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:
Back at ya.
However you wish to describe dogma, whatever the dogma you wish to reference, if you don't accept or believe the dogma of your Church, you're no longer with your church. Same applies to you.
And we're all free agents - unless you're Calvinist of course. :)
Sha'ul has just established through the preceding three chapters that no one can claim to be righteous, because everyone has broken God's Law
Wrong, because the Bible mentions many righteous people. One is righteous in the eyes of God, being acceptable to God (not juridically perfect). One is rendered righteous by repentance (King David), and unfailing trust in God (Job), etc. Not in the juridical sense.
Judaism does not believe that there are no righteous people. That is +Paul's construct.
"All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23)
Ridiculous. Adam and Eve fell short of the Glory of God even before they sinned.
Therefore, no one gets into heaven by their own merits, but only by receiving the righteousness that God has made available to us.
No, we will be subject to judgment according to our deeds. Our intent will be judged.
According to Thayer's Lexicon, while the word primarily means "to stand" or "to make stand," used in the context of Rom. 3:31 it means, "to establish a thing, cause it to stand, i.e., to uphold or sustain the authority
More hyperboles. And just how are Christians to uphold the authority of the Law to which they are not subject? Remember, they are not under the Law.
God wasn't establishing a new oath--He was upholding and sustaining the authority of the promise He had made to Isaac's father
Really? "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. [Heb 8:6]
Sure sounds like a new oath to me!
"Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." [Jer 31:31]
It's not something new. It was foretold in the Old Testament, but wait the promise God makes to make a new oath is with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not with the Gentiles. Oooops!
Christ never preached to the Gentiles, nor did he sent His disciples to them. Instead, he specifically commands them to preach to the 12 tribes of Israel (curious, considering that he must have known that the Jews will reject the Church).
God actually did the reverse procedure.. He whistled for the gentiles and they came and took the Jews away leaders and all..(Darius,Cyrus,Nebuchadnezzar, others)
Several times.. he did this operation..
Actually, that is not how Judaism sees it. Judaism sees Satan as obedient God's servant, and Adam and Eve's transgression as a teaching lesson, that would make them mature.
+Paul specifically says "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace." [Rom 6:14]
God's holy and spiritual commandment not to eat of a certain tree put the curse of sin and death on all Mankind, did it not? And why? Because we, in Adam, did not obey it
No. Because Adam did not repent when God gave him a chance to do so. Instead, he blamed God for giving him Eve.
"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" [Rom 2:4]
Already addressed back in post 7285, which I pinged you to, so you already know my answer to that one
Sorry I must have missed it. Otherwise I wouldn't have asked.
"and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air.
A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter, kill and eat!"
But Peter said, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean."
Again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy." [Act 10:12-15]
Apparently it makes no distinction between which 4-legged animal. The early Church apaprently interpreted this to mean no dietary restrictions. Dietary restrictions are part of the Law, so Christians being under grace and not under Law are under no obligation to follow Kosher habits.
Actually the question about trusting 'Jewish hands' is not about the Apostles or Christ, but about the compilers of the Masorete, the Hebrew text available before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The oldest extant copies of the Masorete date to about 1000 A.D. The content is based on a Babylonian text prefered by the Christ-denying rabbis who met at Jamnia in 90 A.D. to fix a canon for the Jews after the destruction of the Temple, preferred over the Palestinian text which had been translated into Greek beginning c. 250 B.C., to produce the Septuagint (for brevity LXX), the version of the Old Covenant Scriptures quoted throughout the New Testament by Christ and His Apostles. The Babylonian text was preferred because it contained readings at variance with the Old Covenant Scriptures used by the Christians. (Including most famously at one point in Isaiah a Hebrew word meaning 'young woman' where the Greek LXX had 'parthenos'=virgin.)
Luther and the other 'reformers' and protestants after them, including the translators commissioned by King James (Sixth of Scotland, First of England),
mistakenly believed the Masorete to be 'more genuine', or even the original text of the Scriptures, when in fact it was a redaction made by Christ-denying Jews after Our Lord's Incarnation, Saving Death, Glorious Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven.
