Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 11/3/15
“If there’s one nation in the sky, shouldn’t all passports be valid for it?”  (Yann Martel – Life of Pi)  I’m two years late, but I saw the movie, “Life of Pi” recently.  The boy, Pi, was born a Hindu, loves Jesus and practices Islam.  His co-star is Richard Parker…a tiger.  The claim is that “the movie will make you believe in God.”  It’s a film about God, but what kind of God?  Take Martel’s quote and compare it with the faith that is yours.  That’s how “Pi” ends.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Clever====JACK:  Before we talk about one nation in the sky, maybe we should be working toward oneness on this planet.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think we have no right to judge other faiths.   At the same time, I only endorse what I know.   Those who endorse in ignorance are shifters.====JACK:  The movie, to me, was not about judging various faiths.  It simply ended by asking the viewers to examine their own beliefs.  Any situation that brings me to think about God and my relationship to him is valuable.

FROM TARMART REV:  The "old King James Version" of the Bible got my attention over 60 years ago and I've been stuck on the Bible's account of finding our way to God ever since, appreciating the newer translations and paraphrases of the previous as well. It has always made since to me and I've never felt an urge to look elsewhere for some other reason?!====JACK:  I remember the time when the revised KJV was published...there was a burning of the new book during a church service.  One minister that I know, said, "If the St. James Version of the Bible was good enough for St. Paul, it's good enough for me."  Having said that.....many of the Bible verses that I memorized as a child were from the KJV.====REV:  Same for me.
 FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  I didn't see the movie either but now I am intrigued.  I think it did not do too well at the box office.====JACK:  The Box Office isn't always the sign of a good movie, just as the size of an audience isn't always the sign of good preaching.  Maybe the Sermon the Mount is an exception.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Consider an island nation, Australia for example, a single continent in the sea...should all passports be valid to enter there?  Now about the WW today, if that "one nation in the sky" is a reference to heaven, and the "passports" refer to religions, no, all religions are not valid to enter heaven.====JACK:  Pi's author is probably referring to the Kingdom of God as that one nation in the sky.  The film's unanswered question is....Is everyone's passport valid?  Evidently, passports are issued by various faiths.  The quote begins with...."If..."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  According to Jesus, there's only one way in too.====JACK:  I think I know where you're coming from.  What puzzles me.....what about the others who've never heard of Jesus, or who have not heard of him as you and I have heard of him?  I guess I'm comfortable in leaving it up to an omniscient God.  There's still a need, in  my opinion, "to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love."====JUDY:  Perhaps they will be given a chance at the Pearly Gates.  The Bible is very clear about Jesus.  So I guess the work of us believers is to make sure everyone hears the Good News.

FROM BB IN ILINOIS:  Did you enjoy the film?  The book is much  better….I’ve read it 5 or 6 times…aloud to the kids taking out the goriest parts.  I love Pi because his faith (and food memories) sustain him.  That element reminded me of the  holocaust survivor book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel where he writes about his memories of his wife preparing tea in the kitchen, tiny minute details he lovingly recalls of the most simple of tasks which anchors him to a reason to carry on despite the circumstances…In any case, I think the “end” where he asks the interviewers “which is the better so try” i.e. do you prefer the version with faith and the presence of God or the butcher/cook in the boat where God is seemingly absent…how do you want to live your life?  On the deeper level that perhaps the kids didn’t get early on, I think Richard Parker represents the Id, ie. Living with our inner demons or like (who is that author) Owning your Shadow…making peace with the less than lovlier parts of oneself in order to be a whole/real person.====JACK:  Rodin's, The Thinker, is but one part of a larger sculpture which shows people writhing in Hell.  The Thinker is looking at that scene below him...and pondering (thinking).  Jesus used the parables to try and get people to think.  Some books and movies do the same thing.  We need more "thinkers" today!  Thanks for being one of them.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I haven’t seen the movie, but it’s a terrific book. I highly recommend it. ====JACK:  Books are usually better than the movie adaptations.  I like the Bible better than the movies about the Bible.====JB:  Oh, yes, movies about the Bible are pretty awful.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes - would be nice if here on this earth in this lifetime we could be accepting of all faiths.  Sure would get rid of a bunch of wars.====JACK:  "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me" as the song goes.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Here we go with the "illegal alien" thing again.====JACK:  I take it that you haven't seen the movie or read the book.  I'll put it this way...Do you think that heaven is for one particular group of religious people?====CHESTER:  God goes by many names. No, I haven't seen the movie or read the book.====JACK:  Many of the names ascribed to God are descriptive.  For example, Father, Lord, Creator.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The  Life of Pie was a hard HARD read for me...."What did it all mean ?"  I see some of your bloggers loved the book...I puzzled over it!====JACK:  Pi  (as in math) was more than a movie (book) for me.  The end was not the end.  It did not answer questions; it raised them.  We're not used to that.  We, who were raised in earlier times in the Church, were taught the importance of missionary work.  "No one comes to the Father but by me."  Later in life, we wonder - Is heaven exclusive, or is it inclusive?  Do you remember this hymn?

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice,
Which is more than liberty.

There is grace enough for thousands
Of new worlds as great as this;
There is room for fresh creations
In that upper home of bliss.

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of our mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.

If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.

It is God: His love looks mighty,
But is mightier than it seems;
’Tis our Father: and His fondness
Goes far out beyond our dreams.

But we make His love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we magnify His strictness
With a zeal He will not own.

Was there ever kinder shepherd
Half so gentle, half so sweet,
As the Savior who would have us
Come and gather at His feet?
====OAKS:  Yes, I know that hymn very well, but not all of these verses were (are) in our hymnbook. i.e. verses 2, 5 & 6. Which makes it quite another message!! I tend to go with heaven being inclusive beyond our ability to discern.  I think we will be greeted with unconditional love, but that we will "judge" ourselves when we see what we COULD have done, and what we MISSED seeing to do...But who knows? We can only have an educated "guess".  Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things prepared for those who love Him"...? ====JACK:  I just included the verses that I thought were relevant to the discussion.

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