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You may never look at movies the same.

That is what John Eldredge tells you as you read through his book, Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive.
The Band of Brothers boot camp was filled with life stories told by men that had battled back, taken their place as the spiritual leader in their home, had their marriages mended, and their lives restored, because they acknowledged that there is an enemy who is relentlessly trying to kill or destroy you, and did something about it.
The majority of these men called themselves “Christians” even as they walked about in disastrous situations, but I think even the casual observer would have a hard time distinguishing between the casual “christian” and the world.
Many of us (I know of a few), much like those in AA, came to a point where we decided that what we were doing was not working, and that we had unsuccessfully tried to wrestle control away from God, deciding that we and the broken world around us knew better about how to handle the devastation around us. Most do not even realize that they are in a spiritual battle for their very lives because religion succumbed to outside pressure and sanitized what we have been taught, avoiding the idea that there is an enemy (his name is Satan), and that he is out to kill you. In a sense we had to take a realistic, moral inventory, give the control back to God, come to an understanding that we are in a 24/7 spiritual battle, and realize that our only hope is on our knees before God in prayer fighting for our minds, our families and those around us. Thus the concept of boot camp.
The band of brothers idea comes out scripture and warfare, for no man stands alone.
A common phrase among the military on the front lines is, I've got your six! meaning: someone is covering your backside as you press forward into the heat. No one should be able to sneak up from behind and take you out.
We did not come up with the idea of joining to together; it has been around for a long time.
From Shakespeare's Henry V, 1598:
KING HENRY V:
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother;
be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 CJB (9) Two are better than one, in that their cooperative efforts yield this advantage: (10) if one of them falls, the other will help his partner up -- woe to him who is alone when he falls and has no one to help him up. (11) Again, if two people sleep together, they keep each other warm; but how can one person be warm by himself? (12) Moreover, an attacker may defeat someone who is alone, but two can resist him; and a three-stranded cord is not easily broken.
Moses told God:
Numbers 11:14 GW I can't take care of all these people by myself. This is too much work for me!
So God had him distribute some of the governing aspects.
As we listened to talks and watched videos of John Eldredge speaking, movie clips were integrated into the talks. The clips helped to convey the theme.
Cover of Some of the clips were from:
  • The Last Of the Mohicans, with Daniel Day Lewis (One of my favorites)

  • Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson
  • Gladiator, Starring Russell Crowe
  • The Kid, starring Bruce Willis
  • Saving Private Ryan, with Tom Hanks
They all had a theme that related to the point being made.

This being said, I recently saw the animated movie EPIC.

Cover of
Even in this animated movie there is the classic struggle between good and evil; the evil trying to destroy the life and beauty in everything for no clear reason other than pure selfishness, and isn't that Satan's goal also. Defeated, he goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour; he is not a lion, he is a defeated foe but that does not stop him from bluffing. His most severe tactic is to feed you a lie and get you to buy into it. If he can get you to come into agreement with the lie then he has you and will destroy you with it.
Saving Private Ryan
An aspect of John Eldredge's Wild At Heart, is that far to many of us are posers. In other words, we put on a front. We do that for self-protection (think about strong fear motivations here), to make ourselves look better to others, and to try to fit in. I knew a young man who was desperately trying to live a lavish lifestyle (it served several purposes for him), while financially he was floundering. There are other circumstances to consider as I think about this young man in particular. I was a attending a church that focused heavily on financial prosperity and he got sucked into that trap.
When you look at movies like “The Kid” you pick up on the poser aspect rather quickly. Braveheart and Gladiator demonstrate moral character and leadership. The Last Of the Mohicans conveys several themes, but rescuing the beauty is a strong one. In our own personal lives, the beauty is our relationship with wife and family.
I really am not sure I conveyed all that I wished to say in this, but I enjoyed the themes that I picked up while watching Epic. Were they intentional? Perhaps, but when you consider that the true nature of God created man was good, and it became corrupted, then you understand better why man has been involved in an epic struggle ever since.
Asking Jesus to come into your life does not end the struggles, in fact it will probably increase them; not because Jesus and a relationship with him is bad, but because there is an enemy that is trying to destroy anything that looks like God. Since you were created in God's image you are a target anyway. At least with a relationship with Christ, one in which you follow him, you will have added support and tools. Use his name like you use your cell phone. Stay in constant contact, and grow in him.
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