Do I have to?

AtlantisOne of the tasks I have taken on as part of this project is going back into the Disney catalog and either rewatching movies I have not seen in a while or watching movies that I have never seen.  Netflix is very helpful with this.  I have decided to not make myself crazy trying to find older things like “Melody Time” or impossible things like “Song of the South”.  I am also not searching out direct to video releases.  However if it was an animated feature, released in a theater I am doing my best to search it out.

At first I thought I would only have a small handful of movies that I missed when the Princess was too young for movies, but imagine my surprise when the grand total was 16!  That’s not even including the old stuff.  If you add in the things that are no longer available, I’m at 21!  ME!  That seems impossible.  Plus I’m not even counting the things that Disney distributed without putting their name on it.  This was definitely a problem that needed rectifying quickly.  I headed to the internet to start watching films and soon realized why I had missed so many of these movies.  To put it bluntly, they just aren’t very good.

The first one that popped up in my que was “Atlantis: the Lost Empire”.  I sat down to watch it, excited to check it off my list.  I turned it off 20 minutes later, bored out of my mind.  A week later I tried again.  I made it another 20 minutes into the film and again turned it off.  I found it formulaic, predictable, and stocked with stereotypical characters.  I abandoned the film and rewatched “Hunchback of Notre Dame” instead.  I still haven’t finished Atlantis, though I know I should.  I just don’t like it.  And that’s ok.

Over the years I have had many people talk to me about reading the Bible.  How often should they read it, but also how much of it should they read?  There is this notion that ‘good’ Christians have read their Bible ‘cover to cover’, every word in every book.  There are those who will tell you how often they have read their whole Bible with great pride.  They should be proud.  Reading every word in the Bible is hard work.  And reading through it from Genesis to Revelation is a slog.  Genesis is fine and Exodus moves along at a good clip until you get to about chapter 22.  There the action stops for what feels like forever, but in reality is only about 10 chapters but it is a sign of things to come; page after page of rules and bookkeeping.  The determined can make it through Exodus, but Leviticus can discourage even the most determined and the project is derailed.

First let me say that there is nothing wrong with Christians who haven’t read the whole Bible.  Parts of it just aren’t very good.  And that’s ok. Let me say that again: we don’t have to like everything the Bible has to say.   But if reading the whole thing is something someone feels they want to do, more power to them.  I believe that the success of that endeavor can be helped by some freedom.  Not just the freedom to dislike what we are reading, but the freedom to figuratively step away and do something else.  Tired of Leviticus?  Read a Gospel.  Revelation too weird?  Song of Solomon is about as straightforward as one can get.  Mix it up!  The Bible is full of all sorts of genres: poetry, war stories, morality plays, life lessons, social commentary, and more.  Will every person like every part?  Nope.  Not remotely.  But liking it and getting through it are not the same thing.  And liking it is not a requirement for getting through it.

What’s more getting through it is not a requirement.  If I never finish “Atlantis” I will be no less a Disney fan than I am now.  They will not quiz me at the gates of Disneyland or revoke my D23 membership.  Similarly, no one waits at the doors of the church with a biblical knowledge quiz to let people in.  No one gets kicked out of their pew for not reading Nahum.  And no matter what people might say to the contrary, we are not expected to like, enjoy, or agree with every word in our Bibles.  We are allowed to not like it.  And that’s ok.

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