Kingdom of Heaven

This movie is a 15, but there are many points that can be brought out of it.. Be careful what clips you show as there are some very brutal scenes of killing. However, I feel that the movie (however inaccurate and glamourised) has an element of nobility about it. 

There is a clip around 32.40. The line is from Balian (the hero), “Old man, where is it that Christ was crucified.” Balian then makes his own pilgrimage to Calgary and sits there over night, thinking about his life, his dead wife and everything. The clip ends at around 34.15 when Balian asks the rhetorical question (about his wife), “How can you be in hell, when you are in my heart?” (Balian has been told by a priest that his wife is in hell).

There are a couple of points from this clip.

Firstly, why did so many people who called themselves Christians, go to war against the Muslims in the ‘Holy Lands’? What motivated them? What is our response to this today? Have we changed?

Secondly, think about hell. Balian has been told that his wife is in hell. Why would someone go to hell? What does the Bible say? In a sense Balian is fighting on behalf of his own ‘soul’ and his wife’s ‘soul’. Can we ‘pray for’ people after they have died? (Most Christians would say no, but Catholics may differ).

Thirdly, is it ever right to go to war in the name of Jesus or Christianity? How far can we and should we go? Are Christians who commit acts of even light abuse justified? Should we ever adopt the tactics of people like ‘Father’s For Justice’?

Later in the movie, Balian is in charge of Jerusalem, as a hotch-potch of men try to defend the city against the Muslims. At one stage, Balian has to burn dead bodies. The priest is set against this but Balian replies that God will understand, or he is no God at all. 

Question – does God allow bad things to happen, in order to judge others? Is it sometimes OK to do something that is not completely right, in order to avoid a greater evil. For example, would it be OK to lie about where other Christians were hidden if they were to be killed for their faith?

This same priest mentioned above, has shown a real cowardice in front of the enemy, even suggesting that ‘we convert to Islam and then re-convert back to Christianity later’ as a solution to the oncoming Muslim army. He also suggests running away from Jerusalem, saying that the nobility are better than peasants. Balian sarcastically informs the priest, ‘you have taught me a lot about your faith.’ 

Question – how do we have integrity and set an example to people, about our lives as Christians? How do we become people that people say ‘you have taught me a lot about your faith’ in a positive and excited way, wanting to know Jesus too?