Monday, February 10, 2014

“Spring Breakers” Prompts Spiritual Awakening at Christian College (satire)

This post is a satirical response to a recent article in Biola’s student newspaper which listed two extraordinarily explicit films, "Spring Breakers" and "The Wolf of Wall Street," among the 10 best films of 2013. The style is intended to mimic college journalism.

A small revival broke out in Emerson Hall this weekend. “It was a genuine spiritual awakening,” explained Biola freshman Joey Shcmittendorf.

It all began around 10:00 on Friday evening, when Shcmittendorf and some of his friends decided to rent Spring Breakers and watch the film in their dorm room. “My parents are narrow-minded fundamentalists who don’t care about engaging the culture for Christ,” Shcmittendorf explained, “So I wasn’t allowed to watch these sorts of films growing up.” All that changed, however, when Shcmittendorf came to Biola and was encouraged to “think Biblically about everything” (a popular motto at Biola).

Secular film critics have described Spring Breakers as “a thoroughly detestable piece of gutter trash masquerading as some kind of abstract piece of pop art.” Another critic explained that the movie "objectifies women in just about the most outrageous way I've ever seen, with rarely a few minutes passing between topless scenes.” Shcmittendorf, however, feels that this film is very much worth viewing. “When I watched alcohol being licked off of the young women's naked bodies during the wild debaucheries, I really started to understand the destructive effects of sin,” he explained, wiping away tears from his eyes. Gregory Finklesnitch, his roommate, agrees. “Until I watched the numerous graphic sex scenes, I never really understood that unbridled narcissism and hedonism were bad.”

Shcmittendorf and Finklesnitch are quick to note, however, that the film is certainly not for everyone. “We know some Christians aren’t mature enough to handle this sort of thing,” explained Anthony Bungle, a Bible major down the hall who joined Shcmittendorf and Finklesnitch for the film. “We’re just glad that God has blessed us with spiritual discernment.”

John Durkenmire, Bungle’s roommate, explained how watching naked women for 93 minutes equipped him to bring the message of Jesus Christ to a hurting world. “I really don’t know how I could relate with ordinary people if I didn’t immerse myself in the soft-core porn that they are watching,” he said. “This movie really enabled me to make a difference in our culture for Jesus."

The film was so impactful that the young men of Emerson have decided to follow it up next weekend with The Wolf of Wall Street, arguably the most sexually explicit film to ever escape an NC-17 rating. “I think we’ll have time to watch it after Singspo,” Shcmittendorf explained, referring to the popular Sunday night worship service in Biola’s gym. Finklesnitch is hopeful that the Spirit will again move powerfully among his friends. “I’m looking forward to seeing how God will use the exploitation of more actresses to conform us to the image of Christ,” he added.

[For a non-satirical response to this important issue, see Rethinking Legalism and Entertainment.]


Tyler Davis said...

This is funny, but I think it missed the point of the original article it's parodying. The author of that article was compiling a list of the films that most effectively presented a worldview, and therefore created conversation and debate among moviegoers. Everyone must make the choice of what movies they can watch with a clear conscience, but a show like Breaking Bad has taught us that a film can serve as a kind of mirror. They can show us our flesh and how capable we are of giving into it. A movie like Wolf of Wall Street shows the vanity of a life lived for sex, money and drugs. Did it glorify it? Perhaps, but I believe some of the conversations surrounding these films are invaluable. Just because something is ugly, this shouldn't mean we reject it as something with no merit. On the flip side, I have heard many Biola kids talk about seeing these types of movies just for the sake of being edgy, pretending that there is no way they are actually being affected by them. This is also wrong. The reason that some of these movies could prove valuable to watch is because they can force us to deal with our our own ugliness and also the ugliness in the world around us. They stir conversations with both believers and non-believers. I don't believe that Christians should be ok with watching any and every film that is released, but I do believe that many films can be valuable and that there is a happy medium to be struck.

Anonymous said...

"A movie like Wolf of Wall Street shows the vanity of a life lived for sex, money and drugs." So does the book of Ecclesiastes. I don't have to fully understand something in order to know it is wrong and destructive. I can have meaningful conversations about the ugliness of sin without immersing myself in it. I think these sorts of "conversations" have become an excuse to disregard passages in Scripture such as Psalm 101:3-4.

Don Vasser said...

Sounds like Mr. Davis could have been part of the group in Murray's satire.

Ethan said...

You make a good point about movies depicting sin in general, especially when they do so in a way that shows it to be empty. But these two movies Murray mentioned are completely indefensible. I feel 100% comfortable in saying no Christian man or woman should ever watch these movies. I have not seen them, but the content advisories I just read were gruesome. Murray's description of the movies as "soft-core porn" seem to be an understatement. I would be astonished if any conversation ever made exposing yourself to that level of trash worth it at all. Perhaps some of the conversations surrounding why you adamantly refuse to watch such movies could be just as valuable anyway. Watching these movies would not force you to deal with your own ugliness, they would only deepen it. These are not middle-ground kind of movies; these are the lowest of the low. I am ashamed a Biola student got even close to endorsing them.

Murray Vasser said...

Well said, Ethan!