Thursday, December 18, 2014

God's Not Dead

*spoiler alert*

Riley and I watched "God's Not Dead" a few weeks back.

After the viewing, I had post-traumatic stress flashbacks to the early 90's when I attended a "Heaven or Hell" production at a local Baptist church in town.  I went with my boyfriend at the time who was the same denomination as the church.  The show presented specific incidents where someone is facing death and if the person had not chosen correctly prior to that, their name was not in THE Big Book and they go to hell.    I poured an alcoholic beverage to help the tremors flow through.  I knew certain people had liked the movie.  I had a feeling that it would not be my cup of Christian tea.

My daughter wanted to watch the film as she heard about it from friends.  It was just the two of us and I said okay.  I watched it because she wanted to.  I thought I could handle it.

I couldn't.

In hindsight, my intuition knew better.  I should have told my husband to watch it with her, as he has no fundamentalist baggage.  Mine is a mile deep and an ocean wide.

Boundaries - I needed to uphold my boundaries even though it was something my child wanted.

The following definition would be helpful for you to understand why my viewing of God's Not Dead didn't go well:

Propaganda is information that is not impartial and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.

On a positive note,  it was filmed at LSU and the campus looked lovely but on a low note the plot was predictable, so very horribly predictable.  I can reach deep down and say some of the acting was good, I just didn't like the script.  Everyone who was an atheist was BAD,  everyone who was a Christian was GOOD.  Everyone was against the main character, the "Christian," including his parents and girlfriend.   It was so very black and white.  And the Christian was the victim.  And to put the shiny bow at the end of the movie, there was a death bed "come to Jesus" moment by the atheist professor who was hit by a car outside a Christian music concert.  There happened to be two preachers there on the street, one of whom could conveniently diagnose that the atheist's lungs were filling with blood and he was definitively dying in the next five minutes.   After a talk with one of the preachers, the atheist declared Jesus his savior just and he died on the street…

And that's the end of that story.

And special cameo appearancea by one of the Duck Dynasty couples whom I tried to block out entirely.

This movie pushed many of my fundamentalist baggage hot buttons. And it brought up all my fear roots and did nothing to bring up the abundant LOVE of God that I have been surprised and amazed by in the last few years.  And do you know what began healing my fundamentalist baggage?  Lo and behold, it was sitting in counseling with a Jewish therapist.   I had to strip away all of the misguided thinking that I had about God, myself and the world.  I needed someone to listen to me unconditionally.
Just like God does.

Abundant love is who God is and who we are if we can tap into it.   I had to change my very poor concept of God in order for the loving view of God to emerge because my thinking of God was just like this movie.  Simplistic, judgmental and out there. As long as you proclaim Jesus is King after you have been scared straight, everything will be all right.

That is just not what I've come to know about my Higher Power.

Deep down, way deeply down, I know that my snarkiness and anger is my pain coming out.  So many years, I lived in fear and my idea of God did not let me know that the Divine was within and abounds in love.

Not judgement but love.

I don't know why I never left the church, the pain goes so deep.  Well, yes I do know, I was too scared.
I think my fear of leaving was bigger.  Nonetheless, I have learned to listen to my intuition because if I can acknowledge it clearly, it is God talking to me.  I should have listened about this movie.  But that's okay.  I'm not perfect. Mistakes are made and learned from.

This blog has been sitting in my draft box for weeks. It's time to publish even if there is no bow to wrap it up, like at the end of this awful movie.  This is an ongoing journey for me to listen to the Divine within because that steers me on the path I need to be on.


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