Sunday, 29 January 2017

Beauty and the Beast: A Christian's comments

Beauty and the Beast is one of the films that came out of an era known as the Disney Renaissance, a time where Disney films were once again at their peak and prime, with other animated films measured to that standard at the time and some argue Tangled or even Frozen started a second renaissance at Disney but I digress.

Beauty and the Beast was nominated for an Academy Award, won a Golden Globe for best picture, garnered positive reviews upon release and was a box office hit. To this day it is remembered fondly by many around the world, praised for it's animation, songs and writing, myself included.

In 2014, a live action remake was announced and set for release this year.

Now why am I talking about Beauty and the Beast in this article? Well, Emma Watson is the main lead and from I gathered from other people, is herself a strong feminist voice.

A cover on Total Film caught my attention on the 28th of January 2017 when I went to the shopping centre and I saw it's cover had the film in question (Do a google search on the poster and you'll see it.

What specifically caught my attention were the words underneath, which said "Darker, Smarter...Relevant".

I posted a comment on the Midnight's Edge Facebook group asking if the caption itself was insulting to the original film and the response, it surprised me by how many comments I got, some disagreed and some agreed.

One last thing I will say, this is not to attack Emma Watson as an individual. She has said she is a fan of the 90s Beauty and the Beast and I am willing to take that comment at face value. However, I feel she is missing the point entirely of the original film, especially from what I gathered from the people at Midnight's Edge, namely that Emma Watson having some requests, namely no flat shoes, no twirls because it means it makes her (I think she is referring to Belle) submissive, or wear large gowns and corsets. I could cringe at those decisions.

I also looked at an article last year (And posted that to Midnight's Edge too). You can find the original article here: http://heroichollywood.com/belles-backstory-changed-beauty-beast/

Here are Watson's comments:
"In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle. I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also what is she doing with her time?’ So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor."

Here's the thing, Belle reading books was there for reason.

Belle loved reading, it was a form of escapism but more than that, it gives the viewer an insight into one of her goals. She was seeking a better life and someone to love her for her rather than mould her into something she is not. Her words in one of the songs in the film was "There must be more than this provincial life."

Let us also look at the contrast between the Beast (called Adam in a CD-ROM triva game that came out years later: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101414/faq) and Gaston.

First, Gaston. He is an egotistical, narcissistic individual who loves the attention the townsfolk give him. He sees Belle as a potential wife, but not really someone whose feelings who he cares about. Belle even rejects his advances on him and shows him the door. Gaston grows increasingly more selfish and more of a viable threat, especially when he threatens to throw Belle's father Maurice into an asylum unless he agrees to marry her, which makes Belle be repulsed by him even more. Eventually this leads to Gaston's destruction when he makes the final assault on Beast's Castle and tries to kill the Beast but ultimately fails. His one consuming passion turns him ironically into a monster with violent hatred toward the Beast.

Second, The Beast himself, who started out as a selfish and spoilt prince who turned an old woman away at the door, who turned out to be a beautiful enchantress, who curses him into a chimera and the servants are transformed into household or castle objects, but still sentient. The Beast would have to learn to love and be loved in return, lest he remain a Beast forever, both he and the servants losing their human sentience.

When the Beast encounters Belle and her father, He is unkind and cruel. He forces Maurice to be imprisoned, to which Belle agrees to be the Beast's prisoner in exchange for her father to be free This ties into later on because eventually the Beast does regret separating Belle from her father.

The servants do their best to bring Belle and the Beast together but specifically the Beast himself learns to come out of his zone so to speak. What finally brings him to his senses is rescuing Belle from the wolves, with he and Belle chiding each other for their actions. Belle does something that the Beast never had happen to him, have someone challenge him on his behaviour.

The Beast does begin to change his ways, why? Belle wins him over by her conduct. Her compassion and selflessness starts to rub off on him and he in return reciprocates.

