SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS
 

This page was created on February 16, 2005
This page was last updated on February 18, 2005


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SPIRITUAL CONNCTIONS

By Maurice Broaddus

There are sometimes when we have to dig deep to find some spiritual connections with some movies; then there are some movies where we can’t escape them. Constantine is definitely the latter. Constantine present an entire theological/salvation message. If The Matrix trilogy is the story of Christ in allegory, this movie is the systematic theology. Here are a few things we learn from Constantine:

We wonder if we’re doomed, yet we wander through life under the illusion that we can get through it under our own strength. This is how John Constantine enters the movie, attempting to live out his version of what he thinks his purpose is. He took it on himself to exorcize demons in order to impress God into letting him into heaven.

Unfortunately for him, there are rules. An issue that came up recently on a message board that I frequent was "When you read stories or see films dealing with the supernatural, do you want hard-and-fast explanations of the supernatural elements or do you prefer them left "in the air," open to interpretation? " For me, explanations are like rules and the story has to stick to the rules. I like horror writer Geoff Cooper’s answer better: "If you're going to explain it, the explanation should be better than the mystery of not knowing." That is what the spiritual life is all about. Without too much searching, we sense of realize that there are rules to our existence. The law, written on our hearts or in a book waiting to reveal itself to us. The movie revolved around the law. For the Catholic church, a person who commits suicide goes to Hell. That’s the law. In the movie, the balance between good and evil, the non-interference pact between God and Satan, must be maintained. That’s the law. Man has the choice to seek redemption. That’s the law.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in God or the devil. For one thing, people are capable of their own evil. For another, both God and the devil believe in people. Both have invested themselves in the choices that man makes for himself and thus the battle for people’s souls was enjoined.

Man has been granted a gift, one great enough to earn the jealousy of angels, the gift of redemption. God’s love is so great that no matter how bad man screws up, all he has to do is ask for forgiveness and God will embrace him. Man isn’t worthy of the gift, has done nothing to earn it, it was freely given as a gift of God’s love.

Man cannot get redemption through his own efforts. No matter how hard he tries, it’s not good enough and he falls short. Several times, Constantine comes close to saving the day under his own efforts, but just misses.

Only through the power of prayer and faith can man receive the gift of redemption. To be truly forgiven, you have to ask for absolution. A demon, Balthazar (Gavin McGregor Rossdale), gets tricked into confessing because he forgets this fact. Even Constantine has to be reminded of it, by Satan (a scene stealing Peter Stormare) no less, explaining why he keeps seeming to fail.

The key to salvation is found through blood and (self-)sacrifice. Constantine has to shed his own blood and die (a second time), to give himself up voluntarily, in order to finally defeat evil. Only through this act is his redemption found.

Yes, there’s a plan for all of us. Constantine had to die twice before he figures it out. The angel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) sums it up best: “Be the hand of God. It’s your choice. It’s always been your choice.”

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