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FIGHT CLUB
BULLETIN BOARD


F
IGHT CLUB
(1999)

FIGHT CLUB
Review, Photos, and Trailers
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Bulletin Board:

THOUGHTS ON FIGT CLUB
Subject: fight_club
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2002 17:52:20 -0500
From: David S Smith

Thoughts on the real meaning behind the movie?.?Fight Club?

?IT?S TOO FAR FETCHED? (THINK AGAIN?.NOT FOR A PARABLE)

My friend mentioned while we were discussing the movie, how it?s too far fetched?especially the end. ?I mean, how could he shoot himself in the mouth and still live? It?s stupid.? I agree. This scene, where he shoots himself and then walks around saying ?I?m OK. It?s alright?, more than anything, should make you think that this movie must have and be something more than just the events and scenes that you?ve seen on the screen. I would propose to you my theory that the movie?s intent, though not stated, was not to be a depiction of an actual life and actual events but that the whole movie is a parable explaining a Christian message. The events of the movie explain a real message that has to do with real events and issues in life but the events of the movie are only there for the message and therefore not restrained by limitations of real events. Within the parameters of the parable, Jack shooting himself in the mouth and staying alive makes perfect sense which we will eventually explain.

FIGHT CLUB = SIN -and- TYLER DURDEN = SIN NATURE

I believe that the ?Fight Club? is a metaphor for sin within the parable of the movie. Although the movie portrays different aspects of sin throughout in other ways, the ?Fight Club? itself stands for sin within the framework of the parable. Also, the alter-ego type character Tyler Dirden (played by Brad Pitt) also represents every person?s ?Old Person? (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9) and/or sinful nature along with temptation and the influence of Satan, or ?The Devil?, in our mind and lives. Like sin, it?s causes, and it?s results are everywhere, you recall Jack narrating, ?It was right in everyone?s face, Tyler and I just made it visible. It was on the tip of everyone?s tongue. Tyler and I just gave it a name.? Ironically, the name they give to it makes it sound honorable?that it?s a ?club?. The first two rules of fight club reveal how honorable it really is??Do not talk about fight club!? In reality, deep down we are know our sin is the problem and so we are stuck between two needs. We don?t want people to know about our sin because we know deep down it is evil and revealing it will make us ?look bad? and we can?t have that and live in the normal society with it?s moral law and moral pretense. But, we need to feel more comfortable in our sin that we?re not alone in it so we try to sin with others as a group?as a ?club??misery loves company. Our group dynamic of sin starts off with subtle peer pressures in the ?club??.?If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.?

JACK

The name Jack applied to the main character without a last name implies that this is a parable that is applicable to ?any old Joe? or ?any old Jack??.namely, any person. We are all ?Jacks? in a way. (Romans 3:23 ?for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God). Jack is you. Jack is me. We all have a sin nature. We may indulge in it with different names and types of sin. Jack in the movie names his own sin nature ?Tyler Durden? and indulges in his own sum of sin, which he calls ?Fight Club?.

SIN ALSO ON DISPLAY OUTSIDE THE ?FIGHT CLUB? ANALOGY

Within the movie, as a sideline to the analogy of the Fight Club [as sin], the message of sin?s hold on Jack?s [a metaphor for any person?s] life and other of the movie?s character?s lives is alluded to throughout. The reality that Tyler Durden [the sin nature] is there even before he becomes visible is clearly shown when you see Brad Pitt (Tyler) going the other way on an airport escalator without Jack even noticing and possibly that he sets the explosives up before he leaves his condo. The affects of sin and the types of sin appear in the following forms:

--Insomnia: a lack of peace his life and true rest. Jack comments ?nothing?s real?.everything is a copy of a copy?.and you?re never really asleep [resting] and you?re never really awake [understanding life?s purpose and joyful]. He wants to just take a pill and make it go away but the doctor tells him??You just need healthy natural sleep.?