When the Beast starts to actually care for Belle, he doesn't try to change her or mold her, but instead gets know her and what makes her tick so to speak. He even gives the library to Belle, knowing that she has a love of literature (He wanted to do something for her and it was suggested to him the library as an idea from Lumiere and Cogworth) and after the dance when Belle looks into the magic mirror, Beast reluctantly, but willingly releases Belle from her captivity and sends her to rescue her father.

When Gaston attacks, Belle returns and the feelings between the two are strengthened, Gaston is defeated and the spell is broken. The Beast has finished his journey.

Belle's selfless and caring nature wins the Beast over and changes him, both on the inside and back to normal on the outside.

It's clear Gaston was not interested in Belle's feelings whereas the Beast eventually understood what would make Belle happy and learnt to be less selfish and he could be someone to care for and cherish her rather conform her into someone shallow, like the triplets who sigh at the mere sight of Gaston and have no interest in him as a person.

This reminds me of 1 Peter 3:1 (though not exactly the same) where wives are to win their husbands over by their conduct. I am not saying Beast and Belle are Christians, I am saying that Belle doesn't score cheap points with the Beast and go down to his level, but rather through her actions and words, he is brought to her level, becoming a better man for it.

David Pawson even has stated that God is more interested in character than achievement, that he' rather have a conscientious taxi driver than a careless missionary.

The comments by Emma Watson sadly miss the point of the original Beauty and the Beast Disney classic entirely and to be honest there is no need to make Belle an inventor, (though there is nothing wrong with the idea in and of itself), but in the context of the story, It's Belle's character rather than her achievements that gets the audience invested in her. Sadly, the remake in light of Watson's requests if they are real requests, may destroy the remake. We'll have to see when it comes out.

A woman of good character (specifically biblical standard of good) is someone who is the strong woman and empowered, the feminist regardless of their intentions is not helping the cause of empowering women.

Jesus Christ is the one who elevates men and women, not through violating and breaking the gender barriers, but strengthening their roles as men and women.

Answering Judaism.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Abomination of Desolation: A response to Walid Shoebat 10

Here is the final part which had been left alone for a while.*

One thing I will say about the two senses before we carry on, It was explained to me by Keith Thompson of Reformed Apologetics Ministries the following regarding them. He said to me that their actual espoused views are mutually exclusive with the alleged other view Shoebat speaks to.

But anyway, let's carry on:

"To answer this question, they have no other method but to go to the Church fathers and twist everything. For example, they use Clement when he explains:
But you are not inclined to understand it thus, but perchance more generally. Hear it also in the following way. The flesh figuratively represents to us the Holy Spirit; for the flesh was created by Him. The blood points out to us the Word, for as rich blood the Word has been infused into life; and the union of both is the Lord, the food of the babes–the Lord who is Spirit and Word. The food- that is, the Lord Jesus–that is, the Word of God, the Spirit made flesh, the heavenly flesh sanctified…” (The words of the Lord from the bread of life discourse “Eat My flesh and drink My blood,”)
“The flesh figuratively represents…”? Is Clement saying that the Eucharist does not represent the real essence of Christ? Then they even present Clement’s Paedagogus Book 1, chapter 6 “Elsewhere the Lord, in the Gospel according to John, brought this out by symbolswhen He said: “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood; ” describing distinctly by metaphor the drinkable properties of faith and the promise …”
So is Clement explaining “Eat ye my flesh, and drink my blood” strictly as a Metaphor?
And Clement even concludes the chapter with this:
“Thus in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, and flesh, and food, and bread, and blood, and milk … by His own Spirit He will nourish those who hunger for the Word.”"

This doesn't prove transubstantiation, at all. If Clement is speaking figuratively which he would be as the philosophy of accidents didn't exist in his day, then Shoebat is believing in a false teaching. Even if he didn't believe it was merely a symbol, no credence is given to transubstansiation to begin with.

