Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HOPE FOR TODAY: Woody Allen’s Great Delusion

Legendary filmmaker Woody Allen has over 40 films to his name along with three Academy Awards. In September he released his latest film, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”.

The New York Times columnist, Dave Itzkoff, interviewed the 74 year old about his film and life. Itzkoff noted the supernatural is important to the movie, which opened the door for Allen to comment about his view of faith. Allen said, “I was interested in the concept of faith in something. This sounds so bleak when I say it, but we need some delusions to keep us going.” Allen is not alone in his sentiments. The results of a major religious survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found the largest increase was in the category of “Unaffiliated”. It grew to 16.1% of all adults and 25% of 18-29 year olds. A majority of this group says they do not believe “in anything in particular” and that religion is “not important” to them.

Allen has it backwards. Faith in God is not delusional. Rather, having no faith in God and putting faith primarily in oneself is delusional. It is a grave mistake to believe that all I need is myself – my own goodness, education, wealth or personal effort. It is unwise to simply decide God does not exist or that you do not want Him in your life so you can continue with your lifestyle.

Throughout the history of mankind, the God who made the heavens and the earth has shown He is real through a myriad of ways. He has revealed Himself through Jesus, His only Son, who was a real historical figure who rose again from the dead. God has also revealed Himself through the Bible a truthful and accurate sacred text and through millions of people who have personally encountered this God and have been everlastingly changed.

The delusion of trusting in oneself does not stand up well in times of unexplained tragedy, or with the guilt and shame from our mistakes and in the faces of death and dying. Itzkoff asked the 74 year old Allen about the aging process. He stated, “I’ve experienced that thing where you wake up in the middle of the night and you start to think about your own mortality and envision it, and it gives you a little shiver.” Where is the hope, the peace?

God is real. Put your trust in Him. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1). Do not delude yourself anymore. God knows your name. He is calling you. Turn from yourself and to Him. May you find hope for today.