--Materialism: Before Jack indulges in the full fledged sin and sin nature (of Fight Club and letting Tyler out), Jack tries to live in the seemingly innocent life of materialism. He tries to live in the world?s view of success with the good job and using his pay to acquire all the fashionable things and stuff (i.e. the ying-yang coffee table) to fill his meaningless life. This is retold in a flashback from after he had changed and the sarcasm with which he describes his materialistic pursuits is obvious??I had it all??.?If I saw _______, I had to have it.?

--Pornography: Tyler?s fun on his night job is to splice pornography slides into family movies. When contrasting his materialistic goals by ordering trinkets and home items out of mail-order catalogs he says ??we used to read pornography.? When talking retroactively in the extended flashback about Bob?s large breasts, he sarcastically uses an almost exaggerated vernacular that he would have talked in ?back then?. The problem of lust and it?s pervasive nature is later hinted at within project Mayhem by the pretty blonde guy who get?s his face smashed when he says, ?Wow?she?s hot? about even a news reporter on TV.

--False Religion: Many are mentioned?Tibetan philosophy, Zen Buddhism, Transendental meditation, Secular Humanism (in references to evolution). Fight Club, however, becomes the ultimate representative of all that is counterfeit religion for Jack. At one point when Jack is leaving his job he says, ?I was the Zen Master? and ?I am enlightened.? After one of the basement gatherings of Fight Club, Jack compares the cheers and groans of the crowd to the worshipful exclamations at a Pentecostal church and says about the fight sessions ??.afterward, we all felt saved.? Great analogies to what false religion is all about are some of the trappings of the ?Fight Club? as well. Jack and Tyler put up the front of a ?Soap? business. Soap is what is used to wash our external self. The Bible calls self-righteous people ?white painted tombs? which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness (Matthew 23:37). Soap is a perfect symbol for false religion and false cleanliness. Another great analogy in the picture is the final ambition of ?Project Mayhem?. Their goal is to blow up all the credit card buildings. The explanation is that this will remove everyone?s debt and ?bring everyone back to zero?. Of course this shows the recognition of guilt and debt of sin. But it presumes that we can by our own ?works? or ?projects? attempt to remove that debt of sin we ?owe?. Only trusting the payment of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sin-debt (in the past, present, and future) where he took all the debt of sin and paid it in full on each of our behalf if we are willing to simply put our complete faith and trust in Him for our life. ?Fight Club? portrays it perfectly. Instead of ?In God we trust??, Jack explains, ?In Tyler we trusted?? It is really a very elementary choice?trust in Self or in God.

--Sexual Sin (adultery, fornication, and sexual abuse): Jack?s father left him when he was 6 years old to sleep with other women and start other families which, depending on his father?s heart attitude and reason?s for leaving, could have been adulterous. Tyler and Marla?s sexual activity was fornication in that they were not even close to committed or married in any way. Marla, after their first time having sex, exclaimed ?I haven?t been f*&$ed like that since grade school??this could have been referring to other fornication very earlier life for her or possibly some sort of sexual abuse from a parent or much older person/adult. The latter is surely possible and perhaps the thing eating at her sense of worth and meaning in life thus perhaps a cause of her attempted suicide.

--Lying and false witness: The faking/pretending to be suffering with something and to be someone else at the ?suffering groups? (i.e. testicular cancer) under false names (Rupert, Cornelius, Travis) just to get what he needs to put a quick fix on another effect of sin (insomnia), though seemingly innocent on the surface, is really rather despicable. Also, Jack gains twisted comfort in making his life seem not quite as bad by associating with those worse than him. He especially hated and was uncomfortable when someone else pointed out his own wickedness by doing the same thing. When Marla becomes another ?tourist? in the ?suffering groups?, he can no longer ignore his own sin of lying and false witness.

