Sex and the City

"You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Revelation 3:17)

Ironically, Sex and the City (the movie) came out just as the American Economy started experiencing its sharpest decline in years. This movie represents a way of life that seems to be fading away rapidly.

At one point Carrie Bradshaw notices the issue of Vogue that features her wedding gown, only her magazine is covered almost completely by an issue of Forbes magazine, the cover of which poses a question with bold letters: "When will the real estate bubble pop?" It is striking how the camera pauses so long on that seemingly irrelevant magazine... it's as if reality invades the Sex and the City wonderland for a moment or two. This contradicts the driving force of Sex and the City's fabulous success, which is that it allows average people to imagine themselves into the ritzy lifestyles of Carrie Bradshaw and her girlie gang.

On one hand I love the American way of life. On the other hand, it is difficult to be wealthy and also keep one's bearings in God's kingdom. I hate to admit it, but the more we are down and out, the we will be to living by faith in Jesus Christ. We will possess groundbreaking faith when we realize that we desperately need God's grace (this has been true all along regardless). In the mean time, material wealth is tricking us into thinking that we are sufficient in ourselves, apart from God.

There is a predictable, generational cycle: One generation experiences great need, so they cry out to God for mercy. He grants them mercy, which they pass on to their children in the form of safety and comfort, which leads this new generation to forget who gave their parents safety and comfort in the first place. Then God sends a "reminder" of some kind, which inspires them to cry out again in mercy, and on and on it goes. Refer to Israel of the Old Testament (the Jewish Tanakh) for examples of this.

Sex and the City stars Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, Kristin Davis as Charlotte York and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes.


Kess And Her Mama said...

Your blog is pretty interesting. When we think secular movies and music, we never really associate God with it. Interesting angle to look at.

Anonymous said...

Great post, bro. I've been wrestling with that strange American lifestyle dynamic in particular this week, having replaced the car. Surely, I don't want to be a slave to my possessions, though I want them to be well invested - not for the sake of multiplying belongings, but fruit in the Kingdom.

I read an account a while back of an American family living in some crazy jungle in South America. Suffice it to say, they were significantly wealthier than everyone around them in the village. So the mother of this family was prompted by her daughter at one time as to whether she could buy a new doll (or something, I forget the exact toy). And her mom said no to that request. The daughter asked, "Can't we afford it?" And the mother responded, "Of course we can afford it. But do we want to afford it?"

That really stuck with me. It is quite an awesome thing to live under the grace of God to be freed up in our choices, slave to nothing, but also to be empowered to "be without". Not grudgingly, but because we know our greatest treasure is in Christ, and to be sure there is a cost greater than just money for the things we possess.

That's kind of rambling. But there you go.

Jack Bates said...

I agree with you idea of a "cycle". I like to think of it more like a spring and than a circle, like the hermeneutic spiral. In this case instead of thought progressing it would be spiritual understanding and appreciation in reference to our place in history. So as children of God we seem to make the same mistakes and walk the same path, but like to think that we are climbing rather than doing the same things over and over again or descending. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I'd rather be wrong in a positive way :-)

Jack Bates said...

Dave, I completely agree with the moral of the story you had, "Do we want to afford it?" I work for the largest waste producing entity out there, the University of California. Right now I am posting this reply on a 5 year NEW (never used) PowerBook G4 that was going to be THROWN OUT. Thats right, bought, sat, IN THE BOX, dusted off just in time to be "surplussed". So I did what any environmental I.T. Technician would do. I left it in the inventory, took it off the supported computer list, and assigned it to myself for "testing" and now have a great laptop to learn Mac OS X on, at no expense to myself! If more people would just look at what they have or what they could save we would realize just how rich we are!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you. We have it so easy in America we start taking God out of everything..courts.. schools... money.. the pledge (well talk about taking Him out of it) even out of the church..with all these "seeker friendly" churches that want to dumb down the message and make it more likeable to non-christians. come as you are.. live like you want. and still be a christian..

mean while in china or some place like that christians are putting their life on the line just to go to church.

--*i wont rant anymore*

i agree with kess when i think of secular movies i dont really associate them with Christian thinking or with God. thanks for the post ^_^

Matt Cyganik said...

I'll have to keep this blog in mind from time to time. It's good to read reviews from a religious angle, but not nearly as strong armed in tactics like CapAlert.

Nayana Anthony said...

How much respect do I have for you?!? You explored the message of this movie in regards to man's relationship with wealth, and didn't stoop to the easy bait of *sex is bad*! You are officially added to my Google Reader. :-)