Blade Runner 2049 & Agency

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[major spoilers for the movie Blade Runner 2049 are below]

Folks who love Science Fiction know that the best Sci-Fi gives us glimpses of what makes humanity human through the things they create. One of the best ways to see what we are like, is to see ourselves through the eyes of things we make to resemble or even replace us. Blade Runner 2049 continues where the first Blade Runner movie left off, exploring what it means to be “human” in an increasingly inhumane world.
What I found most fascinating from this sequel was the connection the movie placed on “love” and “agency.” One of the central “love stories” of Blade Runner 2049, was the relationship between Officer K (a replicant who hunts down other human-like and human built replicants) and Joi (a programed projected AI purchased by Officer K). Officer K feels like he has very little agency in his position in life. He must obey his senior officers (or be destroyed), he is ostracized by the rest of the police force, he has no friends, and very little perceived freedom. At first glance, it appears that he has one real a real loving relationship with Joi. It is clear he cares for her. But how could you not feel love for something that is programed to meet and grant your every desire? Here’s the thing, Officer K and Joi did not have a true 2 way relationship. And it’s not love if there is no agency.

In our culture, I’m often struck with how often we mislabel love. How often I mislabel it.  We imagine love to be a “feeling” we get. But it’s not, it’s an action. When someone has done something loving for us we say, “I feel loved.” We are saying that we believe that love has been acted upon us.

But often I think we also forget that we cannot receive love from something that can’t choose whether or not to give it. We might love our car, or our phones, or all our shoes. We might actually show love for those things by the way we care for them. But they can’t love us back (even if they were programed to). They can’t love if they don’t have the choice not to love. This is why there is an ethical dilemma with saying that a kidnapped victim “fell in love” with their kidnapper. Is it love if you are unable to choose another option? Maybe in Blade Runner 2049, Joi at some point transcended her programming and actively chose to love Officer K. But I doubt it, because all of Joi’s actions in the film always sought to give Officer K exactly what he wanted. And without agency, there is no love.

Officer K’s relationship with Joi can be contrasted with Rick Deckard’s relationship with his child. Deckard made the choice to never even meet his child, because the child was such a highly desired commodity. If Deckard was found by people in power what he knew would seriously endanger his kid. It could be argued that in choosing to remain completely isolated from his child, Deckard exhibited more love than Joi ever could even though Joi did all sorts of stuff for Officer K…. again, agency.

In the Christian faith, we claim to be free because of Jesus Christ (Gal. 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”). Roger Olson in his article “The Bonds of Freedom” in christianitytoday.com writes:

Because of what Christ has done for [us] and because of [our] faith in Christ, Christians are absolutely free from the bondage of the law. [We] don’t have to do anything. On the other hand, out of gratitude for what Christ has done for [us] and in [us], the Christian is bound in service to God and other people. [We] get to serve freely and joyfully.

It’s a crazy idea. To love others; to serve and care for people even when it doesn’t make sense or the people we are caring for clearly don’t deserve it or want it. Followers of Christ are “freed up” to love this way because we recognize that we’ve been loved in the same way when we didn’t deserve it or want it either. And that we have been loved in a way (through the cross) that didn’t make much sense.

The love relationship between Officer K and Joi may not have been “real.” And yet at the end of the movie, we see Officer K able to finally show true “real” love by saving Deckard and doing his part to help free Deckard’s child from the same sort of prison Officer K felt for most of his life. Officer K gets to love actively. He gets to choose to serve. And in doing so he gets to love for real, maybe for the first time ever. What a very human action from a robot. We could all learn something from it.

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Christian Evangelism and the Movie Moana

Major Spoilers of the Movie Moana follow…

Moana

In the movie Moana, the daughter of the chief of a Polynesian tribe, Moana, is called to go on a quest to find Maui, a legendary demigod, and with his help return Te Fiti’s heart and save her people. It is a challenging task, since between her and Te Fiti lies Te Ka, a giant angry lava monster. The big twist ending of the movie is that Te Fiti is actually Te Ka. It actually makes a lot of sense… the giant angry lava monster simply lacks its heart.