The question is why do you trust a Hebrew text transmitted to us by those who deny Christ, rather than the Greek text translated before Christ's advent and used by the Church, Christ and the Holy Apostles included, from its founding?
Thanks for the tip. It looks very much like Scamorama, the one I am familiar with. I love the creativity of the scambaiters. Makes me want to give it a try. :)
Yes, I am aware of the symbolism but it is not exactly parallel. In the case of the Passover, it was the Spirit of God that was the "death" (Good Lord what a concept!), so the lamb's blood was protecting the Jews from God (as if God didn't know who was Jewish...but 'needed' a 'marker.').
But I can see the distorted idea that prevails in the West that just as the Lamb protected the Israelites from the wrath of God, so does the blood of Christ protect the Christians from the same wrathful and angry God!
In other words, God died to protect us from God, which makes God the source and cause of death, and since death is the consequence of sin, it makes God the author of sin!
Oh, western Christianity will deny that in a heartbeat, but everything about the juridical Christian concept of God speaks loudly that that's what's in the background.
That is an idea very foreign to Eastern Christianity. In fact, unrecognizable.
Your source is biased. Here is a more balanced overview of the Gospel of the Nazoreans
Buggman: Hello? Lambs, bulls, and goats? And what about when Moses interceded repeatedly for the sins of Israel? "Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, 'You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin'" (Exo. 32:30)
Well, it's one of those yes/no/maybe things the Bible if full of like the salvation is already/not yet issue.
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." [Eze 18:20]
"The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." [Deu 24:16]
Even the OT makes it clear that goats and bulls cannot atone for anyone's sins. Our sins are our sins. We must atone for them through our own repentance. +Paul came up with the doctrine of atonement. It is specifically left out in the Nicene and Niceano-Consatntinopolean Creeds. It was not taught by the Apostolic Church. It became the foundational theology of Luther' heresy and his followers.
My sincere appolgies. I included you out of curtesy. I was repsonding to kawaii on a thread that was addressed to you.
In a way, that's part of Pauline Christianity too, Mad Dawg. We (pig-eating gentiles) are merely "grafts," and in 1,000-year Rule we are to continuie as second-class citizens. What an honor!
Christ never preached to the Gentiles, nor did he sent His disciples to them. Instead, he specifically commands them to preach to the 12 tribes of Israel ...
Not true ...Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Buggman responded: They did not speak of the Apocrypha with the terms that indicated that they thought it Scripture, nor did they build doctrine upon them. Neither should we.
I have not been following this conversation, but I happen to come upon Buggman's response and I must disagree with him. The Church Fathers over and over spoke of the DEUTEROCANNONICALS (Apocrypha is the term given to "hidden" writings, not writings that came into the cannon after some discussion, such as 2 Peter or Wisdom) as being Scriptures. They often discussed a theological point, proofing it with a Protocannonical work and IN THE SAME SENTENCE using a Dueterocannonical work. Thus, in context, they considered that the Deut writing had the exact SAME force as the Proto work of Scriptures.
For example, consider this...
"What, then, again says the prophet? 'The assembly of the wicked surrounded me; they encompassed me as bees do a honeycomb,'[Ps. 22:17,118:12] and 'upon my garment they cast lots'[Ps. 22:19]. Since, therefore, He was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, His suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against Israel, 'Woe to their soul, because they have counselted an evil counsel against themselves[Isa. 3:9,] saying, Let us bind the just one, because he is displeasing to us'[Wisdom 2:12]. And Moses also says to them, 'Behold these things, saith the Lord God: Enter into the good land which the Lord sware tto give to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and inherit ye it, a land flowing with milk and honey'[Ex. 33:1, Lev. 20:24]." Epistle of Barnabas, 6 (A.D. 74).
As any unbiased individual can see, the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas considered the Book of Wisdom to be Scriptural, using a verse from it with the same force in the same sentence as a verse from Isaiah and surrounded by other Scriptures from the Protocanonical books. From such writings, we can determine that many other Fathers considered other books as Scriptures.
Nearly a year ago, some other gentleman on this forum challenged me to prove this idea that the Deuterocanonicals were Scriptures as determined by the Church Fathers. As such, I did some extensive research and found the following. This is a transcript with what I have posted here before...
