Jump to content

"the Nativity" Movie


BrotherRog
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'll be taking a group of college students to see The Nativity movie this weekend and I'm looking for some things to look for from the point of view of any progressive Christians who may've seen this film already.

 

I've read a review in a newspaper and it basically seemed to say that the movie is a) to be commended for having actors with skin-tones that are similar to ancient Hebrews; B) a bit too boring, plodding, wooden and too faithful to following the Gospel narratives to the point of not introducing any degree of artisitic liscence that would've made it more interesting; and c) it avoids anything controversial "including liberation thelology."

 

I'm most interested in that last point ©. I'm wondering if the film fails to have Mary uttering her famed "Magnificat" from Luke 1:46-55 - a passage which clearly lends itself to supporting liberation theology! And, if they did fail to include that passage, would that in itself be "controversial"!?

 

I'm wanting some discussion abouat that last point, but I'm also curious if anyone has any other insights they'd like to pass along about the film. Thanks!

Edited by BrotherRog
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I haven't seen this. Interesting how Hollywood is now actively marketing to the "Christian"

pocket book each Christmas two years running. Last year with "Narnia".

 

BTW, read a review in sojo. net. Said while the family looked the part the baby Jesus

didn't. Interesting. (Though I saw something once on how they test out baby "actors",

babies have quite an audition! So maybe they just couldn't find one that met their

standards.)

 

 

--des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding of true progressive thinking would be to define the term 'Virgin' back then the meaning could have been different than the meaning applied to the word today.

 

This would complete the beginning and the end with less mystery and more authenticity to rely upon real truths that are recorded.

 

No less of a miracle for the path that was walked and how the journey was guided, that no one should have to suffer such a fate again.

 

How to be on that path and know that you don't have to make the same sacrafice, there is a way out by just believing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yo. BrotherRog. Jesus here. I'm still doing my bit to pass along angelic truths via my channelling partnership with Jen. I'd like to take a stab at your question about the Magnificat. It's important to angelic guides that those who teach the teachers (and those who minister to the ministers) get the deepest possible understanding of spiritual issues. The Magnificat is a great place to begin. Thank you for asking.

 

You suggest in your post that the Magnificat supports liberation theology. It certainly seems to. The question then becomes -- who wrote the the canticle in Luke 1, and what was the author's true intent?

 

When I, Jesus, look at the Magnificat, I see the original thoughts of the ancient author, and I see the veil of poetry and illusion that cloaks those ancient thoughts. I see a passage that claims to say one thing, but which, in fact, says something diametrically opposed to its apparent content. It takes a particular form of not-so-loving genius to misuse words in this way -- to make them seem to say one thing, when in fact they say the opposite. I don't fault you or anyone else who has trouble seeing through the veil of poetry and illusion that infuses the Magnificat. Still, it's time for the veil to be lifted, for the truth to be revealed.

 

First, let me say that my words should not be viewed in any way as lending support to the current economic imbalance in most nations. Angels do not believe in a world economic structure wherein 1% of the world's population hoard the vast majority of the world's wealth. But neither do angels support a system of radical stalinism or communism, wherein all wealth is said to be controlled by the state. It's never controlled by the state in such a political and economic environment -- it's controlled by a small group of narcissistic control freaks. Sorry to be so blunt. Sometimes angels must speak the truth as it is.

 

The Magnificat is dangerous, in the view of God's angels, because this canticle encourages individuals to think of spiritual themes in stark shades of black and white. In the Magnificat, some people are "Worthy" and "Chosen", and others are brought down. Mary herself is "Chosen." So are the hungry. So are the people of Israel. Those on thrones are brought down. The rich are sent away empty. This extreme separation of people into "good" groups and "bad" groups is called splitting by some modern psychotherapists. Splitting is not a healthy, mature, or wise way in which to view one's relationship with God. Splitting leads to prejudice, hatred, violence, and war. Splitting is a psychological defence used by those with unresolved narcissistic issues. To be very frank, the author of the Magnificat was an ancient bully in need of compassionate mental and spiritual healing. He (or possibly she) was looking at the world he lived in through damaged spiritual eyes. He didn't see a world in which all souls were equally deserving of God's love. He saw exclusivity. What's worse is that he believed exclusivity was his spiritual right. In a few short sentences, he scorns those who sit on thrones, then he turns around and places the descendants of Abraham on their own kind of throne. This isn't the teaching of God or God's angels, I'm very sad to say. This is the teaching of someone who wants to be viewed as being more important than others.