At the climax of the film, in an incredibly moving moment, Moana realizes that Te Ka is not actually the enemy, all the dramatic action stops, and Moana bravely walks up to Te Fiti/ Te Ka and sings, “I have crossed the horizon to find you. I know your name. They have stolen the heart from inside you, but this does not define you. This is not who you are. You know who you are.” Moana returns the heart, Te Ka turns back into a nice goddess lady, and Moana’s people are spared. It is a beautiful moment that I believe can also serve as a powerful reminder to Christians about what evangelism should look like.

Over the history of the Christian church, there have been some good and some not so good analogies of what Christian evangelism is like. I believe, one not so good one has been the “conquering victor” analogy. This analogy describes evangelism as one part battle and one part sporting event. A Christian’s job is to WIN souls in a way that kind of sounds like they are getting points on God’s giant score board in heaven. And the Church needs to TAKE areas for Christ like the military needs to control geographically significant places in war.

Unfortunately, the “conquering victor” evangelism analogy breaks down in one rather significant way. Evangelism is not a sporting event or battle. There is no for sure way to win. There is nothing a Christ follower or church can say or do that will guarantee someone to “come to know the Lord.” Ultimately, that decision and relationship is personal, up to an individual and God. And historically, well-meaning individuals and churches who prescribe to this way of thinking about evangelism, have often been guilty of saying or doing increasingly ridiculous and even un-Christ-like things to try to WIN the day or TAKE the next hill…

A second rather poor analogy for evangelism in my book is the belief that evangelism is a fight against the devil. It is a belief that a Christian must help God bring souls back from brink of hell. Many who ascribe to this analogy seem to eventually forget that evangelism is about sharing “good news.” They often spend most of their time sharing “bad news” instead of the gospel (telling people that they are in the grip of the forces of evil and how terribly corrupt, bad, and yucky they are).

This leads to a third analogy of evangelism. Usually people in this group have seen one of the first two examples of evangelism in action in the church, had a bad experience with it, and have responded by claiming that instead they follow the “Francis of Assisi” model. Francis of Assisi is often attributed with the saying, “Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words.” In my experience, often people scared away from other forms of evangelism, come to believe that evangelism only has to be about showing people God’s love. The problem with this perspective is that it does not require anyone to ever mention God, and often it simply shows others that the nice person being nice is nice.

In the movie Moana, if Moana had not listened for her call, if she had just obeyed her dad, stayed on her Island, helped her people… she could have followed the “Francis of Assisi” model (and Te Ka’s heart would not have been returned). If Moana had followed the “conquering victor” strategy of evangelism she could have fought Te Ka, the angry lava monster and maybe even killed it, only to then realize that is was Te Ka whom she was supposed to return the heart to. And if Moana had used the “fight the devil” approach, she could have stepped up to Te Ka/ Te Fiti and sang something like, “I have crossed the horizon to find you. I know your name. You are jerk and a monster who tries to melt people. That is who you are. You know who you are,” and then Moana probably would have been lava-ed to death.

But there is another type of Evangelism analogy, “the gift” analogy. Paul writes about it in 2 Corinthians 2: 14-17:

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

In many ways Paul is arguing that Christians are called to be department store perfumers. You know, those people who stand in the perfume section of the department store with a bottle of perfume and ask if people want a sample waft. Only the perfume Christians offer is not in a bottle, it is Jesus. Christians don’t have to tell people that they smell bad, only that they might smell even better with Jesus. We don’t “win” if someone buys the bottle of Jesus for themselves, it is the aroma of the perfume (God himself) that sells the gospel.

I think that this is the reminder of what evangelism might look like in Moana. Moana reminds Te Ka who she could be if she had her heart back. And Moana offers Te Ka, the heart as a gift. That is what I believe the best sort of evangelism looks like. Just offer the gift. Some people are going to take it, some are not. But isn’t a Christian’s job simply to continue to offer it?

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“Dark Matter” & “Black Lives Matter”

Dark Matter - Season 1

DARK MATTER — Season:1 — Pictured: (l-r) Zoie Palmer as The Adroid, Alex Mallari Jr. as Four, Anthony Lemke as Three, Melissa O’Neil as Two, Mark Bendavid as One, Jodelle Ferland as Five, Roger Cross as Six — (Photo by: Dennys/Ilic/Syfy)

This last month I was able to watch season 1 of the SyFy channel show “Dark Matter” on Netflix (major spoiler follows). The show follows a crew of 6 “Firefly-like” space-frontier troublemakers who were awoken from suspended animation with their memories mysteriously wiped clean. After the first few episodes feature some pretty overused science fiction tropes (even space zombies), the show gets into a pretty good groove. “Dark Matter” really wrestles with the importance of memory. Is it our memory that makes us who we are? If we forgot our pasts, could we really become different or better people? Should you still be passionate about people or things you no longer remember… but know you were once passionate about?