--Suffering: A result of sin is physical suffering, disease, and death. All the groups (i.e. testicular cancer, etc.) Jack and Marla attend are a result of sin. The bible says the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). In fact, the whole creation is groaning in bondage to the corruption resulting from sin and groaning in anticipation of redemption (Romans 8:21-22)

MARLA THE CHRISTMAS TREE THAT IS THROWN AWAY

One role that a woman can play in men?s lives is a reminder and wake-up call to meaningfulness. Perhaps when you watch the movie the first time, Marla seems, like she did to me, downright insane. Her comments to Jack seem random, bizarre, and pointless?until you realize that Jack and Tyler are the same person. When you think on her statements, after the understanding of Jack and Tyler being one, they become a plea for real meaning in life and real relationship?not just meaningless physical sex. She becomes a person seeking meaning in life herself. She does ?Meals on Wheels? trying to find meaning by helping others. Or perhaps a little bit into the movie, she becomes someone who knew back then that she liked & wanted Jack from the first ?suffering group? meeting she saw him at and then possibly attending the other ?suffering groups? because she knew he would be there?pursuing him subtly. Playing hard to get and pretending you don?t care is a common tactic or psychological game played in dating. Perhaps when they split the ?suffering groups? up 3 for each person, she was in this playful, playing-hard-to-get, mode. One can?t say for certain. Regardless, overall she becomes a simple frustrated girlfriend going out with a real jerk who pretends he cares one minute and treats her like crap the next minute. She uses some really rather profound metaphors and illustrations to hint to Jack and try and get this across without being obnoxious too. She leaves the Paper St house one time singing ?got to get off this merry-go-round? implying the futility in this lifestyle and their fake relationship. At one point she wears a bride?s maid?s dress implying the need and desire for a marriage-type commitment she isn?t getting. She talks about the bride?s maid?s dress saying that she got it for only $1 at a garage sale. She says the dress is like a Christmas tree that is used for a day and then thrown away like garbage. In this way she implies to Jack that SHE is the dress and that one day/moment he treats her as useful (at least for a showy celebration?sex) but when the moment is over she is just a useless decoration to be thrown away?like the Christmas tree. Marla also challenges him outright too on several occasions. She mentions to Jack that Chloe (cancer patient that looked like Meryl Streep) had died. Jack seems to show interest and she mocks surprise and challenges, ?Do you actually care?? She in a sense is astounded that his heart is not completely dead and numb to all suffering of others due to the way he acts toward her. At the end when Jack is realizing Tyler is simply part of himself, he calls her and asks her if they had ?made love?. She again makes him self examine the meaning in it all by asking if they have ?made love? or actually just ?had sex?, implying one without real meaning is simply the other. In one sense, they are together searching for meaning. Though maybe rhetorical or an attempt to dissuade Marla from continuing to pursue him (Jack), he asks her ?What are you getting out of this?? I would like to add here that it is certainly possible that Marla in one sense is a type of God the Holy Spirit and a type of Jesus Christ. God draws us to Himself by trying to show us our need for meaning in life and our lack of it. He tries to convict us of sin and show us that sex is different than real love. He calls our spirit when we are prodigals like she called him on the phone when he had ?gone astray? to the run-down house on Paper St. God tries to give us hints that sacrificial love of commitment is different than animal type lust and that lust by itself will never be completely fulfilled. She is calling out to him on the phone while dying, willing to die in order that he might understand his need for meaning in life somewhat like Christ died for us so that we might have life. Lending credibility to this typology are three things. (a) It?s no coincidence that she uses the Christmas tree, a representative of the celebration of Jesus Christ?s birth. (b) Marla is multiple times pictured as Jack?s ?power animal?, replacing the penguin. Jack wanted to ignore it and run from the truth that God is the source of true power. The one time Marla appears as Jack?s ?power animal? is when Tyler is burning his hand and telling him that we?re all God?s unwanted children. How much better if Jack would have run to God than believe the lies about God that Tyler spouted off to him in that scene. (c) Tyler makes Jack promise not to tell Marla about Tyler (sinful nature). All God really asks of us is that we bring our sinful nature to Him and admit it. Once we admit we are lost to God and trust Him to rescue us, then we can be found. Once we know we?re blind we?ll cry out to the Lord and He will help us to see. In a sense Satan was telling Jack not to admit his sin to God because Satan knows that acknowledging our sin before Almighty God is the first step leading to salvation and freedom from sin.

?I AM JACK?S BROKEN HEART?