 

The real tip-off is verse 50: "His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation." What's with the emphasis on fear? No one who really trusts God the Mother and God the Father could even think of fearing them. We, the angels, only feel love and gratitude towards our beloved divine and holy parents. Human beings (angels-in-human-form) who listen to their own hearts and souls never fear God the Mother and God the Father. Instead, they trust. Narcissistically oriented individuals, however, feal a great deal of fear -- and not just towards God.

 

Last, there's the extremely painful and vicious attack on God the Mother herself. The sacred and divine Holy Mother of All is literally ripped out of Heaven, torn from her divine and eternal husband's side, and recast in the imaginary role of the Virgin Mary. Nowhere in the Magnificat is she mentioned in her true spendour. It's as if the author hopes to make people forget Our Mother exists simply by refusing to mention her.

 

It should go without saying that I, Jesus, was not the Chosen Messiah. I was a man who toiled for many years to uncover the truth of God's love and forgiveness. Then I did my best to teach others. But don't assume you'll lose the mystery and wonder of divine love if you choose to view me in this way. The mystery and wonder will grow only more and more glorious in your own heart as you uncover what this means for you and me -- not just now, but eternally.

 

All my love,

Jesus

December 19, 2006

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What an interesting writing style, almost perfect.

 

The obvious flaws are with the writer, not entirely the message, the message was good with the exception of a few lines.

 

I like the lifting of the veil and understanding poetry. Many things could be worked out together where two or three agree.

 

I've got a lot to say, but I'm a bit exhausted tonight.

 

I'm going to relax and let the world turn with out me tonight... For everything's alright yes? Everything is all righteous...

 

I'm going to close my eyes and relax think of nothing tonight.

 

Peace and Blessings,

 

Sincerely,

 

Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll be taking a group of college students to see The Nativity movie this weekend and I'm looking for some things to look for from the point of view of any progressive Christians who may've seen this film already.

 

I've read a review in a newspaper and it basically seemed to say that the movie is a) to be commended for having actors with skin-tones that are similar to ancient Hebrews; B) a bit too boring, plodding, wooden and too faithful to following the Gospel narratives to the point of not introducing any degree of artisitic liscence that would've made it more interesting; and c) it avoids anything controversial "including liberation thelology."

 

I'm most interested in that last point ©. I'm wondering if the film fails to have Mary uttering her famed "Magnificat" from Luke 1:46-55 - a passage which clearly lends itself to supporting liberation theology! And, if they did fail to include that passage, would that in itself be "controversial"!?

 

I'm wanting some discussion abouat that last point, but I'm also curious if anyone has any other insights they'd like to pass along about the film. Thanks!

 

Well I saw the film and it was "okay" I guess. It was a bit on the slow side but the cinematography was good and it did convey the utter poverty and harsh conditions of those ancient peoples as well as the longing of the people to be rid of Roman imperial rule. It pointed out the tension between God's concern for God's people and the brutal ways of worldy powers and principalities.

 

The story was fairly true to the Gospel narratives - but there seemed to be a nod to Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ; i.e. a scene where a snake is swimmng across a river which spooks the donkey the pregnant Mary is ridding upon, throwing her into the water and she would've drowned if not for being saved by Joseph - that's all fiction and I think the snake may've been a symbol for how the devil may've been attempting to abort the infant Jesus even before he was born (a reference to the devil as snake motif in the Passion movie).