If I have one qualm about the first season it would be the season’s grand reveal. As the episodes progress, it becomes increasingly clear that someone is sabotaging the ship as a traitor. And the traitor ends of being… the one black guy on the crew. For a show whose name shares some close similarities to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, the reveal made me cringe a little.

I do believe that Black Lives Matter. But the movement concerns me because of one statistic. I usually don’t take much stock in statistics. As a sociology undergraduate, I remember too many teachers showing how statistics can be stretched and squeezed to prove just about anything. For example, the Washington Post reports that 990 people were killed by police in 2015. 494 were white. 258 were black.

  • Someone could use this statistic to argue that many more white Americans were killed by police than black in 2015. It’s true.
  • However, if you take the same numbers and adjust for overall population proportions (since there are many more white Americans in the U.S. than black), you could make the argument that black Americans were much more likely to be killed by police than white in 2015. Also true.
  • But, it you take the same numbers and compare it to violent crime rates (much higher among black Americans), one could make an argument that more whites were killed in police responses to violent crime than blacks. Maybe true?
  • Finally, you could connect all of this data to the poverty rate (which is unfortunately also much higher for black American households). And since there seems to be a link between poverty and crime, maybe the very challenging multi-layered problem of poverty needs to be factored into this whole debate. Possibly also true…

Statistics are tricky. But I don’t want to make any sweeping judgements using the numbers. I just wanted to focus on the number 258. 258 black Americans killed. It’s tragic. And the number scares me a little. Because this year, no matter what police do, steps they take, or training they receive, the number killed will still be too high. The white number is also too high. Any number is too high, maybe necessary, but still too high. And every year, some of the deaths caused by police will not be clear cut (maybe because of negligence, prejudice, a bad apple, or just unclear circumstances). And every year, “Black Lives Matter,” could use those numbers as ammunition to increase tension between police and citizens…. forever… That worries me.

Over the last year, I have heard over and over again that what is needed is for us all to understand “white privilege.”  But I’m not so sure. As a white person, I don’t know if I need to spend more time understanding how privileged I am. I experience it every day. Maybe the last thing I need to do is spend more time focusing on myself. I think my time might be better spent listening to and learning to empathize with others. I believe empathy is an incredible gift given to us by God. And I believe it is a gift that all of us could get better at using.

Usually, when I watch a TV show, as I learn more about each of the characters, I find myself picking favorites. But I didn’t do that much while watching the first season of “Dark Matter.” Since none of the characters could remember their pasts, it was hard to grab a hold of something  that would lead me to dislike any of them. I found myself blaming their bad character traits on the confusion or challenge of their situations. I found myself quicker to forgive a character’s missteps (since they were still learning how to “be”), and it was easy to forgive their past actions (since they couldn’t remember them anyway). It makes me wonder… if we all got better at letting go of the burdens of our past experiences, all those judgements and prejudices we’ve experienced or “learned” about one another, would we all get a little better at showing empathy? Is this something we could even do if  we tried hard enough?

I don’t have any experience at being anxious when a cop approaches my car and I haven’t done anything wrong. That is probably because of my white privilege.

But I also don’t have any experience as a cop, being anxious while approaching a potentially dangerous car. That is because of my… I guess “blue privilege” (living in a country where police officers deal with dangerous situations so I don’t have to).

But I CAN imagine what BOTH of those situations MIGHT be like. And that is the beauty of empathy. And empathy is something I think we could all do with a little more of.

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“Piper” and General Assemblies

Last week I got a chance to see “Finding Dory” with the family. I enjoyed the movie, but in my opinion it was outclassed by the Pixar short that preceded it. “Piper,” directed by Alan Barillaro, tells the story of a baby sandpiper bird on his first day hunting food for himself next to the ocean. The realistic animation was simply breathtaking. But even more than that, I found the story very compelling.

