Monday, January 25, 2010

Mad Max Meets the Apostle Paul

That was the description my friend gave to the movie "The Book of Eli." as we left the movie theater. Yes, I went to a movie that had blood, violence, and three times the "F" word. However the movie also had some great lessons that we as Followers of Christ need to adhere.

For those who have not seen the movie or do not care to see the movie, here is the premise (warning: this gives away the plot of the movie): Eli (Denzel Washington) has been on a journey for 30 years, walking west across America after a cataclysmic war that turned the earth into a total wasteland. The world has become a lawless civilization where people must kill or be killed. The barren roads belong to gangs of cutthroats who rob and kill for water, a pair of shoes, a lighter, or just for fun. Eli is a peaceful man who only acts in self defense, and becomes a warrior with unbelievable killing skills when he is challenged. After the war and the "Big Flash", Eli was guided by a higher power to a hidden book and given the task of protecting the book and taking it to its final destination. Eli guards the book with his life, because he knows that the book is the only hope that humanity has for its future and it is the only copy left.What is the book? It is the Holy Bible. Eli does all this because as He claims, the Spirit of God told Him to take the Book west to a place where it would be safe.

All through the movie, Eli reminds himself do not stray from the path. He is a man with a mission. He journeys towards his destination because it is his mission. Even when tempted by the evil person in the story with a women, water and power, Eli stays true to the course.

Like Eli, we must stay true to course that Christ calls us to. So m any times we are distracted by things that keep us from our mission: Glorifying God through the making of Disciples. many times we get distracted by the things that we need for survival or for what we think will make us comfortable or for a need to be recognized and we neglected the very thing that God has called us to do.

One of the most outstanding parts of the movie is Eli's faith. All throughout the movie, Eli states that God will sustain him and that his mission will be fulfilled. Even in a raging gun battle, Eli tells his companion, Solara that they will survive. Eventually they do. Even after Eli is shot, his faith in the one who calls him and the mission that he is on continues. This faith is the belief that he is truly called to this and that God will sustain him.

Its is interesting to note that as Eli's faith in God and His Word sustains him, the evil character, Carnegie wants to use faith to control people and manipulate them to build his own empire. Carnegie sees faith as a weakness to exploit; Eli sees it as strength to sustain.

The most amazing part of the movie was the ending. It seems all is lost when Carnegie finally gets the Bible. Eli still continues west with Solara towards the safe place. You think well this is it. Then Eli and Solara reach the safe place (I won't tell you where. watch the movie). Eli tells the care keeper that he has a King James Bible. The care keeper ask what condition. In his reply Eli responds " It is beaten up and worn." Then in the care keeper's chamber, Eli begins to recite the who scripture which is copied down. Eli was the the book. You see the other copy that Carnegie had was a braille copy that could not be read. GOD'S WORD MUST LIVE IN US. IT MUST BE LIVED IN US! Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart!

What amazed me was that here was a secular movie calling us to become keepers and ones who live God's Word in a World that needs hope. This point is brought home when in the end, Solara, leaves the safe place with Eli's bag, gun and equipment and begins her journey home to share the Word of hope.

We are on a journey in a world that needs God's word of Hope. It is not to be hidden but lived before the World. It is our mission and our faith in Him will sustain us. The Book of Eli calls us to not only be hearers and readers of God's Word but ones who do and live it.

God's Word was Eli's Book. God's Word should be our Book: Written Upon Our Hearts and Life!!

1 comment:

  1. Lewis, I was wondering what that movie was like. (I skipped over the story line, just in case Mike wants to go.) Strange a movie would give us that message, but great. Do you think the regular public will get that?