Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blue Like Jazz

I'm a thinker.

I think about ...everything.

Okay...maybe once in awhile, I over-think things too.

But really, for the most part, I just like to think.

If I'm meeting with someone, I'll think prior to the get-together about how it may go.  I'll rethink the entire get-together on my way home. I'll think of what I did say...and usually also, what I should have said instead.  (Told you I sometimes over-think!)

Last night I watched a movie that kicked my thinker into high gear.

Blue Like Jazz began as a book, that I was highly encouraged to read almost 8 or 9 years ago.  At that time, unfortunately, I couldn't possibly have began reading a new book, so it was quickly set aside in my brain.  The title, however, stuck with me.

Last night, Mr. D. mentioned that he had heard of a new movie that was out on DVD that "sounded good."  The title?

Yep.  Blue Like Jazz.

I'm not even sure how to explain this movie.  A Christian movie?  eh...sure?  But those who believe this is a Christian film in the standard feel-good-God-is-good format, will be surely disappointed.  More than likely, those same people will be offended by the homosexuality, the language used, the blatant "poking fun" of various religious aspects. It's my guess those people probably attend churches much like those shown in the movie.

They're going to need to lighten up if they want to catch what this movie is really about.

It's a comedy.  It's over the top.  It's extreme.  It shows The Church in an extreme conservative setting.  It shows The World in an extreme liberal setting.  The two contrast each other perfectly.

Let's say instead that this is NOT a Christian movie, but rather, a movie that happens to be made by Christians.  Oh yes, and be sure...definitely NOT a family movie.  It has a PG-13 rating for a reason.  (However, if you were comfortable taking your toddler to see Batman:Dark Knight Rising, I don't imagine you'll pay attention to this movie rating either.)

In my opinion it gives a fantastically honest view of the church's shortcomings.  If you didn't grow up in a conservative church as "Don" did in this movie (or as I did as a youngster), you may very well miss this point and it will probably just seem over the top.  But spot on, Steve Taylor nailed it in his direction.  Trust me.

Today I'm left thinking about it.  Still.  I've come to the realization that I don't do well with denominations and organized religion.  Relax - I didn't say that I was going to leave my church and renounce my faith.  I just don't do well with it.  The fact is, my Christianity is mine.  All mine.  It was my decision to make, and my choice to believe.  There's a lot to be said for "the fellowship of believers" and all that, but what it comes down to is what am I going to do with what I believe?  Will I sit on it and maintain it within the pews of my mini-megachurch on Sunday morning...or will I live it 7 days a week in a real and tangible way to those around me?

One last tidbit, I found this quote when I was researching the movie and book...

“I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn't. It's a chocolate thing.” 

Think about that for a minute.  :)

C.

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