Author Topic: "SILENCE" (The movie)  (Read 3339 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
"SILENCE" (The movie)
« on: May 31, 2017, 02:24:37 AM »
I watched the movie Silence with my sons the other night. Amazing film. Scorsese knocked it out of the park in terms of making a beautiful, thought provoking, and wonderfully acted piece of cinema. I thought the movie also portrayed Christianity, martyrdom, and the sincere struggle of faith quite profoundly and quite accurately. But others have said they felt the movie justified apostasy and disrespected the martyrs. I don't agree. But I felt this movie deserved its own thread for discussion. There were many themes and questions raised by this movie, but one idea that I would especially like to discuss is the question of whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others. If we are more concerned about not apostatizing than we are about saving the lives of our neighbors, then is that not an apostasy in and of itself? I don't know the answer, but this is one of the difficult questions raised by this movie.

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts and opinions about this fascinating film.

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Online Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,343
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2017, 09:46:17 AM »
I haven't had a chance to see it, but assumed it hit the right notes because the public press seemed to think it gave too much credence to faith and the religious press seemed to think the takeaway was that apostasy was good.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 10:50:56 AM »
Just a few rapid fire thoughts:

I enjoyed the film.  Scorcese does a great job directing and Issey Ogata is phenomenal.  Every scene he's in he steals the show.  The rest of cast is solid too, especially Adam Driver.  The story is based upon a semi-historical novel by Japanese Catholic author Shusaku Endo, and it at once speaks to the depth of the Christian faith while simultaneously taking the mickey out of the would-be missionaries for their hubris and failure to truly understand (and wash the feet of) the people they were serving.

In some respects, it was downer and at times frustrating.  The missionaries - while well-intentioned - truly failed to understand the needs and the culture of the population they were sent to serve.  Watching Andrew Garfield's character's formal debate with his Japanese interrogators was maddening.  It seemed as if he saw the Church as a adjunct to his own culture and was unable to see how it might develop as a thing independent of European influence and become something truly Japanese as thus allay some of the fears of the local authorities who felt it was a built-in fifth column for unwelcome imperialist powers.  The angle of how Christianity might become incarnate in Japanese culture seemed to never cross the mind of the Western missionaries in this film.  They didn't even bother to learn the Japanese language!

Yosuke Kubozuka's character was symbolic of all of us, who continually betray the Lord and the Faith, and yet are accepted, though unworthy, through repentance, right up to the very end.

The cinematography was fantastic.

Like Black Robe before it, this film did not shy away from examining the flaws of both the European missionaries and their culture and those of the culture they were attempting to evangelize.

The question you have asked, Gebre, is a deep one.  I too would love to hear everyone's thoughts on that issue.
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline LizaSymonenko

  • Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hoplitarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 15,502
    • St.Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 11:22:34 AM »

I know this is aimed at me, as I am the one who disagreed with your evaluation of the movie.  :)

Let me say this....I did enjoy the movie...and it did a super job portraying the struggle these people...and "we" people....go through, sometimes on a daily basis...with our faith.   It truly did a magnificent job.

My favorite character was the "guide"...cheechee-something.  He watched his family get martyred, but, he apostatized because he wanted to live.   When "Padre" showed up, he immediately wished to confess his sins....which he did....until the next opportunity to become a martyr....which saw him apostatize again....and later, seek confession and forgiveness....again.  This same scenario repeated itself a good number of times....To me...this was "us".  We fall daily, and the main thing is we get back up, repent and move on....until we fall again, rinse, repeat....

I had no issues with any of the movie, until the very end.

When the priest chastised the older priest who apostatized...and then within minutes he joins him.  Again...I would have no real issue with this occurrence, as priests are people...and people are weak...and I certainly wouldn't judge anyone for this.  I pray that I would willingly, if not joyously be martyred if need be....but, one never knows until it happens.

The reason I said I was unhappy with the movie is this.

Throughout the movie, the young priest has "visions" of Christ.  He sees His face as it was depicted in his childhood home.  An icon, of sorts.  When he is desperate, this image comes to him.  He sees Christ's face reflected in his own face, as he gazes in to a stream of water.  All this is good...

Until the very end.

The young priest is told to apostatize...and instead of being strong, and becoming a martyr....he does apostatize.  Even that is fine.  I have no issues.  This happens, and may the Lord forgive the individual.

However, just as he stands up and is battling with himself as to his next course of action...martyrdom or apostasy....he once again sees that same face of Christ....and mixed with his own voice, we hear Christ speaking to him...saying something like, "....I am with you....go ahead....step on me....I love you....step on me...go ahead....I am with you....step on me....apostatize."

THAT is my issue.  That they show Christ saying....go ahead dude....I don't care....I still love you (which He does...as He loves ALL)...nonetheless....go ahead....deny me...betray me....step on me with your muddied shoe....it's all good. 

REALLY!???!? 

This spits in the face of all our martyrs....who refused to deny Christ....who now are in His presence for their sacrifice ....but, apparently....they didn't need to.  They could have just as well denied Christ....per His own words....and all would be well.

In the movie...Christ invites this man to step on Him...in order to save his life.  That is blasphemous!!!!  We are NOT made for this life.  We should not focus so much on THIS life!

AHHHH!!!!!

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live...."
" For through the Law I have died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me - Gal 2:16-17, 19-20.
"When you die before you die, you will not die when you die...."

Do all of the above, and oh so many more references....mean nothing?

....this priest apostatizes....and if you listened carefully....you would have heard the rooster crowing in the background....very appropriately....as Christ would have wanted it to....because this man...stepped on Him....and denied Him.

Peter and Judas both denied Christ....but, Peter repented.  ...and went forth to grow the CHurch....spread the true joy.....

This priest and the older one...both took wives, became Buddhists...and worked against the Church.  Destroying the Christians.  Helping the government identify and confiscate Christian paraphernalia...and cutting out the heart of the Christian villages in Japan.  They turned people away from the Church.  The priest even wrote a number of volumes on how to debunk Christianity.

....and Christ was supposedly good with all this.  Really?

....because you know...God is love....He loves all...and all is permissible.

KeekeeChooo.....who kept falling, and repenting...and falling and repenting....in the end....became a martyr.

....the priest...did not.  It hints that he secretly may have retained his faith....but, in secret.  That did a lot of good to the struggling Christians in the area....as he openly denied Christ.

His widow places a cross in his dead hand....but. so?  Unless he secretly had ministered to the fragile, frightened and desperate flock...that perhaps we were not made aware of....what was the purpose of his life?  In the end...if what we saw was true...he hurt the Church, instead of growing it....and all with not only the permission, but, with the encouragement of Christ, who instructed the priest to deny and betray Him.