We learn about Jack?s problem?s growing up?that he was without a Dad after the age of 6. He left wives multiple times setting up franchises [of sin]. Tyler explains before one ?Fight Club? session a problem in our country of broken homes that we are a ??generation raised by women.? Tyler builds on this social problem of divorce and builds a clever deceptive case against God the heavenly Father based Jack?s father?s (and his?the same one) performance. He says, ?Our fathers were models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God? You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you ? he never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you. We don?t need him. F*%k damnation. F&$k redemption. We are God?s unwanted children?so be it!? Tyler is correct in making an analogy between their earthly Father and the Heavenly Father. Jack?s father SHOULD have been a model for God but he certainly wasn?t, by leaving him when he was 6 and not keeping his promise (?til death do you part? I do). God always keeps His promises and will never leave you nor forsake you. Tyler also lies about God?s love by saying he doesn?t want you or like you. God loves you so much He gave up Himself on the cross in your place. Jack?s father was selfish and did what he wanted and not what others (wife & child) needed and deserved from him. Tyler was outright lying about God?s love and desire for us as children in the kingdom of heaven. God wants all men to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and to save those which are gone astray and lost (Matthew 18:11) and for us to be His sons and daughters with Him for eternity (Revelation 21). We do need Him. No one can come to God except by faith in Jesus and His death on the cross. He is our bridge across the chasm of sin back to God. In John 14:6 Jesus says, ?I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes unto the Father, but by me.? Tyler speaks as if damnation and redemption are not worth considering or that they are not a reality. They are very real and ignoring them or disbelieving in them is a very dangerous thing to do. They are real and worth seeking out answers. Seek and ye shall find.

?SELF IMPROVEMENT?S A BITCH?SELF DESTRUCTION.?

The majority of people go through life trying to do what their conscience, parents, and/or society tells them is right?at least, at first. At first, we learn what is right and wrong and we try to do it. We know in our conscience that we shouldn?t be violent or angry. We know in our heart deep down that our sexual lust for the opposite sex is wrong except in the context of marriage. We know we should tell the truth. Despite these things we know we should do, we end up indulging in these sins at least in the seclusion of our minds and in our most private secret lives as if we are powerless to keep from thinking them and sometimes then acting on them. Our efforts at some sort of psychological self-improvement are false and ineffectual?accomplishing nothing. Eventually, a transition takes place. We get sick of trying to be good because it doesn?t work on the inside. Time is the enemy because we know we won?t be able to keep it up for much longer?the false exterior, that is. We see a kind of ?deadness? inside ourselves. Though we may put on good appearances, we start to realize that we?re just putting on more and more coats of paint to cover what we?re really thinking and feeling in our hearts. At that point, some may realize they need something more and seek after it. Perhaps in their search they will find God right away. Perhaps not. If they don?t find God soon, then they will soon begin to try more and more self-destructive things in rebellion against the system of self-improvement that has failed us. The thoughts inside of us we held back before start to come pouring out. We?re sick and tired of keeping it in. This progression over time towards self-destruction is bad but eventually it can help us to see what the true end result to the evil of what we?re thinking and feeling in our hearts. That true result is death, the logical conclusion to our growing affinity for self-destruction.

