Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cleansing Blood

Last night, The Professor and I watched the movie, There Will be Blood. It focused on the bestial life of fictional oilman Daniel Plainview who lived in Texas during the early 20th century. I am neither recommending the movie, nor am I advising it not be watched. Movie reviewing is not my forte. But there were some scenes that saddened, sickened, and shocked me to the point that I just need to “talk” about the flick. Not so much the scenes, but the truth that pressed against my heart as I watched.

To say that there were just a few characters that made some bad choices would be a gross understatement. But, there were two characters whose choices graphically depicted the depravity of man. Those characters were Plainview, who was driven by greed, hatred, and emptiness; and a preacher named Eli, a false prophet/healer who built his ministry on legalism, lies, and fear.

The movie’s first scenes showed Plainview mining for silver. While Plainview’s ruthlessness was established early, so was his humanity. He adopted a baby boy whose father was killed while working in one of Plainview’s mines. He showed concern toward his workers. His loneliness was also evident. And though the writers never delved deeply into his past, he was obviously a broken man…a broken man whose heart could not be filled by the same money that filled his pockets. A broken man who could not prevent accidents from happening, men from dying, or his son from being injured.

Plainview was a broken man and he knew it. But he didn’t know how to fix himself. Worse yet, for a long time, he didn’t know that he could not fix himself. The last scene in the movie showed him as drunken, angry, deranged, and shattered soul.

Throughout the movie, there were plenty opportunities for the preacher, Eli, to have walked beside Plainview and share with him the beautiful news of the One who was sent to heal the broken hearted. He didn’t. I don't think he knew it himself. Instead, he tried to make a name for himself off of Plainview’s success. Eli wanted money, fame, and more members to fill the pews in his church. In fact, one of the scenes I found most disturbing was when Plainview was coerced into being baptized as part of a land deal.

While Plainview and Eli are fictional characters, there are so many real men and women like them. So many hurting. So many being deceived. So many deceiving. So many who know no hope. And, so many withholding hope or offering false hope. That’s why I told The Professor that this had to have been one of the most heart-breaking movies I have ever seen. It reminded me that life without Christ is void. It has no meaning. Without Christ, victory is an illusion and failure wrecks a soul.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-8 (NIV)


Gretchen said...

Don't know if I will see this one. But I love your take on it. So, so true. On a related topic, my son (12) had a meeting with our teaching/preaching pastor who agreed to meet with him because David was freaked out by God's wrath and by the end days. He knows his Bible and history well, but with a 12 (and sometimes 5) year old's heart. The meeting was awesome, and just a piece of it re: God's wrath/OT/and judgment was that this pastor noted the total and utter depravity of the times in the OT. We n.e.e.d.e.d. a savior because we could not imagine--and he did not list--all of the nasty, horrid things these folks did. Folks who had turned away and lived without God. It's not surprising that God was mad and obliterated much of his population, not only with the flood but in allowing the Israelites the power to go in and do so themselves in expanding their territory.

It sounds like this movie was a good reminder of how bad things can get. Just as we can't fathom the immense glory of heaven, I don't think we can truly wrap ourselves around that type of humanity on earth either.

Anonymous said...
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Christy said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. It was nice to meet you and I will be back to visit!

Kimberly said...

Movies that so accurately portray the depravity of the human soul without Christ grieve me so deeply. I remember watching a movie with my husband, the name of the movie escaping me at this moment, but after watching it all I could do was sob. It was a movie about the lengths men and women would go to to get money, to get their own way. To some it may have been entertainment, but to me, it was too sadly accurate.

I have seen There Will Be Blood, too. It is so sad to think that there indeed are people out there like Plainview and Eli. This was a great post. Makes me want to stop and pray for mercy...for our nation, for all in this world who do not know the how the Savior longs to welcome them into His arms.

And thank you so much for your encouraging comment. That was just what I needed. :)


Tales From the Eurovan said...

There Will Be Blood is a movie I want to see but haven't yet. I didn't want to read too much about the plot and stuff! I will be back to read this once I've seen the movie...unless, does the post give away too much? Take care, Julie

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing such an intimate and heartwrenching experience. I am not sure I ever wnt to see this, but your description was fulfilling enough.

God bless-

Muthering Heights said...

I have to agree...I wasn't a big fan of this movie for many of the same reasons!

june said...

Your take on the movie was sobering
I don't think I will be seeing this

I wrote a post today on Patients.

I am new to this let me know what
you think.

June (littledune)

Genny said...

I hadn't heard of this movie. Don't think I'll see it. You make some great points, as always!

Hope all is well! Have a great weekend,


Miranda said...

So true. Sometimes we don't realize what God has spared us from until we look into those dark places and see what others go through without Him.

White Hot Magik said...

I haven't seen this movie yet. I still may, I always like a movie that makes me think. While we may not agree with what goes on, unfortunately those are the kind of things that do happen in our world. Like you said it is a reminder of what life would be like without Christ.

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