Daily Archives: November 19, 2006

What if?…

Have you ever stopped to consider what life would be like if some major turning points in world history had ended differently. What if the Germans were the first to have the atomic bomb? What if the Russians had been the first to develop personal computers and software? What if Pompey had defeated Caesar? What if the Crusades ended with Muslims controlling most of
Europe? What if Moses never received the Ten Commandments from God?
What if the South had won the Civil War? That last question was explored by a mockumentary produced by Spike Lee. Called The Confederate States of America, the movie looks at what could have been if the rebels had won. Here is the timeline for what might have been – http://www.csathemovie.com/timeline/index.html

Some aspects of the movie are great. And it certainly makes you think, and that is probably the producer’s whole point. Other aspects I think are a bit exaggerated. The movie appeals to many stereotypes that I as a southerner find offensive. While condemning racism, the movie itself is racist. I have thick skin so this doesn’t bother me much.

In some ways, I am not sure what to think of the film because it paints Christianity as pro slavery. Although it is true that people have used Scripture to support slavery through the years, I believe these people have missed the point.

God desires freedom for all people that is why Jesus came and died for the whole world. Of utmost importance is spiritual freedom from sin and death. I believe God intends both spiritual and physical freedom for all people. Comments made by the apostle Paul or stories about Israelites owning slaves must be interpreted in context.

Paul encouraged humanity among masters and slaves. The book of Philemon shows how Paul tried to temper the brutality of slavery without outright opposing it. Slavery was so common during those days that a pure abolitionist message would not have been received. And even though it was important, ending slavery in the physical world was of secondary importance compared to calling people from spiritual slavery to sin and death.

You must always remember that Paul’s goal was first spiritual not physical. Throughout history God has not taken people from pagan practices and complete depravity to holy justice in one big leap. We as human beings can’t deal with such dramatic change. No, God meets us where we are. Then he calls us to change one step at a time. In the Bible, we see a loving, patient God trying to get His children to the best life possible. Taking any one Scripture out of context can help you develop some pretty weird theology.

This Spike Lee joint certainly made me think. It also made me a little upset to see how our past sins keep giving Jesus a black eye.