The Christians of Pirates: A Reflection by Bill

This weekend the family and I went to see the 4th Installment of Disney’s famous Pirates of the Carribbean movie: On Stranger Tides. We are fans of the movies. Have been to see all of them.  And have differing opinions about the movies themselves.  I’ve loved all of them…my wife has not.  Though we both agreed that this movie was far better than the last one was.  Though I could go on and on on how good Johnny Depp was and how Ian Holm who played Blackbeard did a brilliant job…I thought I’d tell you about something else. Something you’d never expect to see in a Pirate movie…let alone an action movie…Christians!

Yes indeed…and not just one type of Christians either but two. Now… Be warned, maties, that what follows here may contain some spoilers. So…be warned!

The first kind of Christian is found tied to the mast…literally. This young man claims to be a missionary and carries a Bible with him wherever he goes. He speaks of finding the good in everyone and claims to be able to see it in Blackbeard himself. That is…until they meet and capture a fair mermaid who we discover isn’t quite as fair as portrayed in the cartoons. In this monstrous creature, this Christian finds beauty. He even sacrifices his life…not once but twice…to save her!  In the end he declares he has found the redeemable in her…and not in Blackbeard.

The second kind of Christian is showcased in the conquistadors who, upon marching to the Fountain of Youth, proceed to destroy it because “Eternal life is only through Christ alone.” The epitomy of ignorance and stupidity, these Spanish Christians know nothing of the fountain or its power.  They are men who take their faith very seriously, destroying the fountain, killing the English, and kissing the cross around their neck on their way out.

What struck me was rather profound in this film. I could almost hear it whispered in the wind…  Which Christian are YOU? Are you the one who sees beauty even in the monstrous? Are you one who can look at what is ugly in the eyes of the world and find good living there? Or are you a Christian who is right…and “knows” you are?  Are you so sure that God doesn’t have any other mysteries in the world?  Are you willing to destroy beauty to satisfy that faith?

A good question, for sure, for all of us.  For, as we see in the movie itself, the Christian who discovers beauty in the monstrous is the weaker one of the two, while the one with certainty of faith is the stronger.  The weaker one meets his end in the arms of the monster.  The strong one goes off victorious.  But who’s the one more like Christ?  And which one should we strive to become?