Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another Free Movie Bible Study- STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE

Star Wars Study

On The Plight of the Droids, or, "Is suffering a 'lot in life'?"
Jeremiah 20:7-18

C-3PO says that it seems his lot in life to suffer, Jeremiah complains that suffering seems to be his destiny to suffer as well. Do you think it truly is just some people's lot in life to suffer? Why do you think this is?
(Note: Indeed, you can be called to a very difficult life if you are close to God. Sometimes all roads seem to lead to difficulty. This may not be God's fault, however. It may be that God is calling you to the best life He can call you to GIVEN the facts about the world He has to deal with. It is not the will of God, but the evil of the world, that is to blame. If you are good, and you have to face an evil world, sometimes the result is going to be hard times.)

On Luke's Desire To Leave Home, or, "Dreaming Of Bigger Things"
Genesis 37:1-11

What is Luke's attitude about his life on Tatoine and why does he have this attitude?
(Note: Luke is frustrated with his life on Tatoine and dreams of bigger and better things that life might have in store for him. He feels like he can live a more important and exciting life than what he is currently living. He seesk adventure and excitement.)

What kind of life did Joseph dream of, and how did those around him respond to his dreams?
(Note: Joseph dreamed of being king over everyone around him. This idea was labelled absurd by his father and brothers.)

What are your dreams for the future?

"Everyone Needs An Obi-Wan"
Matthew 3:1-12

How does Luke describe "Ben Kenobi"? How does the Bible describe John The Baptist?
(Note: Kenobi is described as an old hermit living in the desert, John too is a hermit living in the desert... an itinerant prophet calling for repentance and pointing the way to the Messiah, wearing camel's hair and eating locusts.)

Why does the Bible emphasize what John ate and wore?
(Note: It marks John's connection to Elijah, who is also said in almost the exact same words to have eaten locusts and worn camel's hair.)

What role did John play for Jesus, do you think?
(Note: If we stick ONLY to what we get directly from the gospels, John prepared a community for Jesus to lead, pointed to Him as messiah, prepared people to recieve Jesus, and so on. His job was to prepare the community FOR Jesus. However, it is reasonable to infer from some passages in the Bible that perhaps John had a more direct influence on Jesus Himself, preparing Him for His role as well.)

What role does Obi-Wan play in Luke's life?
(Note: Obi-Wan is preparing Luke for his salvific role. He is teaching Luke about the Force and how to be all he can be, how to fulfill his destiny.)

Why is it important to have "Obi-Wan" figures in our lives?
(Note: Nobody starts from zero. We all need leaders who know more than we do. Without greatness leading, we can never achieve greatness ourselves. Every Luke needs his Obi-Wan.)

Who are the "Obi-Wans" in your own life?

The Magic of the Light Saber
Ezekiel 21:1-19

Why do you think swords hold such fascination for people nowadays? Why is the idea of the 'light saber' so enthralling?
(Note: Obi-Wan really sums it up nicely, they evoke a sense of nostalgia for a lost generation. It is like looking back to the 'good old days'. It seems like an elegant, more civilized weapon. There is a beauty to swordsmithing, as well, it seems as much a work of art as a weapon.)

What does the Ezekiel passage equate the sword with? What does this say about our nostalgia for the sword?
(Note: The sword is a symbol of slaughter, of God's supreme wrath and the desctruction of Judea. It should remind us that for all our nostalgia, the sword was the gun of its time. It was a weapon, and used to kill and hurt people. It is a symbol of war.)

On Darth Vader, or "The Betrayer As the Symbol of Evil"
Ezekiel 28:1-19

Why does betrayal so often embody evil for us?
(Note: Betrayal can only take place if it begins in trust. Betrayal is the corruption of something good and pure, trust and friendship, into something dark and destructive. It is the turning upside down of the good and the right. So evil is often embodied for us in figures of betrayal.)

What are the symbols of betrayal that we see in the Bible?
(Note: Satan, the king of Tyre in the Ezekiel passage, both are seen as people who take the gifts of God and turn them against God, they betray God, they don't just do bad things. This is the ultimate symbol of corruption. However, we see betrayal over and over in the Bible. David is betrayed by Absalom, Jesus by Judas.)

Have you ever been betrayed in your own life?

Does Vader have any 'redeeming qualities'? What are they? What evil does he display?
(Note: Vader has a deep belief in a force greater than himself. This belief may be distorted by great evil, but at least it is there. But he is a murdering, torturing, villain who betrayed and killed what was good and decent in the universe.)

The Force, God, and The Binding Concept in The Universe
Isaiah 45

Compare and contrast "The Force" with our conception of God.
(Note: Both are the ultimate powers in the universe, and both inspire a kind of worship and can provide a moral code. In both cases they are hidden facts that can't be seen by everyone. But The Force is an impersonal energy force, and is solely a part of the universe. It is an inert fact that gives power to those who have access to it but doesn't relate back in return. God is a living being, that exists at least in part beyond the universe and is what ultimately created the universe. He also makes moral demands on his followers and expects things back in return. He can respond to those who follow Him, and access to Him is connected to moral behavior.)