Orthodoxy or death.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 11:28:09 AM »
Just a few rapid fire thoughts:

I enjoyed the film.  Scorcese does a great job directing and Issey Ogata is phenomenal.  Every scene he's in he steals the show.  The rest of cast is solid too, especially Adam Driver.  The story is based upon a semi-historical novel by Japanese Catholic author Shusaku Endo, and it at once speaks to the depth of the Christian faith while simultaneously taking the mickey out of the would-be missionaries for their hubris and failure to truly understand (and wash the feet of) the people they were serving.

In some respects, it was downer and at times frustrating.  The missionaries - while well-intentioned - truly failed to understand the needs and the culture of the population they were sent to serve.  Watching Andrew Garfield's character's formal debate with his Japanese interrogators was maddening.  It seemed as if he saw the Church as a adjunct to his own culture and was unable to see how it might develop as a thing independent of European influence and become something truly Japanese as thus allay some of the fears of the local authorities who felt it was a built-in fifth column for unwelcome imperialist powers.  The angle of how Christianity might become incarnate in Japanese culture seemed to never cross the mind of the Western missionaries in this film.  They didn't even bother to learn the Japanese language!

Yosuke Kubozuka's character was symbolic of all of us, who continually betray the Lord and the Faith, and yet are accepted, though unworthy, through repentance, right up to the very end.

The cinematography was fantastic.

Like Black Robe before it, this film did not shy away from examining the flaws of both the European missionaries and their culture and those of the culture they were attempting to evangelize.

The question you have asked, Gebre, is a deep one.  I too would love to hear everyone's thoughts on that issue.

Thanks for the excellent insights.

Another aspect of the film that I found quite intriguing was its negative portrayal of Buddhism. I was pretty shocked that Hollywood made a movie where Christianity came out looking better than Buddhism. While I agree that Garfield's character didn't exactly provide the best Christian arguments, I found myself more frustrated with the Interrogator's Buddhist arguments. I'm certainly no expert on Buddhism, but I do know that compassion is the central value in Buddhist thought. So I kept hoping the Christian missionary would challenge the evil being done to Christians with Buddhist philosophy itself. But as you pointed out, perhaps that is because historically the missionaries did not seek to understand the culture they sought to redeem.

Selam
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 11:28:26 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 11:29:18 AM »
You make some fantastic points, Liza.  May I ask where your previous discussion of the film (with Gebre, I presume?) took place?  I'd like to read your exchange if I may.  Thank you. :)
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 11:36:06 AM »

I know this is aimed at me, as I am the one who disagreed with your evaluation of the movie.  :)

Let me say this....I did enjoy the movie...and it did a super job portraying the struggle these people...and "we" people....go through, sometimes on a daily basis...with our faith.   It truly did a magnificent job.

My favorite character was the "guide"...cheechee-something.  He watched his family get martyred, but, he apostatized because he wanted to live.   When "Padre" showed up, he immediately wished to confess his sins....which he did....until the next opportunity to become a martyr....which saw him apostatize again....and later, seek confession and forgiveness....again.  This same scenario repeated itself a good number of times....To me...this was "us".  We fall daily, and the main thing is we get back up, repent and move on....until we fall again, rinse, repeat....

I had no issues with any of the movie, until the very end.

When the priest chastised the older priest who apostatized...and then within minutes he joins him.  Again...I would have no real issue with this occurrence, as priests are people...and people are weak...and I certainly wouldn't judge anyone for this.  I pray that I would willingly, if not joyously be martyred if need be....but, one never knows until it happens.

The reason I said I was unhappy with the movie is this.

Throughout the movie, the young priest has "visions" of Christ.  He sees His face as it was depicted in his childhood home.  An icon, of sorts.  When he is desperate, this image comes to him.  He sees Christ's face reflected in his own face, as he gazes in to a stream of water.  All this is good...

Until the very end.

The young priest is told to apostatize...and instead of being strong, and becoming a martyr....he does apostatize.  Even that is fine.  I have no issues.  This happens, and may the Lord forgive the individual.

However, just as he stands up and is battling with himself as to his next course of action...martyrdom or apostasy....he once again sees that same face of Christ....and mixed with his own voice, we hear Christ speaking to him...saying something like, "....I am with you....go ahead....step on me....I love you....step on me...go ahead....I am with you....step on me....apostatize."

THAT is my issue.  That they show Christ saying....go ahead dude....I don't care....I still love you (which He does...as He loves ALL)...nonetheless....go ahead....deny me...betray me....step on me with your muddied shoe....it's all good. 

REALLY!???!? 

This spits in the face of all our martyrs....who refused to deny Christ....who now are in His presence for their sacrifice ....but, apparently....they didn't need to.  They could have just as well denied Christ....per His own words....and all would be well.

In the movie...Christ invites this man to step on Him...in order to save his life.  That is blasphemous!!!!  We are NOT made for this life.  We should not focus so much on THIS life!

AHHHH!!!!!

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live...."
" For through the Law I have died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me - Gal 2:16-17, 19-20.
"When you die before you die, you will not die when you die...."

Do all of the above, and oh so many more references....mean nothing?

....this priest apostatizes....and if you listened carefully....you would have heard the rooster crowing in the background....very appropriately....as Christ would have wanted it to....because this man...stepped on Him....and denied Him.

Peter and Judas both denied Christ....but, Peter repented.  ...and went forth to grow the CHurch....spread the true joy.....

This priest and the older one...both took wives, became Buddhists...and worked against the Church.  Destroying the Christians.  Helping the government identify and confiscate Christian paraphernalia...and cutting out the heart of the Christian villages in Japan.  They turned people away from the Church.  The priest even wrote a number of volumes on how to debunk Christianity.

....and Christ was supposedly good with all this.  Really?

....because you know...God is love....He loves all...and all is permissible.

KeekeeChooo.....who kept falling, and repenting...and falling and repenting....in the end....became a martyr.

....the priest...did not.  It hints that he secretly may have retained his faith....but, in secret.  That did a lot of good to the struggling Christians in the area....as he openly denied Christ.

His widow places a cross in his dead hand....but. so?  Unless he secretly had ministered to the fragile, frightened and desperate flock...that perhaps we were not made aware of....what was the purpose of his life?  In the end...if what we saw was true...he hurt the Church, instead of growing it....and all with not only the permission, but, with the encouragement of Christ, who instructed the priest to deny and betray Him.

Orthodoxy or death.

Thanks for those important thoughts dear Liza. And this wasn't aimed at you. I've heard many others express the same concerns. And I think your concerns are valid. I just felt the movie ended on a note of ambiguity, which I personally appreciated. Yes, I wanted it to end with the Priest fully professing Christ and becoming a martyr if need be. That would have made me happy. But as you pointed out, none of us really know how we will act in the face of such temptation and horror. So I chose to believe that the Priest did go on to secretly serve the Church and preach the Gospel. I chose to believe that he stepped on a brass icon in order to save living human icons. But that was my own interpretation of it. Perhaps overly optimistic. But I think part of the genius of the movie is that it leaves us unsettled, forcing us to reckon with these profound questions.

