i recently saw the movie saved, which is a spoof on evangelical christianity.
funny, yes…
but it hits close to home.
being an evangelical christian, the concept of being saved is one with which i am well acquainted.

everyone wanted to get her [cassandra] saved, especially hillary faye.

like it is an event.

the spoof makes light of salvation.
like an attempt to save another through an action…another’s action.
like being one’s personal jesus, or a personal savior.
like we get saved by an act.

how many of them did you actually save?

like it is a numbers game.
like it is a pride thing, something to brag to others.

this spoof really calls into question what many evangelical christians ascribe to. the nature of salvation is more than an act or an event. it is not in the past tense verb, but one that exists in the present…one on going. the act of being saved is not something another can claim; it is not a prize to be won or an achievement to be had.

echoing this, peter rollins states that christians tend to view salvation in terms of ‘being’ and ‘destination’ in the sense that

one becomes a christian, joins a church and is saved. from this idea of destination flows our understanding of evangelism as a means of sharing our faith and encouraging others to embrace it for themselves. for those involved in the emerging conversation, this view distorts the deeper meaning of evangelism, for once we acknowledge that we are becoming christian, becoming church and being saved, then the other can be seen as a possible instrument of our further conversation. even a brief reflection upon the darkness in our own lives bears testimony to the fact that we need to be evangelized as much, if not more, than those around us. ~rollins, how (not) to speak of god, page 6.

how true rollins’ words are in the case of both hillary faye and mary. in hillary faye’s quest to save cassandra, mary, and the rest of her school, she needs to be evangelized as much as they.

the movie deals with struggling to find one’s faith–to know what one believes.
at the end, mary responds,

i mean really, when you think about it, what would jesus do?
i don’t know, but in the meantime i will be trying to figure it out…together.

my quest as well…

3 thoughts on “saved.

  1. Great reflections, Jen. I only saw this movie once but thought it was very provocative. My thought was that, like so many pop culture texts, it does a good job of critiquing, or deconstructing, but not so much a good job of reconstructing. Your quote by Rollins really starts to do the more difficult work of the latter. Maybe we could talk some more about what you are saying here….

  2. true, true…not much reconstruction goes on in saved, although it does a great job of deconstructing. it seems that many of my non-religious friends love this movie, citing it as their favorite. to me, this speaks truth to its message–or one of them–as to how evangelicals are perceived by those outside. yikes! i hope to change this…sure those are your sentiments as well.

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