Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: If you don’t know the meaning of xenophobia, look it up. Then read this insight article by Jeffrey Overstreet about the new movie “Arrival” and the biblical admonition of Leviticus 19:34.
Arrival’s Terrifying Vision of a Global “Unfriending” by Jeffrey Overstreet, Christianity Today, 12/2/16.
…Louise (played by Amy Adams) is a linguist who previously worked for the US government. In a time of crisis, she is called upon to help translate strange messages from alien visitors. Twelve spaceships — they look like stylish tower speakers in an extremely expensive 12.1 surround sound system — have come to hover just above the ground at locations all around the world. Where have they come from? What is their purpose here? Is this an act of war or an invitation to a meaningful relationship?
When Louise comes face-to-face with the aliens — quite literally through a glass darkly — she is braver than others in her company. While they remain insulated, fearing contamination, she dares to throw down her armor and reach out.
At this point, Arrival becomes a movie about communication, and what it reveals about our perspective, our experience, and our relationship with time. As Louise opens herself to the way the aliens experience reality, her own perception changes. As she learns to translate their speech, her own speech begins to confuse her colleagues.
This shows why it can be such a frightful prospect to welcome those whose faith, minds, cultures, languages, and perspectives differ from ours. We know that — for better or worse, we will be changed by relationship…
That’s what hurt the most as I watched Arrival. While the movie’s central story is inspirational — I can’t say more without spoilers — I came away burdened by what I’d seen.
I embrace God’s exhortation to his people: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt” (Lev. 19:34). Jesus constantly endorsed that command through sermons, parables, and practice, telling us to love our neighbors, no matter how foreign, even at the cost of our lives.
So Arrival‘s nightmarish scenario plays for me like an apocalyptic vision of fear conquering the world. It’s like watching the nations of the world “unfriend” one another. It’s like watching my own online neighborhood implode…
Read more, including helpful questions for discussion at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/lyris/entertainment/archives/12-02-2016.html?utm_source=entertainment&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=14208315&utm_content=480996097&utm_campaign=email