 

The "magnificat" passage was in fact part of the movie; i.e. uttered at the very end of the film - but there was no elaboration upon it and/or why it was included in the film. curious..

 

Anyway, it was a good film and it is worthy of seeing it on the big screen - if nothing else, for the powerful scenery and cinemotography.

 

in pax Christi - not pax Americana,

brotherrog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My understanding of true progressive thinking would be to define the term 'Virgin' back then the meaning could have been different than the meaning applied to the word today.

 

This would complete the beginning and the end with less mystery and more authenticity to rely upon real truths that are recorded.

 

No less of a miracle for the path that was walked and how the journey was guided, that no one should have to suffer such a fate again.

 

How to be on that path and know that you don't have to make the same sacrafice, there is a way out by just believing.

 

 

TGWB, indeed, in the original Hebrew, the passage in Isaiah which is commonly translated as "a virgin shall give birth" is in fact merely "a maiden shall give birth." When the Hebrew bible was translated into Greek; i.e. in the Septuigent, the word was shifted to "virgin" and it is this work that the authors of Matthew and Luke use in their texts (also in Greek). It's amazing what a simple/innocent word variation can do to theology isn't it!? lol

 

Any way, IMO, whether Jesus was born to a literal virgin or not is a moot point. I guess if I can believe in the Ressurection (which I do), I can allow for the virgin birth. Though, again, IMO, the virgin birth thing is largely based upon the early Christians trying to prop up Jesus and give Him all the full "credentials" and trappings that significant religious figures of ancient times required; e.g. there were several competing deities/hero figures who were said to have had virgin births and/or resurrection experiences.

 

Frankly, if Jesus were born to a young woman who was NOT a virgin and who got pregnant out of wedlock, that would also be rather miraculous - perhaps more so than a virgin birth would be; i.e. the notion that our Holy God would stoop to being born into this world as a bastard child to a peasant family in the sticks of a backwater region of the Roman Empire is amazing and salvific indeed!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other site came back up today, my concerns are that we are being led down a side path instead of creating a planet of Peace, someone has a plan for more war.

 

The nativity the reason for the season as another person that loves the truth is born. Now if we can stick to the truth about this person exploring the real and the mythical and setting the record straight about what could or might have been from what hapened because Jesus while he lived he told us to look and where to look and how to look. Jesus told us to share and show we care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took my family to see the film last night. We thought it was a fitting way to end the day. I was very moved by it. I did not take the film as an expression of someones personal take on the story or the product of exhaustive academic research. It's a very simple and beautiful portrayal of the story. It doesn't quibble over virgin-or-not, star-or-not, when did the magi actually arrive, etc. It simply brings life to the basic, traditional story (with a few neat astronomical twists!). My kids were 100% engaged by it and could follow it very well.

 

I know it's hard, as progressives, to just sit and watch something like this...with it's angels and miraculous conceptions and celestial light (that focuses in with the precision of spotlight!), but I would strongly encourage any of you folks to just sit and take in the power of the story and it's symbols. Borg would encourage you to experience it on a metaphorical level.

 

Love it...will buy it on DVD...will watch it every year until I die right along with It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and Christmas Vacation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed, if one can look past the literal, and view it metaphorically, allowing one's self to become lost into the story, it is indeed a wonder-full film. : ) I'd recommend trying to see it while it is still showing in the theatres as the cinematography and scenery are glorious and so it's best seen on a large screen IMO.

 

Oh yeah, the "nit picky" part of me wanted to quibble with the movie having the "3" wise men - complete with names - (the bible never really says how manyof them that there were - and it doesn't tell us what their names were) coming to visit Jesus on the day that He was born - instead of having it be sometime between when He was likely 1-2 years old. ... but, heck, most people place those "3" wise men in their nativity creches underneath their Christmas trees - so why not join the club? lol : )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Indeed, if one can look past the literal, and view it metaphorically, allowing one's self to become lost into the story, it is indeed a wonder-full film. : ) I'd recommend trying to see it while it is still showing in the theatres as the cinematography and scenery are glorious and so it's best seen on a large screen IMO.

