Frozen

Spoiler alert: I suggest you watch the film before reading this.

 

Conceal, Don’t Feel

Lots of us, like Elsa, believe that if people really knew us fully, and saw all our flaws, there’s no way they would love us. So we don’t want people to know us fully, we want to isolate ourselves. This is partly selfish; we don’t want to give people the chance to judge us when they find out our shameful secrets, so we don’t let anyone get close enough to see the things we’re ashamed of. It’s also partly out of concern for others; like Elsa, we know we have some habits that have the potential to hurt other people if they get too close, so for their own sake we try to keep people at a safe distance away from the destructive storm going on inside us.

(In a vain attempt to salvage a tiny remnant of masculine respectability from a post about a Disney princess film, I’ll point to The Wall and Hurt as a couple of other examples of these concepts appearing in popular culture.)

 

Setting Elsa Free

Like Elsa, we do need forgiveness for things we’ve done, because we have done things that really hurt people and are offences against God. This is what The Bible calls “sin”.

Elsa was amazed by Anna’s love for her, because she knew she didn’t deserve it.

Elsa: “You sacrificed yourself for me?”

Anna: “I love you.”

The message of Christianity is that the God who already knows everything there is to know about us, including all our dirty secrets, loves us so much he was willing to be crucified in order to remove our guilt.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13

He didn’t do that because we deserved it; he did it because he loves us. And he doesn’t love us because we’re good people (we’re not!); he loves us because that’s an expression of who he is. He is love (1 John 4:8).

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” – Romans 5:8

 

Confession

Anna: “Please don’t shut me out again.

Please don’t slam the door.

You don’t have to keep your distance anymore.”

As Anna did with her sister, The Bible encourages people not to isolate themselves, but to confess the things they’ve done wrong, to bring them out into the open (James 5:16). And when we confess our sins to Christians, the response should reflect God’s response (if only this was always the case), i.e. without dismissing the problem as insignificant, we point back to the gospel of God’s love and sacrificial death for sinners, and his power to heal.

 

Thawing Anna’s heart

“An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart.”

For a while we’re lead to believe Frozen is just like those other rubbish movies where the “act of true love” is going to be a kiss. But actually it turned out that the act of true love that saved Anna was the sacrifice of her life to save her sister. Not only did Anna’s sacrifice save Elsa from the storm going on inside her (and from Hans), it thawed Anna’s own heart. Likewise, following Jesus involves sacrificing ourselves for others.

It might not always be as drastic as putting ourselves at risk of actual physical death for someone else; it might be as simple as giving up our time or money to give someone food or clothing, or visit them when they’re sick (Matthew 25:31-46), but “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” – Luke 17:33. To be clear, the point is not that by making those sacrifices we will earn ourselves a thawed heart, but that the act of giving is itself good for us (Acts 20:35).

 

So the more I think about it, the more I like this movie. Although, like Trevin Wax, I’m a bit confused that ‘Let It Go’ has been the hit song that’s come out of it. Why are people apparently celebrating Elsa’s isolation rather than her restoration?

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Hot Fuzz and Intelligent Design

When Hot Fuzz was on the TV recently, it got me thinking about the intelligent design vs atheism debate.

Sometimes, those of us who believe the universe was created by an intelligent designer feel a bit like Sgt Nicholas Angel.

Like Nicholas, (and like most people) we think it’s a good idea to consider evidence with an open mind before settling on a conclusion.

Certain atheists often seem more comparable to other members of the Sandford police, who always start off with the assumption that things must’ve happened by accident, eg Sgt Tony Fisher: “Hang about, hang about… you’re saying this wasn’t an accident?” and as a result of their unreasonably stubborn refusal to relinquish this assumption, the narratives they come up with to explain occurrences in the village do not reflect reality (No Sgt Fisher, Leslie Tiller did not fall on her own shears).

As a result of an atheistic worldview, many scientists restrict themselves to explanations of the origins of the universe that exclude the possibility that it was planned by an intelligent designer.

In some ways it’s understandable that scientists limit their investigations to observing occurrences that conform to the laws of nature (the way things normally work in this universe we inhabit), because if the creation of the universe was “supernatural”, then scientists would eventually reach a point where they have to concede that they have reached the limits of what they are able to explain, and to end up just saying “God did it” seems a bit of a cop-out.

However, if you have an open mind, you will have to admit that it’s impossible to be sure that at no point in history has there ever been an event anywhere in the universe that didn’t conform to our observations of the way nature normally works, and if you automatically reject any explanation for the origins of the universe that doesn’t fit in with our observations of the way the universe normally works, you may find yourself rejecting the explanation that happens to be true.

Personally, I think the evidence I’ve observed seems to point overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the creation of the universe was premeditated by an intelligent mind.

If you’re interested in reading the viewpoint of someone who takes science seriously, and believes that the universe was created by God, I recommend this blog.

The Invention of Lying

So apparently the loser does get the attractive* girl occasionally. Lovely.

*I don’t like criticising people for things that aren’t their fault (such as looks), but it looks like Jennifer Garner has had some junk pumped into her upper lip (as if she wants to be Angelina), it makes some of her expressions look a bit silly.

I went to see The Invention of Lying yesterday. If you don’t want to know what happens, stop reading now.

I think it’s supposed to be a comedy, there were some really funny moments, but overall I thought it was actually better in terms of asking interesting questions, and I quite enjoyed it, despite a bit of mockery of Christianity.

What would the world be like if no one had the ability to lie? Well, pretty depressing according to the film, the only films and TV shows would consist purely of a person reading a history book.

As someone who believes that a perfect world would not contain any lies, this made me think. Would that sort of world really be all that much better?

Ricky (I can’t actually remember the character’s name) did use his new ability to make people feel better, but funnily enough, telling people what they want to hear, rather than the truth, doesn’t bring them lasting happiness.

He did have some morals too, nobody else understood the concept of telling something that wasn’t true*, and he had the opportunity to convince Jen (again I can’t remember her character’s name, that’s probably not a good commendation of the acting) that his new fame and riches changed his DNA, so their children wouldn’t be short and fat with snub noses, but decided it wouldn’t be right.

*This makes you wonder if anyone ever made any mistakes in this world. We can often tell what we believe to be the truth only to find later we were wrong, but as far as you could tell the people in the film were immune from this problem.

Ricky (maybe his name was Mark) makes up the idea of heaven because his mum is afraid of eternal nothingness when she dies, and because everyone believes he’s telling the truth, he becomes famous and the whole world wants to know more, so he comes up with the Man In The Sky. (I really hope it’s not supposed to be a realistic theory for how belief in God could have started.) He also has to explain who gets a mansion in the afterlife and who goes to the really bad place, so decides that you’re allowed 3 chances to be good (you know, don’t do anything to hurt someone else on purpose). I’m fairly certain this is supposed to be based on Christianity, and to be fair, I think a lot of people who would say they’re Christians do think like that, but it’s not what the Bible says.

“the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” – Romans 3:21-24