Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Blind Side of the Southern Baptist Convention

Posted by Hannah at 10:53 AM

If Jesus acted like many of us, he would have stayed in heaven. - Eyvonne Sharp
lifeway_storeI wanted to write today about some of the silliness that I have seen recently.  To me it shows the world ‘us against them’ is taught within the church.  Shameful as it is.

In 2009 we were presented with the movie called, ‘The Blind Side’.  Now keep in mind Hollywood tends to sugar the story up a bit, but overall the message was clear. 

Michael Oher to me had a village that helped him get out of poverty, and on his way to a better life.  The movie concentrated on the relationship between Leigh Anne Tuohy and Michael Oher.  She was represented as a ‘take charge’ type of gal, and no doubt I’m sure that is part of her personality.  The Tuohy family basically was presented as giving him a home, and help to use his gifts to the fullest potential.  

Now we don’t know if Michael could not make it out of poverty in a gang infested neighborhood alone.  We do know there are plenty of children in his circumstance with roadblocks that are daunting, and at times makes it look almost impossible.  Michael had the drive and will to make it INSIDE, and thankfully had a boatload of people that wanted to help him along with the Tuohy family.

One scene in the movie I have read that bothered the ‘real’ Michael Oher.  He felt that it was presented that Leigh Anne Tuohy was showing him HOW to play football.  How that really frosted him.  I personally didn’t get that impression at all.    Lets look at the scene I believe he was talking about.

Do you know what I see?  I see a teenage boy that lost his focus, and Leigh Anne gave him a pep talk to help him ‘re’ focus because she knew he had it in him.  She just knew how to draw it out of him, and the coach at the time DIDN’T!  She knew Michael knew HOW to play football, but all kids at times lose their focus.  Heck adults at times do also no? 

As a mom?  I would see the coaches losing interest and confidence in him, because he wasn’t doing what he needed to at the time.  She knew the talent was there, and he wasn’t focused enough at the time to show his gift.  She told him to picture his team as ‘his family’ and how he has their back.  That is called encouragement, and we all need it at times.

The real Michael had more than just the Tuohy family.  The movie doesn’t show that at times, but hints at it here and there.  That’s Hollywood!  The relationship with Christ, and showing Christlike behavior is also hinted at.  How many scriptures are there that speak about helping others in a sacrificial way?  Those within Michael Oher circle of supporters did just that, and the movie has been in Christian bookstores ever since.

So what is the silly part?  The Southern Baptist convention asked that Lifeway Bookstore remove the movie, ‘The Blind Side’ from its shelves.  Why?
"I pray that there will not be any more products with explicit profanity, God's name used in vain, and racial slur sold in our Lifeway Christian Book Stores. - Rev. Fred Luter, SBC President"
In other words, the story was too true to life for them.  Life outside the Christian bubble has some dirty parts, but at least the outside world will speak about things realistically.  If you can’t handle the reality for children like Michael Oher?  How are you going to mentor, guide, and help these children?  You can’t if you are too offended by the world they live in.   

Is that HOW we prepare our children to deal with the world outside their parent’s house – or outside the church doors?  Just because others do things, doesn’t mean we have to ‘join in’.  The overall message of the movie was good and something so many others can aspire too.  Since it wasn’t sanitized enough we must instead be ‘offended’ by it.  We can’t reach people that had the will to not only survive but thrive like Michael Oher did if we can’t handle the neighborhoods, and the people surrounding them acting as some would say ‘the world’.

My children went to a Christian elementary, and middle school with some monetary help from others.  Their relationship with God was helped and expanded by those within that church and school.  In other words, their faith life was benefited in so many ways.  That was able to happen even without the ‘sanitized’ environment that other’s feel is needed.    You see even if others don’t wish to admit it the ‘world’ DOES creeps in within the church as well.  When the kids entered public high school?  Their understanding of Christlike behavior helped them deal with the ugliness of the world around them.  They were prepared in some ways, and Why do others completely miss that essential part?

I remember my daughter speaking to me about a pregnant girl in her high school.    She was outraged at how terrible she was being treated by others.  She knew how to look past the sin of ‘premarital’ sex, and offer grace to her.   Should I as her mother be ‘offended’ that she didn’t give this child what for, and remind my child this girl is living her consequences?   Should I rush to figure out a way of getting her OUT of the ‘evil’ school, because her virgin eyes saw something not acceptable?

We need to have balance.  The movie in that bookstore had a rating of PG13.  You had the warning, and if people within your family are NOT mature enough to the rating that was clearly noted on the box?  Don’t buy it! 

I feel sorry for people that can’t see the true, honest and awesome sacrificial way those around Michael Oher uplifted, encouraged, and YES helped him strive and achieve his dream in life.  Could he have made it without them?  Yes.  It would have been much harder for him.  We are asked to do what those people in Michael's life did for him if you look closely at scripture.  What it doesn’t say is to NOT try to help others if they are outside your sanitized biblical small little bubble. 

How awful for the missionaries that they send out into the ‘world’!  They see ugliness far worse than what was seen in this movie.  It’s a wonder they can get anything accomplished!

They need to put that movie back on the shelve, and learn to grow up.  Since they love to come back with extremes in response at times?  NO that doesn’t mean you have sell p@rn next okay!  No that doesn’t mean other types of things either.  From me to you – it means get a GRIP!

What I’m saying is if you can’t be inspired and encouraged by a story like that?  You seriously need to check yourself.  Life has ugly parts, and we can be encouraged and inspired despite them.  It happens all the time.

Come into the real world and breath the air!  Drop the silliness, and live as Christ would have you do.  Christ can protect you from that poison you see at times – remember you have FAITH! … despite your actions to the contrary.  The separate from the world part of the bible?  You are taking it way to far, and you will not be able to do as the people in the movie did if you can’t see that.

‘Christian bookstores’ and the unsustainable bubble of the evangelical subculture

Lifeway, The Blind Side, and what I don’t want to say

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