I watched Silence a movie about Catholic missionaries sent to Japan in the 1600s. It made me ask lots of questions.
Can faith truly can be transferred from one culture to another. When you attempt to adapt a faith so it fits into another culture does it change so much that it becomes something else entirely? Is that a good thing?
Is it morally right to attempt to transfer a faith common to one culture into a different culture when trying to do so can result in enormous suffering? That kind of suffering is depicted in a graphic and violent way in Silence.
Rather than trying to convert others to our faith wouldn’t we be better off learning from people of all faiths? Perhaps if we put our truths together we could actually find a way to ‘save’ the world.
People talk about a simple faith. Is faith ever simple? In the movie Silence faith is a messy, troubling puzzle. Trying to untangle that puzzle is painful and heart breaking and costly.
Is coming to faith a static one time thing? There is a character in Silence named Kichijiro who keeps questioning and rejecting his faith for a variety of reasons and then returning to it. That seemed pretty realistic to me.
Do those television evangelists really have it right? I watched a sermon by one of them the other day and its basic message was if you believe in God everything will work out for you. That doesn’t happen in the film Silence where people who are intensely devoted to their faith have tragic things happen to them.
Can anyone truly say……..”God told me to do that?” Some people claim that happens to them and then they go ahead and do some pretty terrible things in supposed obedience to God’s voice. In Silence the priest Rodrigues is desperate for God to tell him what he should do. But God is silent. Maybe that’s a good thing. Could it be that “God’s voice” is a combination of our own conscience, the advice of others, and what our faith has taught us is good and right?