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 11:38:17 AM »
You make some fantastic points, Liza.  May I ask where your previous discussion of the film (with Gebre, I presume?) took place?  I'd like to read your exchange if I may.  Thank you. :)

It was on Facebook, but it was very brief. I certainly appreciate Liza's concerns and I think they are valid.

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2017, 11:45:21 AM »
Thanks for the excellent insights.

Thanks for the charitable assessment of my quick synopsis. :)

Another aspect of the film that I found quite intriguing was its negative portrayal of Buddhism. I was pretty shocked that Hollywood made a movie where Christianity came out looking better than Buddhism. While I agree that Garfield's character didn't exactly provide the best Christian arguments, I found myself more frustrated with the Interrogator's Buddhist arguments. I'm certainly no expert on Buddhism, but I do know that compassion is the central value in Buddhist thought.

Were the interrogator's arguments really Buddhist though, or were they simply Buddhist-derived platitudes employed in the service of the state even as the Latin Church itself might've justified its own inquisitions in "Christian" terms?

So I kept hoping the Christian missionary would challenge the evil being done to Christians with Buddhist philosophy itself. But as you pointed out, perhaps that is because historically the missionaries did not seek to understand the culture they sought to redeem.

Agreed.  A missionary with a true understanding of the culture he was serving - including how that culture had processed and made its own alien faiths such as Buddhism - would've fared much better.  Even advancing the argument that Buddhism itself was an import would have been a step up from the angry, spiteful, self-righteous arguments Garfield's character seemed to be regurgitating in that exchange.

You make some fantastic points, Liza.  May I ask where your previous discussion of the film (with Gebre, I presume?) took place?  I'd like to read your exchange if I may.  Thank you. :)

It was on Facebook, but it was very brief. I certainly appreciate Liza's concerns and I think they are valid.

Selam

Okay, thanks.  I don't really do the FB thing, so I guess I'll just have to settle for reading your exchanges on the matter here. :)
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2017, 12:11:07 PM »
Thanks for the excellent insights.

Thanks for the charitable assessment of my quick synopsis. :)

Another aspect of the film that I found quite intriguing was its negative portrayal of Buddhism. I was pretty shocked that Hollywood made a movie where Christianity came out looking better than Buddhism. While I agree that Garfield's character didn't exactly provide the best Christian arguments, I found myself more frustrated with the Interrogator's Buddhist arguments. I'm certainly no expert on Buddhism, but I do know that compassion is the central value in Buddhist thought.

Were the interrogator's arguments really Buddhist though, or were they simply Buddhist-derived platitudes employed in the service of the state even as the Latin Church itself might've justified its own inquisitions in "Christian" terms?

So I kept hoping the Christian missionary would challenge the evil being done to Christians with Buddhist philosophy itself. But as you pointed out, perhaps that is because historically the missionaries did not seek to understand the culture they sought to redeem.

Agreed.  A missionary with a true understanding of the culture he was serving - including how that culture had processed and made its own alien faiths such as Buddhism - would've fared much better.  Even advancing the argument that Buddhism itself was an import would have been a step up from the angry, spiteful, self-righteous arguments Garfield's character seemed to be regurgitating in that exchange.

You make some fantastic points, Liza.  May I ask where your previous discussion of the film (with Gebre, I presume?) took place?  I'd like to read your exchange if I may.  Thank you. :)

It was on Facebook, but it was very brief. I certainly appreciate Liza's concerns and I think they are valid.

Selam

Okay, thanks.  I don't really do the FB thing, so I guess I'll just have to settle for reading your exchanges on the matter here. :)

Agreed on all points. I didn't even know that Buddhism was imported to Japan. That certainly would have indeed been a good argument. Can you tell me more about that?

I think of St. Paul who used pagan philosophy to point to the Gospel. Rather than blasting the worldview of the polytheists, he simply pointed out how Christ was the fulfillment of the truth they were seeking. I've often thought that the best argument against Islamic terrorism is to point out the very words that Muslims themselves invoke day in and day out: "In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful."


Selam
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 12:11:46 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2017, 12:12:30 PM »
Love this discussion BTW. Thanks everyone!  :)

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,876
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2017, 12:23:54 PM »
Agreed on all points. I didn't even know that Buddhism was imported to Japan. That certainly would have indeed been a good argument. Can you tell me more about that?

Buddhism originated in India. It came to Japan mainly by way of China and Korea. Like a lot of missionary religions, it began as a religion of the elite and gradually filtered to the rest of society. Wherever Buddhism spread, it tended not to completely negate the native religion, but simply presented itself as a superior path. Indigenous deities would be adopted as lesser guardian spirits for the Buddhas, which is why you'll often find Shinto temples at the front of Buddhist temples in Japan. A similar thing appears in China and Tibet. Japanese Buddhist schools are developments from schools that came from China, though often they underwent major changes. The most popular form of Buddhism in Japan is the Pure Land sect, which bears some comparison with Calvinism in its soteriology.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2017, 12:26:44 PM »
Agreed on all points. I didn't even know that Buddhism was imported to Japan. That certainly would have indeed been a good argument. Can you tell me more about that?

There are others here who are far more knowledgeable about this subject, but as I understand it, Shinto is the indigenous, polytheistic religion of Japan.  Buddhism came to Japan some time in the late 5th or early to mid 6th century from China and Shinto and Buddhism have co-existed since that time.  Many people practice the rites of both faiths simultaneously since they are not exclusivist in the way that the monotheistic faiths are.  I'm sure you already know that Buddhism is ultimately the product of India and came to East Asia along the Silk Road.  Like I said, this is not my area of expertise, but it shouldn't be hard to find out more about this.

I think of St. Paul who used pagan philosophy to point to the Gospel. Rather than blasting the worldview of the polytheists, he simply pointed out how Christ was the fulfillment of the truth they were seeking. I've often thought that the best argument against Islamic terrorism is to point out the very words that Muslims themselves invoke day in and day out: "In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful."

Agreed.
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2017, 12:29:53 PM »
Iconodule and I must've been typing at the same time.  Although our posts are complimentary and do not contradict each other, Gebre, he knows way more about the history of this region than I do and I'll let him answer further inquiries you might have in this direction.
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2017, 12:38:27 PM »
Thanks to both of you!

Selam
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 12:38:52 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,876
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 12:38:35 PM »
Many people practice the rites of both faiths simultaneously since they are not exclusivist in the way that the monotheistic faiths are.

