggler!--and following his heart by joining the Rebel Alliance, the good guys. He doesn't believe in the Force and feels like there is nothing that has controlled his destiny. He goes it solo, plays it by his on hand, so to speak!

He doesn't realize that the Force has called him out, too. His destiny is to be with the Alliance. He can never go back to his old life, either. As it is, he has a bounty on his head. He must face it responsibly, but the problem is that the "collectors" of the debt are not honorable anyway.

Even trying to appease the world by its means will get you into trouble! We live to please God, not men. We must learn to put aside our unbelief and love for our old lives, and fear God instead of man. God will deliver us from the debts that have bound us. If we run from them, we'll get burnt (or "frozen") by them, but God will keep us alive. Then He will send us back to the place of our bondage, set us free, and set others free by destroying the strong man (let's say, Jabba, for instance).

Like Onesimus in the book of Philemon in the Bible. Onesimus was a slave who ran away from his master. While on the run, he became a Christian and stayed with the apostle Paul. When the time came, Paul sent him back to his master (Philemon). Onesimus had been freed from his debt, but he had to go back and face the master he had wronged. Unlike Han Solo, however, Philemon was not Jabba -- in fact, Philemon had also been saved by Christ through Paul!

Yet sometimes when God sends us back to those we're indebted to (or those we've wronged), they do not treat us well. Even though they may be Christians, they often act more like Jabba the Hut. They put is in chains again and mean to keep us there. Yet God has not called us out in order to have us go back and be a mantlepiece in the house of slavery! Sometimes we are frozen by the old fears, but we can trust that He who called us is faithful and will complete the work He's begun in us. He will "show up" and set us free, just like Luke showed up to rescue his friend Han Solo.

A word about the "rescue", as well. It doesn't always go as planned! But God is in control. It seemed like things just got worse and worse for Luke & Han, just like the Exodus from Egypt seemed to get worse and worse for Moses & the Israelites. But God knew exactly what would happen, and used each apparent "setback" to bring about a more complete deliverance. That's what He does in our lives, too.

Sometimes we are like Han Solo, one of the good guys called to the Alliance, but part of us is still captive to the enemy. We've still got strongholds and debts in our hearts. But God uses our friends in His Body to help set us free. We must learn to trust them, just like Han and Luke learned to trust and treasure one another.

You may feel like you've got to handle this one "Solo", but you are not alone. You're friends are given to you by God to help you through, and there is no shame in asking for help. If you don't, you may be stuck there for awhile, "frozen" and unable to move. But God will send you spiritual brothers and sisters to help you to freedom.

Liberation of the Captives. Not only for the universe and Han Solo (the good guy with secret troubles), but also for the bad guy, too. Darth Vader.

Firstly, God is calling us to recognize that,

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

Indeed, we may look at many people as if they are our enemies. We think they are the "Darth Vader" in our world, and we look at them as the source of our problems. They seem to tie our hands (or cut them off) and hinder our ability to grow and do things. We feel we are in a war against them. But in fact, God has not called us to that. Instead He is calling us to war for them, to join in His rescue operation for those He died for -- that is, everyone. Christ called us to "love our enemies" (let me quickly add that this is not possible without His Spirit!) and "snatch from the fire" those who are perishing.

Like Darth Vader, many of our friends, families and enemies have been led astray and consumed by the enemy's distractions and lies. The enemy tells us that we cannot escape our bad traits and habits. That our anger is stronger than our love. That our identity is Darth and not Skywalker. The enemy tells us that because of our one failure, he is our master and lord. And when we look at our behaviors instead of God and His power, we end up believing the enemy's lies! We may even just give up and consign ourselves to life under that master. But that is not what we are born for. And the Light is indeed stronger than the dark, just as John said.

