I was recently watching the 2005 movie Kingdom of Heaven, a historical movie about the 12th century crusades.  One of the most interesting moments in the movie is the dialogue between an older Knight Hospitaller and the main protagonist, Balian, a young blacksmith turned knight, brought to the Holy Lands by his previously estranged father.  A major theme of the movie is the various characters’ reconciliation with God, many of them having answered the Pope’s call to the Holy Lands and the crusades against the Islamic onslaught in order to absolve their sins and to become right with God.   But it is ironically clear throughout the movie that some in the crusader army are truly seeking God while others are merely practicing religion, a legalistic version of Biblical teachings that does not involve true devotion or dedication to God, and often leaves them free for excessive violence that is not in keeping with Scripture.  In this particular scene, the young Balian is visiting the older, wiser knight in his quarters, and they discuss the experience of being in Jerusalem.  The young knight is perplexed and discouraged when he visits all these sites where Biblical events took place, but he does not seem to experience God.  The older, wiser knight teaches him about the real, deeper experience of God versus the superficial, limited experience that many were seeking in the crusades and in their pilgrimages to the Holy Lands.

The HOSPITALER is sitting in a chair opposite BALIAN, eating.

HOSPITALER:  “How find you Jerusalem?”

BALIAN:  “God does not speak to me. Not even on the hill where Christ died. [Balian stands up] I am outside God’s grace.”

HOSPITALER:  “I have not heard that.”

BALIAN:  “At any rate, I have lost my religion.”

HOSPITALER: (speaking softly).  “No matter.” (as Balian’s sword is belted on by an attendant). “I put no stock in “religion”.”

BALIAN is surprised by this response since the older knight has holy orders.

HOSPITALER: “By the word “religion” I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of God. I have seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action, and courage in behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. Goodness, what God desires, is here..

(With two fingers he touches Balian’s forehead, and then his heart).

HOSPITALER: And here. By what you decide to do every day you will be a good man or


This short dialogue shows an amazingly good grasp and explanation of the deeper truths of Christianity -- truly serving God by giving Him your heart and mind daily and experiencing God through everyday service to others.  Of course, the entire discussion presupposes the salvation of the person by Jesus Christ.  But after salvation, there is a great spectrum of experiences that people can have with God.  But the Bible clearly shows that loving service of others is God’s preferred method of showing our love for Him.  This principle is clearly revealed through the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 (the separation of the sheep from the goats through their actions of service or lack thereof) and through Isaiah 58 (the fasting, or worship, that pleases God manifested in acts of service to people). 

I pray that you will truly experience God’s love in your life, especially through service to those around you. 



08/27/2016 12:27am


08/28/2016 10:03pm

A very nice article discussing the dialogues between tow people in a movie talking about religion.Religious talk is of the great importance for those who are the followers of some religions.The dialogue represent some ideas of Christianity with very amazing style.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 


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