“Piper” tells about a flock of sandpiper birds moving together to avoid incoming waves while finding some breakfast where the tide and sand meet. The baby sandpiper bird can’t get the rhythm right, is deluged by water, and for a while decides to give up on the water thing altogether. But eventually hunger wins out and with the help of a young hermit crab the baby learns a unique way to deal with the incoming waves.

I am sure “Piper” struck me the way it did because I watched it in Portland, while participating as an observer in my denomination’s General Assembly. For much of my childhood as a military brat, Portland was home base. No matter where we were living, Portland was the home away from home where we went to visit family.  Watching the sandpiper mom show her baby how to do “water,” hit close to home on a week I was busy showing my own kids special places from my childhood; like Multnomah Falls, the zoo, and the downtown fountains my Grandfather used to take me to play.

But the connections didn’t end there. As someone who tends to be a moderate evangelical in a fairly progressive denomination, I am often asked how I survive. In fact, when I told people that I was going to General Assembly, I was surprised by the number of raised eyebrows I got. I guess another reason I liked “Piper” so much was because I felt like it told some of my own story. In the short, the baby sandpiper bird learned that if it dug in like a hermit crab when the waves came and then opened its eyes, it not only could be protected from the waves but could see more clearly where breakfast was.

Often times, at the macro level, I feel like my denomination looks a little like a flock of sandpiper birds, running back and forth, following where ever the next “progressive” wave takes them. Right now, many evangelicals are giving up on the denomination because they feel like they have gotten hit by one too many wave while refusing to move with everyone else. Those evangelicals sputter and complain…. But I find myself wishing that more of them would be willing to just open their eyes to see the good that is still happening (Christ-centered mission and evangelism). It is still there, it is just often under the surface of the loud and more noticeable waves.

How does a moderate evangelical pastor get fed in a more progressive denomination? This one gets nourished by seeing those places where God is still at work through his faithful followers (and finding more and more that often God is even at work in spite of us all).

PIPER

PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

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The Avengers Franchise & the Christian Worldview

Growing up, my comic of choice was the Avengers. I loved the Avengers. I especially liked the West Coast Avengers. Something about these flawed heroes and their desire to team up, put their differences aside, in order to protect the world against great threats, truly spoke to me as a kid.

Based on this admission, it is probably clear that I am not anywhere impartial when it comes to Marvel Avenger movies. I watch the movies like a giddy child. The movies could be incredibly flawed and I would not care. I would watch them with a giant smile on my face.

For me, one of the most interesting things about the Avengers movies is that it seems like the main thematic message of each movie can be boiled down to one scene… one interaction between two individuals. In Avengers 1, it was the scene between Tony Stark and Loki. In that scene Tony, speaking for the entire team, comes to the precipice of understanding  who “the Avengers” are and what they will ultimately stand for. In Avengers 2, the heart of the movie can be seen in the conversation between Ultron and Vision and their discussion of humanity.

Back to my initial point. In reading blogs and postings it seems many have argued that Avengers 1 is a much better film than Avengers 2. Avengers 2 is kind of clunky, has some odd rabbit holes in it, clearly has more story to tell than the amount of time to tell it. But for me, as someone with a Christian worldview, Avengers 2 was by far the superior of the two films- because I not only got to watch “my Avengers” but could relate to the main theme much better.

The major theme of Avengers 1 seemed off to me. It really comes to that scene between Loki and Tony. Loki is terrorizing world. I think his motivation could best be described as  revenge. Loki wants revenge because of  his dad, his upbringing, his “brother,” being left out of the will, his prior defeat… Because Thor likes Earth, Loki is going to take it and rule it. But in the scene between Tony and Loki, Tony explains that although Loki may win the battle currently raging, although Loki may conquer the world, he’s in trouble anyway- because the Avengers will get him someday. In other words, the Avengers exist to Avenge (a word strikingly similar to revenge). I loved the movie Avengers 1 but had a real hard time reconciling this theme. What made the motivations of the Avengers any different from Loki (other than the Avengers were on “our” side)?  Apparently “we” were against Loki because of his vengeful attitudes, but don’t worry… we were also willing to stoop to his level if we had to? Is that the message?

