The Birdbox – An Alternative View

The Theme

The current rage movie at the beginning of 2019 seems to be The Birdbox. I haven’t seen all the movie, but enough of it to get the gist. Honestly, I did not care for the language. I am not pointing fingers if you watched it, I just knew that it wasn’t for me. Two of my daughters, however, were curious as to what it was about and watched it to the end. I promise to try not to spoil it for you if you want to watch it as I discuss it here.

man blindfolded

In short, there is some creature, monster, presence, when seen by a human, causes the human to kill themselves. It is assumed as being something evil. Therefore, you see all the people who are wearing blindfolds in the trailer, memes, etc. in an attempt not to look at it. It stars Sandra Bullock as a mom determined to save her children, and they are blindfolded for most of what I saw of the movie. As to why it is called The Birdbox, you’ll have to find that out. I’m not giving that away.

animal animal portrait animal world annoyed

I came through the room several times and watched a few scenes. Enough to get an idea of what was happening. I asked what the presence was and was told: “we don’t know.” Where did it come from? Same answer. I told them to let me know when they find out where it came from. You know, was it space or some resident evil. I got the look, so I thought it best to move on.

Humanity in the movie was facing possible extinction by this presence. It all revolved around eyesight. Therefore you were safer if you were blindfolded when stepping outside or you could exist inside as long as the windows were blocked. It seems the presence couldn’t get inside somehow.

Of course, I being me, I had to wonder “would God ever allow or even send such a curse or plague on humankind?” And if he did, why would he? I went to the Bible to research any such happenings, since this curse, presence, whatever, seemed to be akin to the plagues of biblical and apocalyptic proportions? Here is what I found.

The Study of Plagues and Curses

person in black coat and hat with plague doctor mask

In all cases that I could find there is a warning to the people of the day to turn or return from evil or wicked ways. (For discussion on what the Bible calls sin and wickedness, click here). The Bible calls the turning from sin repentance. It is a military term that means to make an about-face. It is a 180-degree turn in the opposite direction. The wayward people are called to forsake their wicked ways and turn or return to God and godly ways.

There is a promise of forgiveness. Many times in the Bible, individuals, and nations have turned from their wickedness and asked for forgiveness. God granted it, albeit there were times that he still let consequences fall that were in motion. There are also many instances where individuals and nations did not turn, and God judged them for their wickedness.

God preferred restoration over destruction. People groups, including his chosen people, the Israelites, were warned before judgment fell. God warned because he wanted restoration of his relationship with them. Scripture after scripture, God pleads for the wayward to turn from their wickedness. Many times he states that he has no pleasure in the death of saint or sinner.

Biblical Application

body of water

Though there are at least a hundred references or more to plagues and curses for disobedience and evil, Old and New Testament, I have listed a few that could be applied to this movie’s theme as they deal with blindness and /or darkness.

I will bring distress on the people, and they will walk like blind men because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like filth. – Zephaniah 1:17

The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me. – Deuteronomy 28:20-24

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” – John 3:19-20

And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. – Thessalonians 2:11-12

Now Back to Our Movie

night television tv video

With the previous in mind, I would like to rewrite the movie a little from that perspective. First, the people of the day had to have a warning that judgment was coming. The movie, of course, does not have this element, so let’s insert it as happening before the opening credits. Let’s say there was a prophet of the day which quoted our scriptures above to the people.

The people were wicked, and they had been warned to turn from that wickedness or suffer judgment. With that, we would know that the people of the day did not respond and subsequently, God sent this presence. The prophet would have warned that the people lived in darkness and chose darkness. Now, they would live in physical darkness or die.

The presence could be demonic, or it could be like the angel of death that was sent by God to judge the Egyptians during the ten plagues pronounced by Moses. By the way, one of the ten plagues was a darkness upon the land. This plague will also appear in the time of tribulation spoken of in the book of Revelation.

One more element we would have to write into the movie would be a way for those who would turn from their ways to survive. This would be salvation. They would be the ones that would survive, not because of their own goodness, but because God would have granted them sanctuary from the presence. That salvation could be before the judgment or during. Depends on what the warning was from our prophet. If it was like the angel of death in Egypt, then somewhere in this Birdbox world, there would be those who could survive, but only because of their turning to God and following as he instructed to be saved.

