The Apostle (starring Robert Duvall) -- The Good

The one good thing about The Apostle (also written and directed by Robert Duvall) is the way Sonny prays to God when he is in trouble. He does a lot more than what many people would consider "praying"--he goes up by himself to his second story bedroom and rants and raves at God about his troubles. He reasons with God using all the energy he can muster, frequently bringing up the relationship he has to the Almighty. He is respectful, but he also is admittedly angry.

This is a great way to pray. Like any relationship with a regular person, openness is beneficial for our relationship with God.

Tragically, though Sonny is on the right track, he doesn't wait long enough for God to put him all the way on the right track. I imagine, if God had his way the man, he would not have gone off and clubbed a man in the face for sleeping with his wife. I also suspect that, had he done as much listening as he did yelling, he would have developed a more vivacious, genuine quality of faith. Had Sonny waited for God, he would have been able to move forward with his life as a thoroughly reconciled worker in God's kingdom, not a man who uses religion to run from his responsibilities and his past.


Ed said...

I think that Sonny (Duval) was trying to do the right thing and lead a responsible life but since he was imperfect as a man and a minister he succumbed to earthly temptations and was led astray. That is the paradox of being a man with a free will but with in complete knowledge and the inability resist all temptations.

Patrick Roberts said...

right, that's very much the point... Duvall demonstrated exactly what people don't need in a spiritual leader. He nominated himself to be a godly leader, even though he still had a ton of unfinished business to take care of with God.

He had the first half of the struggle down, which was acknowledging his faults. But, in the end, he evidently loved doing his own thing more than God. He would rather be in charge of his own church and his own sense of justice than wait for God's timing and justice.