Once more, I am using the Greatest Showman as my metophor and yes my tally of seeing this wonderful film at the cinema now totals 11 times! Each time I watch this movie or sing the songs, I learn something new and love it a little more. I’d go again tomorrow but it’s long run at the cinema has now concluded. I think special ones over the summer will continue especially outside viewings or sing-a-longs, so for me the appetite for further big screen viewings continue. Of course, the Blu Ray and DVD are just a few weeks away!
I am still talking to people about:
- the impact this film has made;
- how happy it leaves people feeling;
- its messages; and
- the wonderful songs and dance… I could continue.
The point I do make though is … it is not the true story of PT Barnum and if anything it only has a ‘ribbon of truth’ through it. I wonder how many take the film as accurate and ‘real’ because it is based on a real life (albeit arger than life) figure.
I hear criticism of Barnum based on what this film shows and cringe – you see I have a little more information. I have researched and read on… including his biography.
I know some film spoilers:
- PT Barnum was not an orphan;
- PT Barnum was a Teetotal and campaigned for prohibition of drink, due to the affect it has on people’s characters and the harm caused to family by alcoholism.
- PT Barnum was a full-on Christian and often gave sermons.
In the background of the film are some clues to the ‘real’ Barnum such as some lottery signs – he did run lotteries as business ventures, the references to unicorns and mermaids, he did exhibit a mermaid which he knew was made up and he had a great sense of humour. You see PT Barnum was a massive practical joker (some jokes he pulled I couldn’t see the funny side but heyho – he was a man of his time). It is for this reason I believe that if he saw this latest film – the Greatest Showman – I’m convinced he too would love it.
So there is a ribbon of truth running through the fiction of this film and I wondered if this is the same with faith.
Do we take snatches of the truth and weave a story or religion around it, which as far as God is concerned only contains a ribbon of truth?
Now, that is a disconcerting thought.
The evidence implies that this may well be the case, it would explain why there are so many Christian fractions and individual takes on who God, Holy Spirit and Jesus are.
What is being taken at face value? Do you take your Preacher’s words and accepted it as ‘Gospel!’ Sorry, I couldn’t resist that pun. The full truth is contained in two places, the Bible and the relationship with Holy Spirit in you.
It is great to be entertained, enticed and engaged with the initial stories (even when they are apocryphal) as long as it doesn’t stay there – but further research is made to uncover the truth.
Why does God want this or allow this? Why doesn’t he just lay it all out clearly and obviously? Perhaps, He wants us to go further, discover more about Him to enter into a real relationship with Him.
Afterall, when you meet people for the first time it does take a while to decide if you like, or trust them. There has to be a shared experience and bonding before falling a little in love with them towards friendship, companionship and community.
- Where are you on this scale?
- How deeply are you considering the Bible stories and messages?
- Can you see your Father’s love for you in all this?
Keep believing – look out for the Ribbons of Truth in what you are told, then delve a little further yourself for the God’s truth in it. What is real and what is not? The Holy Spirit will show you, help you discern and know what God is really wanting you to know – especially about Him, His character and His interest in you.
Through it all, I’m sure, like Barnum would be, God is amused by all the stories and that’s ok as long as it doesn’t just stay at that point and you are stirred to know more. Can you know the Truth, look further and true happiness, contentment and peace will follow.
Share with me your ribbons of truths and what has became the full truth once you investigated a little further.
This is what the LORD says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. Let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)
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