Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Diary of a Mad Black Woman" is NOT Theologically Sound

I just had an epiphany (ironic huh). As I was watching DMBW (the movie- actually the director’s comments) Tyler Perry was discussing a part near the end of the film where the entire family was at the dinner table. During that scene the main character (Helen) places her divorce papers and wedding ring in front of her husband to show that she had signed them thus signifying her “moving on with life.” Mr. Perry then goes on to say that he changed this part from the original play because of the younger crowd response. In the play version, the wife and husband stay together and work things out. No it’s not glamorous, but it is a reality that is hard to swallow (especially with today’s “quick divorce” lifestyle).

Mr. Perry goes on to describe why he changed the play, because the younger women (the under 40 crowd) wanted Helen to move on and find a romantic, fairytale love story with another man (Shemar Moore’s character). This struck a chord with me because as Tyler Perry puts it, the women over 40 said Helen should stay with her husband and work things out. Now aside from the fact that Helen’s husband completely and ruthlessly dogged her out, he himself realized his errors. Now, am I saying that if this were to happen in real life that she ought to just say “cay sera sera{sic}” and go on as if everything were ok?” Emphatically- no! There would need to be a healing time and in truth that would not be an overnight, over week, over month, or even over year healing process. There may even need to be a time of physical separation in some extreme cases. Some wounds run deep and take awhile to overcome. But it takes three to make a marriage last- the two spouses to admit their faults, shortcomings and forgive one another, and the Lord who “works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

Now back to the women over 40. It seems that Tyler Perry disregarded their pleas to keep the marriage together. Being a Christian-based movie, he should have listened. If he is going to lay a foundation of Christ then he must do so biblically- not just on the response of the audience (which is a big problem with the Name It and Claim It gospel- which we will deal with in another post). In not heeding to the over 40 ladies, he disregarded the scripture in Titus 2:4-5 “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” In fact, we see Madea try to imitate the older female Christian role model- and fail miserably. He does try to salt the movie with lines from Cicely Tyson, but in the end she doesn’t play an important role.

Now I know that some will disagree and say that it is not right for me to judge him because this is after all “entertainment” and he is speaking on real life issues. Well, entertainment or not, if you speak on the things of Christ then you have an obligation to do it in a manner that glorifies God. Marriages that have ended in divorce rarely glorify God (but restored and redeemed ones more often than not do). I know that there are some situations where it just had to end that way, but not every one that has gone through a divorce should have. And yes it deals with real life. In real life, just because someone gets divorced- it rarely makes folk happier in the end. And how many women automatically get to meet their Prince Charming while still married to another man? Is that even right? I think not. In fact, how many women that got divorced thought the men that they were marrying were their “Prince Charmings”?

Alas, this will fall on so many deaf ears because no one wants the truth and no one seeks after God. Truly God filled lifelong marriages are wrought in Christ alone. The problem is, most people have a grand scheme for marriage and in the real world nothing ever really pans out the way we wanted it to. However, couples who are faithful to God can and will endure to the glory of the Father. Every marriage ought to have Christ as its center and His glory as its goal. Tyler Perry ought to start reflecting that if he is to continue making movies under the Christian banner. Nevertheless, I see him slipping away and it won’t be long until the “roar of the crowd” drowns out the “still small voice” of the Spirit.

No comments:

Christians Around the World!