Many people have fallen trap to the enemy's lies primarily because of bitterness. Reaching again into the prequels, Anakin felt held back and restrained by the "church" (the Jedi). Sadly, more than often the church does indeed hold people back, attempting to conform them into the system and crushing their loving hearts in the process. This can begin a cycle of bitterness, however, which is very hard to break free from. Anakin was consumed by bitterness and his "righteous" cause. He had been wronged. He had "the right" to justice. And he found a way to bring his idea of "justice" to everyone. Believing firmly in his right-ness and his cause, he didn't notice that he brought death to everyone he loved and even to his own heart. When we've been wounded by others and hold onto our right to be angry at them, our clinging to the offense kills our heart and kills our relationships. We wonder why we are all alone suddenly. It's not us that's the problem---it's them, we think.

And without a God-sent intercessor (Luke), many people will remain this way until they die.

God is raising up a generation of people to restore the "ministry of reconciliation" in the church. This begins with pain, unfortunately, by recognizing the wounds that our own family have caused us. Spiritual fathers or natural fathers or family are usually the ones the enemy uses the most, taking advantage of our weaknesses and propensity to desire "justice" instead of love for our enemies. The enemy wants us to see those who have offended us as if they are the enemy, not him. Believing this lie of the enemy, we end up serving him a lot of the time. But God has sent His Son to free us all from this! It begins by recognizing that the people who have wounded us are our family and are worthy of our love. God has loved them and given His only Son to die for them. Just as He has loved us.

Through both Malachi and Gabriel, God said that He would use these children to bridge the gap of bitterness between fathers and sons.

Remember, the "empire" is not just "out there"... it begins "in here", in your heart. "Babylon" is firstly a spiritual condition of your heart before it is a physical empire. God is calling us to look past the appearance of things and see the heart of the matter, the spirit behind it. He is calling us to see people as beloved children He has loved and died for. He is calling us to love them so much that, like Luke for his father, we will lay down our lives for them instead of destroying them. He is calling us to receive His heart for them.

Our God is One who "turns the tables on the enemy" as my friend Hazel puts it. As Joseph said to his brothers who had hurt him, "What you meant for evil God meant for good." God used the wounds, pain and brokenness to bring about blessing, freedom and provision for all His beloved children. God didn't cause them, but He is able to redeem them if we will let Him and submit to His breaking process. And if we will submit to His heart, He will not only heal our broken hearts but will "reverse the curse" -- He will use us children to help set our fathers free (spiritual, natural, family and friends).

"Jedi", He makes us!

I pray that you're blessed by what He's shared with me through watching these movies. The point is not the wonder of the movies, but rather the wonder of our God who speaks to us today and has redeemed us so that we may extend His heart of reconciliation to others.

I didn't plan to write this, by the way! But I finished the last movie and decided to "flow" with the Spirit in this fit of inspiration, haha. Thanks must be given to John Eldrege for his books, "Wild at Heart", "The Sacred Romance" and "Waking the Dead". God used them to awaken my heart to seeing the war that we've been born into, our need for fellowship, and the power He has set in us because of what His Son has done for us. He helped me see who I am in Him!

The emperor in the second movie says to Vader about Luke, "He could destroy us." The enemy is afraid of you! He doesn't want you to know who you are. He doesn't want you to see who your real enemy is. And he doesn't want you to give God's redeeming love to the people who have wounded you. Satan doesn't want to lose any servants. But our foe is already defeated, it is certain.

I pray that the eyes of your heart are opened by His love and His Spirit to know Him who loves you so much and who has been right by you through all the wounds, pains and arrows. I pray that you know He is with you and that you can trust Him to redeem the terrible things you've been through, just like He's done for me and so many of His children.

Blessings in His awesome, epic love!
Ramone

16 Comments:

  • At February 26, 2008 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow Ramone!

    Reading this this morning has blessed and encouraged me. THanks for posting the link to it on FAF.

    My young sons love Star Wars and also love our Lord. If you don't mind I'm going to print this off for them to read.

     
  • At February 27, 2008 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow... how much better it would have been, had you been moved to read the Bible passages directly now that's the move of the Big "S" Holy Spirit !!

     
  • At February 27, 2008 5:53 PM, Blogger Ramone said…

    To the last anonymous poster:

    I do not mind if people publish comments critical or in disagreement with what I write. But I ask that everyone who does so has the moral integrity and courage to leave a way for me to respond to them. If you publish future "corrective" comments without signing your name and leaving a way for me to contact you (so that I may respond), they will be deleted. I will not tolerate "hit and run" from the shadows. The Bible says that we do not have to hide, and that if someone does not come into the light, it is because their deeds have been done in darkenss.

