Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I love documentaries. They often have much more to offer intellectually than the mind-numbing titillation that Hollywood usually produces. The movie Lake of Fire certainly did not disappoint in this respect. This movie does not pull any punches and is very skillfully put together by director Tony Kaye (American History X). It is very hard to watch, but after having seen it I feel very strongly that it must be watched for two main reasons:
1. As a Christian, you will see how NOT to behave in the cultural discussion of abortion. The movie mainly paints a picture of Christians as backwoods fundamentalists who hold up huge signs and scream words of condemnation at abortion clinic doctors, workers and patients. It is very painful to watch these people do what they do. What I found most striking was the complete lack of gospel in their message. It’s all law. Obey or be severely punished. Law, law, law. This is true for all people. If you fail to meet God’s standard you will be punished eternally. But what is painfully absent (for the most part) in their message is the MEANS by which you can meet God’s standard, namely faith in Jesus Christ. Their message is pure legalism and is horrible to see in action.
It’s no wonder pregnant non-Christian women (or Christian women for that matter) don’t want to run to the church when this is what they perceive as the dominant voice of what it means to be pro-life. If you are a scared single mother, why would you run up to some angry guy with a huge poster of aborted babies and say, “Help me!”
2. You get to see abortion for what it really is. This was the most shocking part of the movie for me. You get to witness an abortion, twice. They hold nothing back. How anyone can watch those scenes and not seek to want to do something about the abortion industry is beyond me.
After watching I was left with a strong sense of the need to act. Obviously for all those who read this blog, you know how I feel about abortion, but our action needs to go beyond blog posts about Obama and his policies (as important as those posts are).
What if our churches were teeming with orphans that were given up for adoption or were formerly entrenched in the foster care system? What kind of a picture of compassion would that send to an on looking world? What if the norm in our culture was for churches to be known for their orphan care? If we are really pro-life, why don’t we rescue more kids? If this were the norm for Christians would this not potentially prove to be a viable and winsome option for single pregnant women? I can’t shake the connection between being pro-life and adoption.
Yes we still needs to fight for legislation that will outlaw abortion (and I will do that), but along with that, as Christians we need to fight just as hard to be a gospel-centered witness of compassion and care for those who are voiceless and helpless inside the womb and outside of it.
Watch Lake of Fire. You will be profoundly moved in a variety of ways. The last twenty minutes completely tore me apart.
If you have seen it, tell me what you think.
You can get it here on Netflix.
You can read reviews here on Rotten Tomatoes.