Avengers 2 is a whole different ball of wax thematically. In an amazing scene between Vision and Ultron, both “robots” agree that humanity is flawed and headed for ruin. But unlike Ultron (the more human of the 2), Vision (the more robotic) see’s beauty in them anyway. Now here’s a theme I “get.” In Avengers 2 you see the clearly ridiculous motivations of some of our heroes. The biggest ridiculous move, Tony Stark builds a robot who in the end tries to bring the annihilation (or near annihilation) of all humanity. You could call building this robot a small failure on Tony’s part. So what is his solution… lets build a second one and see how that one turns out! Tony Stark’s head is stuck in the sand. Life circumstances have shaped a warped worldview for him and he is stuck in it. We get that same sort of “stuck” flawed feel from many of the Avengers. The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver serve as the foil in this movie to allow us a small glimpse into how some might view these flawed “heroes” from the outside. And yet, as the Avengers come together and put their differences aside, trying to save civilians during the movie, we also get this taste of the beauty of humanity as well.

As a Christian who shares a worldview that acknowledges both the reality and insidious nature of sin, but also a belief that humanity was created in the image of God, it was fun to watch a movie that played with some very rich theological themes (while also seeing “my” Hulk smash, Hawkeye seem out of place, Captain America shout orders, etc…). It only takes a minute of catching up on the news to see both the beauty and sin of the world. Avengers 2 does a good job wrestling with the nature of being a flawed hero in a flawed world. To see what happens when “well meaning” worldviews collide. There were some good things to think about in Avengers 2  that made any of the flaws of the film seem pretty insignificant in comparison.

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Planet of the Apes and the Danger of “Issues”

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Yesterday, I went and saw “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” I thought the movie was put together really well. The film starts by looking at what life was like for a group of apes who had been genetically modified to be more human-like and had escaped from San Francisco. The apes had created a society for themselves in the forest and after 10 years of hard work they had carved out a good life. After watching their lives (raising families, hunting, and building), you couldn’t not root for them. When the humans finally come into the picture and you see the suffering they had experienced while surviving a potentially civilization ending plague, you can’t help but root for them as well. The humans and apes end up on opposite sides of a dispute (as we all knew they would) and it was interesting to watch a movie where you were left rooting for “people” (including some apes) rather than taking a side in the conflict.

I am part of the PCUSA denomination and we have just recently had one of our big nationwide conferences. One of the big debates at the assembly was whether our denomination should divest in several companies that makes equipment that Israel uses with their military. This debate has tuned my attention more on the issues between Israel and Palestine… and there has been a lot to tune into this last week.

In the back of my head, I’ve been thinking back to a conversation I had with other PCUSA pastors about our assembly. One major point we discussed was that maybe it was good that at least the PCUSA was taking sides on issues (even if you didn’t always agree with which side was chosen). The Christian Church has sometimes been criticized for staying on the fence on important issues rather than taking a stand when necessary. The issue of slavery in the U.S. is one example. Isn’t taking a side better than sitting on the fence? For some reason, I left that conversation uneasy. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way.

On the way to “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” I was listening to radio coverage of the conflict in Israel and Palestine. A woman in Palestine went to work (in between blackouts and explosions) because she needed the money, only to find the building she worked at left as rubble. I listened to an Israeli man who feels an invasion of the Gaza Strip is necessary because the warning sirens of missiles from Palestine come all the time now. Only an invasion will “quiet” things down for at least a couple years. I could not get these real stories out of my head as I watched monkeys and humans fight for no reason on the big screen.

I admit to not being an expert on the conflict in Israel (or anywhere else for that matter). So maybe what I am about to write sounds “idealistic” or too simple. But I do know some things about Scripture. And “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” reminded me of a simple principle I hear when I read Scripture. As Christians aren’t we called to root for people rather than issues? I realize now that the problem I had with that discussion a few months back was not whether of not Christians should take a stand… we should! But rather, I believe it is rarely wise to take a stand on one side of most issues. We should be much more often taking stands with people.

For some reason (and maybe its all the movies we watch), I think many of us mistakenly believe that there are always “good guys” and “bad guys.” There is always a right side and a wrong side. Maybe this is true sometimes. But as I get older, I find myself seeing more and more issues as being complicated. For example, conflicts between individuals and people groups are usually built upon years and years of prejudice and revenge based on revenge based on revenge. There are rarely good guys and bad guys. There are just people, who are sometimes saints and sometimes sinners, often thrust into difficult circumstances not of their own making.

