The Last Samurai ... and The Last Christian

We enjoyed the film the other night. (For an ace review, check out Martyn's article on http://thebearspeaketh.blogspot.com/.) It's a sad story of the death of a beautiful culture, a bit like Last of the Mohicans. Annoyingly, Tom Cruise survives.




It is sad to see cultures and peoples destroyed, often so brutally. But it made me wonder, will there ever be a sad film made about The Last Christian? I reckon, for three reasons it could never be.


[1] It would not be a sad film. We are, I think rightly, sentimental and gutted to hear about people's and cultures being destroyed - Aborigines in Australia, 'Indians' in the Amazon, Native North Americans, Bushmen in Southern Africa, and so on. But Christians? It's as Jesus said: "The world will hate you". That's the flavour of our country at the moment, certainly - humanists and homosexual activists are passionate about ridding Britain of the church. In parts of the Arab world (even now Iraq), people have almost done it. People would rejoice to see the last Christian. But what a loss it would actually be.


[2] Christianity is multicultural. There is no such thing as a Christian tribe or a Christian culture that you could tie down and eliminate. The church is made up of "every nation, tribe and tongue". African and American, Chinese and Chilean Christians will be almost as different from each other as the cultures they are from, yet united in the same beliefs and the same trust in Jesus Christ. Eliminating Christians would be like trying to stamp out a giant half-inflated balloon - squash it in one place, and it just bulges up somewhere else.


[3] God won't let it happen. "I will build my church", says Jesus, "and the gates of hell can't stand against it." In many places people have tried (and still do try) to eliminate Christians. But God still builds his church, in spite of severe persecution.


As African Christians are learning well today, it is possible to be a Christian without losing your cultural identity. It may be right to protect minority cultures in the world. But in the new heavens and earth that God will make, there will be people of all flavours; individual cultures will not die there; we won't be all identical. The priority, therefore, is not preserving cultures for now, but in telling all peoples about Jesus, the king over all.