Skip to comments.'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children
Posted on 12/04/2006 7:52:47 PM PST by Pyro7480
'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children
By John-Henry Westen
NEW YORK, December 4, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A review of New Line Cinema's The Nativity story by Fr. Angelo Mary Geiger of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in the United States, points out that the film, which opened December 1, misinterprets scripture from a Catholic perspective.
While Fr. Geiger admits that he found the film is "in general, to be a pious and reverential presentation of the Christmas mystery." He adds however, that "not only does the movie get the Virgin Birth wrong, it thoroughly Protestantizes its portrayal of Our Lady."
In Isaiah 7:14 the Bible predicts the coming of the Messiah saying: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel." Fr. Geiger, in an video blog post, explains that the Catholic Church has taught for over 2000 years that the referenced Scripture showed that Mary would not only conceive the child miraculously, but would give birth to the child miraculously - keeping her physical virginity intact during the birth.
The film, he suggests, in portraying a natural, painful birth of Christ, thus denies the truth of the virginal and miraculous birth of Christ, which, he notes, the Fathers of the Church compared to light passing through glass without breaking it. Fr. Geiger quoted the fourth century St. Augustine on the matter saying. "That same power which brought the body of the young man through closed doors, brought the body of the infant forth from the inviolate womb of the mother."
Fr. Geiger contrasts The Nativity Story with The Passion of the Christ, noting that with the latter, Catholics and Protestants could agree to support it. He suggests, however, that the latter is "a virtual coup against Catholic Mariology".
The characterization of Mary further debases her as Fr. Geiger relates in his review. "Mary in The Nativity lacks depth and stature, and becomes the subject of a treatment on teenage psychology."
Beyond the non-miraculous birth, the biggest let-down for Catholics comes from Director Catherine Hardwicke's own words. Hardwicke explains her rationale in an interview: "We wanted her [Mary] to feel accessible to a young teenager, so she wouldn't seem so far away from their life that it had no meaning for them. I wanted them to see Mary as a girl, as a teenager at first, not perfectly pious from the very first moment. So you see Mary going through stuff with her parents where they say, 'You're going to marry this guy, and these are the rules you have to follow.' Her father is telling her that she's not to have sex with Joseph for a year-and Joseph is standing right there."
Comments Fr. Geiger, "it is rather disconcerting to see Our Blessed Mother portrayed with 'attitude;' asserting herself in a rather anachronistic rebellion against an arranged marriage, choosing her words carefully with her parents, and posing meaningful silences toward those who do not understand her."
Fr. Geiger adds that the film also contains "an overly graphic scene of St. Elizabeth giving birth," which is "just not suitable, in my opinion, for young children to view."
Despite its flaws Fr. Geiger, after viewing the film, also has some good things to say about it. "Today, one must commend any sincere attempt to put Christ back into Christmas, and this film is certainly one of them," he says. "The Nativity Story in no way compares to the masterpiece which is The Passion of the Christ, but it is at least sincere, untainted by cynicism, and a worthy effort by Hollywood to end the prejudice against Christianity in the public square."
And, in addition to a good portrait of St. Joseph, the film offers "at least one cinematic and spiritual triumph" in portraying the Visitation of Mary to St. Elizabeth. "Although the Magnificat is relegated to a kind of epilogue at the movie's end, the meeting between Mary and Elizabeth is otherwise faithful to the scriptures and quite poignant. In a separate scene, the two women experience the concurrent movement of their children in utero and share deeply in each other's joy. I can't think of another piece of celluloid that illustrates the dignity of the unborn child better than this."
See Fr. Geiger's full review here:
But [St. Paul] did NOT say to the churches to set up a multi-layered bureaucracy
He mentions six in various places: Christ, His Apostles, bishops, priests and deacons, and lay people.
= = = =
Ahhhhh, but NOT . . . in a legal edifice--one organization framework. Not even close to that.
That can't be right, isn't that an LDS belief? That we will evolve into Gods. I think one of the EO on this thread said he meant we would share in his divine essence.
That is aliento Orthodoxy. Personally, it's blasphemous.
I think "loud" is in the eye of the beholder, mostly.
I like a variety of emphases including all caps. My quirk. If it's too annoying, feel free to skip my posts.
You have some annoying quirks, too. No biggy. It's called the human condition, last I checked.
Anything straightforwardly built plainly and directly on Scripture and practiced in good faith without fleshly embellishment and layering on of inferred, extrapolated, assumed junk . . . toward the increasing of intimacy with Jesus, Father, Spirit--is worth my applause--at least acceptance and prayerful support.
The first part of Hail Mary is a compilation of direct scripture quotes. The request for her prayer in the end reflects her adoption of us at the foot of the Cross as Christ was dying, for us sinners.
= = =
As written and recited . . . I consider it a fairly mangling distortion of Scripture wholesale OUT of keeping with the context and meaning of the Scriptures involved.
Having that man-made religion tag thrown at you is ugly isn't it? Not very kind of me, I'm sorry. I'm tired and sick of having it thrown at me. You can't even accept prayers from me for fear I may ask for a little help on your behalf.