Right, though official Buddhism definitely frames itself as the superior path. Propitiating spirits might have a number of benefits and help toward a favorable rebirth, but only the Buddha-dharma leads to liberation. On the other side there have been attempts to reconstruct a "pure" Japanese Shinto free of any commingling with Buddhism. They don't seem to be very successful.

I was surprised to find out recently that, during their occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese tried to supplant Chinese folk religion and Daoism with Shinto.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline coptic orthodox boy

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 532
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2017, 12:46:33 PM »
Many people practice the rites of both faiths simultaneously since they are not exclusivist in the way that the monotheistic faiths are.

Right, though official Buddhism definitely frames itself as the superior path. Propitiating spirits might have a number of benefits and help toward a favorable rebirth, but only the Buddha-dharma leads to liberation. On the other side there have been attempts to reconstruct a "pure" Japanese Shinto free of any commingling with Buddhism. They don't seem to be very successful.

I was surprised to find out recently that, during their occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese tried to supplant Chinese folk religion and Daoism with Shinto.

Iconodule

What's your profile picture?  It looks a classical Chinese painting in style (though I've never seen monkeys portrayed before in my limited encounters with Chinese landscape paintings) and I think I can see the chop seal. 

Shawn

Offline coptic orthodox boy

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 532
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2017, 12:48:06 PM »
I watched the movie Silence with my sons the other night. Amazing film. Scorsese knocked it out of the park in terms of making a beautiful, thought provoking, and wonderfully acted piece of cinema. I thought the movie also portrayed Christianity, martyrdom, and the sincere struggle of faith quite profoundly and quite accurately. But others have said they felt the movie justified apostasy and disrespected the martyrs. I don't agree. But I felt this movie deserved its own thread for discussion. There were many themes and questions raised by this movie, but one idea that I would especially like to discuss is the question of whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others. If we are more concerned about not apostatizing than we are about saving the lives of our neighbors, then is that not an apostasy in and of itself? I don't know the answer, but this is one of the difficult questions raised by this movie.

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts and opinions about this fascinating film.

Selam

Gebre Menfes Kidus

Is this movie similar to Roland Joffé's 1986 film "The Mission"?

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,074
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2017, 12:52:35 PM »

I know this is aimed at me, as I am the one who disagreed with your evaluation of the movie.  :)

Let me say this....I did enjoy the movie...and it did a super job portraying the struggle these people...and "we" people....go through, sometimes on a daily basis...with our faith.   It truly did a magnificent job.

My favorite character was the "guide"...cheechee-something.  He watched his family get martyred, but, he apostatized because he wanted to live.   When "Padre" showed up, he immediately wished to confess his sins....which he did....until the next opportunity to become a martyr....which saw him apostatize again....and later, seek confession and forgiveness....again.  This same scenario repeated itself a good number of times....To me...this was "us".  We fall daily, and the main thing is we get back up, repent and move on....until we fall again, rinse, repeat....

I had no issues with any of the movie, until the very end.

When the priest chastised the older priest who apostatized...and then within minutes he joins him.  Again...I would have no real issue with this occurrence, as priests are people...and people are weak...and I certainly wouldn't judge anyone for this.  I pray that I would willingly, if not joyously be martyred if need be....but, one never knows until it happens.

The reason I said I was unhappy with the movie is this.

Throughout the movie, the young priest has "visions" of Christ.  He sees His face as it was depicted in his childhood home.  An icon, of sorts.  When he is desperate, this image comes to him.  He sees Christ's face reflected in his own face, as he gazes in to a stream of water.  All this is good...

Until the very end.

The young priest is told to apostatize...and instead of being strong, and becoming a martyr....he does apostatize.  Even that is fine.  I have no issues.  This happens, and may the Lord forgive the individual.

However, just as he stands up and is battling with himself as to his next course of action...martyrdom or apostasy....he once again sees that same face of Christ....and mixed with his own voice, we hear Christ speaking to him...saying something like, "....I am with you....go ahead....step on me....I love you....step on me...go ahead....I am with you....step on me....apostatize."

THAT is my issue.  That they show Christ saying....go ahead dude....I don't care....I still love you (which He does...as He loves ALL)...nonetheless....go ahead....deny me...betray me....step on me with your muddied shoe....it's all good. 

REALLY!???!? 

This spits in the face of all our martyrs....who refused to deny Christ....who now are in His presence for their sacrifice ....but, apparently....they didn't need to.  They could have just as well denied Christ....per His own words....and all would be well.

In the movie...Christ invites this man to step on Him...in order to save his life.  That is blasphemous!!!!  We are NOT made for this life.  We should not focus so much on THIS life!

AHHHH!!!!!

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live...."
" For through the Law I have died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me - Gal 2:16-17, 19-20.
"When you die before you die, you will not die when you die...."

Do all of the above, and oh so many more references....mean nothing?

....this priest apostatizes....and if you listened carefully....you would have heard the rooster crowing in the background....very appropriately....as Christ would have wanted it to....because this man...stepped on Him....and denied Him.

Peter and Judas both denied Christ....but, Peter repented.  ...and went forth to grow the CHurch....spread the true joy.....

This priest and the older one...both took wives, became Buddhists...and worked against the Church.  Destroying the Christians.  Helping the government identify and confiscate Christian paraphernalia...and cutting out the heart of the Christian villages in Japan.  They turned people away from the Church.  The priest even wrote a number of volumes on how to debunk Christianity.

....and Christ was supposedly good with all this.  Really?

....because you know...God is love....He loves all...and all is permissible.

KeekeeChooo.....who kept falling, and repenting...and falling and repenting....in the end....became a martyr.

....the priest...did not.  It hints that he secretly may have retained his faith....but, in secret.  That did a lot of good to the struggling Christians in the area....as he openly denied Christ.

His widow places a cross in his dead hand....but. so?  Unless he secretly had ministered to the fragile, frightened and desperate flock...that perhaps we were not made aware of....what was the purpose of his life?  In the end...if what we saw was true...he hurt the Church, instead of growing it....and all with not only the permission, but, with the encouragement of Christ, who instructed the priest to deny and betray Him.

Orthodoxy or death.

This doesn't surprise me at all. After all, it's from the auteur that brought the world The Last Temptation of Christ. I'd be surprised if any "serious" modern moviemaker could make a religious movie without some blasphemy in it.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,876
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2017, 12:56:04 PM »
Many people practice the rites of both faiths simultaneously since they are not exclusivist in the way that the monotheistic faiths are.

Right, though official Buddhism definitely frames itself as the superior path. Propitiating spirits might have a number of benefits and help toward a favorable rebirth, but only the Buddha-dharma leads to liberation. On the other side there have been attempts to reconstruct a "pure" Japanese Shinto free of any commingling with Buddhism. They don't seem to be very successful.

