What would make you reject your beliefs

Review: Silence

(MA15+) Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson

Jesus warned his followers that they would be persecuted by people who oppose him (John 15:18-24). So, would you continue to be faithful to Jesus, even if you were being tortured and tormented for your beliefs?

From acclaimed director Martin Scorsese, Silence is a powerful, unforgettable summary of the ruthless 17th century campaign in Japan to crush Christianity (true story). As Scorsese deliberately dwells on whether intense opposition will cause Christians to reject their faith, some viewers might find this challenging experience to be too slow, repetitive or theological. But responding like that suggests you are missing the powerful point of Silence: with unswerving dedication, Scorsese wants us to be totally immersed in the hardcore issue of apostasy (abandoning Christian convictions).

Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play Jesuit priests from Portugal who sneak into Japan to search for their mentor (played by Liam Neeson). They and fellow Japanese Christians are hunted by officials who maintain that the way, truth and life of Jesus has absolutely no place in their nation. Helped by great performances — the Japanese cast is superb — and a surprising fixation upon intense Christian material, Silence will easily push your personal buttons about doubt, perseverance and the blurry line between stumbling in faith and rejecting it entirely.

What are some of the bigger questions to consider from this film?

  1. Does belief in Jesus guarantee that life will be trouble free? (Psalm 9:9-10; John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 1:6-7)
  2. What should we do if our faith is under attack? (Matthew 5:44; James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12-14)
  3. Where is God when we suffer? (Proverbs 15:29; Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Peter 5:6-7)
  4. Are there things that God cannot forgive? (Matthew 12:31)

Ben McEachen is co-host of The Big Picture




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