I regret that my $4.00 matinee ticket has helped Titanic become the number one-grossing motion picture in American history. Had I known the content of the film, I would not have gone to see it.
Even more do I regret that droves of Metroplex Christian families have allowed their children to see this brilliant, larger-than-life epic—once, twice, thrice, even more!
Why do I make such a fuss about a secular movie? For two reasons—because of what the film is and because of what it is not.
What Titanic is, is over three hours of snobbish, greedy, cruel rich people having their way with the benighted poor. One can only wonder how the film’s writer-director James Cameron brought himself to accept from the evil rich of our day the $200 million necessary to make the film.
Even the movie’s one “church” scene portrays the haughty, self-sufficient wealthy barring the film’s hero from their service.
Ah, the “hero” so many Christian parents have sent their children to watch. He is a shiftless bohemian barely out of his teens—if out of them at all—who smokes, drinks, gambles, mocks all manner of social convention, and has lately lived the life of a reprobate painter in Paris, France, sleeping with that city’s women of the night, while painting them nude, the evidence of which the movie graphically shares with us.
Which brings us to the teenaged heroine. Cameron’s standard for young American womanhood asks our hero to paint her nude as well, which the film again shares graphically with us. She also rebels against her mother, offers obscene gestures, and makes such passionate love (It used to be called fornication) to her new “boyfriend” that her character over 80 years later remembers the affair as her life’s greatest love.
What great role models for American youth.
Meanwhile, back in 1912, the real Titanic went down, amidst such an outpouring of heroic sacrifice that books were written, monuments built, and, now, web sites established “To the brave men who gave their lives that women and children might be saved.”
Who were these men? For one, Edward Smith, English captain of the ship. Yes, the same man portrayed in the movie as an ineffectual, tea-sipping incompetent who after a quarter-century sailing “hasn’t learned a thing.” And who, shattered by the tragedy, selfishly allows the waves crashing over the Titanic to engulf him.
In reality, Captain Smith refused a saving place on a lifeboat, rescued a baby from the water, and left his spot on a capsized lifeboat so that others could survive. Those others saw him swim away into the icy sea and, after a short time, become still.
Other men swam through the freezing Atlantic and placed their own infant children into the safety of the lifeboats, then remained in the water to die, so the small crowded craft filled with women would not sink under the added weight.
Multi-millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim perished after saying, “No woman shall be left aboard this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward.”
And while Hollywood’s version of a titanic hero tells a man who is praying “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil,” to “get outa my way if you’re gonna walk,” God’s version of a hero, Scottish Pastor John Harper, behaved a bit differently. He got his four-year-old daughter to a lifeboat, then proceeded to share the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and His accomplished work with everyone he could.
As he struggled for breath in the frigid black water, Harper shouted at a man who clung to a drifting board to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
The man would not respond. Finally, the dying Harper called once more, “Are you saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Then he went down.
After Harper drowned, the man believed in Christ. He was later rescued and testified that he was John Harper’s “last convert.”
Now what a tale Hollywood could have told with that.
The death of the righteous who dieth
Is gateway to life evermore;
The joy that all glories outwieth
For him is laid up in store.
Painless and tearless,
With “no more sea,”
Shall the morning be.