Your "religion" takes you to a church on Sunday, I assume, so you are listening to someone preach to you every week. You may very well have a personal relationship with God but it comes with outside biases. Who started your church? Jesus started mine.
I'm too tired to continue because I get ugly when I'm tired.
Goodnight! I'll try to rejoin everyone tomorrow when I've had a much needed rest!
I'd think it would be a higher priority--Biblically as well as in view of the loving thing
--to deal with my content vs my formatting.
Of course, if my formatting affords a convenient out . . .
What can I say.
I laid that out in several numbered points.
My words were common English words.
The question at this point is most puzzling.
The EO would not have said that. We do not share in divine essence. Those who become Christ-like share in His divinity by grace (uncreated enegries), not by nature.
We should pray for all non believers as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ that they may truly be in a right relationship with our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST.
You don't believe you become God then, do you?
G'night Sam. Sweet dreams and God bless..
Do you even know what you are asking? I suggest you read the whole text of the Divine Liturgy.
What you call sacrifice we call "Gifts." Why do people give gifts, Blogger? Out of love. Out of gratitude. Because God showers us with gifts.
Make sure you notice when, before consecration, the priest says: We offer to You these gifts from Your own gifts in all and for all.
Gifts are "sacrifices" inasmuch as one goes out of his way to acquire them and give them without expecting anything in return. Gifts are labor of love. It's a sactifice alright, a bloodless one. Not something pagans did to buy favors.
We can never become God in essence (nature). The Church never believed that.
Woot! There it is!
"The Old Testament forbids trying to make contact with the dead.
Aww, man. You regressed.
Where in the Bible does it tell you that, annalex? The bible says to believe and be baptized. Belief is the main point and baptism comes as obedience but if a person believes on his or her death bed, and isn't baptized, does that person go to hell? I think not. There isn't anywhere I know of where the eucharist is really necessary. What is necessary is putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. But, you've been over all this before, I'm sure.
When he spoke of drinking unworthily, he was talking of the folks who had a party and ate and drank and didn't respect communion. If you take it in that frame of mind, you can get very ill and even die. (I don't know exactly where that is in the Bible but it's there.) That's why we confess our sins so that our hearts will be right with him and with others.
Christ's church is the body of Christ, all believers, not just one particular denomination. Some day you will find that out, hopefully. Love, M
Some of us may be selective in one we absorb but refuse to let flow through us like forgiveness, i.e. receiving Gods forgiveness while refusing to forgive others. But bottling up all that Light cannot have a good ending and we know it does not in the example given. (Matt 7)
Which brings me to your reply, Quix!
I rejoice that Christ picked twelve very different persons! And that He received seven very different churches in Revelation!
Truly, I believe the foundation stones for New Jerusalem are a metaphor for this beauty we are not cookie-cutter Christians. God is like a master artist whose Creation both spiritual and physical is a living canvas.
But personally, I must never give up trying to be utterly transparent in Him a diamond instead of a sapphire.
You see, Quix, when I first believed I was not just absorbing Light (using hosepipes metaphor) I was a black hole. Light cannot escape the gravity of a black hole, and light passing by it is bent by the intense gravity. Thats me. Left to my own devices, I would absorb all of God's Light and hurt those around me.
Therefore, I personally cannot afford the luxury of slacking off, dear brother in Christ. So I will continue to try to be like a diamond, though I know in the end Ill be blessed to be an amethyst.
We are to become LIKE Christ/God, but we are not to think of ourselves AS God or a god. Those who do are new age folks.
If you're going to insist to the moderator that i not ping you on this thread don't ping me.
Are you talking about the same God that asked Abraham to give his only son?
Apparently whatever you were told about Mary (and God) were wrong.
"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?" -- 1 Corinthians 4:7
Okay name the church fathers, the apostles, and the churches the apostles founded.
Unless the Scrptures and Apostles LIE they COEXISTED.
None whatsoever. It's very strange.
I believe the relevant verses usually discussed/debated on this subject include (though not limited to):
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:5356).
"Therefore whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. . . . For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself" (1 Cor. 11:27, 29)
And welcome to the thread...
What are you referring to? I do not deny that God desires sacrifice. Follow the thread on back.
What is the Eucharist?
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. - Acts 10:44-48
Sorry about that.
Put down Cur Deus Homo and pick up the Verbum Dei.
Sorry, I stole Annalex's ping list.
No, I just understand that this world ain't all there is.
I also understand my place in Christ. I may boldly approach God's throne personally. Not because of myself, but because of Christ alone.
Let the Saints enjoy heaven. We'll be talking to them in person soon enough.
Grooovey lets talk diamonds.. A good quality diamond releases ALL the light that comes into it.. no other stone does that.. Also that diamond is invisible in clear water, invisible..
A ruby steals most of the infra-red wavelengths and some of the green and a little ultra-violet wavelengths in some rubies..
Diamonds are special among stones in several ways.. first that they steal no light.. second they can cut any other stone.. or most anything else.. What they are made of(carbon) is opaque uncrystalized.. Keep in mind there are blue, pink, yellow and green diamonds.. not all diamonds are "pure" carbon.. These diamonds are NOT invisible in water..
