Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Colourful Dreamer on film "As it is in Heaven"

Colourful Dreamer writes: I went to see "As it is in Heaven" on Monday afternoon. It is a wonderful "foreign film" made in Sweden. It has some really interesting themes around the power of love.It is about a famous conductor who for health reasons retires and returns to the village he grew up in till be was 9. No-one knows he was from there.He wanted to remain a recluse, but is persuaded to help with the local church choir. In the process he learns about love, and his choir learn to love through music, with life changing consequences.As I watched it I was reminded of the early theologians I read for my Masters course last semester. God as Love was one of the dominant images fro Athanasius, Augustine and Julian. In fact Julian said that in God there is only love. And I was then reminded of the statement from the Anglican Bishops of the Global South who, in response to the session the Archbishop of Canterbury led them in, came very close to rejecting as adequate God as love, and instead focussed on the God of Wrath who is most concerned with sex. This standpoint is represented by the parish pastor in the movie.As I watched this movie, and saw people being transformed by Love, I could not help contrast how people walked away from the pastor and his God of wrath who hated all things sexual, and instead found lives of integrity and moral value through love.What worried me most about the splits within Anglicanism is that it is a debate between those who seek to follow God who is love, and those who seek to follow God of worth, who wish us to live our lives in fear. In this place and in this time, inviting people to live their lives in fear of a God of Wrath is a missiological disaster. It is the God of love who will transform us as individuals and as a people, transform us to be more compassionate and passionate. This is not moral free or permissive, as the movie showed Love is the end transforms morally.Ah well, I have gone further here than I intended. If nothing else, go se the film.May you be anchored deeply in Love, in the God who is Love and who Love compassionately and passionately.
Hat tip to Maggie Dawn for this

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