I sort of forget sometimes that there really are some sincere Jesus-freaks in this country. My Catholic high school had a small gang of them – girls that would wear T-shirts with embryos announcing their commitment to pro-life. The closeted guys playing piano and singing during our liturgies (that was me on the piano). But Catholic Jesus-freaks are no match for true evangelicals.

Saved! gets so much right. Teen movies often drench in bittersweet bullshit and harmless crises. In this film, the heroine screws up big and the lives around her are impacted in a huge way (and with a fantastic cast). This isn’t a piss-ant John Hughes movie where Molly Ringwald schleps around complaining – these are people facing true epiphanies in their beliefes. Drop in a dash of Heathers and you’ve got a great and funny movie.

I don’t want to write too much without giving it away. It is funny and meaningful and illustrates the faith-crisis that most of us find ourselves in during our late high school and early 20s. I remember Angie, a girl in my high school class that had a daily relationship with her guardian angel. I remember confessing my sins to a monk by candlelight during our Senior Retreat (the last time I was in confession). I remember the nagging feeling that a white man on a cloud worrying about my genitals seemed like the most ridiculous notion on which to base a world religion. And that strange feel that I thought some guys were so damned cool that I wanted to be them (being with them was the later epiphany).

I don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I don’t even think I see him as my savior. I just don’t feel all that damned lately. I often don’t even think that Jesus actually existed. And, for me, that doesn’t even matter. Just like it doesn’t matter if the Buddha ever existed. I see the Gospels as a model for living a life. A possible path (and lately everyone seems to forget those Beatitudes, eh?). Same with Siddhartha. These are all possible roadmaps for a life that collective groups of people have found useful and valuable.

I don’t feel all that spiritual lately. And I’m not sure if that is because I am pretty much absent from a house or habit or worship or because I am too deeply in the zone of The Lord’s Work.

At the San Mateo conference, I talked during lunch with some of my fellow attendees about these topics. I guess I see my blogging work as my ministry. That sounds sort of weird. But why should my ministry be this Other Thing instead of what I’m doing right now. I do call myself a blogging evangelist. Just like my sister’s massage business is her ministry. I guess the apex I’m reaching is that business can be ministry. And why shouldn’t it?

My favorite moment of Saved was when a pregnant teen is being shuttled away in an ambulance. There’s only room for one other person in the ambluance.

The Baby’s Father: I’m the father.
The Pregnant Teen’s Boyfriend: I’m the boyfriend.
The Baby’s Father’s Boyfriend: I’m his boyfriend.

In those three lines the whole movie is encapsulated – the crisis of family, faith and identity.

Funny film and I love when Hillary Duff hurls a bible at a girl screaming I AM FILLED WITH CHRIST’S LOVE!

Or is it Mandy Moore – aren’t they interchangeable?






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