Last night I watched the movie, Kingdom of Heaven, with Orlando Bloom playing a knight/blacksmith on his journey to forgiveness to Jerusalem. While the movie isn’t 100% historically accurate, it does have some redeeming moments. At the very end of the movie, though, comes my favorite line made by a bishop during the siege of Jerusalem by the Muslims. It’s looking pretty desolate on the side of the crusaders, and the line is just…well….ummm… classic… Christianity.
“Convert to Islam, repent later”
And the thing was: he was serious.
It got me thinking about a lot of things: forgiveness, suffering, faith, times of trials, and well, just Christianity in general.
Most of us will not know the faith it requires to stand up for what we believe in during times of life or death. Many of us do not know persecution in a serious capacity. The majority of us will probably not have to face being beheaded, killed by the sword, or set on fire for our beliefs.
But we do know the meaning of ‘grace’ and ‘forgiveness’….sometimes a little too well. How many times have we compromised on the little things, knowing we would be forgiven? How many times have we done what we knew was wrong, claiming the ‘grace’ of God after? How many little things add up to become multiple things?
I can sit here and judge the statement this character made, claiming to say something like that, or to even go as far as doing it is just too much; or I can think about all the times I have repented later, after my own trial was over. Is it any different?
Yes, Grace and Forgiveness are there for us, but we shouldn’t be in such a hurry to search for reasons to use them… I know I’m guilty of that.