The master

Posted: September 20, 2012 by Emilio Garofalo Neto in Uncategorized

What is this film? You may have seen a preview or two in which Joaquin Phoenix looks deranged, Philip Seymour Hoffman looks manic and you are not really sure what is up. Films directed by Paul Thomas Anderson do not come out every year, and they are usually an event within the film industry. Some of his movies I highly recommend; some I highly recommend that you stay away from. His last one was the amazing There Will Be Blood, in which Daniel Day-Lewis dealt with fake preachers, oil and milk-shakes.

There has been a lot of stir concerning The Master. Watch the trailer first. This is only a teaser, showing what kind of thing will be in the movie.


The consternation in some circles about this movie has to do with the similarity between the film’s story with that of Ron Hubbard, creator of Scientology, one of Hollywood’s premier lunacies. The movie tells the story of a “master” (Hoffman) who will find out the secret of living in this life, or something like it. Phoenix, out of his own weird phase, is the disciple of the master.

Why is it that we follow people; even if they are out there people with not so good ideas? You certainly have seen it and have likely done it yourself: you followed that guy or girl that everyone said was full of bad ideas and yet you seemed to think there was wisdom there.

The issue goes, of course, way beyond just this movie or the story it points to; it goes back to creation. We humans were created to follow God in our thoughts and actions; thinking his thoughts after him and acting in this world accordingly. We were made to follow examples and leadership; the family model is not a product of the Fall, it is how God made man to function. We need models, examples and mentors. In our sinfulness we are, however, a living contradiction: in one hand we were made to follow God and mature people with heavenly wisdom; on the other hand we suppress the truth in unrighteousness and seek to follow our own autonomous folly. Thus every human looks for masters, people who they can emulate. We seek in them at the same time direction for life and validation of our own evil ways; when our master (teacher, father, boyfriend, brother, sergeant) disappoints us or confront our folly we look for a new one.

Following Christ is, of course, about following a master; a good thing about this relationship is that he is the only master we can be sure of who fully teaches and live the Word of God, in fact, he is the incarnate word of God. This does not mean we only follow him, however. We are biblically told to imitate those who imitate Christ; and we ourselves are to be models in our sphere of action (church, home etc). Tomorrow we will look more closely at our master and how he leads.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s