OT Deuterocanonicals explicitly accepted as Scripture
Epistle of Barnabas Wisdom
Clement of Rome Wisdom
Melito of Sardes gives a list including Daniel and Wisdom, possibly Baruch
Irenaeus Daniel (*see below) and Baruch
Tertullian Wisdom, Daniel, and Baruch
Muratorian Fragment gives a list including Wisdom in the NT
Clement of Alexandria Sirach, Baruch, Tobit and Wisdom
Hippolytus Maccabees, Tobit, Wisdom, Baruch and Daniel
Origen Maccabees, Wisdom, Baruch, Daniel, Tobit and Sirach
Cyprian Maccabees, Wisdom, Daniel, Tobit and Sirach
Dionysius the Great Wisdom, Sirach
Alexander of Alexandria Sirach
Aphraates the Persian Sage Maccabees and Sirach
Cyril of Jerusalem includes a canon list with 2nd Esdras Daniel and Baruch. He later calls Wisdom Scripture, indicating that canon does not equal Scripture, as we define it. Canon means those books to be proclaimed at Mass.
Athanasius Baruch, Daniel, Sirach and Tobit he calls Scripture explicitly. He also lists Wisdom, Judith, Tobit as among those to be read for new converts. Note Tobit is on both lists, so he, like Cyril, does not equate canon with Scripture as we do today. The second list are not to be proclaimed during the Liturgy.
Basil Maccabees, Judith, Wisdom, Baruch, Daniel and Sirach
Hilary of Poitiers Daniel, Baruch, Maccabees, and Wisdom. He also lists Tobit and Judith in his list of Scripture.
Gregory of Nazianzen Daniel, Maccabees, Wisdom, Judith
Gregory of Nyssa Wisdom, Daniel
Ambrose Wisdom, Judith, Daniel, Baruch, Maccabees, Tobit and Sirach
Council of Rome, Decree of Pope Damasus (A.D. 382). All Deuterocanonicals of Roman Catholic Church included.
John Chrysostom Tobit, Baruch, Wisdom, Sirach, Maccabees, and Daniel
Jerome lists 1st Maccabees and later Sirach (called Parables in Hebrew form) as Scripture and discounts the other Deuterocanonicals SOLELY on the grounds that there are no Hebrew versions of them (this is why he includes 1st Maccabees and later Sirach). He also equates Baruch with Scripture right along with Ezekiel.
Council of Hippo, Canon 36 (A.D. 393).
Council of Carthage III, Canon 397 (A.D. 397).
* (all references to Daniel refer to the longer Septuagint, not Hebrew version.)
(This list is not found on the internet, but a result of my own reading and research - I give permission for others to copy and use this as they see fit.)
I stop at 400 AD. The above shows that there was a developing idea of these books and whether they were inspired works of God. As time continues, we see more of the Deuterocanonicals were declared as inspired Scripture, right alongside other Protocanonicals. A Fathers failure to mention a book as Scripture is not evidence of his exclusion. Also, there is NO evidence to suggest, besides Jerome, that ANY Father thought that the Deuterocanonicals were NOT inspired or Scripture. I have not found one instance of this negative being mentioned explicitly. With the evidence, it becomes clear that we can safely conclude that the Catholic Church correctly decided to incorporate the Deuterocanonicals into the Bible and declare all books thus as Scripture and inspired by God. We have no reason to believe that they were poorly informed or purposely mislead the future Church on the subject of what was Scripture. It becomes apparent that continuing to hold to this idea shows a philosophy without justification.
In the end, Buggman, those who refuse to accept the Old Testament Deuts are going to have to explain why they accept the NEW Testament Deuts, such as James, 2 and 3 John, and 2 Peter in their Scriptures, as THEY TOO were debated initially. Why the NT but not the OT Deuts??? Can anyone deny that there are theological reasons for why Luther cast them out of the Bible?
Bro' this works both ways. Check out the 39 articles some time. And besides, I think you WAY overestimate the average RC's gut-level fear of the Church's anathema, and the power of that fear to mess up our thought process. You should have been at last week's enquirers class, when the priest made a point and said, "How's that?" and the guy in back of me said loudly, "That's Baloney!" and the priest laughed and said, "Oh, Joe always thinks I'm full of it."
