I have just watched the movie, The Terminal, which stars Tom Hanks. It’s my favourite Tom Hanks movie, and it always brings about a tear or two to my eyes. As I was watching it, I flicked through my emails and noticed a post on the Apprentice2Jesus blog about the story where God is angry with the people, Moses stands in the gap and God changes his mind.
In the introduction Dan makes the comments that he isn’t Calvinistic and probably not Arminian either. I asked what he was then and another commenter asked if he was an open theist. His reply was, Why in the world are we reduced to labels?
I started to think about the issue of labels and why it is we like to label ourselves as belonging to one theological camp or another. And I also thought about those who we might label theological police, those who are not happy unless we tick the boxes, cross the tee’s and dot the I’s.
I started to see some correlation between the movie and this train of thought. Tom Hanks when asked why he wanted to get a signature from a Jazz artist for his dead father, said, because he knew his father would have done it for him also. And indeed our heavenly Father has done every thing for us, he has signed the deeds, it is finished.
But some Christians become like the terminal manager, legalistic, unforgiving and unmoved by compassion. Oh they know the law to the 8th degree. And they will make it hard for those around them, hoping and even rejoicing that their target will break the rules. They become controlling and manipulating all in the name of justice of course.
All Christians live within the tension of living in the world and not of the world. I would challenge those who live overtly legalistically, that, that lifestyle is worldly and not Godly… on a personal note, I like to know someone’s theological stance. I like to know if they are Arminian, Calvinistic, Orthodox, Catholic, cessationist or continuists. But its not so that I can enter into an argument, its more, so that I can enter into dialogue with them, and in effect understand what it is they are saying.
I would challenge my readers with this thought, which character in this movie reflects your Christian walk the most….