"One can also find Tertullian “and that flesh which was the “bread given for the life of the world,” He also stated “Constituting, therefore, His word as the life-giving principle, because that word is spirit and life, He likewise called His flesh by the same appellation; because, too, the Word had become flesh, We ought therefore to desire Him in order that we may have life, and to devour Him with the ear, and to ruminate on Him with the understanding, and to digest Him by faith. (On the Resurrection of the Flesh 37)
Are the apostolic-succession churches dismantled by these words from Clement and Tertullian?
Hardly. It is here that the trickster avoids the ancient “two senses” in interpreting. Irenaeus, around 180 A.D., close to the time of the disciples of Jesus says of the Eucharist “For as the bread, which is produced from the earth [grain], when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common breadbut the eucharist, consisting of two realitiesearthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”
While the context is the “resurrection” of the believer the bread is “no longer common bread“.
This is using the proper scriptural method: the two senses."

Even if we grant the church Fathers used the two sense interpretation, it does not justify the later Roman teaching on the Eucharist which Shoebat is so keen to proclaim in his paper. It is still a metaphor and not literally consuming Jesus' body and blood. You cannot use the two senses interpretation to justify pagan transubstantiation. It's not even what Tertullian had in mind when speaking on the Lord's Supper. The treatise in question is addressing gnostic objections to the flesh of Christ, not the nature of the Lord's Suppers nature.

As for Irenaeus, he is dealing with sacrifice and oblations, that those offered to God in sincerity and purity are accepted but those who do it as an external ritual without being clean, their sacrifices are an abomination. He even says that Jews (unbelieving of course) Gnostics or heretics insult God by their offerings. See the section in question for yourself: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103418.htm

Irenaeus doesn't address the nature of the Lord's Supper as being that of Romanist Transubstansiation, even in the state found within the chapter.

His point in the chapter is how a Christian is to rend his service to God, that gifts to him should not be withheld and should be given without intermission.

The subject of Origen and his homily Lord Willing shall be looked at another time.

"This mystery regarding “this is My Body” has various levels of meanings. The Logos (The Word) became flesh and so did the Eucharist. We also have the Word (Christ) and the Word of God (the Bible). Origen says “… but we are said to drink the blood of Christ not only in the rite of the sacraments, but also when we receive his words, in which are life, as he himself …” and is why Clement said “…Thus in many ways the Word is figuratively described, as meat, and flesh, and food, and bread, and blood, and milk …”
Origen, Clement and Irenaeus also saw the word of God in the Communion and the Communion in the word of God. They did not see Christ merely in the consecrated bread and wine, but also the communion of believers and the word of God. The believers were not the only ones who resemble the body of Christ, but that Scriptures and the Body of Christ, both, resembles the Body of Christ.
They used both senses in interpreting scripture, the allegoric and the literal approach that is so much removed today from the modern pulpit of the disco-tech style charismatic churches while dressed up in Hawaiian shirts with multiple colors looking more like an Antichrist with hyacinth blue, sulfur yellow and fiery red."

No Christian would deny that Christians are referred to as the body of Christ, that is indisputable, not to mention Jesus is with the communion of believers and he is the word of God. But how does this prove transubstantiation?

Also what is your point when you keep pointing to supposed churches that dress in hawaiian shirts? How is this relevant to addressing anything to do with the abomination of desolation. BTW, Wearing a suit doesn't make your point more credible or less credible. Many teachers be they David Pawson, John MacArthur etc wear suits but that doesn't make them credible. What does make them credible is their exceptional theological depth and insight. I am not saying that you can automatically wear anything as a Christian, there are standards of dress code for Christians but someone wearing a Hawaiian shirt is hardly in violation of scripture, but it's not the sort of thing I would wear personally in church.

Also, not to defend the crazy stuff that comes out of charismatic churches, I am sure they will take issue with Shoebat's comments.

"Tricksters are recognized from their isolating everything, from verses to context, metaphor from literal,  they isolate the stone from David, and even from God, as only if one of these was the originator and the true killer of Goliath.