The Angel of Death

horror crime death psychopath

One day, we will all look into the face of death, and it will mean our end on this earth. God has warned all of us of that end. The question in the air is this: then what? For those who have turned to God, forsaking their wickedness, accepting the redemption through his Son, Jesus, knowing they cannot save themselves, there will be eternity with God. For those who do not, there is eternal separation from God.

People do not have to be blind or wear blindfolds when dealing with God. He sent his Son for this purpose:

“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” – Luke 4:14-21 (NIV)

Endangered Christianity

The Statement

black microphone

I have heard it said by more than one person that “Christianity is only one generation away from being extinct.” Usually, the one speaking is trying to get across to their audience the necessity to reach out and share the good news of Jesus or Christianity will be gone. It’s a combination of a fear factor and a warning. The audience, I have been one, nods in agreement as the message sinks in. We had all better get busy winning souls or there will be no one left to carry on after we are gone.

Question Everything

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Even though it sounds good, there seems to be a lingering thought somewhere on the periphery that tugs on the brain. It asks if the statement is true. Are things that desperate? I believe the statement is one of “truthiness,” as I have heard one public speaker call it. “Truthiness” is something that sounds true and logical, but when examined further, it doesn’t pass the litmus test.

Incorrect Presumptions

To accept the statement of “endangered Christianity” at face value is to agree to several basic, incorrect presumptions:

  1. It presumes the continuance of Christianity rest solely on the shoulders of the present generation, and without the evangelistic actions of that generation, Christianity is doomed. Yes, we are commanded to reach, teach, and disciple, but we plant the seed. God waters. The thinking that it all rests exclusively with man leaves God totally out the equation, which leads to the second presumption.
  2. The statement presumes God is not capable of sustaining the Christian faith. This is not biblical. Even in the darkest of times in history, God had a remnant of believers. Case in point is when Elisha ran from Jezebel and begged God to die. He complained that he was the only one in all of the land that followed God. God responded that He had 7,000 followers who did not bow to the state-sponsored religion. God is quite capable of maintaining a following. Further, even in the darkest times yet to come as spoken of in the book of Revelation, and during the Tribulation times, God will still maintain a remnant of followers.
  3. Another presumption is one that would be shared with the devil himself: somehow God can be defeated. This thought process leaves the Christian believing they are fighting a losing battle. They wring their hands while looking to the eastern sky chanting “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” They live a life of someone who is waiting to be rescued from a sinking ship rather than manning their battle stations on a spiritual destroyer.

There is, however, a danger to going to the opposite extreme. We can smugly sit around, not doing anything, “because Jesus has won the victory, therefore I do not need to fight at all.” This too is not biblical. We are commanded to act. In many places, we are ordered to reach the world around us – proclaiming the good news.

In the book of Jude, we are told to “snatch” the perishing as one would a stick from a fire. Paul said “blessed” are the feet of those who proclaim the message of salvation. In another spot, he says faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and hearing by someone telling. Jesus gave us the Great Commission in the 28th chapter of Mathew, to go into all the world. We, as the church, are expected to be obedient to the commands and calls.

The Conclusion

Truly, it is a joint venture with God and His church to continue what Jesus started. There will always be someone who responds to the love of Christ and then will be obedient to tell others, who then respond. There is no danger of the Church going anywhere. It might get lazy. It might get beat down. It might dwindle. It might even lose power, but the Bride of Christ will continue on until He says it’s the end of the age.

Remember

On water, land, and in flight, they answered the call,

Protectors of liberty and right, against evil and the wrong.

Marching to a different drum, they sang a different song.

Misunderstood by many, as to why they gave their all,

 

America, these are your daughters, these are your sons,

These are your warriors, who gave all when they gave.

We recount to the generations, the valor of the brave.

Now we are the watchers, we volunteer to be the ones.

 

Listen now, dear children, of our country’s warrior band,

Hear their stories, honor them, be proud of their fight.

How one could give their life in pursuit of the right.

Grasp what was given since the beginning of our land.

 

As the flags are lowered, and the lone bugle plays.

Turn your thoughts to heroes, and the sacrifices made.

To the guardians of freedom, and the high cost they paid.

To those with warrior hearts, who stepped into harm’s ways.

 

You are their legacy, the torch is passed down to you,

Hold high your heads, as Tap’s last note is played.