I’m not sure if the PCUSA should be spending so much time considering what side of every current issue they should come down on. Because maybe the decision is often easier than we think. Maybe the church should usually just come down on the side of people. Maybe whether the PCUSA has some investments with Caterpillar, who has some products that make it to Israel is the wrong concern. Maybe we should have been spending much more of our time not thinking about divestment but investment. Instead of worrying about what “side” of this issue we are on, we should be thinking about the people on both sides. It wouldn’t be hard to find PEOPLE in Israel and Palestine. People who are helping people. People who are promoting peace. And then find more ways to invest in them. Isn’t that what we do with missionaries?

Maybe my denomination is already doing this sort of investment in Israel/Palestine… and if we are that’s great! I need to find a way to do this more myself!! However, even if we are “investing” well as a denomination, it seems like our current action of divestment- taking a “side” in this conflict, has hurt the “people work” we’ve done. If “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is prophetic at all, it seems like it is possible to come to a point when taking “one side” may force you to only be on one side… unable to do any more Kingdom building work.

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No Longer “Frozen”

I will always remember the movie “How to Train a Dragon.” My son was 3ish and although I brought him to a couple other movies, this was the first one where he “got” it. Those of you with young kids may best understand what I am talking about here. Maybe you remember that first moment when your child stopped just enjoying eating popcorn and watching the silly images and songs, but actually “got” a movie… understood the plot, followed along, got excited.

The same thing happened recently with my daughter (now 3 1/2) and the movie “Frozen.” My daughter sat on the edge of her seat, utterly engrossed, whispering question after question to me. She “got” the movie in a way she never had before. It made the movie many more times enjoyable for me, being able to watch her enjoy it so much.

And I couldn’t help but be so thrilled at which movie my daughter first “got.” Because in “Frozen” you see how Disney is continuing to thaw out in it’s understanding of love. Over recent years, Disney has been moving steadily away from it’s original romantic stereotypes of love expressed in cartoon features. Like all successful Disney movies, “love” is still the most important ingredient to the story- love is what holds the movie together and connects us to that “something bigger” we all know is inherently most important in life. Yet, Disney continues to push away from needing that love to be displayed primarily through a boy/girl relationship, in which the boy at some point proves his love with a heroic deed. Although these thematic conventions still exist in movies like “Tarzan,” “Mulan,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and “Tangled,” there is a definitely an eroding of that theme. In “The Princess and the Frog” and “Tangled,” the female characters are much stronger and the men aren’t “princes” (they are in need of a lot of redemption). The real love stories in “Tarzan” and “Mulan” are about family (the romantic story lines are sidelined).

Enter the movie “Frozen”… where the conventions of love are stretched further than ever. In the story you have 2 well meaning parents ostracize their 2 daughters and make one afraid to “feel” anything. Then the story seems to follow a predictable “romantic love” line: Anna gets hurt and needs to meet up with her prince. But in an incredible twist it turns out that her prince is actually our villain. Then out of nowhere an incredible message of love is given to us. While this theme is present in other Disney movies it has never been so blatantly shared and utterly removed from “romantic love.” We learn that an act of true love isn’t necessarily what is done for you- it’s about what you do for another. True love is a selfless act that YOU do for ANOTHER (and possibly to someone you don’t even like).

Love is a selfless act for another- What an incredible message! We live in a selfish culture. We imagine love as that thing that comes when a person sweeps US off OUR feet. We wait for someone else to prove their love to us. We break up with that boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn’t treat US special. In “Frozen,” Anna sacrifices herself for a sister who has (a) ignored her for years, (b) fought with her in front of everyone at a party and told her to leave the kingdom, and (c) froze her heart while unthinkingly having her own pitty party (Ilse does not get a big sister award of the year in this movie). But with the potential of salvation on the horizon and given a tough choice, Anna doesn’t choose love… she chooses TO love her messed up sister.

1 Corinthians 13.4-8b: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 

I am so glad that “Frozen”  was the first movie my daughter “got.” I hope she also “gets” the notion of love expressed in “Frozen” as well.

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