Since I’ve gotten in the habit of watching historical dramas recently, I thought I’d chance watching one such movie from 2005 that I found on Netflix entitled alternately The Headsman or Shadow of the Sword depending on which particular release you see.  I’m interested in such movies because I love history, but I am also particularly interested in how directors and producers treat religious topics in history.  Some historical movies such as Kingdom of Heaven, also released in 2005, treat religion and Christianity respectfully and try to portray the historical events as realistically as possible while keeping the movie entertaining.  In other movies, such as Shadow of the Sword, producers, directors, and writers take more license and instead of trying to portray respectfully, they push their political, philosophical, or religious agenda.  You might think I’m being a bit harsh in my analysis of the movie, but the people who produced this movie fairly well showed their hand in the beginning of the movie in a surprisingly blatant way.

The movie is set during the 16th century, around the same period that Martin Luther had nailed his 95 theses on the Wittenberg Cathedral door supposedly setting off the Protestant Reformation (if you follow the “special person” concept of some historians to explain what drives history).  But while Martin Luther gets credit for starting off a firestorm of controversy and eventual war as people rebelled against the shackles of the formalistic and legalistic religion that the official Holy Roman Catholic church had devolved into, there were actually many currents of such rebellion among the people as they saw more and more of the official actions of the church go against the very teachings that the church espoused.  This movie portrays some of those currents since the rise of the Anabaptists shown in the movie was one of the early, organized movements against the official church.  They were rising up against the formalism and against the Pharisaical legalism in which church officials adhered to the extra-Biblical letter of the law that they had formed through tradition, edicts, etc., while their practices and procedures were far from the law of Christ which is based in God’s love first and foremost.   

The times were very complicated and chaotic as all periods of Satanic mischief are.  While the Roman Catholic church had been taken over by legalism and political maneuvering, getting away from the original intent of Scripture, there were still good people, led by God within the church, and there were still many good works taking place through the efforts of the church.  But it was definitely in need of reform as their brutal practices are portrayed in the movie, excesses of the church supposedly in the name of Christ such as torture to exact confessions.  But truth in history is always a little more complicated than some people like to portray it in nice, neat packages that correspond with a dominating theme.  Life is never that simple.  But surprisingly, the producers of this movie apparently think that it is.  At the very beginning of the film, after the first few credits roll, there are three short passages that display on the screen to give the setting of the time period and the events of the movie.  The first two passages merely set the scene, but the third one makes a seemingly subtle philosophical statement that might be missed by most viewers.  For just a few seconds this following passage is displayed in the center of the darkened screen:   “Then as now a fundamentalist alliance of politics and religion pointed the way to an age of darkness.”

More on this tomorrow.  I pray that you will all be blessed by walking in God’s love and that He will give you eyes to see all that He does for you and for all of us every moment of every day.  I pray that you will see this so that you can know how much He loves you, and so that you can be thankful to Him for His Amazing Love which blesses us every day in countless ways which we often do not recognize or comprehend. 

 


Comments

06/23/2017 3:00am

Movies are always biased and are made based on the views of a single person. It can be observed from that point of time to the latest movies. All it takes is a simple observation.

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07/25/2017 10:12am

Finding great music online can be an overwhelming and frustrating experience for many online users who worry about the various risks associated with music downloads. This article provides the tips you need to find great music online quickly and easily without the risks.

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I think movies aren't biased sometimes. They are taken to give some messages over the people. I like watching movies which are not based on one persons point of view.

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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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