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:
Ah. The keystroke option.
However, indeed we will all be judged according to our works. The lost will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ according to their works and rejection of the light which God did give to them. The saved will be judged at the Great White Throne judgment according to the works that they have done for him verses those done for some other motivation. For the saved, the works are NOT SALVIFIC. They are what any rewards or lack thereof will be based on. There are also degrees of punishment for the lost in Hell, as indicated by Scripture.
James and Paul harmonize quite well. But, it is amazing that since they harmonize so well and since they are both saying exactly what you say your church teaches that when it comes time to quote one of the two it is James you pick. How is one saved? Ah, quote James. Don't quote Paul.
When Paul IS quoted, as in the case you have laid out,he is twisted as to appear to support the point of view of the Twister. Romans chapter 2 can NOT be taken in isolation. There is an entire book surrounding that chapter. The provide the interpretation for Romans 2. In Romans you find things such as this...
17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
:30Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 6: (A good chapter harmonizing Paul with James)
15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
5For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 8:29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
30What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
31But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
5Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
CHERRY PICKING of Scripture yields bad interpretation. I have just taken verses from all of Romans. There is a whole Bible surrounding that which supports our salvation by FAITH and not of works. Paul also speaks of works, but as the outpouring of the Spirit in our lives, not the way to get salvation.
Naw, if that were true the Jewish Bible would be 2/3rds New Testament.
Thanks. I didn't think I would be the only one dismayed at their ignorance.
The arrogance bothers me. Their interpretation is not an interpretation; but ours is?
By golly gum! Sola Scriptura is a fraud, I tell you! And I'm going to use Scripture alone to prove it to you! :P
But I would hate to keep score on these sad and evil things. We all blew it big time.
Well, well, the church is the deciding authority on Scripture because Scripture says the church is the deciding authority. Better?
Yes, you have Paul's job and Stephen and James and others. Judaism and Christianity split - mutual agreement. I think we could say Judaism kicked out the Christians first, but eventually... it's two different religions with a common foundation.
As the apparent "sane head" in this conversation, I'll just let it go at that. You'll carry this to whatever end you want whether I speak or not. The fallacies in your debate will not be seen by you.
Gee, next thing you're going to tell me that I can't say that Mary is the Immaculate conception, because she proclaimed she was at the Immaculate conception and the Pope is infallible based upon his proclamation (and Mary's) that he was.
Tha last sentence here is either meaningless or does not follow, and the previous describes more or less the fact that we are judged, and therefore saved, by works.
But, as the verses you cited indicate, we are also saved by faith. We are not, however, saved by faith alone, just as St. James teaches.
quote James. Don't quote Paul
To counter a Pelagian, I'll quote St. Paul. To counter your particular heresy, I quote St. James.
The Chruch does not teach any "alone" we are not saved by works alone, and we are not saved by faith alone. We are saved by faith working through love (Gal. 5:6).
From a biblical standpoint, your point is so, so, so obvious. Clearly the Bible teaches salvation by faith completely apart from works. But the problem you have in convincing a Catholic to look at the subject objectively is that anyone who proclaims the doctrine of salvation by faith without works is committing a mortal sin in the Catholic faith, as the Council of Trent has proclaimed an anathema upon any person who would make such a claim.
It is not as if these people cannot see that salvation is by faith alone apart from works, but that they cannot look! If they dare to look, then their souls are in danger of hell.
Debate is futile. Debate only works when both sides are willing to view the subject objectively. But if someone has a curse hanging over their head if they dare to look at the evidence and make up their own minds, then one cannot expect that person to be objective.
The theme of the Bible is salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Nobody needed to hang a curse over my head for me to see that simple fact.
That's silly. I can and have "looked."
Wrong wrong wrong! Our sins were already judged. They are that which has condemned us. We are declared "Not guilty!" Why? Because of Christ. If we have no sin to our record, we are saved-period.
Micah 7:19: He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea
# Ephesians 1:7
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace
# Colossians 1:14
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
# Colossians 2:13
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
1 John 2:12
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.
No mention of our works gaining our forgiveness.
John 3:18He that believeth on him is not condemned...
Do NOT call condemned that which Christ Jesus Himself does not condemn.
What would have happened to you if you had come to the conclusion that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone without works?
Could you still take communion? Would you not be subject to a curse from the Catholic Church?
All I can think is:
For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
I'd say 2 Thess 2:7-12 may be more apropos. Either that or 2 Cor 4:3-4. Or Both.