So Holly and I got to catch the new Narnia film a few days ago. It was entertaining and a much more compelling children's fantasy film than Harry Potter, but as Rick points out, it was no Lord of the Rings. And you couldn't help but compare the two because Narnia too was shot in New Zealand, the music sounded similar, and the war scenes were reminiscent.
But that's not really my point in this post.
Now certainly this is simply an allegory, not a person-for-person or event-for-event translation of Biblical texts, but you must know that the story is so full of Christian allusion from Aslan dying and raising again to him saying, "It is finished" to...well, you get the point.
It's been some time since I have read the Narnia series...perhaps 10 years even. I honestly did not remember the battle scenes as they were in the film, but my memory of them is not the point. My point is how evil was defeated and health and life restored to Narnia.
You see, in the Biblical narrative, Jesus (and Paul) commands his followers to overcome evil with good...or with love...and in the case of his life, Jesus himself overcomes evil by death. I think we stand at a fascinating time in history when many who claim his name think it's honorable to overcome evil by killing or violence or fear-making...overcoming evil with evil. And that's what this post is about.
As the battle scenes roared in the film, I saw the history (past and current) of the church...and I saw Aslan almost congratulate it in a way that I have yet to see Jesus do...and that made me sad and uncomfortable. These battle scenes waged on, endorsing violence and death to bring peace and life in Narnia...and it's simply not what is in the Gospels.
So perhaps this is a bit of an over-reaction, but perhaps it's not. We stand at a time when the American Empire is legitimized by a good deal of the Christian community, who is urging the government, "Use whatever it takes to bring about the peace...kill, slaughter, rape lands, destroy cultures, dominate until peace is accomplished and democracy implemented."
I think most people of Christian faith could stand to go back and meditate on the Sermon on the Mount and take a thoughtful look at what's going on in the world today.
I'll leave you with some of the Master's words...
"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."