 

Oh yeah, the "nit picky" part of me wanted to quibble with the movie having the "3" wise men - complete with names - (the bible never really says how manyof them that there were - and it doesn't tell us what their names were) coming to visit Jesus on the day that He was born - instead of having it be sometime between when He was likely 1-2 years old. ... but, heck, most people place those "3" wise men in their nativity creches underneath their Christmas trees - so why not join the club? lol : )

 

 

:D Chuckling to myself thinking about the Zen state I had to achieve to let the wise men thing go as well! Besides they added a little comic relief.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI Guys:

 

Did they look like Persians/Iranians( whatever that means ) ? Some biblical researchers have speculated for some years now that what is now Iran was the home of the Magi.

 

REALLY good to have you both here again!

 

flow.... :)

 

It went with the tradition. Balthazaar was dark skinned (supposed to be Ethiopian, I guess)...the actor is from Cameroon. Melchior looked Persian (Iranian)...the actor is from Jordan. It seems like Gaspar is supposed to look more Arabic (the actor is from Trinidad).

 

http://www.movieweb.com/movies/film/25/3925/gal2573/25.php

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw it yesterday and loved it. In the CHRISTIAN CENTURY, William Willimon writes about it with appreciation. I can't find a link. I was waiting for the Magnificat all through the film and was glad when it finally came at the end. Sorry to those who haven't seen it yet. But it's not the only reason to see this great film. The acting is good. The cinematography is good. The lack of any particular theological slant is commendable. It really shows how the poor were oppressed in Roman Palestine. It really shows how the plutocrats plot. As does the Bible! After all, the Bible is a very progressive book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TGWB, indeed, in the original Hebrew, the passage in Isaiah which is commonly translated as "a virgin shall give birth" is in fact merely "a maiden shall give birth." When the Hebrew bible was translated into Greek; i.e. in the Septuigent, the word was shifted to "virgin" and it is this work that the authors of Matthew and Luke use in their texts (also in Greek). It's amazing what a simple/innocent word variation can do to theology isn't it!? lol

 

Any way, IMO, whether Jesus was born to a literal virgin or not is a moot point. I guess if I can believe in the Ressurection (which I do), I can allow for the virgin birth. Though, again, IMO, the virgin birth thing is largely based upon the early Christians trying to prop up Jesus and give Him all the full "credentials" and trappings that significant religious figures of ancient times required; e.g. there were several competing deities/hero figures who were said to have had virgin births and/or resurrection experiences.

 

Frankly, if Jesus were born to a young woman who was NOT a virgin and who got pregnant out of wedlock, that would also be rather miraculous - perhaps more so than a virgin birth would be; i.e. the notion that our Holy God would stoop to being born into this world as a bastard child to a peasant family in the sticks of a backwater region of the Roman Empire is amazing and salvific indeed!

 

I believe that the virgin birth is important theologically whether one believes in it literally or metaphorically. The virgin birth means that Jesus is born as the child of God. We are incorporated into the body of Christ and his virgin birth through baptism. In a spiritual sense, we are all the children of a virgin mother since our true selves are not our earthly bodies but our eternal souls. Just as we proclaim that Jesus Christ is one hundred per cent divine and one hundred per cent human, we can also proclaim that we are all born to a mother who is 100 per cent virgin and 100 per cent impregnated by a human father.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yo. BrotherRog. Jesus here. I'm still doing my bit to pass along angelic truths via my channelling partnership with Jen. I'd like to take a stab at your question about the Magnificat. It's important to angelic guides that those who teach the teachers (and those who minister to the ministers) get the deepest possible understanding of spiritual issues. The Magnificat is a great place to begin. Thank you for asking.

 

You suggest in your post that the Magnificat supports liberation theology. It certainly seems to. The question then becomes -- who wrote the the canticle in Luke 1, and what was the author's true intent?