Hold tight to their memory, and never let it fade.

Salute, remember and give these heroes their due.

I Don’t Believe in Luck

As I drove around the state of Georgia last week I couldn’t help but notice the billboard signs each day that displayed the latest total of possible winnings at the PowerBall. My week started out with it registering $400 million and before I made it home it was up to $800 million. I was like most anyone else: Hmmm, what would I do with just half that amount? The thought quickly faded though for several reasons; 1) I wasn’t going to spend any money on the chance to begin with and; 2) I don’t believe in luck, I believe in God.

Like you, I work too hard for my money to just be giving it to the government. They take enough of it without my permission anyway and take more and more each year. Plus, I am not impressed with how they handle what they get now. Why would I want to give anymore to them? Yes, we could debate back and forth how several states use the lottery to fund education, and how our state’s money is going to some other state. I could counter with 95% of people who win the lottery are bankrupt and worse off than when they won and could quote statistics from other states who have to pay for the washout of addiction. I think this debate misses the point. When you boil it all down, the question is: what do you believe, or more plainly, where is your heart?

God owns the cattle on a thousand hills the bible says. So, couldn’t this same God give me $800 million dollars if He really wanted me to have it? Is that what my relationship to Him is all about? It has to go much deeper with Him. Jesus told us to worship God the Father with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. When He blesses me, what is my reaction? Well, I deserve this. I work harder than most folks. I am more favored. Can’t you tell by how well I am blessed? Or, look at me. I am all that and a bag of fries baby! Supersized at that. If He chooses to take everything from me, what would my reaction be then? That’s not fair! Hey, I worked hard for all that! Why are you picking on me? Why I am losing all this and those people over there aren’t even working at all and have more than me? Notice these are all heart issues? Many I have had to deal with before and maybe you have to. Would to God I would have the attitude rather of David and Job.

God said David was a man after God’s own heart. Job said after all he had lost, that even if God chose to slay him, He would still be his God. God is a present help not only in times of trouble (thank you, Jesus), but also in a time of plenty. How we handle all times is based on how deep our relationship is with Him. God loves you if you play the lottery and if you don’t. He loves you when you seem to be doing well and when you are not. What He is after is your heart in order to have a deep, meaningful relationship with you. He wants the best for you and to be vital part of your life.

Are you, like David, after God’s own heart? Put another way, are you seeking what God’s heart seeks. God further said of David that “he will do what I want him to do.” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” and “where your heart is, there your treasure will be also.” Where your heart is, is where you will spend the most time, talent, effort, energy, and money. On what do you base your future and look to for direction; luck, chance, fate, crossing your fingers, the stars, horoscope? I don’t believe in luck, I believe in God.

Recently, I found a website that has some good insights on what they call Kingdomnomics. I encourage you to check them out at the link below.

Kingdomnomics  – “Enjoy a life that echoes into eternity.”

 

Of Church and State

So many times we hear it said the church and state must be separate. Actually, it goes more like “separation of church and state.” Often times these people who ascribe to this position are saying keep the church out of our government and lives. As we look around we can see how well that has worked over the years.

So many of these people quote this saying believing it to be part of our founding documents. Nothing could be further from the truth. I once heard someone base it on the First Amendment. It was obvious that the speaker didn’t actually know the First Amendment to the Constitution which reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Notice that the term “separation of church and state” is nowhere mentioned in the amendment. The term actually comes from a personal letter of Thomas Jefferson and in that letter he goes on to explain how the First Amendment was designed to keep the government out of the church, not the other way around. Thomas Jefferson also made the comment that it was good for a “little rebellion” every so often. I wonder if the separation of church and state people are advocating that as well.

Unfortunately, far too many Christians have bought into the lie that they are not to speak up or to speak out. They forget that this right is also guaranteed by the First Amendment. Good, free, and moral citizens not only have a right to speak out against injustices; it is a duty. For the Christian, it is a requisite. Micah 6:8 says for the people of God to “seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” It is time for American Christians to once again stand up, be counted, and be heard. There are several ways we can do this:

  1. Don’t just post some catchy phase, video, or article on Facebook. Write your congressman and senators, at the Federal and State level.
  2. Understand what is going on. Do your homework.
  3. Get educated. Read the founding documents like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
  4. Vote.
  5. Get others involved as well.