I must write my reaction to Richard Schenkman’s move The Man from Earth quickly, before it disappears like the recollection of a dream. The premise struck me as ingenious Sci-Fi, a refreshing switch from run-of-the-mill space-operas, mindless monster gore-extraviganzas and ray-gun totin’ space cowboy yarns.
In its simple complexity,The Man from Earth pegs humanity, the simply complex race. And yes, I loved it the movie. As a Christian literalist, I take John Oldman’s statements from the “Jesus” persona(played by David Lee Smith) as well-meant social commentary possessing more than a grain of truth. I happen to agree that popular Christianity bears little resemblance to the way of Yeshua, though my confidence that he was and is and is to come the divine Son of God remains unshaken by skeptics’ trite arguments and clever works of fiction.
To be credible, Christians must pursue the childlike faith Jesus taught, that refuses to be threatened by intellectual and emotional human arguments. Unlike Edith’s reaction to apparent sacrilege(played to the “T” by Ellen Crawford), we must simply listen to the inevitable challenges folks will throw at us and refuse to take them personally. As blasphemy doesn’t hurt God’s feelings, though it grieves his spirit, insults heaped on believers shouldn’t hurt our feelings, lest we provide the enemy with easy victories.
We must remember that the enemy of our souls is a liar who will stop at nothing to break our spirit. To pay him heed will divert our walk from the way of Christ onto the wide, smooth, well-populated road of personal affront. Do we really wish to join the religious world’s unholy warriors who would kill the infidels? When we strike back at challengers we do so from pride, not from righteous indignation. In fact, the only one who has a right to righteous indignation is the only righteous One, the very object of our faith.
Movies can’t threaten us, unless we lust after the hedonism displayed therein. Arguments can’t threaten us, unless we are so poorly versed in the truth that we’re swayed by them. Even displays of force can’t threaten us because our hope lies beyond this mortal life.
Jesus’ apostle John wrote one of the most important lessons we can get from God’s word: Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them(the spirit of antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4 KJV)
Refuse to be threatened by human reason or rage against God. Sit back and enjoy the movie, even if it purports to challenge your beliefs. If a simple movie that presents another view threatens our spiritual well-being, how can we hope to stand against the real wiles of the enemy?