The Lord of the Rings
(Click here for modern-day parody!)
The wonderful, highly imaginative story holds many lessons for the people of the 21st century, especially those that consider themselves 'religious' or 'spiritual'. It is easy to enjoy this movie as just an enjoyable movie, a flight into fantasy and as an escape from reality. I hope that you can do that. But if that is all you do, you do the creator an injustice. He has done so much more, and he wanted to create something much grander.
His work of fantasy fiction, which encompasses several books, sets the stage for a battle between good and evil. He wanted to show people role models for the proper behavior of good people. He also showed the difference between good and evil people in a very dramatic way, and that is their commitment to the ring.
What is the ring? Is it power? Is it technology? No. The ring is simply self-centeredness. If you focus on yourself, you are evil, and automatically are Sauron's servant. If however, you focus on the God you understand, you are resisting evil.
Notice for example, that throughout the movie, all the leaders that oppose Sauron, the satanic figure, refuse to use the ring and it's power. Why? Is it because power itself is bad? No! It is because anything, even power, even if used for good, which is steeped in evil (self-service) can not be used for good without corrupting the users! (For more on my definition of evil as being self-centered read this article on my website, coming soon.)
Also note, that self-sacrifice is a theme repeated throughout the story. Boromir, for example, gets a great victory in battle (the movie downplays his slaughter of countless Orcs) but at the cost of his life. Galadriel and Elrond both willingly help the Fellowship, knowing that they will have to leave their realms if Frodo succeeds. Sam repeatedly shows his dedication to Frodo's well being.
- To overcome emotional dislikes within the team is crucial. Legolas and Gimli overcome their mutual distrust and strongly bond as the fellowship progresses. Everyone must submit their ego to the mission, or it will fail. They know what responsibility lies on their shoulders.
- Repeatedly, they get help from forgotten sources. Just like here on Earth, when we forget about resources outside of us, which then come and help.
- None of them are eager to battle, and they ALL wish that their mission was not necessary. Yet, despite this initial hesitancy, they become FULLY committed to their trek.
- Weakness of men, as Isildur didn't destroy the Ring when he had the chance. Instead he lusted for it. We are flawed, imperfect. We are very capable of considering personal gain more than society's gain.
- Dwarves in their excavation of Moria uncover a greater demon. Greed often does that, when all we want is more of what we have without regard to what we don't have. In defense of the Dwarves, they had no idea that mythril was used to cage the Balrog and that by removing the mythril they freed it from it's prison.
- Gandalf disappears, and the fellowship is lost. They lost their 'spiritual' leader & floundered for awhile. We as spiritual leaders should help people have Jesus, not us, as the basis of their faith. We will fail them from time to time, but He will never fail them.
- Reluctance of Good Leaders to accept the ring, convinced that they would become corrupted by the unlimited power it appears to give, knowing that Sauron (Satan) is the one who would win, not them! (Remember the Nazgul!)
- Fellowship needed to have diversity (not incest) to have best chance of success. They needed to have the strengths of each member, despite their differences. Diversity of philosophy and strengths, not diversity of skin color and accent!
- Saruman, by being self-centered, betrays Good by becoming Evil, despite his intentions. The movie does not show it as well as the book does, but Saruman had the intention of betraying Sauron once he had earned Sauron's trust. Predictably, he had betrayed himself in the process, and was trapped.
- Fellowship doesn't understand each other, but they learn to trust each other.
- All evil creatures were good creatures which have been warped (Orcs from Elves, Trolls from Ents).
- The Fellowship is reminded that as long as they stay 'true' to the fellowship, to each other, they have a chance to succeed. Their relationship with each other is the key to victory over the ultimate evil, just as the relationship you have with God & God's people is the only way to eternal life!
- Courage can only exist if there is something to fear. If you deny the existence of evil in this world you castrate courage!
- Saruman has no regard for the "sanctity of life" and relishes instead in the destruction of life around him, especially relatively defenseless plants and trees. How many people today have no regard for defenseless babies while they campaign for abortion? Like Saruman, abortionists do not realize what they are doing, nor of their major negative impact on our world.
- Denethor's Error: seeing only Truth that Sauron would allow, Denethor's Spirit dies, and he commits suicide, trying to take his son Faramir with him. If we look at the negative, the 'evil' around us, we suffer Denethor's Doom. Gandalf knew all that Denethor knew, yet Gandalf did not limit his knowledge to those facts. Gandalf knew both sides of the coin, and which side to trust. Gandalf was a leader, while Denethor lost.
- Half Elves: Half human and Half Elven, they must each choose which half will dominate their destiny. Elrond chose Elven. We, as humans are half animal and half divine. Which half do YOU choose?
For a wonderful website on the background of this world, visit www.hobbitlore.com! You will love their Middle-Earth version of the Myers-Brigg/Keirsey Personality Test.
Movies and Books Reviewed:
- Harry Potter
Yes, I am a Christian who loves using Harry Potter to spread the Gospel!
As above, I have found this very useful for pre-teens!
- The Lord of the Rings
The books are classics, and the movies are well done!
- The Princess Diaries
My daughter and I watch this over and over together!
- Vampire Movies
These are popular, and in a spiritual way, we are all vampires!
- Saints of Virtue
This is a computer game that my children and I love to play!
- E. T.
What a great, super-popular movie and Steven Spielberg had a surprise!
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This is amazing in how it tells the gospel story, too!
This movie has so much to offer, here's why!
In so many ways, this movie reflects my walk with the Lord!
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
The urge for freedom, the beauty of servitude.
- Star Wars (coming soon)
So many religions are reflected here, especially Judeo-Christianity!