    Responding to your comment -- the Holy Spirit may move and speak at any time in our lives, not just while we are reading the Bible. This is because He lives inside us. Sometimes I am blessed with time to read my Bible, other times--such as when I watched the Star Wars---I am not able to read it because of my 11-month-old son who will tear apart the pages!

    In light of this, hold your words of judgment, friend, and wait first before you rush to "correction" or rebuke. As James advised,

    "Understand this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry." (James 1:19)

    I was blessed to experience His Spirit during a time that I thought was just for my own fun. God is awesome this way. And I was blessed because He brought to mind scriptures and passages that He had already burned in my heart. I did not have to go searching to see how they applied to my life. He used the movie which has been part of my childhood to help give me perspective on the life that you and I are in now. And there is more that speaks personally to me, which I will not share here.

    Blessings to you in Jesus Christ.
    Ramone

     
  • At February 27, 2008 6:16 PM, Anonymous Adi said…

    Wow brother.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. God works in so many ways and speaks to us through many channels. I am glad He did this with you through Star Wars. I hadn't seen th movies in the way to describe it in your post and it amazed me.

    In the Lord,
    Adi

     
  • At February 27, 2008 7:28 PM, Blogger Ramone said…

    A friend emailed me a good question, which I'll post here because it's probably good to distinguish some important differences between God and "the force":

    "What do you mean when you say [that the film's religion is] neo-buddhist and new ageish?? Just wondering."

    I responded:

    Star Wars -- the neo-buddhist/new age leanings of "the force" are similar to what C.S. Lewis described in "The Screwtape Letters", a kind of impersonal "force" or "energy" that is able to be manipulated. Essentially, this is partially shared with witchcraft which believes in spiritual energy/forces, but desires to have control over them and teaches how to do that.

    The contrast with the Holy Spirit is that the Spirit is not an "it" but a Person with a real will, desire, etc. The Spirit can be full of joy, the Spirit can grieve. The Spirit can teach, guide, comfort and counsel. (Of course, this means that He ain't quite mere "breath", either!)

    In a way, the light and dark sides of the "force" are comparable to "white magic" and "black magic". Good and evil proceed from the same energy, so to speak, in contrast to the Spirit who is wholly different and "other", wholly apart from the spirits of the kingdom of darkness.

    Probably the most fundamental difference is where the "spirit" comes from and where our "power" comes from. In the "force" and other religions, the "energy" or "spirit" is already existent within you. All that's needed is to learn how to control, use, and "flow" with it. Call it karma, call it feng shui, call it "ki" or "chi", whatever. All you need to do is discover it and be taught how to use it (and sometimes let it use you).

    In Christ, however, the "power" comes from the Person, the Spirit, and the Spirit comes because of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. The Spirit comes as the gift of the Father, and must be received from that foundation. It is by faith (in Christ) that we receive the Spirit. This is why Christ also said that "the world does not know Him".

    I'm reminded of a time when some friends and I had gathered for prayer. We laid hands on one another and the Spirit led us in prayer and I believe also gave words and understanding to us. If I remembered correctly, we also prayed for healing for one of us and that person felt the Spirit's heat (people often feel heat when He heals, but not always). Right after we had just about finished, another friend arrived at the house who had studied some form of martial arts and was familiar with the spiritual energy of "chi" or "ki". As he entered the room, he was immediately startled, "Whoa! There's a lot of 'ki' in this room!"

    To him the presence of the Spirit was discernable, but he may have been unaware of the difference between good spirits and bad spirits. Many people can detect spiritual energy and presence, but they know it as an "it" instead of the Person of the Spirit and the persons of other spirits. Many in this school of training are taught how to control, focus and manipulate the spiritual energy which they consciously or unconsciously treat as being impersonal.

