Note to reader: Please read this to the end and let me know your thoughts!
It grieves me that I cannot recommend the movie “Hidden Figures.” The trailers look good. The reviews are compelling. However, I’m afraid the message it sends is dangerous.
You may be thinking, is Kathy a racist? Oh my dear followers of Jesus, it would be better for us if that were the issue.
Jesus said the primary commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves…no matter their gender, skin color or nationality.
Loving God is first. His love enables us to do the second.
The response from followers of Jesus to “Hidden Figures” reveals a cancer in our midst that may well be at the core of our impotent church in America.
Allow me to illustrate:
My dad had one very hard and fast rule in our home: never, ever, under any circumstance disrespect his wife. After fifty-five years of marriage he is more committed to that rule than ever. Why? Because he loves, loves, loves his wife. The rule is not limited to his children. He stands up for his wife inside and outside the home. He would never think to patronize a business that would demean her. They have the freedom to do it, but he would never pay them a red cent for their services.
Oh Bride of Christ, if only we would love Jesus that much. How many of us plunked down $10.50 to see our Savior publicly demeaned? The following reviews say it all:
“Hidden Figures” is an exceptionally stirring movie. Unfortunately, it is marred by a single misuse of the name “Jesus Christ” which prevents us from awarding this film our Dove Seal. –Dove Foundation movie reviews
…one very unfortunate misuse of Jesus name. –Movie Guide Awards review
How many of us have extolled the virtues of the film with total disregard for the blasphemous use of our Savior’s name? What if that had been your spouse, the love of your life? Would you have extolled the virtues of the film and ignored the degrading reflection of your beloved?
Is it ever okay to demean the name of Jesus? There are some good messages in the movie but it’s blatant, demeaning use of the name of Jesus erodes the only true solution to racism and hate: honoring and loving the God Who empowers us to see each person as an image bearer of the Creator and love them as Christ loved us. Is one time, one time too many? I’m thinking it may be the most lethal because it’s easy to overlook.
If a baker listed one little speck of dog poo on the ingredients used in chocolate frosting would you consume the frosting? Yet we will consume one “little” bit of blasphemous use of Jesus’ name…because the overall message is good. By that logic should we also eat the frosting?
My Father-in-Love, Bill Bright, loved Jesus with his whole being. I will leave you with a quote from the book, Blue Like Jazz. May we all pursue loving Him this way. If we do, there will be real hope for the hatred and anger that is becoming the standard in our land.
A guy I know named Alan went around the country asking ministry leaders questions. He went to successful churches and asked the pastors what they were doing, and why what they were doing was working. It sounded very boring except for one visit he made to a man named Bill Bright, the president of a big ministry. Alan said he was a big man, full of life, who listened without shifting his eyes. Alan asked a few questions. I don’t know what they were, but as a final question he asked Dr. Bright what Jesus meant to him.
Alan said Dr. Bright could not answer the question. He said Dr. Bright just started to cry. He sat there in his big chair behind his big desk and wept. When Alan told that story I wondered what it was like to love Jesus that way. I wondered, quite honestly, if that Bill Bright guy was just nuts or if he really knew Jesus in a personal way, so well that he would cry at the very mention of His name. I knew then that I would like to know Jesus like that, with my heart, not just my head. I felt like that would be the key to something.”
Our root problem, dear friends, is not hate; it is quite the opposite. We have lost our First Love. May the church find her First Love once again.
Please share your thoughts with me.