I was surprised to find out recently that, during their occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese tried to supplant Chinese folk religion and Daoism with Shinto.

Iconodule

What's your profile picture?  It looks a classical Chinese painting in style (though I've never seen monkeys portrayed before in my limited encounters with Chinese landscape paintings) and I think I can see the chop seal. 

Shawn

It's by the Xuande emperor (Ming dynasty), from 1427.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,074
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2017, 12:56:13 PM »
... The missionaries - while well-intentioned - truly failed to understand the needs and the culture of the population they were sent to serve.  Watching Andrew Garfield's character's formal debate with his Japanese interrogators was maddening.  It seemed as if he saw the Church as a adjunct to his own culture and was unable to see how it might develop as a thing independent of European influence and become something truly Japanese as thus allay some of the fears of the local authorities who felt it was a built-in fifth column for unwelcome imperialist powers.  The angle of how Christianity might become incarnate in Japanese culture seemed to never cross the mind of the Western missionaries in this film. They didn't even bother to learn the Japanese language! ...

The Jesuits of that era were more like state operatives than what we'd think of as missionaries. They'd arrange diplomatic meetings with as high an authority as they could, then discuss economics and Western science, offer to fund improvements, and so forth. Christianizing Asia was very much intended to expand European political influence -- even to annex Asian countries to Europe, if everything could have gone according to plan. In South America, this kind of work went very well, turning almost the whole continent into a subsidiary of Spain and Portugal. The Jesuits were so successful that they eventually just began to run much of South America as a personal empire, which, of course, upset the aristocrats back home and finally got them suppressed by the Vatican.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 12:59:13 PM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline coptic orthodox boy

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 532
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2017, 01:00:22 PM »
Many people practice the rites of both faiths simultaneously since they are not exclusivist in the way that the monotheistic faiths are.

Right, though official Buddhism definitely frames itself as the superior path. Propitiating spirits might have a number of benefits and help toward a favorable rebirth, but only the Buddha-dharma leads to liberation. On the other side there have been attempts to reconstruct a "pure" Japanese Shinto free of any commingling with Buddhism. They don't seem to be very successful.

I was surprised to find out recently that, during their occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese tried to supplant Chinese folk religion and Daoism with Shinto.

Iconodule

What's your profile picture?  It looks a classical Chinese painting in style (though I've never seen monkeys portrayed before in my limited encounters with Chinese landscape paintings) and I think I can see the chop seal. 

Shawn

It's by the Xuande emperor (Ming dynasty), from 1427.

Cool.  Thanks.  Are you familiar with Zhang Daqian?

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,876
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2017, 01:02:32 PM »
No. I love Chinese art ever since my mom took me to the National Palace Museum as a kid, but I'm mainly at the level of "this looks really cool" and I don't have much knowledge of the history or the big names.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2017, 01:20:31 PM »
Many people practice the rites of both faiths simultaneously since they are not exclusivist in the way that the monotheistic faiths are.

Right, though official Buddhism definitely frames itself as the superior path. Propitiating spirits might have a number of benefits and help toward a favorable rebirth, but only the Buddha-dharma leads to liberation. On the other side there have been attempts to reconstruct a "pure" Japanese Shinto free of any commingling with Buddhism. They don't seem to be very successful.

I was surprised to find out recently that, during their occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese tried to supplant Chinese folk religion and Daoism with Shinto.

Fascinating.  Thanks for this.

... The missionaries - while well-intentioned - truly failed to understand the needs and the culture of the population they were sent to serve.  Watching Andrew Garfield's character's formal debate with his Japanese interrogators was maddening.  It seemed as if he saw the Church as a adjunct to his own culture and was unable to see how it might develop as a thing independent of European influence and become something truly Japanese as thus allay some of the fears of the local authorities who felt it was a built-in fifth column for unwelcome imperialist powers.  The angle of how Christianity might become incarnate in Japanese culture seemed to never cross the mind of the Western missionaries in this film. They didn't even bother to learn the Japanese language! ...

The Jesuits of that era were more like state operatives than what we'd think of as missionaries. They'd arrange diplomatic meetings with as high an authority as they could, then discuss economics and Western science, offer to fund improvements, and so forth. Christianizing Asia was very much intended to expand European political influence -- even to annex Asian countries to Europe, if everything could have gone according to plan. In South America, this kind of work went very well, turning almost the whole continent into a subsidiary of Spain and Portugal. The Jesuits were so successful that they eventually just began to run much of South America as a personal empire, which, of course, upset the aristocrats back home and finally got them suppressed by the Vatican.

I'm aware.  They tried to follow a similar course of action in Orthodox Ethiopia.  Thank God, their efforts proved a colossal failure.
Now accepting brief PMs.

Online Mor Ephrem

  • "Mor has a huge ego"
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,589
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2017, 01:27:02 PM »
...but one idea that I would especially like to discuss is the question of whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others. If we are more concerned about not apostatizing than we are about saving the lives of our neighbors, then is that not an apostasy in and of itself?

I haven't seen this movie, and I'm not sure if you're looking for thoughts only from people who have, so perhaps my comment is out of place.  But the question seems general enough to engage. 

Your question presumes that the person offering a Christian the choice to renounce Christ in order to save others' lives is honourable enough to hold to his end of the deal if the Christian renounces Christ.  But we have documented cases in our own day when, for example, ISIS thugs force non-Muslims to convert to Islam in order to save their lives and then behead them anyway because they're just kafirs whose conversions were not genuine.  Are such people trustworthy to begin with? 

I think it comes down to trust, which is just faith.  Do you trust the guy who is willing to kill others unless you renounce a particular belief?  Or do you trust God to be able to take care of you and the people who might be killed when you refuse to renounce Christ?

Renouncing Christ to save others may come from a good intention, and perhaps it is the choice one might make in the heat of the moment (I don't think I'm martyr material myself), but it is a deception.  It's not a question of being more concerned about apostasising than saving lives, as if the choice is really selfishness vs altruism.  Such a choice may lead to some positive results (e.g., saved lives), but at a great cost, one of cosmic significance.     
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,693
  • Pray for me Sts. Mina & Kyrillos for my interviews
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2017, 01:27:29 PM »
I watched the movie Silence with my sons the other night. Amazing film. Scorsese knocked it out of the park in terms of making a beautiful, thought provoking, and wonderfully acted piece of cinema. I thought the movie also portrayed Christianity, martyrdom, and the sincere struggle of faith quite profoundly and quite accurately. But others have said they felt the movie justified apostasy and disrespected the martyrs. I don't agree. But I felt this movie deserved its own thread for discussion. There were many themes and questions raised by this movie, but one idea that I would especially like to discuss is the question of whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others. If we are more concerned about not apostatizing than we are about saving the lives of our neighbors, then is that not an apostasy in and of itself? I don't know the answer, but this is one of the difficult questions raised by this movie.