    This exercise of controlling spiritual energy is dangerous because it is essentially a form of witchcraft. Though we think we can control spiritual energy, we are in fact swallowing a bigger problem by allowing ourselves to be deceived about this. The enemy's aim is to blind us to the Personality of the Holy Spirit and the Lordship of the Spirit, so that we view all spiritual energy as being at our fingertips, so to speak. While it may bring some measure of apparent healing, a larger problem is swallowed and a larger stronghold is created or strengthened.

    Of course, Christ being Lord (Master), we don't dare try to control His Spirit! Rather, we submit to Him as our Lord. His Spirit flows into us, out of us, through us, and His Spirit carries us, too! He is the controller, the master, the Lord. He is God, not us.

    That said, thankfully I doubt many of us take "the force" seriously as an alternative religion or way of life--and if we do, we probably need a good reality-check! If that is our case, then it is best for us to wake up as soon as possible, lest the "reality-check" come upon us as a very unpleasant surprise. Bowing to God's "humbling" not only sets us free, but it saves us from further "breaking" out of our stubborness, delusions and so on.

    Blessings in His love!

     
  • At February 27, 2008 8:04 PM, Anonymous Leon said…

    Ramone !! Art imitating reality !! Good stuff !!

     
  • At February 27, 2008 11:33 PM, Anonymous Joycie said…

    I love this Brother! He truly is the ALL in ALL!!!!
    Love Joycie

     
  • At February 27, 2008 11:50 PM, Anonymous Elton said…

    Hi Brother Ramone,

    We can read the Gospel in star wars. We can read that also in other episodic films. As I know, also "Matrix" trilogy is also another version of the Gospel.
    The "underground" reality of eclessia in front of the "world system" of the machines.

    The Lord spoke with parables while He was on earth. He is continuing to do so, through many ways to the people.
    But, as it was then, only the people "who have ears can hear" and only the ones "who have eyes, will see"

    Regards in Him
    Elton

     
  • At February 28, 2008 12:13 AM, Blogger Ramone said…

    Hey Elton,

    I don't know if you've read the "parable" message that Chip Brogden got out of "The Matrix", but it's very good and very true:

    Intro
    The Matrix

    *****

    I forgot to add something to the "differences" comment above. The "source" of the Force and of God is different because the power of God comes from faith in Christ and in His sacrifice & resurrection. We have Life by faith, not inherently inside of us. That is why it is said we are "born" again. Born of the Spirit!

    The outworking, growth and source of strength in this "Spirit" is also different. The "force" taught repression and control of emotions, anger, feelings, etc. Ironically, at the same time it taught trust of instincts and "stretching out with your feelings". There are a lot of similar mind tricks today -- the "secret", self-help, improve yourself in 30 days, scientology, meditation, etc. I don't even know half the things like this out there. With these, there are some people who are able to convince themselves of something and believe it.

    I was never one of them. That is why I had trouble believing in God for so long (even though I still hung out at church). I couldn't make myself believe, I couldn't believe just because I wanted to. It wasn't until God revealed Himself to me (driving on I-495!) that I knew He was real, He was with me, and totally other -- not just in me!

    One of the most beautiful things of knowing that He is in you is that He is not solely in you, but He is totally other! You know He's in you, but you know He is Him and not you, too! (The last picture on this page was me trying to show that in a picture)

    The ability to control crazy stuff inside you (out of control emotions, problems, etc.) doesn't come from rigorous self-discipline (as with the Force). Instead it comes from Someone who has greater power and authority than you do! It comes from your Maker, from your God, from the One who is Lord over heaven and earth, and is Master over every principality and power. His healing comes because He is the Head, and everything must submit to Him. Our "power" comes not because of us, but because He is in us.

