Monday, March 02, 2009
Slumdog Millionaire: Gospel Implications
Last night I saw Slumdog Millionaire, which just won 8 Oscars including Best Picture. I had incredibly high expectations going into the film and I was amazed to find they were far surpassed.
Perhaps the most shocking part of the film for me was the constant intensity. Several parts in particular offer a tragically realistic look into the lives of street children who are forced into begging and prostitution by slum lords, who essentially use them as slaves. Many beggar children are scarred and maimed by the slum lords to increase profits.
Personally, it immediately brought back memories - long suppressed - from when I was in Cambodia, surrounded by some of the worst poverty on earth. There are few feelings of despair that compare to encountering these beautiful, beggar children. Giving money only propagates a cruel system and giving nothing leaves them in the same condition. For Christians, the gospel demands we take action to stop systemic oppression, which is the result of sins of greed and negligence.
Proverbs 14:31, "Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him."
Ecclesiastes 5:8, "If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter."
Psalm 72:12-14, speaking of the Davidic king:
"For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight."
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,"
Posted by michael