Friday, October 17, 2008

Bill Maher's "Religulous"... and why it doesn't bother me

Funny how this movie thing keeps coming up.  Though I have yet to see the movie, (as tends to be the case with two young children) I have recently watched many extended trailers, clips, Bill Maher interviews, a few supportive reviews, and loads of  opposed reviews of the film.  Bill is the flag-bearer of the self-proclaimed gosepl of "I Don't Know" (read: agnostic)

I'm not a Bill Maher fan.  Watched his show for years just so I could cringe and yell at the screen.  But he's no fool.  While there's no ground-breaking trails blazed in this comedic documentary, Bill does one thing very well: He asks GREAT questions.

To Followers of Christ: Does that offend you?  

I seem to remember this lengthy love story where people were full of questions about the coming Messiah.  And later in that love story the Messiah himself came and served the masses, loved people, and, yes, answered burning questions regarding this King and his supposed Kingdom.

The book of First Peter in the Bible, Chapter 3 verse 15 has this to say: "Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with utmost courtesy." (The Message version)

When this faith is genuine; when it's bursting with love; when it's clothed in humility and service to others - it's beautiful.  When it's burdensome religion - it's religulous - and who can blame Bill Maher for thinking it through?

I welcome such a film.  A catalyst of sorts.  If it furthers the possibility for followers of Christ like me to step out of my box of comfort and into the lives of people that crave intelligent and potentially transforming discussion, I'm all in.  

Makes me wonder about the virtues of a film like Fireproof versus the virtues of a film like Religulous.

What do you think?


A Cane in Gator Country said...

I have asked the same questions myself. I think alot of Christians see things like this in anger because they dont know how to answer the questions posed. On the other hand, a person who knows scripture might be currious to see how non christians view our beliefs. It is a very fine line to walk, but I think some good can come from it, because God is in control after all.

Mary Stucchi said...

I say bring it on.
I think this documentary can be used for God's glory if we Christians don't freak out in judgmental hatred towards the editing choices...
because, let's face it, ... no matter if there is just religious fundamentalists being interviewed, or if there are some great God-honoring questions and conversations, it still may seem like foolishness to the world.
Why are we surprised?
and also ...
The world is hungry for truth. maybe this will help them ask the right questions ...

Travis Greene said...

Bill Maher came to campus when I was at UCF, and it was free, so I went to see him. It was more of a comedy routine, and he can be pretty funny. He was talking about religion (I forget exactly what), and he asked sort of rhetorically, "Does anyone here believe [whatever he was talking about]?" And a lot of the crowd was like "Boo" or "No!". And he said, "Shut up, you don't speak for everybody. Does anyone believe this?" It wasn't really the forum for anybody to stand up and make some kind of speech, but he did seem interested in at least hearing people out and not utterly ridiculing them.