    It isn't our discipline or our knowledge that brings us freedom and control over bad things in our lives. Rather, it is through the Cross that Christ has defeated every principality and power, and in Him we are raised above every principality and power, and we have all fullness in Him. (Colossians 2)

     
  • At February 28, 2008 12:15 AM, Anonymous Karen said…

    Oh my! I love the way the Lord shows Himself in everything we do. Thank you for allowing Him to open your eyes to see Him repeatedly through this movie. So many things you wrote spoke to my spirit: We already are overcomers, sometimes we may need to ask friends for help, we are not meant to go "solo", He uses the unlikely to humble us and reveal the power of Himself inside us, He is our redeemer not only of our souls but of the hurts and pains we have been through, and more. This is rich in encouraging truth. Thank you for sharing it. I only wish I had read it a year ago when I let my teen kids talk me into seeing the Star Wars Trilogy for the first time. I endured it out of love for them! Thank you for the reminder that because He is always part of us and always with us there is nothing (not even Star Wars!) that we can't see through His eyes. He is so willing to show Himself to us. What love!

    Karen in Minnesota

     
  • At February 28, 2008 12:53 AM, Blogger Ramone said…

    I was just re-reading the part about the first movie's ("Called Out") and the words of Hebrews 11 came to mind:

    "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see...

    "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible...

    "By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family...

    "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God...

    "People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them...

    "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible..."


    As I opened up Hebrews 11 and looked over it, I found my spirit blessedly moved, my soul refreshed, and tears coming to my eyes. I don't understand, but I thank You, God! Thank You!

    I pray this blesses you today. Read Hebrews 11.

    Blessings in Jesus,
    Ramone

     
  • At March 02, 2008 7:28 PM, Anonymous Michael DePaula said…

    Hey Ramone,

    I'm glad to finally be getting around to your article. It was on my "to do" list for things that needed responding to, but what with catching pneumonia and all...

    Look, you're a great writer; always have been. But I think you best summarized it in your preface when you said, "...when you watch something that taps into so many veins of the human heart's deep longings (as all good myths and fairy tales do)..."

    That's just it. All great stories share common themes of inadequacy, conflict, loss, despair, and finally redemption. But that's it. They're just stories...stories that inspire us to be sure, but stories nonetheless.

    Your analogies are fair but ultimately fail to address the larger question of why it is that you take some myths more seriously than others.

     
  • At March 03, 2008 12:57 AM, Blogger Ramone said…

    Myths?

    Israel may be visited today to see where these "myths" took place. And the ancient witnesses for the New Testament are older and more abundante than those of the works of Plato. The existence and resurrection of Jesus Christ is more provable than the existence of Socrates.

    Why do I believe? Not only because of these things, but because He's spoken to me by His Spirit. I am here in Japan because of His Spirit, am married because He speaks today, and have a son because He speaks today. I live by faith. I have reconciliation in my family because of His words, and because His words are true.

    I went through philosophical doubt for almost two years and at the end decided to gamble my life on Him to see if He existed, and He won the bet. Since then I have lived by faith, not by sight. I live out here out on a limb, with no other ground beneath my feet but Him. I am alive, happy, blessed, restored and set free of inherited problems and things that plagued me personally (and my family) because of Him.

    Calling Him "mythical" is the same as calling my wife "mythical, Michael. I could no more consider Him to be mythical than I could my wife. If you were to say my wife was mythical, what could I say to you to convince you? You haven't met her, so to you it's possible she may not exist. But it doesn't deny her reality by any means. Just because you have not met God does not mean He does not exist or that the story of His work in peoples' lives is mythical.

    I hope you can understand.
    Blessings and love to you.

    In Jesus,
    Ramone

     
  • At March 04, 2008 12:39 AM, Blogger konti said…

    Hey Brother,

    It's great to see the Lord in everything. Thank you for sharing the Lord with us through the movies.

    It's not just a matter of agreeing with what you have written, it's a matter of tasting your portion of the Lord. Praise the Lord!

     
  • At June 03, 2008 3:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think you would be interested in another x SDA web site. He has very interesting teachings. Take a look. ...Art

    http://www.wake-up.org/

     
  • At June 03, 2008 10:45 PM, Blogger Ramone said…

    Actually, a friend gave me the book on that site a long time ago. The information in it about what causes the physical destruction during the trumpet judgments is very good and right on. However, the author is still hung up on SDA teaching about the Sabbath, etc., which is not grounded in the gospel, nor in sound, scriptural and contextual hermeneutics.

     

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