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts and opinions about this fascinating film.

Selam

Gebre Menfes Kidus

Is this movie similar to Roland Joffé's 1986 film "The Mission"?

No; very different.  "The Mission" portrays an inner Roman Catholic struggle between slave-hunters of indigenous people and the Jesuits who converted the indigenous people; and then there's also the question of whether to fight the slave-hunters with violence or with peace and love, and impending martyrdom.  "Silence" talks about whether it's okay to apostatize for the sake of removing the torture of Japanese Christians.  So it's a very different focus.

I will say that my views definitely correlate with Liza's.  I also watched the movie, and I left with sadness and disappointment.  I grew up in a culture that taught that we must stand strong in our faith in the face of culture for the sake of Christ and eternal life with Him.  Even if our own children are being killed.  Contrast the story of "Silence" to the story of the Maccabean martyrs, which are repeated in various Christian martyrdom stories as well.  It challenges our secular feelings, but it also challenges ancient Christian standards of martyrdom as well.

I didn't know about the rooster crowing until Bishop Robert Barron mentioned it in his commentary on the movie.  So that I appreciated.  But he was no Peter.  Peter repented, and returned, and was martyred.  Therefore, the ending does not really give much hope, only further disappointment.

True martyrdom was with the men who were tied to the Cross, chanting hymns as they were drowned to death.  That moved me a lot.

So great production, great thought provoking scenes, but the standards of Christian martyrdom is extremely high and cannot be compromised.  Scorsese lowers these standards and misrepresents the message of Christ as he thinks it.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 01:30:28 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

  • "SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,070
  • Trolling Babylon 24/7, without apology!
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1456515775
  • Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2017, 01:39:13 PM »
...but one idea that I would especially like to discuss is the question of whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others. If we are more concerned about not apostatizing than we are about saving the lives of our neighbors, then is that not an apostasy in and of itself?

I haven't seen this movie, and I'm not sure if you're looking for thoughts only from people who have, so perhaps my comment is out of place.  But the question seems general enough to engage. 

Your question presumes that the person offering a Christian the choice to renounce Christ in order to save others' lives is honourable enough to hold to his end of the deal if the Christian renounces Christ.  But we have documented cases in our own day when, for example, ISIS thugs force non-Muslims to convert to Islam in order to save their lives and then behead them anyway because they're just kafirs whose conversions were not genuine.  Are such people trustworthy to begin with? 

I think it comes down to trust, which is just faith.  Do you trust the guy who is willing to kill others unless you renounce a particular belief?  Or do you trust God to be able to take care of you and the people who might be killed when you refuse to renounce Christ?

Renouncing Christ to save others may come from a good intention, and perhaps it is the choice one might make in the heat of the moment (I don't think I'm martyr material myself), but it is a deception.  It's not a question of being more concerned about apostasising than saving lives, as if the choice is really selfishness vs altruism.  Such a choice may lead to some positive results (e.g., saved lives), but at a great cost, one of cosmic significance.   

Thanks very much. Good thoughts. Can't argue with that reasoning. 

Selam
"Whether it’s the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, or reciprocal endeavors of militaristic horror, radical evil will never be recompensed with radical punishment. The only answer, the only remedy, and the only truly effective response to radical evil is radical love."
+ Gebre Menfes Kidus +
http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000984270/Rebel-Song.aspx

Offline Luke

  • Formerly Gamliel
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,890
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2017, 03:29:40 PM »
I did not see the movie and do not plan to, bu t I did read the novel recently because someone gave it to me.  I thought the novel was interesting in that it taught me some things about Japanese History, about which I know next to nothing.   I never heard of a Fumie until reading the book.  Like Liza, I struggle with the idea of Jesus saying "I love you" in order  for the priest to apostatize to save others.  I am not sure what I would do if I had to face the tortures that they did.  The tortures were horrendous.

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,941
  • Spiritual Vision of God's Radiance
  • Faith: hesychast navel gazer
  • Jurisdiction: high level theosis with pews
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2017, 04:16:31 PM »
...but one idea that I would especially like to discuss is the question of whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others. If we are more concerned about not apostatizing than we are about saving the lives of our neighbors, then is that not an apostasy in and of itself?

I haven't seen this movie, and I'm not sure if you're looking for thoughts only from people who have, so perhaps my comment is out of place.  But the question seems general enough to engage. 

Your question presumes that the person offering a Christian the choice to renounce Christ in order to save others' lives is honourable enough to hold to his end of the deal if the Christian renounces Christ.  But we have documented cases in our own day when, for example, ISIS thugs force non-Muslims to convert to Islam in order to save their lives and then behead them anyway because they're just kafirs whose conversions were not genuine.  Are such people trustworthy to begin with? 

I think it comes down to trust, which is just faith.  Do you trust the guy who is willing to kill others unless you renounce a particular belief?  Or do you trust God to be able to take care of you and the people who might be killed when you refuse to renounce Christ?

Renouncing Christ to save others may come from a good intention, and perhaps it is the choice one might make in the heat of the moment (I don't think I'm martyr material myself), but it is a deception.  It's not a question of being more concerned about apostasising than saving lives, as if the choice is really selfishness vs altruism.  Such a choice may lead to some positive results (e.g., saved lives), but at a great cost, one of cosmic significance.   
The problem I have with Gebre's question is that he says "whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others."

So if its a matter of speech but if the heart/spirit remains unchanged then I'm not sure I see the problem if it saves the lives of our neighbors.

What counts is the intention to be kind. I don't see a problem of lying depending on the context. Indeed, lying becomes a virtue if it is to save the lives of others.

EDIT: I plan on seeing the film soon whenever its available at my local Redbox.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 04:24:51 PM by nothing »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Online Mor Ephrem

  • "Mor has a huge ego"
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,589
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2017, 04:43:02 PM »
The problem I have with Gebre's question is that he says "whether it is permissible to verbally renounce Christ in order to save the lives of others."

So if its a matter of speech but if the heart/spirit remains unchanged then I'm not sure I see the problem if it saves the lives of our neighbors.

I also noticed "verbally" and considered the point you raised, but ultimately decided against it.  Christian confession has never been solely about what's in one's heart but also what one confesses with one's lips (cf. Rom. 10.8-13).   

Quote
What counts is the intention to be kind. I don't see a problem of lying depending on the context. Indeed, lying becomes a virtue if it is to save the lives of others.

As a general principle, perhaps.  In this specific case, two thousand years of martyrdom from Golgotha to El-Minya beg to differ. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,074
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2017, 04:56:11 PM »
What counts is the intention to be kind.