In the movie, Jack shows us that he is realizing the ?deadness? in him and in the world around him. This occurs to some extent in the insomnia and the ?suffering groups? but he and the view both see the ?suffering groups? as a band-aid fix at best. He then allows pessimistic views regarding his job flow forth. Discussing the frequent travelling he says, ?gain an hour, lose an hour, dying one minute at a time.? He sees the horrible accidents that he is forced to investigate and comments, ?The survival rate is zero.? Life and death itself seems to be determined by an equation (used to see if the company sees the car defects as worth fixing)??A times B times C equals X? resulting in ?no recall? of the cars. He talks on the plane of dreaming of his physical death by plane crash. Ironically, when he wakes up from this dream is when he first meets Tyler (stops holding his sinful nature inside). So perfect is the question that Tyler asks, ?How?s that working out for you?? The attempt to be good on our own does not work and our sinful nature can?t be cleansed by our own ability to live a good life. Eventually, right as it is coming to the surface, we will ask ourselves ?How is trying to live a good normal life working out?? The true answer is that it?s not working out at all. If we really look inside ourselves deep down we?ll see that there is no true joy or fulfillment. Then upon acceptance of our failure, we simply give up trying to hold back our sinful nature by our own strength and it comes to life. Symbolic of this is when Jack blows up his condo with all his efforts to live the normal ?good? life. Then, Tyler starts to come out and play. You know how I said someone may find God right away? Well, Jack does try to call Marla (a type of Jesus/Holy Spirit) first if you recall. Unfortunately he realizes he doesn?t have the nerve to really share his predicament of sin and false good works with God and hangs up the phone. To share our failings with God and others takes a lowering of ourselves and humility. It is an offense to our pride and therefore we avoid it. He looks upon Tyler?s business card which pictures two angels facing each other?a testimony of the spiritual struggle he is going through at that very moment of who to call upon?God or sin and the Devil. He then dials Tyler and hangs out with him a while. Soon after they leave the bar, he ?jumps in? completely and they are living together a life of sin, beginning the fervent self-destruction and release of sin to soon be seen through the ?Fight Club?. It?s no coincidence that he does all this after getting drunk. Drinking can be a trigger to allow our moral inhibitions to dull and we begin to numb ourselves and our conscience. ?Fight Club? is like this too Jack explains it this way, at first you are soft and are hurt by sin but ??after a few weeks you?re carved out of wood.? We are numb and stiff?we stop listening and searching for answers or even looking on morality as something to be followed. He begins to completely forget God (Marla) even exists. Jesus is clear about the moral standard in the Bible, ?Be perfect even as your heavenly Father is perfect.? He knows we can?t be perfect on our own power through false religion (see above) yet that is the standard?only through faith in Christ can we be perfect through His righteousness?not our own. Also clear in scripture, God is the Creator. After Tyler comes on the scene, the following contradictory statements come out, ?Stop being perfect? and ?Let?s evolve and let the chips fall where they may?? The sin starts to escape into the world at first in small ways. The first fight with Tyler that will eventually become ?Fight Club?. The night jobs, probably while Jack should be resting and sleeping, are mild vandalism (peeing in food, hitting golf balls into windows, splicing split-second porno frames into films) which eventually develop into ?Project Mayhem?. His immersion into sin has blinded him to truth in all forms. He even glosses over the fact that he saw Tyler jump into a new convertible Mustang at the airport yet when he mentions the automobile, Brad Pitt responds, ?What car?? Jack is loving the pleasure of sin so much he doesn?t even notice that he is living in a complete dump of a house. He and Tyler explain it away by claiming to be denying the importance of material possessions. Buddhism and the cult of Christian Science are world views that prop up a false sense of self-righteousness in denying material possessions and connectivity to things in the real world. Christianity doesn?t deny the material world or our need for material things?the Bible only speaks against the love of money and material things of this world over the love towards God and towards people and toward heavenly things. Tyler is a great proclaimer of half-truths just like Satan. He takes those who are sick of trying to live right and have turned to lives of sin and says ?Our great war is a spiritual war.? This is true, but look at what side of the war he?s encouraging the ?Fight Club? members to be on?the evil side. And he makes them feel like they?re fighting on the right side too?so clever and deceptive. Sin in our lives is a progression. James 1:14-15 describes it this way: ?But every one is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.? Before sin leads