Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Prophetic Message in Apocalyptic movies (Like the Book of Eli)

There have been apocalyptic films, books, stories, radio shows and narratives for as long as men have been alive. They are a way to look at what life might be like when all the props are kicked out. All the artificial supports. All the things once called valuable rendered worthless.

Recently we have had a rash of them in movies. 2012. The Book of Eli. I am Legend. Even The Matrix was a Post Apocalyptic story. The first I recall seeing was Mad Max. I looked on a few sites for background and discovered there are hundreds of this genre.

Why do they appeal? What do they stir in a person that moves them? They sell tickets, so the story of post apocalyptic life is one that is in people's minds. It's not just a fantasy. It's a background thought.

I just saw Book of Eli. This is NOT thus saith the Lord, but in a way it is. There is a prophetic strain in all these movies. Book of Eli was more overt. Not a "Christian" film. Very violent. But it speaks to the hope people want to have if everything should collapse.

We know in our hearts that without the restraint of the Holy Spirit, there would be only catastrophe. These films open a window into that reality.

We have seen the real life depravity of man in post apocalyptic microcosms. Recently in Haiti, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, Rwanda, in parts of Pakistan, Liberia. Even in the USA after Katrina we saw a glimpse of what happens when fallen man is set loose in an unrestrained way. Seeing police officers looting a Wal-Mart is seared in my mind. We wonder how close to absolute anarchy is the world we live in. If so called "Christians" in New Orleans can go so far bad so quickly, what does that mean for our world. I know many of the people we saw after Katrina that were looting and abusing others had been in Church the week before Dancing and Singing before the Lord. Yet, without the indwelling of the Holy Ghost they became practical anarchists in rebellion against everything holy. Even in Chicago and Detroit there are places that border on the Post Apocalyptic. reality without the restraint of the Holy Ghost. Yet in those places the Church per Capita ratio is highest. It makes me shudder knowing how close we live to the edge.

The world system responds to disasters like Haiti by imposing outside forces to create an artificial temporary order. We live hoping that we can avoid this in our own life. Somehow we believe that it can happen everywhere else other than here, yet we have this doubt that we could avoid the degradation we see on the screen if the crunch came. Old westerns were close to Apocalyptic many times. We don't want to go back to the wild west. Yet it's in our hearts. We feel it.

There is a sinking feeling in our culture that things are out of control. That a tipping point will be reached. That suddenly things could go very wrong. Some of this sense is because of governmental intrusion. Some is because of the sense that our economy is out of kilter. Some is because we see so many hopeless places because of an overload of negative news and information. It reinforces the fear. We place our hope in government. In economics. In leaders. Yet the images of a Post Apocalyptic world play in our heads. We think by avoiding watching the news, movies and stories we can somehow pretend to believe the world around us is all OK as long as we speak positive things. There is truth in that ..... to a point. But we have a sinking feeling that something is wrong.

These films do not offer any real hope....just a place where hope might emerge in a lost dying world. In Matrix, Eli, 2010, Legend, Even Mad Max, there's a moment toward the end where hope might be found once again. In truth. In restoration. It's a new day. Usually the protagonist dies or is sacrificed to begin the restoration. That's the power of the Post Apocalyptic movie. Even in devastation, hope sprouts up thru sacrifice.

The hungry hearts of man responds to the one sacrificed, the one who offers hope, the one who transcends the apocalyptic. NEO. It's the story of the Christ of God. Retold, again and again and again. If you are sensitive, you see Jesus in every frame.

Prophetically, we see chaos and pain all around us. We see people's lives lived post apocalyptically. We see people oppressed. We recognize that it's us. We are those people. We need a hero to come save us. Even to sacrifice. To proclaim truth in the mess. To show a sprout of life in our personal desert.

HIS name is Jesus. He IS the book of Eli. HE is the one who saves out of the Apocalypse. He IS the true Neo in the Matrix. HE is the one who gives his life to save others in Legend. HE IS the one on whom the sins of the world are laid so others may live.

Even when Apocalypse comes.... you know, I know in whom I have believed and he is well able to keep me until that day. He is the only Truth. Unless our hearts are changed we too can become those who fall in the day of trouble.

When Jesus is all you have, Jesus is all you need. He is the God of More than Enough. That theology will be proven out in every person's life. That is the word of the Lord.

3 comments:

Coulby said...

I don't even watch movies any more. They are so filled with sex and violence. Also, they hypnotize you and send you in the wrong direction. I look forward to the day when God's people have the money and authority to put out movies.

Anonymous said...

I actually was very impressed and inspired by the book of eli. Ive been blessed to know some very streetwise apostles and prophets on the edge but rooted in the word like that. One went and prayed prophesied on the s.f golden gate bridge with me. We were their to try to stop the suicides going on. On the edge real endtime experiences prophetic . prophetic expressions

Anonymous said...

I kinda have been expecting this in a way...
But I reali dun think da world is going to end...start a new era maybe but the world is not ending.
That's not gonna happen till a thousand years later! Ok, I'm not sure bout that either but that's not the point! The world's not gonna end! Full stop!
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