This isn't the Christian religion.

Quote
I don't see a problem of lying depending on the context. Indeed, lying becomes a virtue if it is to save the lives of others.

Virtue and necessity are not whims in individual minds, in the Christian tradition.

You do seem unaware that we have vast amounts of solid documentation of the Christian course of action in such cases. Christianity was illegal in Rome for hundreds of years and the Christian response is as I say very well documented.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,693
  • Pray for me Sts. Mina & Kyrillos for my interviews
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2017, 05:09:37 PM »
I grew up in a culture that taught that we must stand strong in our faith in the face of culture torture for the sake of Christ and eternal life with Him.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,941
  • Spiritual Vision of God's Radiance
  • Faith: hesychast navel gazer
  • Jurisdiction: high level theosis with pews
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2017, 05:30:57 PM »
This isn't the Christian religion.
I disagree. We have a responsibility, as Christians, to make moral choices in our lives as we see fit based on where we are.

That applies to lying just as much as it does giving to the poor.

You have to decide what is the best way to express your love to your neighbors.

There is no neatly drawn up plan, except and I agree with Paul here, to examine one's motives to ensure they are not self-serving.

We have to make such decisions on our own and if they are done for the right reasons they are beyond reproach.

Quote
Virtue and necessity are not whims in individual minds, in the Christian tradition.
I have to disagree with this also, as I said above only each of us can evaluate our moral choices based upon where we find ourselves which is always unique. What choices are made in one context may differ in another.

Christians don't need any traditions. They only need the gospel message.

And there it stands, ready for anyone to encounter.

Quote
You do seem unaware that we have vast amounts of solid documentation of the Christian course of action in such cases. Christianity was illegal in Rome for hundreds of years and the Christian response is as I say very well documented.
I'm not sure that matters to what I have said, Porter. Indeed those people from that period are not us. I would reject the nostalgia that Christians then are better than any period in history since.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 06:05:05 PM by nothing »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2017, 05:46:53 PM »
I agree with Mor and Mina in principle.  I also agree with Liza except...

KeekeeChooo.....

LOL!  Kikijiro.  ;)

Last year, I attended a conference at which an Orthodox Christian from Syria spoke.  She talked about how she prepared her very young daughters to be martyred, telling them, "If the men ever come, they will try to get you to say some things [meaning the shahada].  You must never do it.  If the bring out the sword, don't be scared.  It will only hurt for a moment and then you will be with Our Lord Jesus".  She had flown over here to do some speaking engagements, leaving her husband and children in Syria, and returned to the country after the speaking engagements.  She was definitely living our Faith.  Although I sympathize with the idea of sparing others suffering whenever possible, I think that this is the ideal that Scorsese could be said to have missed.  (And that Endo missed as well, if Scorsese was true to the novel.)

All of that said, I don't think that either Endo or Scorsese can be faulted if they were trying to be historically accurate.  The Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield characters were based on real priests who actually apostasized (The Portuguese Jesuit Cristóvão Ferreira and the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Chiara) and lived out their lives doing precisely what the men in the film did in terms of helping the authorities root out the Kakure Kirishitans, so in that respect, it would be intellectually dishonest for Scorsese to rewrite the ending to coincide with the Christian ideal of martyrdom and make the Jesuits out to be more heroic than they actually were.  If anything, Scorsese was trying put a positive spin on these men blinking in the face of persecution, or to exonerate them for such.  I'm glad he didn't rewrite the ending to make them out to be heroic martyrs when they died as Buddhist apologists and accomplices of the Japanese authorities.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 05:48:43 PM by Antonious Nikolas »
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline Luke

  • Formerly Gamliel
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,890
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2017, 05:53:14 PM »
^Some report Ferreira recanted when he died, but others say he just died: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crist%C3%B3v%C3%A3o_Ferreira

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,941
  • Spiritual Vision of God's Radiance
  • Faith: hesychast navel gazer
  • Jurisdiction: high level theosis with pews
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #35 on: May 31, 2017, 06:01:04 PM »
I also noticed "verbally" and considered the point you raised, but ultimately decided against it.  Christian confession has never been solely about what's in one's heart but also what one confesses with one's lips (cf. Rom. 10.8-13).
Well first of all you should already know I reject the basic premises of doctrinal Christianity of every sort and every denomination, including yours.

But still that said I think the starting point is intention, the intention to be kind to others. The actions that follow depends on the context and principles are useless in determining that.

But what's critical from this view of Christianity is intending to act out of love toward others, and generally we know our intents (I'm not saying we can't be self-deceived or self-serving, but there are practices to deal with that which even Paul points out).

My Christianity is about being a loving person, a more excellent way to live.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 06:04:51 PM by nothing »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,074
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2017, 06:04:24 PM »
... All of that said, I don't think that either Endo or Scorsese can be faulted if they were trying to be historically accurate.  The Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield characters were based on real priests who actually apostasized (The Portuguese Jesuit Cristóvão Ferreira and the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Chiara) and lived out their lives doing precisely what the men in the film did in terms of helping the authorities root out the Kakure Kirishitans, so in that respect, it would be intellectually dishonest for Scorsese to rewrite the ending to coincide with the Christian ideal of martyrdom and make the Jesuits out to be more heroic than they actually were.  If anything, Scorsese was trying put a positive spin on these men blinking in the face of persecution, or to exonerate them for such.  I'm glad he didn't rewrite the ending to make them out to be heroic martyrs when they died as Buddhist apologists and accomplices of the Japanese authorities.

The objection is to Mr. Scorsese's portrayal of Christ.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #37 on: May 31, 2017, 06:07:28 PM »
^Some report Ferreira recanted when he died, but others say he just died: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crist%C3%B3v%C3%A3o_Ferreira

You can read the various source material and judge for yourself here.  I am sad to say, I don't find the secondhand European sources that claim he died a martyr to be very convincing upon first read.  Lord, have mercy.  Would you have preferred Scorsese to show the Japanese authorities dragging an 80 year old Liam Neeson or Andrew Garfield out of his bed to die in the pit based on such flimsy evidence?  To be honest, it might have been the better ending for a Christian audience such as ourselves.  Unfortunately, I'm not yet convinced that it would jibe with history, and it would open the film up to charges of being revisionist Catholic propaganda.
Now accepting brief PMs.

Online Mor Ephrem

  • "Mor has a huge ego"
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,589
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2017, 06:08:59 PM »
I also noticed "verbally" and considered the point you raised, but ultimately decided against it.  Christian confession has never been solely about what's in one's heart but also what one confesses with one's lips (cf. Rom. 10.8-13).
Well first of all you should already know I reject the basic premises of doctrinal Christianity of every sort and every denomination, including yours.

