Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Unpleasant characters

This past weekend I watched the film "Where Angels Fear to Tread" based on the novel by E.M. Forster. I also saw the musical "Children of Eden." Although very different in many ways, the two had these things in common: unpleasant characters and no message of redemption.

"Where Angels Fear to Tread" is a story of Victorian England and its unpleasant, unloving, snobbish upper class. This movie was remarkable in that almost none of its characters were changed in any way by their experiences. And, two of the characters kidnapped a child, who was almost immediately killed in a related accident, but suffered no discernible consequences or life changes as a result.

The woman who kidnapped the child was portrayed as a religious Christian who read the Bible. And, the film implied that it was a Bible verse that inspired her to take the child. Another character, the daughter of a pastor and a woman who did charitable works, had also determined to come for the child because she was in love with the father. However, the pastor's daughter would never have married the man because he wasn't appropriate.

"Children of Eden" is an interpretation of the first part of the biblical book of Genesis. The musical portrayed God as a creative genius of a human father who wouldn't let his children grow up and punished creativity. The message of hope and redemption was entirely missing. And the meaning of love was certainly confused.

Although both of these works referenced the Bible in many ways, the writers didn't appear to have an understanding of God's goodness or his plans for his children. They didn't understand that God's is a giving and sacrificial love. They condemned and judged human beings, but didn't understand redemption.

What a thought-provoking time these two works produced in me! Because of them, I am trusting that God will direct my writing to be clearly understood, and to be rightly motivated.


  1. Sounds like you had a disappointing weekend. Just think, you can never get those hours back. :)

  2. Well now that a positive and encouraging comment. I would say it wasn't necessarily a waste. She did learn the importance of portraying God properly. I could go on at great length about that. Most of the time I believe He is portrayed as a harsh judgemental God who is just waiting to "get you" if you step out of line. Even by Christians. They don't seem to realize that there is a difference between the new and old testaments. God did judge harshly before there was a possibility of redemption. But now there is a better covenant where we can and have been redemed. The God of Love works in mercy and grace at all times and with everyone. Most just don't seem to know or believe it.

  3. I'm with Renoir on this one too. He painted beautiful things because he felt there were too many ugly things in the world already. He didn't want to contribute more. I think writers should take his advice and do the same. Kidnapping kids just falls right under that category for me.