reload The Race by Maurice McCracken

Friday, February 02, 2007

Blood Diamond and Malachi

posted by Little Mo | Permalink |
On Wednesday night I went to see this. Now, let me be frank - I didn't really like it. I generally don't like being preached at by films, and not only that, but this one, while making a worthwhile point, turned on the most ridiculously unlikely "bad person turns good and makes sacrifice" plot sequence I have ever seen.

However, I do generally find that films like this which graphically show us people doing terrible things to each other make me have existential crises of a sort. How CAN God let evil terrorist groups seeking their own wealth chop children's arms off to make their political point? How CAN people be that evil, and we still claim God is sovereign over it? I guess I'd be a rubbish Christian (or, an even more rubbish Christian) in a war zone.

Interestingly the day after (after, if I'm honest, not sleeping very well thinking about children being deliberately maimed in wars) I beetled off to Wales to do a team day on Malachi.

Now, Malachi is all about people who are going through the motions of being God's people but not with their whole hearts, and so God is pretty angry.
As you go through the book it appears one of the reasons that they are like that is because they don't believe that God is against the wicked. The evil prosper. Which is one of the reasons that I guess I'd doubt God a lot more if I had to witness real obvious evil outside of my middle class cocoon.
What's interesting about Malachi is that having those questions under the surface and allowing them to filter the way you serve God is disastrous. Don't trust God's love and promises? You won't really want to serve God whole heartedly. Don't think God cares about justice and honesty? You won't be just or honest. Don' t think God can really be trusted to run the world? You won't entrust him with your money or life.

So how does God answer? Well, pretty complicatedly. But he says, I will judge and I will purify. Evil WILL be dealt with, by my purifying judging messenger. The cross, basically is all we can look at and hold on to to believe God really is committed to judging fairly. I suppose, post-cross, I have more reason to believe that even than Malachi's hearers, who hadn't seen God's demonstration of justice and probably saw worse atrocities in real life than I'll ever see on screen. But God says it is enough, in fact, to say otherwise is to be "harsh against him".

I guess I can't just let my worries about justice and my sick stomach at child soldiers round the world just bubble below the surface until they suck the life out of my service of God. I have to stake the heart of those questions with a big wooden cross, and be as committed to justice as God is. And trust him with the rest because he is God, and has proved that he will deal with sin by judging and purifying.

Blood Diamond insists, despite all the evidence in the film to the contrary, that bad people can turn good. I'd rather place my faith in God who has gone out of his way to prove his justice. I pray I can hold on to that cross, standing their, cutting history in two when I'm seeing it and experiencing it away from the cinema. It's hard though.


Blogger becci brown said...

Brillaint Mo, thanks for that - i have literally just got back from watching Blood Diamond and a few days ago saw The Last King of Scotland...thats alot of sin watching in a week and it's really moved me hard. Made me believe all over again what God says the world is really like and that that sin is also the same stuff I am capable of except by the grace of God. Rejoicing in my salvation whilst also taking my responsibility to take justice seriously both in prayer and action. "Love mercy, act justly and walk humbly before your God."

5:37 PM  

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