But, more to the point:
I don't know how I can explain this, but it was a convinced belief in sola gratia that led me from being a Calvinist type Episcopalian priest to being a Catholic. About 110% of my prayer life is about trying to STOP working. All my alleged works, and especially my contribution to them, are as filthy [G-rated translation] rags. I GET that. Feed me enough Scotch and I'll start boring you with evidence. So, while I'm still a pathetic glutton for praise and entirely susceptible to flattery, when something good follows something I did, I am always astonished and utterly prepared to give God ALL the glory.
When one of the Dominicans (aka "order of Preachers') at my parish preaches a barn-burner, I (as a former clergydude and someone therefore who knows the personal anguish that lies behind a good sermon) come bursting out of the church expostulating with praise, they always say,"Praise God."
The reason is so clear. FIRST a sermon is a failure if ALL you come away with was, "What a great sermon!" The POINT, the telos, the heneka hou is, "What a great God!" But also, they know, as I know, that if the words that come out of their mouth touch the heart of someone in a salvific way, then, "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes."
So when you write about timorous R theologians afriad to consider that there might be another way of looking at things, what you say is completely out of touch with my experience on the ground. And when you view what we say about works as contradicting the all-sufficient merit of our Lord and our utter dependence on Him "both to will and to do" you do not make contact with our theology.
The works are a gift. The merit is a gift. It is all gift. That's why our chief act of worship is called "Thanksgiving", which being translated is "Eucharist"
That was parry. Now for the thrust:
It is the Prots (well okay, only some of them, and I should say 'Protestants' and not be snotty) who are so conditioned to look down on and to condemn us Catholics, that they rush to embrace lies about what we do and think rather than pause to see if that's really what we do and think. A former colleague (in law enforcement, not the clergy) read, at my request, "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis. This guy is a very smart very committed Calvinist. From our conversation afterwards it became clear that ALL he saw in this book was those parts which might possibly be construed as hemi-demi-semi-Pelagian. He's got the gain on his Pelagianism detector set so high that the resultant static drowns out everything else that might be good. And you say WE can't look at stuff?
Quester: Not true ... Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost...
And in Mat 10:5 it says "These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans..."
Obviosuly, the term "ethnos" used in the NT can mean anything from a local tribe to the nations of the world (Gentiles, non-believers).
As an observant Jew, Christ knew that mixing with Gentiles is not allowed. He certainly did not tell the Apostles that a day will come when they will be thrown out of Israel and that His following will become Gentile.
You leave my cholesterol problem out of this!
That would seem to be Jew on Jew squabble. In house stuff. Shouldn't concern you.
But I would hate to keep score on these sad and evil things. We all blew it big time.
Too late. You already have. I didn't bring up killing.
Other than that, please, be patient with me. I don't understand your point. You don't think Christians blew it big time? I sure do. It takes us about 1800 years to get that slavery is maybe not good and that anti-semitism has a down side! God is Great. We on the other hand are a bunch o' vicious jerks. My nomme de computer has its tragic side. Rabies at least is an involuntary disease. Hatred and contempt such as some of us Christians have shown is a terrible sin. That's my idea of blowing it, and I don't really care who started it, except in terms of tracing the facts of the matter.
Kosta: Christ never preached to the Gentiles, nor did he sent His disciples to them. Instead, he specifically commands them to preach to the 12 tribes of Israel ...
Quester: Not true ... Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ...
And in Mat 10:5 it says "These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans ..."
As an observant Jew, Christ knew that mixing with Gentiles is not allowed.
The events in Matthew 10 are pre-crucifixion/resurrection ... those of Matthew 28 are post-crucifixion/resurrection (i.e. All power is given unto Me ...)
Also, it is evident that Peter was convinced (by God, no less), rather early on in the history of the church, that the teachings of Jesus were to be extended to the Gentiles, as well (i.e. the Cornelius episode).Acts 15:2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
3 Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.
4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying,
5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
6 Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
7 And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.
8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.
9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
10 And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.
11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me.
12 And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house:
13 And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter;
14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.
16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.