to death, however, it becomes more and pervasive in our lives. The wounds on Jack?s face at work grew more and more obvious. We dream about it during the week when we will be able to go back our life of sin on the weekend. We begin to drag others into our sin. We encourage friends to drink more and more. We don?t want to go to a strip club by ourselves so we?ll rope others to going with us. We might become a little clique leader and a fountain of peer pressure to further sin in others lives. Soon within your group the moral standard is gone and those within the group boast about their sin?how much they drank last weekend or how many women they?ve slept with. We justify it and make it sound better. We call hatred and anger ?stress relief?. We hear about statistical health studies ?proving? having a few drinks per day makes us healthier. We might even reason that masturbation helps us relax or focus?that it relieves tension in our natural reproductive cycle. We could explain that LSD will help me discover my true self. We see a great example of this masquerade when Tyler puts a gun to the head of Raymond, an Oriental store clerk, demanding that he go fulfill his dreams of becoming a Vet or die by his hand. Peer pressure leaders in sin that I?ve seen will do this?they are experts in manipulation games to see how much power and control he can exercise on the more ?innocent? (beginners in sin) around them. It becomes public. The movie describes, "Now it's moved out of the basement...now it's project Mayhem." The war of trying to do what is right is over. Now a new struggle exists. How can I keep sinning without getting into trouble because I'm disrupting and harming people and the world around me? How can I keep pursing these pleasures of sinful living without getting arrested or made a spectacle in a moral society. Once deep into a life of sin, one will do anything to continue in it without being stopped?I should know, I did. The movie depicts this nicely in Jack?s scheme to fraudulently implicate his boss as beating him up to get funds to be able to [have Fight Club] sin full time. The icing on the cake was threatening and kidnapping the chief of police. Some of those in Project Mayhem are wearing masks and some aren?t which illustrates the new difficulty in the desire to still keep sin secret but also allow it to continue in it?s natural increasing strength and progression. Satan and sin will eventually become downright sinister when fully revealed. When Jack pummels into oblivion the very blonde haired member of project Mayhem, he walks away uncaring and says, ?I felt like destroying something beautiful.? Seemingly, death itself is the only effect left from sin that has not come to fruition. It's strange to think about it in this way but death and the effects of sin are tools that God can use to wake up someone. Pain and suffering can be effects of sin that are wake up calls to the fact that sin is not part of the perfect plan of God. A sexually transmitted disease could make one realize that maybe this is a repercussion of my sex habits. A hangover can be a message that what you did wasn't the best thing for yourself. Sometimes however we have to get close to death before we realize the seriousness of what we're doing. Perhaps a drug overdose or a drunk driving accident. We might see someone else die as a result of our sin or leading into sin. Robert Pulson is the obvious parallel. The movie uses a car accident to illustrate the close call for Jack himself; a close call to death of our physical bodies. It is an amazing pictorial that "overlaps" two things: (1) the imminent danger of physical death before the car crash with (2) another analogy of the closeness of death to Jack?s will. Death is God's only weapon or punishment against sin yet death is also the result of sin. It is a strange paradox that can be explained only in Jesus Christ. Death is the penalty/wages for sin but it is also how God provided the solution for sin...the cross. God uses death as his tool for victory over death itself. Similarly in the car, Tyler is the sinful nature, sin itself. Tyler is the same person that urges Jack that he "must give up. Stop trying to control everything and just let go." Tyler is yelling at him?just like God is proclaiming the truth of the cross throughout all the world throughout all time. So in a similar way to God using sin's eventuality, death, to solve the problem of death itself, Tyler is the solution to Jack's problem, which is Tyler. In a practical analogy, the possibility of physical death awakens us to our need to die to ourselves. Our solution to our looming physical and spiritual death is to die to our own will and our desires which we?ve come to learn are evil and sinful in their very nature. When we realize we can't live life on our own and that life on our own isn't really worth it and are willing to give up living our way and die, then we can finally let Jesus Christ into our life to live through us. ?Losing all hope was freedom.? When Jack says this to Tyler that he doesn't care and let's his hands off the wheel and says "I am Jack's wasted life" then he is ready to give up trying his own thing and let God take control. At that point, Jack experiences salvation and is born again unto everlasting life in heaven with God.

