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:
Actually, I knew a homosexual who lived in Germany in the US Army . . . most of his partners were priests. I asked him about their supervisors . . . he asserted that they knew and didn't care.
I think prophesy as proclimation could fit but I think the SONS AND DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHECY is what most Pentecostals etc. understand it to be--supernatural by Holy Spirit prediction about future events as well as spiritual and other inights such as with Annanias and Saphirah etc. (sp?)
Again, I assert that the Word of God is not a collection of text on paper, pixels on a monitor, dye on papyrus or pressure waves (sound). He is alive!
Jesus, The Word of God (John 1, Rev 19) was speaking to those who were physically hearing Him but could not spiritually hear Him (ears to hear) in this passage but these words are recorded for our benefit, so that we will understand the power of God:
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: - John 10:26-27
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Matt 22:29
= = = =
INDEED! INDEED! AMEN!
Yes he did. He wasn't particularly fond of James but included it as Scripture. I too joke that James is one guy I would like to sock in the mouth from time to time because he appears so against the rest of the New Testament. In reality, James, understood rightly, is a wonderful book about how Christians should live. I was discussing it with some friends this very evening in a Bible study. James saw the truth that Christianity isn't vain religion. Rather, it is faith that works.
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Here, we can see that James sees things no differently than Paul (though I do think Paul was the clearer writer in terms of the ages - I think James' initial audience knew precisely what James was saying to them).
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
I think there is this idea that we somehow run from James and embrace only Paul. That is not true. We take Paul and James as BOTH equally authoritative and not contradictory in the least.
It takes Sola Scriptura to understand that though.
I believe God telling Israel that he did not want Kings is a foreshadowing of this as well.
Indeed, that rings true in my Spirit as well!
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FOR SURE! AND I THINK IT'S A VERY KEY POINT.
Why did God not want Kings?
He considered it an affront--somewhat as He considered it an affront that the Children of Israel were too much fraidy cats to meet person to person with God at the tent of meeting in the wilderness.
God wants INTIMATE ONE ON ONE DIALOGUE WITHOUT INTERMEDIARIES.
Having a King was another form of foisting some man--flawed man--between the troops and God.
It neutered God's OPEN-DOOR-WALK-AGAIN-IN-THE-GARDEN policy, heart's desire--what Christ died for.
And, I think, that's one of the most demonic of the perversions of the Roman edifice that God hates the most. However, lots of other Protesty congregations functionally end up doing the same thing--glorifying man and deferring to man as the professional "God-go-between." The Roman brothers and sisters have no monopoly on the perversion. I'd rather they did--then at least a major portion of Christendom would be relatively free of it. Sadly, they are not.
I agree. It's stunning how the OT is so great in illustrating for us the pitfalls of human behavior and how it separates us from God.
= = = =
I don't doubt that God is supreme; Christ is His Son; came in the flesh; died for my sins; saved my soul etc.
I don't always have confident trust that He is out to do me good in my sense of good in a given situation or category of life events say. Not saying it's a logical flaw on my part--just a real one not yet fully overcome. Sadly.
Amen. Praise God for that.
And Holy Spirit's help in that.
Hmmmm . . .
Wellll, in a sense I believe in Eternal Security. My eternity is secure in Jesus . . .
Still tends to sound like hair splitting, often. But this is not the thread for that--been plenty of threads on that to the nth degree! LOL.
True, true, imho.
Jesus is the only way we are secure. We'll probably visit this topic again sometime though, I imagine :)
that's a very good one!
How's that Bible code comin' along?
The science and the art of the authentic Bible Codes appear to be progressing at a fairly rapid clip.
I have been planning to post major portions of the latest digest for weeks. Haven't even finished reading it myself.
Plenty of other fish to fry, it seems.
But it remains exceedingly fascinating and a wonderful glimpse at the Majesty and Wonder of God's power and grandeur . . . and at some of the lengths He will go to, to affirm such to us critters.
I'm happy for ya. :-)
Not sure when you are satirical and when not.
Tell ya what. Give us one prophecy of what's going to happen this year. That way you won't have to constantly tell us about all the stuff that happens after the fact. Just one. Give it to us.
My takeaway, which I've never forgotten: Put all your trust in Jesus Christ and all will be well. For truly as you say, Alamo-Girl: "The life is in Christ, and in Him alone."
On this very thread (I don't want to mention any names) a Reformed Protestant Freeper basically said that if one sins he is not a Christian. So, in part I was reacting to that statement, which seemed rather incredulous.
Rather, while they remain in fellowship with God, they are dead to sin or separated from the penalty of sin
I am not sure I understand the terminology here, or the concept for that matter. But I think this is different than what +Paul is saying in Rom 6. He says rather definitively that those who have been Baptized (accepted Christ as their Savior) are dead to sin and sin no more.
I have also been told by Protestants on this Forum that (1) the elect cannot fall away because (2) God won't let them. From the way you are stating it, I get the impression that we determine if we are going to stay "in fellowship" with God and not the other way around.
Trouble is, we are not dealing with a 'Protestant doctrine' but with individual Protestants who believe, let's be brutally honest, whatever they want to believe, or whatever they think the indwelling Spirit leads the to believe.
As such, a coherent general discussion regarding doctrine or theology is severely limited, as there will always be another Protestant who is likely to disagree with the first one.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matt 13:18-23
First, is the Jewish interpretation that the reason there was a beginning at all was that God the Father wanted to reveal Himself.
In the beginning regardless of cosmology (cyclic, inflationary, epkyrotic, multi-world, multi-verse, imaginary time, hesitating, etc.) all that exists is God Himself. Space and time do not exist, neither does causality. In the absence of time, events cannot occur. In the absence of space, things cannot exist. Without space/time there is no energy, no matter, no thing at all. Only existence exists, i.e. God.
IOW, the beginning (both physical and spiritual) was a willful act of God the Creator. (First Cause) Which is to say there is nothing of which anything can be made but God Himself. Reality is God's will and unknowable in its fullness.
But God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all. He is good and not evil. So I meditated and prayed why this is so.
In response to that prayer, I now have peace in the spirit with this understanding: God has revealed Himself by contrast. How would we know light if we had never seen darkness? Good if we had never seen evil? Sickness v. health, courage v. fear, right v. wrong and so on.
And so there was a Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil right there in the Garden of Eden for Adam to see, to observe but not to feed on, not to make a part of himself. But we know how that ended up.
Once Adam fed on the knowledge of good and evil, it became a part of himself and he was hopelessly stained red. No matter how much white was added to him, he could never be more than another shade of pink. He had to be born again, which is exactly what Christ made possible by His own body and blood!
You see, it was never about this heaven and earth from the beginning, it has always been about the next heaven and earth God and His family and those to whom He has revealed Himself and with whom He will always live.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:1
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. Romans 8:4-6