Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bruce Almighty

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" 
Isaiah 55:8.

I recently watched Bruce Almighty and was pleased that the producers got so much right on several levels. I tried to remember. Was there as much uproar over God being portrayed as a black man (Morgan Freeman was a great choice) as opposed to being a black woman like in The Shack? I don't think so. The deeper message I saw portrayed in the movie is what many in the Church really believe about God. They're deists.

"God is watching us...from a distance." I date myself. The song, From a Distance and made popular by Bette Midler was sung in my church and no one, me included, jumped up and screamed, "Heretic!" Deism teaches that God created Heaven and earth, put man in charge and then stepped back and took a hands-off stance. We're on our own.

This is what happened to Bruce. Convinced he could do a better job than God he gets the opportunity. The outcome is predictable. Bruce misuses his power to get what he wants: revenge on bullies who beat him up, his dog potty trained AND the coveted news anchor desk job.

Warned by God that he'll not be able to override anyone's free will, Bruce discovers he's powerless to obtain the one thing that is important and now out of his grasp - his girlfriend's love. His feeble attempt to use supernatural persuasion only makes him look even more foolish in her eyes. Through the whole ordeal Bruce learns how true Isaiah 55:8 is. When it comes to thinking and acting like God, we're clueless.

For me the most moving scene was when Bruce accepts a mop from God. Together Bruce and God flow in perfect harmony like the unforced rhythms of grace. Now partnered with God in what He's doing, Bruce works together with Him to clean up the world's messes; so in sync it was as if they are one. That's how relationship with God should be.

At the end, Bruce, just like God, is willing to release the one he loves who no longer wants him. Bruce's transformation to being more like God comes when he prays that his ex-girl will find happiness and love, even if it isn't with him and releases her. Bruce learns the price of unconditional love.

I don't think those associated with the movie were Christians but that was no barricade for God (maybe even a good thing). His influence permeates everything, everywhere, even Hollywood. Too bad I spent so many years boycotting movies in an attempt to be holy and righteous. I missed out on seeing God work under the radar.

How about you? Which movies gave you a fresh perspective about God? Were you surprised when they didn't fall into the category labeled Christian? Do you think God can use unbelievers to glorify Him? How does this change your opinion about whom or what God can employ to get His point across?