I too tend to dream about the visual metaphorical meanings of the last chapters of revelation.. Missing those metaphors would cost a deeper revelation of what "heaven" might be.. The New Jerusalem is not an earthly structure but a heavenly one.. Its talking about spiritual beings built together not some earth like building made for human bodies.. Deep calling out to deep, I think.. The water of the river of life running thru the "city" is a wonderful metaphor.. simply wonderful.. I see a "virtual city" changing as the spiritual beings move about.. since they ARE the city..
Actually an earthly city with all the infra-structure removed is still that city.. Because the city IS the people, even on earth.. The infra-structure is for service to human bodies.. With a new updated body(heaven) infra-structure may not be needed at all..
So much is possibly implied in the last chapters of revelation.. Precious stone typology is present all thru the bible.. However it is very hard for humans to even concieve of life without these bodies.. they are so indentified with them.. For me its easy to consider life without this body(mine).. for some reason.. The possiblities (in revelation) seem delicious to me..
Abraham, Moses, David, the thief on the cross, etc. didn't have baptism, the Eucharist or, as far as I can see, an organization of men claiming dispositive authority over their souls.
The aborted babies have neither baptism nor Eucharist - neither do some who are mentally or physically handicapped and others who have died without hearing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The last few chapters of Revelation are glorious! I soooo look forward to it:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit. I Cor 15:42-45
Thank you so much for sharing all those insights!
Amen. The only sacrifice able to pay the penalty.
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." -- Hebrews 10:12-14
"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." -- Hebrews 10:12-14
And yet we have posts on this thread ridiculing "substitutionary atonement" and sentences like "He paid the price."
ANNALEX: No, God definitely does not want a sacrifice
KOSTA50: That's blasphemy.
Before coming to these threads I never dreamed the basic nature of salvation was held in such low regard by our RC and EO FRiends. Flabbergasting. We may as well toss out Hebrews and practically ever other book in Scripture if we deny that Christ was the lamb slain for our sins from the foundation of the world who took upon Himself the punishment that was rightfully ours in order to present us blameless before God.
Sadly, it does appear to be a different Gospel.
"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." -- Ephesians 5:2
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." -- Hebrews 9:25-28
"Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." -- Hebrews 9:25-28
"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." -- Romans 5:19
12For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is of necessity an alteration of the law [concerning the priesthood] as well.
13For the One of Whom these things are said belonged [not to the priestly line but] to another tribe, no member of which has officiated at the altar.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
How happy I am to see us in agreement! (:
Well sure. I said earlier that I personally did not have a problem with "Theotokos" (especially as opposed to "Christotokos") because I think I have an understanding of how it is being used by the people who are using it. In witnessing, I would not choose to first use the term "mother of God" UNLESS I was also led to go into a whole long explanation of what that meant. That could very well happen someday. In addition, our respective explanations would certainly be different, including the mechanics. We would also disagree on what the title says about Mary. :) However, on the simple point of whether Mary gave birth to the God-man, thereby she was His mother, and if that's what Theotokos means, then "yes".
Anyway, in the same breath I agree with the criticisms of the other Protestants here, in that such a term could very well lead to a wrong impression, especially in witnessing. It really would take a full explanation. But here, in this conversation, among you all, it doesn't bother me, (and of course many of the points have been discussed on this thread). Nobody here thinks that our Lord Jesus took on His divine nature after physical birth.
I do know how that goes indeed. Thank you so much for this inspired sharing on prayer in Christ Jesus, the Head from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God (Col. 2:19), amen.
As far as Kolo's position, I believe the Orthodox has always held there not to be a need for the blood atonement. I think St. Gregory's comments sound reasonable but are contray to scriptures (a few provided by Dr. E). The traditional view of the western church fathers, couched in the aboved article, is that until St. Anselm was to believe that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.
As I state above, this view was never the view of the eastern church as far as I can tell. However it WAS the view of the western church for centuries. The Catholic doctrine moved towards the Orthodox position 500 years ago.
Catholics have abandoned the blood atonement concept favoring a similar Orthodox view (hence the discussions of St. Gregory and Anselm). Protestants, contrary to what the Catholics would like to have us believe, have always believed in the blood atonement. However, in some Protestant circles there is a watering down of this doctrine.
Where you consider it "blasphemous", I consider it essential. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. I didn't see a discussion of this in St. Gregory's writings.
"I think one of the EO on this thread said he meant we would share in his divine essence."
I sincerely doubt that any Orthodox here said we would share the Divine Essence. The Latins, or at least some of them, hold that position. Orthodoxy teaches that theosis is coming into union with the uncreated Divine Energies of God because God allows no union with His Divine Essence, in effect becoming "divinized" but not "deified" or in some manner obliterated by or absorbed into God (the Latins don't believe that we are absorbed into God either so far as I know). cf +Gregory Palamas
Just as a matter of curiosity, what do Protestants think happens to those who have attained theosis?