?I CAN?T BELIEVE HE?S STANDING?

He wakes up from true rest and is without Tyler [sin] for the first time. He realizes that sin [Tyler] was there in him all along, as the bartender in another city says, ?You?re Mr. Durden.? He also realizes that it and it?s effects all over the place?it isn?t just in one location as he looks in (not a coincidence) clubs and bars around the country. As we mentioned before, the whole creation is groaning in bondage to the corruption resulting from sin and groaning in anticipation of redemption (Romans 8:21-22). God says He will give us a new name (Revelation 2:17, 3:12). Similarly, "in Project Mayhem we have no names...". For the first time, Jack realizes his own guilt and tries to turn himself in. He has gathered around himself so many peers that don't believe in the absolutely true moral right and wrong anymore that they don't find him guilty but try to restrain him within the confines of the full life of sin [Project Mayhem]. He flees which is what the Bible instructs to do (1 Corinthians 6:18, 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22). It is probably not a coincidence that he fled without his pants almost exactly like Joseph did from Potiphar's wife (Genesis 39:12). Their threat to cut off his "member" and the way they smirk at him as he runs is allegory to the psychological/emotional and possibly physical persecution that all Christians will face for their change of heart and belief. He tries to undo the effects of his sin like Zacheus attempts to pay back four times what he had extorted from people (Luke 19:8). He actually cares about Marla now, though she can't understand or accept it. Similarly, people have a tough time accepting our words and claims when we first become Christians yet eventually they will see a changed life if we are truly saved and this will be the real proof (Matthew 7:20, James 2:18). The can?t see it because it?s happened inside. They don?t understand why we would choose this life as seen when one of Jack?s old Project Mayhem buddies comments in the end, ?You look awful.? The kingdom of heaven is within you, Jesus said. It?s a change heart. Jack explains, ?It?s called a changeover?you go to sleep and the audience doesn?t know the difference.? You reading might be saying, ?But Tyler isn?t gone! Your analogy doesn?t work!? Ahhh. True. Tyler isn?t gone. But this is exactly what the Bible teaches. We have a new direction, not perfection. We desire to do God?s will and live for Him like we never have before but often we don?t do what we want to do (Romans 7:16+). Even after we are born again, we wrestle against the flesh and our old sin nature tries to tempt us still. But now we know the truth and the truth has set us free (John 8:32). Satan and our old ways/nature may come back to haunt us, laugh at us, call us insane, harass us, and make us doubt who we are in Christ just like Brad Pitt did. He accuses too?as Tyler points out that all those bad things that Jack did was Jack and not Tyler. Jack humbly admits the guilt. He says, ?I am responsible. I accept responsibility for everything.? We might be tempted with fear of boredom as Tyler yells out that he will not go back to just sitting around watching sit-coms. Also, our old self will try to convince us that we had more fun before or that we were more free before. Tyler says, ?I?m free in every way you?re not.? Freedom isn?t freedom to sin?that?s bondage. Freedom is freedom to do what is right and freedom from sin. If you notice in the movie also, Brad Pitt looks much different after he returns. He has different sunglasses, a new haircut, and a furry vest on. I?m not sure what significance the specifics have but our sinful nature sure does look different after we come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He?s cool no longer and we don?t desire to be with him anymore?as Jack tries to run from him, ignore him, and shoot at him to no avail. We can?t defeat Satan?only Jesus can. Our only defense against Satan is to kill our own will. Jack realized this eventually when he realized that he needed to point the gun at himself in order to be victorious over his sinful nature [Tyler]. Jesus says in Luke 9:23-24 ?If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.? Romans 6:11 ?Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.?

Perhaps, as depicted in this movie, we have/had a girlfriend or wife that stuck with us through the transition of ?Before Christ? to ?After Christ?. Marla did with Jack. His comment shows his mixture of regret for the past but thankfulness for the fact that she stuck it out?.?you met me in a very strange time in my life.? Finally, we are able to stand proud (despite our sinful past) and boast in Jesus? greatness?not in ourselves. We can watch the explosive affects of past sin and the circumstances of life crashing down around us and have faith that God will preserve us and has purpose (Romans 8:28). Regardless what the world thinks God will be glorified through us in this present life. People should see a difference in us and how we live and the joy and peace we have through the struggles of life and the desire/ability to flee sin. Some will scoff but others will be amazed. We see this amazement in the movie as one of Jack?s old Project Mayhem buddies comments after Jack has shot himself and is still alive, ?I can?t believe he?s standing.? In effect saying, ?I can?t believe he?s living this way?? or ?I can?t understand how he has such peace through trials?? We are a lamp to be put on a hill so others can see the light of Jesus Christ. We are salt so that people will become thirsty for His truth and His Word. Not only will we glorify God in this life but also in the next. Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him? Rev 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. Job 19:25-26 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God.

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