Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

This week: cohabitation and it’s effects, infanticide in Canada, definitions vs rights in the debate about marriage, and some wisdom on folly of trying to increase taxes on the rich.

What Cohabitation Does for Marriage (by Glenn Stanton, Boundless)

If couples want to dramatically boost their likelihood of divorcing once married, few things so widely practiced will ensure that than cohabiting. This is just the opposite of what most believe.

Thrown Over the Fence — Infanticide, Canadian Style (by Dr. Albert Mohler)

The moral dishonesty of the entire tragedy comes down to the fact that, in legalizing abortion, liberal societies claimed to be making a bargain. We will not protect unborn life, but we will defend all those who make it to birth. Of course, the dividing line was always dishonest. Are we seriously to believe that human personhood is a matter of mere location, inside or outside the womb?

We’re Arguing Definitions, Not Rights (by Amy Hall, STR)

So the question is, which definition should we use? It’s fine for you to argue that your definition of "two people who love each other" is better than my definition of "one man, one woman," or someone else’s definition of "one man, multiple women," but we need to start off by understanding that we’re arguing definitions, not rights.

You Can’t Tax the Rich (by Thomas Sowell, National Review)

In other words, the genuinely rich are likely to be the least harmed by high tax rates in the top brackets. People who are looking for jobs are likely to be the most harmed, because they cannot equally easily transfer themselves overseas to take the jobs that are being created there by American investments that are fleeing high tax rates at home.

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Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV)

I barely heard any good things about this movie but as soon as I started watching it, I was hooked and into it, and, shockingly, I thought this was a very intriguing movie. Michael Cera starts off playing his typical role – the passive lonely twenty something male with no direction in life who just wants a girlfriend. I honestly have not seen any of his movies apart from Arrested Development because either the movies are too raunchy or I detest his character too much from the previews alone. He doesn’t start off any better here but it gets better.

Rated R Disguised as PG-13

I usually try to keep morality judgments to a minimum when giving my thoughts on a movie – we get too easily derailed on the moralism and miss the worldview we’re inundating ourselves with – but I need to get this out of the way for Scott Pilgrim. Watching this movie, I was surprised that it was a PG-13. It felt like a R-rated movie. The language could still get a bit harsh and crude, and I was pretty repulsed by Kieran Culkin’s homosexual character, Wallace. I kept asking what is the point? Maybe it was a key piece from the comic that doesn’t translate. Don’t mistake this for too much bias – the gay sexual overtones in every scene with Wallace were much much stronger than any heterosexual innuendo were (which repulse me as well). I wonder if any homosexual friends of mine might actually be offended themselves at his highlighted promiscuity. The relationships highlighted in Scott and Ramona’s lives were mainly immature and not primarily sexual. There’s one less clothed scene that doesn’t go anywhere (easily fast-forwarded through). Scott cracks about “1st and 2nd base” and making out but Wallace has to go over the top for some reason I don’t understand. This didn’t ruin the film for me, but it might for you.

The Premise and Style

I loved the simplicity of the plot: guy (Scott) likes girl (Ramona) and then has to fight her 7 ex-boyfriends in order to “date her.” Director Edgar Wright takes a well-played phenomenon and goes all the way with it in non animated video game style. When I say video game style, I mean it – forget about reality in the fights here, we’re talking points and powers and 1-up lives. This feature of the movie might annoy you but I loved it, it made the fights hilarious and less serious nor focused on mere physical strength.

The Fight for Her Heart

What I liked about the fights was that it was not so much about the matchup but about who he was fighting for her. There was a element of Ramona that was chained to her past and Scott defeated these evil guys is not just about dating her but freeing her and winning her heart. This isn’t about machismo (he doesn’t have any of that anyway!) as is the typical reason for these fights in movies.

The question that keeps coming up for Scott, and ultimately for Ramona is this: Is she worth fighting for? I think the character of Ramona is perfect for this film – she is sweet yet broken, and attractive yet not appearance focused. The film obviously makes her stand out but she is not some airbrushed model tossed in there to get young men to see this movie. Ramona accepts Scott for who he is but doesn’t enable his passive tendencies. She isn’t perfect – her past is real and she is still captive to it and Scott is part of her path to freedom. So then, does Scott see her as worth fighting for? Initially it’s all motivation by infatuation but it then begins to transform into a genuine love for her – he has to see all of her past and keep seeing her more and more for who she really is. Good stuff on multiple levels. It’s not just about him winning her but there is a cleansing affect – like he is washing her of her past. Multiple times though, Scott is ready to give up. Ramona even runs back to one boyfriend, showing that her enslavement is a choice as well as a prison.