 

When I, Jesus, look at the Magnificat, I see the original thoughts of the ancient author, and I see the veil of poetry and illusion that cloaks those ancient thoughts. I see a passage that claims to say one thing, but which, in fact, says something diametrically opposed to its apparent content. It takes a particular form of not-so-loving genius to misuse words in this way -- to make them seem to say one thing, when in fact they say the opposite. I don't fault you or anyone else who has trouble seeing through the veil of poetry and illusion that infuses the Magnificat. Still, it's time for the veil to be lifted, for the truth to be revealed.

 

First, let me say that my words should not be viewed in any way as lending support to the current economic imbalance in most nations. Angels do not believe in a world economic structure wherein 1% of the world's population hoard the vast majority of the world's wealth. But neither do angels support a system of radical stalinism or communism, wherein all wealth is said to be controlled by the state. It's never controlled by the state in such a political and economic environment -- it's controlled by a small group of narcissistic control freaks. Sorry to be so blunt. Sometimes angels must speak the truth as it is.

 

The Magnificat is dangerous, in the view of God's angels, because this canticle encourages individuals to think of spiritual themes in stark shades of black and white. In the Magnificat, some people are "Worthy" and "Chosen", and others are brought down. Mary herself is "Chosen." So are the hungry. So are the people of Israel. Those on thrones are brought down. The rich are sent away empty. This extreme separation of people into "good" groups and "bad" groups is called splitting by some modern psychotherapists. Splitting is not a healthy, mature, or wise way in which to view one's relationship with God. Splitting leads to prejudice, hatred, violence, and war. Splitting is a psychological defence used by those with unresolved narcissistic issues. To be very frank, the author of the Magnificat was an ancient bully in need of compassionate mental and spiritual healing. He (or possibly she) was looking at the world he lived in through damaged spiritual eyes. He didn't see a world in which all souls were equally deserving of God's love. He saw exclusivity. What's worse is that he believed exclusivity was his spiritual right. In a few short sentences, he scorns those who sit on thrones, then he turns around and places the descendants of Abraham on their own kind of throne. This isn't the teaching of God or God's angels, I'm very sad to say. This is the teaching of someone who wants to be viewed as being more important than others.

 

The real tip-off is verse 50: "His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation." What's with the emphasis on fear? No one who really trusts God the Mother and God the Father could even think of fearing them. We, the angels, only feel love and gratitude towards our beloved divine and holy parents. Human beings (angels-in-human-form) who listen to their own hearts and souls never fear God the Mother and God the Father. Instead, they trust. Narcissistically oriented individuals, however, feal a great deal of fear -- and not just towards God.

 

Last, there's the extremely painful and vicious attack on God the Mother herself. The sacred and divine Holy Mother of All is literally ripped out of Heaven, torn from her divine and eternal husband's side, and recast in the imaginary role of the Virgin Mary. Nowhere in the Magnificat is she mentioned in her true spendour. It's as if the author hopes to make people forget Our Mother exists simply by refusing to mention her.

 

It should go without saying that I, Jesus, was not the Chosen Messiah. I was a man who toiled for many years to uncover the truth of God's love and forgiveness. Then I did my best to teach others. But don't assume you'll lose the mystery and wonder of divine love if you choose to view me in this way. The mystery and wonder will grow only more and more glorious in your own heart as you uncover what this means for you and me -- not just now, but eternally.

 

All my love,

Jesus

December 19, 2006

 

While I strongly disagree with this post in many ways, nevertheless many of the points are important and we need to consider them prayerfully. I love the Magnificat and always will and I do not interpret it in the same way as this post does. There are many verses in the Bible which point to God's truths and miss some of God's truths because of the cultural and intellectual limitations of ancient times. We have our own cultural and intellectual limitations and need to be humble and open as we seek truth. I think the Magnificat advances the cause as it challenges plutocracy with all of its injustice and violence and intolerance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service