But still that said I think the starting point is intention, the intention to be kind to others. The actions that follow depends on the context and principles are useless in determining that.

But what's critical from this view of Christianity is intending to act out of love toward others, and generally we know our intents (I'm not saying we can't be self-deceived or self-serving, but there are practices to deal with that which even Paul points out).

My Christianity is about being a loving person, a more excellent way to live.


Nothing more needs to be said. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

  • Orthodox Christian, Miaphysite
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,876
  • Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Oriental Orthodox Church
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2017, 06:11:16 PM »
... All of that said, I don't think that either Endo or Scorsese can be faulted if they were trying to be historically accurate.  The Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield characters were based on real priests who actually apostasized (The Portuguese Jesuit Cristóvão Ferreira and the Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Chiara) and lived out their lives doing precisely what the men in the film did in terms of helping the authorities root out the Kakure Kirishitans, so in that respect, it would be intellectually dishonest for Scorsese to rewrite the ending to coincide with the Christian ideal of martyrdom and make the Jesuits out to be more heroic than they actually were.  If anything, Scorsese was trying put a positive spin on these men blinking in the face of persecution, or to exonerate them for such.  I'm glad he didn't rewrite the ending to make them out to be heroic martyrs when they died as Buddhist apologists and accomplices of the Japanese authorities.

The objection is to Mr. Scorsese's portrayal of Christ.

And as I have already said, I think that Scorsese missed the mark on that point and was trying to let the Jesuit apostates off the hook by advancing the argument that while it might look like they apostasized to the outside world, they did it as an act of mercy, and - a little secret between them and Christ - they were actually saved!  The criticism of Scorsese's portrayal of a Christ complicit in apostasy stands.
Now accepting brief PMs.

Offline Luke

  • Formerly Gamliel
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,890
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of San Francisco
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2017, 06:29:06 PM »
Well first of all you should already know I reject the basic premises of doctrinal Christianity of every sort and every denomination, including yours.
Did you know Endo was Catholic?

Offline minasoliman

  • Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
  • Section Moderator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,693
  • Pray for me Sts. Mina & Kyrillos for my interviews
  • Faith: Oriental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Coptic
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2017, 06:30:58 PM »
I also noticed "verbally" and considered the point you raised, but ultimately decided against it.  Christian confession has never been solely about what's in one's heart but also what one confesses with one's lips (cf. Rom. 10.8-13).
Well first of all you should already know I reject the basic premises of doctrinal Christianity of every sort and every denomination, including yours.

But still that said I think the starting point is intention, the intention to be kind to others. The actions that follow depends on the context and principles are useless in determining that.

But what's critical from this view of Christianity is intending to act out of love toward others, and generally we know our intents (I'm not saying we can't be self-deceived or self-serving, but there are practices to deal with that which even Paul points out).

My Christianity is about being a loving person, a more excellent way to live.

A Muslim can also be a loving person, as he/she believes that's the central focus of his/her religion. You don't need the gospels or Christ to believe that.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,876
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2017, 06:32:10 PM »
I also noticed "verbally" and considered the point you raised, but ultimately decided against it.  Christian confession has never been solely about what's in one's heart but also what one confesses with one's lips (cf. Rom. 10.8-13).
Well first of all you should already know I reject the basic premises of doctrinal Christianity of every sort and every denomination, including yours.

But still that said I think the starting point is intention, the intention to be kind to others. The actions that follow depends on the context and principles are useless in determining that.

But what's critical from this view of Christianity is intending to act out of love toward others, and generally we know our intents (I'm not saying we can't be self-deceived or self-serving, but there are practices to deal with that which even Paul points out).

My Christianity is about being a loving person, a more excellent way to live.

So edgy
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,941
  • Spiritual Vision of God's Radiance
  • Faith: hesychast navel gazer
  • Jurisdiction: high level theosis with pews
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #43 on: June 04, 2017, 10:14:57 PM »
Nothing more needs to be said.
I dunno Mor, I find your view to be self-serving. Do you know what Paul urges us to do? Put love before "faith", which seems to be the point Scorcese makes in the film (BTW I haven't seen it yet but this seems to be the source of the controversy).

This reminds me of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham should have told God "no" when commanded to sacrifice his son, that love comes before acting on faith in accordance to some divine plan that involved the murder of his own son. That would have pleased God immensely but instead Abraham failed the test, and God grits his teeth and praises his "faith."

And regarding the gospel, the only thing that counts is the transformation into a loving person. And if God's love can transform us into loving people if we accept that it can (and we can't by our force or will), then virtues will emerge out of the loving self that include caring for others even if that means losing one's life.

Which is all the reason why what you posted in response to Gebre makes you look rather morally obtuse. It's baffling to me that keeping some theological propristional statement matters more in spite of others who you could have saved, if you were in the same situation.

Go back to Matthew 25 where Jesus asks only one question: how did you treat the poor, the weak and the oppressed?

I thought Gebre's question was thoughtful and good for Scorsese making a film that challenges doctrinal Christians to ask the sort of questions he does.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Online Mor Ephrem

  • "Mor has a huge ego"
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 32,589
  • Pope Pius XIII, play for us!
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: "SILENCE" (The movie)
« Reply #44 on: June 04, 2017, 10:50:11 PM »
Nothing more needs to be said.
I dunno Mor, I find your view to be self-serving. Do you know what Paul urges us to do? Put love before "faith", which seems to be the point Scorcese makes in the film (BTW I haven't seen it yet but this seems to be the source of the controversy).

This reminds me of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham should have told God "no" when commanded to sacrifice his son, that love comes before acting on faith in accordance to some divine plan that involved the murder of his own son. That would have pleased God immensely but instead Abraham failed the test, and God grits his teeth and praises his "faith."

And regarding the gospel, the only thing that counts is the transformation into a loving person. And if God's love can transform us into loving people if we accept that it can (and we can't by our force or will), then virtues will emerge out of the loving self that include caring for others even if that means losing one's life.

Which is all the reason why what you posted in response to Gebre makes you look rather morally obtuse. It's baffling to me that keeping some theological propristional statement matters more in spite of others who you could have saved, if you were in the same situation.

Go back to Matthew 25 where Jesus asks only one question: how did you treat the poor, the weak and the oppressed?

I thought Gebre's question was thoughtful and good for Scorsese making a film that challenges doctrinal Christians to ask the sort of questions he does.

My view is self-serving only in the sense that I don't want to waste my time.  You have already made it clear that you reject "the basic premises of doctrinal Christianity of every sort and every denomination, including" mine, and would rather talk about your own Christianity.  But your Christianity is a lie. 
The whole forum is Mor. We're emanations of his godlike mind.

Actually, Mor's face shineth like the Sun.