Images of Calling
Exodus 2:11-4:17

Why do you think Luke resisted going on an adventure when he's been wanting it for so long?
(Note: Luke wants what he wants on his own terms. He doesn't expect to be called into this kind of risky venture under these circumstances. The call isn't the call he was expecting, and so he resists. Luke can't really imagine himself in the role Obi-Wan is trying to put him into.)

Why did Moses resist God's call when he obviously cared about what happened to the Hebrews?
(Note: Moses questions his own abilities and the likelihood that the Hebrews will follow what he says. Like Luke, he can't really imagine THIS being what he's supposed to be.)

Have you ever gotten what you asked for and almost wished you didn't get it?

What finally motivates Moses to undertake the mission? What empowers Luke?
(Note: Luke is motivated by the death of his family and the loss of all he has. Moses is imposed upon by God's greatness and miraculous signs. God 'convinces' Moses.)

A Powerful Ally
2 Samuel 8:1-6
Acts 6:8-10

What are the ways we see God as a 'powerful ally' in the Bible passages?
(Note: David is given military victory against all who face him. Literally, he's unstoppable, because God is on his side. In Acts we see wisdom that no one can stand against.)

Do you feel God as a powerful ally in your life? Why or why not?

If you do, in what ways has God been your ally?

Help Can Come In Strange Packages
Joshua 2

What is Han Solo interested in when he helps Luke? What is Rahab interested in?
(Note: Han Solo is interested in money and saving his own neck, and Rahab is interested in preserving her own life when the Israelites attack.)

How are Solo and Rahab strange choices for heroic figures?
(Note: Solo is a scoundrel, a pirate, and Rahab is a prostitute, both are criminals and living in the lowest dregs of society.)

How do Solo and Rahab fulfill heroic duties?
(Note: Rahab helps the Israelites spy on Jericho, and protects them when they are being pursued by the Amorites. Similarly, Han Solo helps Luke and Ben get away when they are being pursued by the empire. He hides them and gets them out 'just in the nick of time'. They are very similar characters.)

Do you think God can use criminals to do His will?
(Note: Even the worst of us have moments of real, divine, glory. God can lift anyone out of the muck, if only for a moment, and make them His servants. Rahab is proof of it.)

Have you ever had help come from unexpected place?

What are some other Biblical figures who are 'strange' in this way?
(Note: The Pagan King Cyrus is a strange salvific figure to free the Jews from Babylon, and Paul is a strange choice to lead the Christians. Jesus is the strangest image of all: God in the form of a crucified carpenter.)

Lamentations 1:1-6

What would it be like to have your home PLANET destroyed, do you think?
(Note: Everything you ever knew, loved, created, blinked out in a moment, it would be like the very meaning of your life were wiped away.)

How does the writer of Lamentations describe the destruction of Judah?
(Note: Remember that at the time of the writer, the world was much smaller. Judah's destruction was very much LIKE the destruction of Alderran. It was a threat to the very center of meaning of the Jews' lives, and created the ultimate suffering and confusion. We really can only imagine it by imagining the destruction of Alderran.)

Controlled and Controlling
Jeremiah 7:31
Tobit 6:18

What other similarities and differences do we see between God and The Force?
(Note: The Force can be controlled by people, but God cannot, the Force can control your actions, and so can God. Both are said to be “All Powerful”.)

What tension do we see between the Jeremiah passage and the Tobit passage?
(Note: The Jeremiah passage indicates that people can do the opposite of what God intends, whereas the Tobit passage indicates that God has our life planned out from the beginning.)

How do we reconcile God’s sovereignty with the idea of free will?

Blasters and “Hokey Religions”
Psalm 14
Romans 8:26

What does Solo say about The Force and the Jedi religion?
(Note: Han does not believe in the Force, and thinks that religion is a waste of time.)

What does Solo trust in, ultimately?
(Note: Han trusts in his blaster, in himself. He doesn’t see himself reliant on anything greater than himself.)

Where do you put your trust, besides God?

Why does Solo say he doesn’t believe in The Force?
(Note: He hasn’t had any proof of the Force, he’s seen no sign of it.)

How do you respond to the accusation that you have no proof of God?
(Note: There are lots of things that can’t be proven but we still have good reason to believe in. Besides, not all beliefs are amenable to scientific or logical proofs.)

What does Han Solo attribute the destruction of the training droid to?
(Note: Luck)

How does Obi-Wan respond to this? What does he mean by this?
(Note: He says that in his experience there is no such thing. Obi-Wan thinks everything happens for a reason and in his life has seen things that appeared coincidental turn out to be the workings of The Force, so Obi-Wan doesn’t believe in coincidence, randomness, or luck.)

Who is right?
(Note: Maybe both. Belief in God doesn’t remove the possibility of luck any more than belief in God removes the possibility of freedom. Sometimes things happen, and THEN God gets involved. Not everything that happens needs to be God’s will.)