Victory through Brokenness

So can Scott defeat the final ex and free her from the boyfriend to whom she actually runs and is most enslaved to? The route to victory is not paved ultimately by love or perseverance – it’s through death, and his own confession of sin to the girls he himself has hurt. He also has to earn the “power of self-respect” to defeat the bad guy which is our cultural way of saying that you need something outside of the relationship. Anytime you see “self-respect” in a movie, just recognize it as an indicator that we all know we need a higher love otherwise the relationship becomes too much of an idol. Self-respect is overrated; we need Jesus – He demonstrates our worth and is our rock. The point is that she can’t be his only thing worth living for and once that changes, he can then finish the job and free her.

Seriously, 1,000 Words on Scott Pilgrim?

There is definitely some depth to this film! I am still surprised and I want to see it again. I have one final thought. There is a point in the film when Scott seems to forget what he is fighting for, who he has won. He’s won a big victory and then he forgets all about Ramona, practically letting her walk away until it hits him. I think this is what can happen when you get married. Dating and being engaged and the anticipation is enthralling. It’s a lot of fun. Pursuing your girlfriend or fiancé is easy. But it’s very easy to forget who you’re pursuing when you get married. How often do I take for granted what an amazing wife I have? I can act like the fight is over when it’s only just beginning. I can drift into habitual apathy instead of reveling in the gift she is to me, my best friend and one of the greatest things ever to happen to me. I don’t ever want to forget that. Men, don’t forget your Ramona either but you keep fighting for her. You know your wife is worth it.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a mind-blowing, fun, surprising film with hints of the Gospel and what a marriage takes. Heed my warnings above and you might want to give it a shot. 

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Dr. David Powlison – Does God get upset when we disobey? from CCEF on Vimeo.

Depression’s Odd Filter (by Ed Welch)

You have to know that Jesus is not like a mere mortal. In human relationships, our love is way too dependent on how the other person is loveable. When you love others, they love you. When you don’t, they don’t. Jesus, however, is not like other people. When our love for him wavers, he loves us. Therein lies the fatal flaw in your hearing.

Millennials Snapshot (by Thom Rainer)

Only 13 percent of the Millennials considered in our study said that spirituality of any type was important to them. One out of ten. Most Millennials don’t even think about religious matters at all. This generation is not antagonistic toward religion, especially Christianity, but rather agnostic toward all aspects of religion.

Facebook Hype will Fade (by David Rushkoff, CNN)

We will move on, just as we did from the chat rooms of AOL, without even looking back. When the place is as ethereal as a website, our allegiance is much more abstract than it is to a local pub or gym. We don’t live there, we don’t know the owner, and we are all the more ready to be incensed by the latest change to a privacy policy, or to learn that every one of our social connections has been sold to the highest corporate bidder.

Whose Wife are You? (by Tim Challies)

If a wife wants to know if she is submitting to her husband, it may be that the better question for her to ask is, “Am I actively rebelling against his leadership?” It’s not a matter of the particulars of what she does compared to other women, but whether she is following her husband as he leads her into being his perfect complement

Are you sure you want a husband who…? (by Dan Phillips, Pyromaniacs)

You need to start with the premise that God’s “dumbest” idea about womanhood is light-years better than your “brightest” idea. You need to start there, and work it out.

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“Departures” is a Japanese film that won the “Best Foreign Film” award at the Oscars and came to me highly recommended from a friend. It’s currently at an 80% rating (really high) on Rotten Tomatoes and plenty lived up to the billing. Though there are still a few things that I am not connecting with in the movie and feel like it deserves another viewing, I want to give my initial thoughts and give this film some much deserved props.

This movie is unbelievably engrossing. It just pulls you in emotionally. How can a movie essentially about a man who takes a job preparing the dead for funerals be that interesting? Then add in the fact that unless you speak Japanese, you’ll be watching this movie in subtitles. Seriously? Yes. The characters are very good. Most of the scenes that just pierce your heart have barely any spoken words. The marriage is believable and intriguing. The resolve that you are waiting for definitely pays off.

There are 2 key parts to pay attention to in this film. First, once again, fathers are important. Daigo is haunted by this. There is a reason he is quirky and sometimes annoying and a bit passive, even taking into account the Japanese cultural influences (I lived in Japan for 6 years as a child). Second, let the funerals hit you. You will see a number of them. Let this piece of art hit you emotionally and do not fight it. I couldn’t help but be in tears for nearly all of them but I’m a little biased having lost my own father 9 years ago and having been to 2 funerals this year alone. Seeing the fathers/husbands in this movie break down just about crushed me multiple times. The consistent dealing with death in this movie kept me at such a stirred tension throughout almost the entire film. To me, this is a good thing because it felt so real. However, this is not a somber movie. Humor cuts throughout it and there is a hopeful feel. See it all in light of the Gospel but let yourself be immersed in the story.

“Departures” is certainly worth watching and is a well-made film! Give it a shot.

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