Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Strangers

First off, let me say this. If you want to have the poo scared out of you for almost an hour and a half, go see the movie The Strangers. After leaving the theater on Friday night I was literally shaken to the core and I was still looking over my shoulder for boogers Saturday afternoon (that's right, in broad daylight) as I took the trash out. If you don't know, this movie is about a young couple who are terrorized by a group of strangers in their home. The psychological torture that the couple goes through must have made their eventual (SPOILER ALERT) death a welcomed relief.
I have thought about writing something about this movie since I saw it because it had such a profound effect on me. I started out thinking that I would write about how scary it is that people who really take lives in such a way are real and how frightening that is. As I looked deeper into the "true events" that this movie was based on it turns out that there is really a big amount of artistic freedom taken and it is more fiction than fact. Several other ideas crossed my mind but the more I thought about it, the more I have decided that I, and we as Christians, have a great deal in common with the poor couple who was terrorized in this film.
As each day of my life goes by the simpler my list of wants becomes. As of today, all I really want is to serve God, have a Christian family and friends who works to serve the Lord, be part of an active and New Testament church, and to see the youth I am so honored to work with at church grow to adults without being snared by the world. That's it.
There is a stranger at my door though. It is one that I have known in the past and one that I know wants me back because I was darn good at doing what pleased him. Just like the characters in the movie, this stranger wears many masks and although I know the forms I have seen him in I am not naive enough to think that he does not have more masks. This stranger is satan and he is very real. I know what he wants, he wants to take my life. Not my physical life though, my spiritual life as he knows that I have died to my self. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan is walking around like a lion, waiting for us to slip, doubt, or just give in so that he can devour us. While he uses many ploys and lusts to draw people from Christ, there is one mask that he wears that is most frightening of all; the mask of the Lion.
As our studies show us, we know that Christ was descended from the tribe of Judah. The symbol of the tribe of Judah was that of a lion. Many today like to look at and teach a Christ as the sacrificial lamb that replaced the passover lamb. Christ is this, and this is a fantastic representation of His love. But, what has happened to teaching the Christ who described himself in Matthew 10 as One who is carrying a sword and who will cut off those who do not obey Him and deny themselves? I fear that many have allowed satan to take that mask and not use it, but hide it.
When I talk to many young Christians today they speak of a Christianity that I do not recognize. Sadly, these are the ones who seem to represent the Strangers in my life. Christ demands that we obey Him and we do not have liberty to deviate from the outright obedience in the name of unity, diversity, or even love. Yet, when I am around people who I think are New Testament Christians today I often find myself having my walls shaken, by door knocked on, and being told that although the scripture teaches certain issues, Christ is full of love and he will understand if you mess that little part up. I fully believe this is the work of satan. Satan wants us to feel comfortable in doing what is not fully obedient. Yet, there are those who are under constant attack by satan as he knows what we aim to accomplish in the name of the Lord.
In the movie we are discussing, I know that all the victims of the crime wanted was daybreak and I think the director knew this too as he made it a point to show the viewer when the sun was up. Through the movie you think that if they can just make it to daybreak they will be fine. They did make it through the torture to see the sun one last time but just because the sun had risen that did not make the killers stop their plan. It is the same with us. We serve a risen Son but just because this Son has risen it does not mean that satan has stopped. That to me is the scariest part about this life; that our enemy is one who already knows he has lost the battle but he wants to bring as many of us with him as he can to Hell. I fear that many are being led that way by false teaching or by such a desire for relief from the torture they are already in that they will reach for anything they can get. What am I going to do about it? What are you going to do about it? We must stop letting Christ and his teaching be the stranger and make satan the stranger that he is already damned to be.

1 comment:

preacherman said...

Great post.
I enjoy your blog so much.
Keep up the great work.