What does Obi-Wan mean when he talks about reaching out with the unconscious and the feelings?
(Note: Obi-Wan is talking about digging deep into the soul and using our most basic intuitions, accessing the intuitive side of our psyche and life.)

Why do you think it is important to examine your feelings and intuitions?
(Note: These basic connections to our world give us important information, though that information must be examined and filtered rationally.)

What do you think Paul means when he says the Holy Spirit reaches out in groans ‘too deep for words’?

Following The Fool Into Trouble
John 21:15-19
Matthew 28:16-20

What kind of trouble does following Obi-Wan cause?
(Note: Before Obi-Wan Luke had an easy, quiet life as a farmer, now he faces death and danger all around.)

What kind of trouble did Jesus’ cause His followers?
(Note: They were also simple fisherman and now face death, torture, all because of Jesus. Jesus caused everyone no end of trouble.)

What kind of trouble has your religion, your faith, Jesus Himself, caused you?

Why does Luke follow and trust Ben?
(Note: Luke is getting the adventure he always wanted, the danger is worth the gain. He also sees Ben as a great man who has put him in contact with the Force.)

Why did the Disciples trust and follow Jesus?
(Note: Jesus had put them in contact with God and Life Eternal, and they knew that to be worth the risk. They also see Jesus much the same way Luke did.)

How does Ben comfort Luke? How does Jesus comfort His disciples?
(Note: Ben promises Luke that the Force will be with him always, Jesus promises His disciples that He will be with them always.)

The Last Survivors of Ancient Religions
1 Kings 19:13-18
1 Kings 21:17-21

Why does Tarkin believe that the Jedi religion is dead?
(Note: He underestimates the power of the force.)

Is he right?
(Note: No, not only is Obi-Wan alive, but he’s brought another Jedi trainee with him, Luke Skywalker. The Force is at work to bring the religion back.)

Why does Elijah believe that the Hebrew religion is dead?
(Note: So far as he knows, he’s the only believer in YHWH left, or at least he feels that way. He has underestimated both God and people.)

Is Elijah right?
(Note: No, God has kings and prophets ready to do His bidding, and moreover has 7000 followers unbeknownst to Elijah. The religion isn’t as dead as he thought.)

Why do you think Darth and Obi-Wan have to meet?
(Note: Like Ahab and Elijah, true enemies are destined to eventually meet each other. We define ourselves in part by our own enemies, as an old saying goes. You can’t really fulfill your life without facing down your nemesis.)

Victory In Defeat
John 16:4-32

How does Darth view the ‘completing of the circle’?
(Note: He thinks that destiny has chosen him victor over Obi-Wan. He thinks that the point of the encounter is Obi-Wan’s death.)

What does Obi-Wan say about his death?
(Note: That through death he will become more powerful than Darth can possibly imagine.)

What does he mean by this?
(Note: Death is an illusion for Obi-Wan, he instead becomes one with the Force and thereby will be able to aid the Rebellion more effectively.)

From the perspective of an evil world, what was the cross all about?
(Note: It was the defeat of Jesus Christ, the death of God In The World, really proof that Jesus wasn’t from God altogether.)

What does Jesus say His crucifixion really is all about?
(Note: It is the defeat of evil, and the triumph of God. It is Christ’s glory.)

What will happen to Jesus and the disciples after His death, according to the Johannine Gospel?
(Note: He will return to where He came from, God, and from there send the Holy Spirit. He will become also ‘more powerful than we can possibly imagine’. He will become the glory and power of God.)

Fighting With Faith
1 Samuel 17:1-47

Why does Luke believe that the Death Star can be destroyed?
(Note: He has done maneuvers similar to the one that is necessary back home on the farm.)

Why does David believe he can kill Goliath?
(Note: He has killed Lions and bears back home on the farm.)

Have you ever been able to do something someone else thought you couldn’t?

What is David expected to use in his battle with Goliath?
(Note: The King’s weapons and armor.)

What weapons does David use, and what really gives David his ability to win?
(Note: David uses a slingshot, but what really wins the day is faith.)

What weapons does Luke reject, and what does he use?
(Note: Luke refuses to rely on his computer, and instead relies on Ben, and The Force.)

Why is it important to take a chance like this sometimes?
(Note: This is how we learn to rely on God, on Grace. By taking risks on God, we learn about God more and more.)

What is the danger here?
(Note: Sometimes the tools at our disposal ARE God’s gifts, they are how God is trying to help us. By rejecting them we aren’t doing anything admirable we are just being stupid.)

Have you ever put aside the normal way of doing things to try for a new creative approach? Has this ever involved God?

What does David say ultimately wins battles?
(Note: Not weapons, but faith in God.)

What other things helped Luke?
(Note: Luke was also helped by his friends, he couldn’t do what he did by himself. He needed Han, for instance, to change his mind. Without Han Solo, Luke couldn’t fulfill his destiny.)

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