The fathers used metaphor, the stone was also Christ, that David used Christ to strike Goliath, that David was not the sole instrument of the judgment of God against Goliath, that God Himself was the originator where David through Theosis (the process of being one with Christ) became one with God and through God’s Son also kills the Antichrist. David also resembles Christ Who will return to accomplish the striking of the serpent’s head, who is both the devil and antichrist. This is why we see in Revelation 11-12 not only the Church and Israel, but also Mary and then the saints in Zechariah standing with Christ on the Mount of Olives. In Revelation 11:19 we see the “temple” of GOD being opened, and within it is the “Ark of the Covenant” then in Revelation 21:22 “And I saw no temple therein. For the Lord GOD almighty and the Lamb are the temple thereof”. This clearly debunks Ezekiel’s temple being rebuilt by some group calling itself The Temple Institute. The lazy replaced Christ, Ezekiel, Joel, Daniel and Paul with a modern outfit, elevating the Jewish system made obsolete over Christ. This in itself is an abomination to God and I ask Christ for forgiveness."

A Protestant or even a Messianic Jew would not disregard literal and metaphorical being linked period, but would call into question where and when it is being used. This is purely a caricature on the part of Shoebat.

Putting aside the fact that I have said I don't believe that an organization builds the temple such as the Temple Institute or any organization with a similar function, No one would disregard David being a foreshadowing of Christ, at all.

I have already said The woman in context is not a reference to Mary, It is a reference to the church and redeemed Israel.

I would recommend seeing Keith Thompson's video on Revelation 12 for more information:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAM_7nEaMB0

Before anyone asks, Yes, Mary is part of the church, but that doesn't validate automatically the interpretation put forward by Shoebat.

Also, a belief the third temple being literal or spiritual is a debatable issue and even if one holds that the sacrifices were instituted, it still wouldn't undercut Jesus Christ. I have already given my points on the third templein previous papers so I won't be going over that again in my response to Shoebat.

"John describes, like Ezekiel taking a measuring rod to measure the temple: “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11:1-2).
Yet this is clearly and primarily the Church (who see the woman, Mary, as the crowned queen) since “the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent … And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:14,17)"

Where is Mary a crowned queen in Revelation 12? Can you show that, Again, the passage refers to The church, including Mary as a whole, it is not isolating Mary or singling her out.

"“the court outside the temple” are the Christians that were not protected, but will be subject to Satan during that same time (Revelation 12:17). Antichrist does not rule the entire globe and his center is in Asia Minor."

Anti-Christ does not rule the whole globe? Lord Willing I would need to look into this point more but what makes you think he doesn't rule the entire globe based on that reading?

"It is only when I discovered all this, how to be as wise as a serpent and try to be innocent, confess my sins continually to another who is in authority, receive Christ in the communion, that I could finally say “I was blind, but now I see”.  The disciples forgave as Christ forgives because they were one with Christ. Christ clearly said to the disciples “whatever sins you forgive it shall be forgiven” while the trickster uses a truth will jot “only Christ can forgive sins”. While this is true, no Christians denies it whether apostolic succession or not, Christ is to be our one and absolutely unique mediator who alone can reconcile us to the Father. But this is also ignoring that such a truth has a system that the trickster isolates. Indeed Christ is the only mediator and sin forgiver, yet He told the disciples that He will use them, the first priests, as the mediators between the sinner and Christ “whatever sin you forgive [on earth] it shall be forgiven [from heaven]”."

See the previous article on James 5:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/the-abomination-of-desolation-response_7.html

I'll link to these again:
http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/5673/what-did-jesus-mean-in-john-2023-when-he-talked-about-his-followers-forgiving-s
https://carm.org/John2023-priests-forgive-sins
http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/q_apostles_forgive_sins.htm

Answering Judaism.

*21st of January 2017. Update, Lord Willing there will be an addendum to this article in the future. When it will happen I don't know.