Saturday, March 12, 2016

Church of Tomorrowland

 Just rented Disney's Tomorrowland.

It was quite bad.  I mean, I thought we were past the days where you could use CG to make up for a junk story, but maybe I was wrong.  Plot holes big enough to drive a whatever through.  And, hey, George Clooney hitting on a 10-year-old girl.  That's great. :P

(I might caution you guys that what follows contains spoilers, but really, it seems a bit of a moot point.)

That being said, my mind had plenty of time to wander, so I came up with this nugget of truth:

<bad Jersey accent>
Tomorrowland is joiks!

Think about it:  The premise is how back in the 1960's Tomorrowland's android agents came around and started picking up the best and the brightest of mankind and teleporting them to their great think-tank city.  There they built amazing things like spaceships, giant robots, jet packs, and hover everything.  I think I even caught a hover baby carriage in there.

But the whole point is they were supposed to be doing all this great stuff for mankind, right?  Well, news flash:  no hover stuff in our world yet... even though they invented it 50 years ago!

They just kept it all to themselves.  Thanks a lot guys. :/

Furthermore, the movie contains a full gripe list of what's wrong with the world and shows all kinds of stock footage of riots and mushroom clouds and stuff.  But I've got to ask, WHY IS TOMORROWLAND BUSY BUILDING HOVER-BABY CARRIAGES!??

For that matter, in light of a world about to tear itself apart, all the soaring, pristine, ivory tower schtick seems a little hypocritical if you asked me.  It's almost like their entire charter purpose was to make this world a better place but instead they made their own little world instead where they could be all safe, squeaky clean, and not have to roll up their sleeves and dig into what's really important.

Well that sure describes the Church, doesn't it?  Bam!

So I'm thinking another question from the movie:  What if taking the best-and-brightest out of the world is exactly what made things so bad?  The people who could fix it... weren't there anymore!  They were too busy out in left field inventing hover baby carriages instead.  (You can tell I like that metaphor.)

When Jesus said:
(A very misunderstood verse, IMO.  But that's another topic.)
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. [...] As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
John 17:13-19
What if He sent us into the world... because He wanted us to be in the world?  We're not immediately taken away into Heaven where we can make our own Tomorrowland.  We're left here to make a difference!

The world; they want more "good" and less "evil", but without the foundation we have, they don't even know which end's up.  It's a little like they can see the toxic waste spill and they know that's not right.  But then to "fix it" they send in Barney Fife with a mop bucket.  Can we say "worse mess"?

Case-in-point...

In the end of the movie, Clooney, his 10yo girlfriend, and the irrelevant gal with nice hair have finally ousted the bad guy and decide to get back into the business of making the world a better place.  Hurray!

So what do they do?   They get more agents to start rounding up the best-and-brightest and bring them to Tomorrowland.  Again.  Without changing anything.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are!
Matthew 23:15
A pet peeve of mine is I think the Pharisees get a bum rap.  "Pharisee = bad guy", we think.

I think that misconception really sells short what could be a lot of powerful stuff.  Pharisees knew the Word of God backwards and forwards.  They tried to do what's right and prayed, well, probably way more than we do, to be honest.  The Pharisees were the GOOD GUYS.  

...Which is precisely why Jesus came down so hard on them.  The rebukes carry a note of, "you claim to be godly... so you should know better than this!"

I think we Christians would do a whole lot better if, when we read rebukes like the one above, we'd take a peek in that mirror and see if we can see ourselves reflected in it.

To sum it up:  We, the Church, like to hole up in our churches -- our own perfect little Tomorrowlands.  Worse, we bring others into the stupid and train them to do the same.  Yet maybe we should be going out into the world (as Somebody once said) to actually shine the light and shake the salt out there where it's needed most.

Maybe to help the casualties we need to actually go to the war zone?
It may not be fun.  It sure won't be safe.  But I tell you this:  it will be an adventure!


Live YOUR adventure!
-E.L. Fletcher