I’ve had a really interesting day to day (in my opinion any way) I got up, tided a little bit, saw my fiancee and met up with a friend, we hung out, watched some films, a little bit of Dexter, and then went to the cinema with my brother and some other friends.
The film was Iron Man three, it lacked the things I loved about the first and the second, but made up for it in other ways. If you enjoyed the first and second movies then I recommend you watch it.
Although, as interesting as that part of the day was, what really stood out for me was watching “The Invention of Lying”
The Invention of Lying is a 2009 fantasy romantic comedy film that was written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson.
One of my friends who was watching described it as “basically Ricky Gervais’ attack on religion. Sure enough after after having watched about half of it, I began to feel defensive and attacked. After watching the entire thing I found myself ironically enchanted by my experience of Christianity.
Certainly I felt a fair few connections to the ideas implied by the film, but that was from when I was about 10. See, when I was 10 I didn’t really know anything about “being a Christian” I knew a lot about what a Christian was, somebody who did what God said… followed all the rules and did their best to be a good person.
That doesn’t actually have much to do with being a Christian though. This might be a revelation to some people, being a Christian is not about following a set of rules written thousands of years ago. It’s not even about being super nice to people all of the time. It isn’t about judging people and feeling smugly superior to them because you go to church, in fact smugness isn’t involved at all.
Rather, surprisingly being a Christian has next to no rules, and they are summed up very simply by Jesus.
New International Version (NIV)
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a]38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Yeah, so it is as simple as that, it might seem to get more complicated, but when you get stuck you can just bring it back down to these two statements.
In “The invention of Lying” religion is portrayed as a set of rules, and the film as a whole as an attitude of “do what makes you happy, because when you die there is nothing that comes after.”
Which is to me, boring, uninteresting, directionless and leads me to the conclusion that life is pointless. If that’s true than the only drive in life is the continuation of the human race, which lets face it, isn’t much of a challenge, what do I matter when there are 7 billion others working on the same plan?
So I was left feeling pretty good about Christianity come the end of the film, rather than feeling like a tiny drop in a large pond, unnoticed and not that useful, I feel more like a small cog in a super complicated clock. I might not be the biggest or the brightest, but I’m here for a purpose, I have a job to do and something to take away from it at the end of the day, and when it gets to bed time I can go to sleep knowing I’ve accomplished something worthwhile, or that I’ve wasted a day.
Life isn’t mysterious and pointless, it’s part of a greater plan and if you want to, then you can take an active roll in that plan.