Look, I understand why it is that way. I know that Christian films have difficulty coming up with the cash needed to put on a semi-decent production, and that the people willing to invest the cash have agendas and certain criteria they want met.
Every Christian movie I watch (which makes it sound like many, its quite minimal) all go the same way. You can read the description on the back of the DVD and guess the ending without flaw.
There is a conflict, a faith in jeopardy, livelihoods on the line, drama all over the place, moody piano, a return to Jesus and therefore everything falling perfectly into place, better than the character could have ever dreamed. Heart warming stuff.
Not true to life, at all, but heart warming stuff nonetheless.
No wonder so many people find the Christian life unsatisfying. When people are sales pitching Christianity, they’re as liberal as computer salesmen who say it’ll do whatever you want it to. And ultimately many of those films are simply extended sales pitches.
Maybe this is why some people think of Christianity as a fairy tale.
So, well, life doesn’t play out like the movies. So…. then what?
I’ve heard many times that the view of the afterlife (this week’s unofficial theme) evolved over time in Jewish thought, and was even still forming when Jesus walked on earth (I’m expecting correction here). How Abraham viewed it is far different from the people of Jesus’ day. And one of the understandable questions people had was: “if God is just, why can such terrible things happen to the religious? How can persecution happen?” Such questions led to the progressing thoughts about life after death. They were fair questions demanding resolution.
An answer that arose was naturally “well the real reward is not this life, but the after.”
And that’s all well and good. But maybe not good enough.
I think God is molding us into less selfish people. He’s got his work cut out for him. And if we are doing things simply for the mansion in heaven, or just heaven for that matter, well then we still have motives. And quite possibly not love.
We are continuing the work of building God’s kingdom. Such work, ask any apostle, doesn’t lead to roses and fairy tale endings. Not everyone gets the girl, or the house, or the dream ____. And we don’t do it for our own spot in heaven (not that God grants such things for hard work). We do it in good faith that we are in fact slowly shoving one more block into place.