RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: Christian Fear and Love | FCC 96

In RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Indiana Jones loves Marion Ravenwood so much that he overcomes his fear of snakes and even death. This shows us what it’s like when we let our love for God cast out our fear of death.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:03:12 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:26:15 – Christian Themes in Raiders Of The Lost Ark
  • 00:54:02 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:02:40 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:12:12 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:13:09 – Upcoming

Indiana Jones’ (Im)Perfect Love

Indiana Jones is the picture of a Christian in the midst of being sanctified; he isn’t perfect yet, but he’s on his way there. He’s a brawler, a rabble-rouser, and an adventurer that has a knack for finding ancient relics, and that’s not even his day job. However, he does have a fixed star in his wandering bark (Shakespeare ftw), and her name is Marion Ravenwood.

Granted, Indy lets fear get in the way of accomplishing his missions; snakes give him the willies, and death brings a shade of fear to all. And since he is in the process of being made holy, he often stumbles in that fear and occasionally comes close to letting that fear overcome him. But because he has Marion as his fixed star, he can calm down long enough to let her bring him back to reality.

This image from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK shows Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones' shadow.

This is the kind of love that keeps us rooted in God’s will. At times, we can all become restless and apprehensive like Indiana Jones – though falling into a pit of snakes is not the most pleasant experience for anyone – but we also have a stable Rock on which we can rest and a God in whom we can trust that is bigger than even death itself. And even if fear happens to get in the way from time to time, He’s still there ready to catch us.

Don’t Look, Marion!

From that love for God also comes the amplification of trust that we have in God, and sometimes that trust means being content in not knowing something. Because let’s face it: it’s a big world out there, and there are some things that are, no matter how curious or demanding we are, better left alone.

Consider the scene in which the Nazis try to open the Ark of the Covenant. Dr. Rene Belloq is parading around the site like a Jewish priest, and standing alongside him are Major Toht and Colonel Dietrich chomping at the bit to get their hands on whatever is resting within the Ark. Indy and Marion, however, are tied up to a light pole several yards away. As soon as the Ark is opened, Indy tells Marion to close her eyes and to not look at the Ark. It’s a maneuver that saves their lives while everyone else is either struck by holy lightning or melted into a puddle of goop.

This image from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK shows Marion and Indy tied up.

A part of the Christian faith is being content with not knowing everything. The world may say that “knowledge is power,” but the world only says that because the serpent in the Garden of Eden said it first (paraphrasing, of course). For example, we don’t really know why God allows pain and suffering to exist in the world like it does, but if we believe that He is both all-knowing and all-loving, then we have to trust that what He decides is the better of any other option.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys, great that you’ve gotten to the Indiana Jones films, they are a lot of fun- and this is the best of them, I think. One of the best things about well made period pieces is that they are timeless to a great extent. As you pointed out, there is little that does not hold up effects-wise, and since the entire tone of the film was calling back to the old serials, it’s still an amazing film to enjoy decades later.
    There’s an interesting thought exercise with Raiders you may have heard of, and that is if you remove Indy from the film, it’s main events essentially do not change. The Nazis still get the amulet, eventually find the Ark, take it to a remote location, open it- and face melting happens. It’s fun to think about, and it leads me to one Biblical theme I get from the movie- and that is God’s providence. Ephesians 4:4-6(NET) states “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Raiders is a comforting picture of God being in control. We may have a calling, and our actions in response to it are absolutely important, but in the end God is in control and will work out His plan even if we fail somehow. You may have heard sayings like “work as if it’s all up to you and pray like it’s all up to God”, or something like that. I think it’s important to see our roles in life as valuable and meaningful, but to keep in mind who is really in control and to ultimately trust the Lord for the outcome.

    As far as Dawn of Justice goes, I plan to wait for it to come out on DVD, I don’t get out to the theater much and there’s some films I have in mind like Civil War and Fantastic Beasts that I do indeed want to see before their DVD releases. When I do go out for a film my theater of choice is the Alamo Drafthouse, which seems to be growing and spreading about the country. What really makes this place for me is their no phones or talking policy. They give one warning if someone disturbs others, then ask them to leave if they persist. The year the first Avengers and Hobbit films came out, they were the only two I saw in theater, and they were both poor experiences that had me ready to give up on going to the theater and to just wait for everything on video. I discovered a bit later that an Alamo Drafthouse opened not too far away from my house, and fell in love right away. It has saved the theater going experience for me. And it’s a bit of an art house, as well- screening old classics and limited releases you won’t find at a typical theater. They even have quote-alongs for highly quotable movies and sing-alongs for musicals, which I have not tried out myself. Does your area have a place like that?

    Love the show guys! #muhweeladgimli

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