Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Unsettling Movie

Last night while I was up writing, I watched a movie on Netflix called Nothing But The Truth.  It was unsettling.  The plot has many ramifications, but taking the basic plot out of context, the basics are these:  all choices we make have consequences.  We may think we know what those consequences will be, but often we don't.  We may justify that we are doing the "right" thing because it is based on what we want--not taking others into consideration.  

Some people might disagree with me on that interpretation, but I know I'm seeing this movie in light of the circumstances of someone I care about.  

(Please note I do give away some of the plot.)  At the beginning of the movie, a reporter chooses to disclose the identity of someone who's identity needs to remain a secret.  Because of the reporter's decision, the woman loses her job, family, and ultimately her life.  Because of the reporter's decision first to pursue the article and then not to disclose her source, she loses her freedom for several years, custody of her son, and her marriage.  One could say the consequences were because of her choice not to disclose the article, but really they are because of her choice to pursue the matter in the first place.  When you see where she initially gets the information, it will make your stomach cringe.  She knew she was putting people at risk when she chose to pursue the article.  Yet, she chose to pursue it--in the name of journalism.  Sometimes I know there is value in this.  In this story, I did not see that value.  I saw heartache and twisted self righteousness-- a "right" to the truth.  This reminds me of something I've heard people say before "It's my life.  I have a "right" to do this.  It affects no one but me and there's no harm in it."

Sometimes we do things that we don't believe will affect people but they do.  It is inevitable that our choices will have consequences for people indirectly.  This is undeniable.  "Not unto ourselves alone are we born." is the motto of Willamette University.  I find this to be a true statement, regardless of what one believes about God.  We kid ourselves if we think that our actions won't affect others.  

The terrible tragedy is that as with this movie's story the consequences are far more horrific than one can initially foresee.  Morally, there was a problem with the source this woman used.  That is the first clue, I think, that tragic consequences would ensue.  

That is how Satan decieves.  In Genesis, Satan first deceives Eve by simply twisting what God says that it might sound almost the same--but not quite.  And then he turns that twist into a lie.

Genesis 3:1-3 NIV
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

We have to guard our hearts.  Such lies are deceptively appealing.  They look right.  They sound right.  But, they aren't.

I am reading Depression: A Stubborn Darkness by Ed Welch* right now.  Today I read this quote: 
"First, sin might feel natural but we were originally created to live without it.  True humanness-blessed humanness-is sinless humanness.  Of course, on this side of heaven perfection is impossible, but as we battle with sin we get tastes of how we were intended to live." Ed Welch, Depression: A Stubborn Darkness (p. 76)

That quote might sound disconnected, but we are to be wise as serpents--deception comes in many forms and we need to be careful about the decisions we make--they can lead down many paths we would not want to take if we knew what lay at the end of them.  

*(If you're wondering if this book is a good one--yes, it is, but I will say more about it when I finish it.)

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