|The Brothers McMullen
reviewed by Susannah Kelly
The Brothers McMullen is an excellent movie about what happens when three young brothers forsake the religious instruction of their parents (in this case an Irish Roman Catholic heritage) and try to find their own way. Each brother is in a different stage of losing his faith.
For one, the teaching of his parents, primarily the mother in this family, fell upon rocky soil and is ultimately despised. Another finds the teachings irrelevant to real life. And the last, in the throws of a budding relationship, finds the law very difficult to keep and finally turns aside. As his girlfriend says "I can't have sex, but if I do I can't use birth control, so I get pregnant, and when I do, I can't have an abortion. No matter how you look at it I'm screwed (stuck would be more polite)" This typifies the bind this young couple feels themselves in and the struggle many Christians to one degree or another face today. Proverbs 1:8 warns us not to forsake the teachings of your parents.
Finally this movie fulfilled the warning of Psalm 14. As the boys convince themselves "there is no God" it is fulfilled "All have turned aside. They have together become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one."
A Christian is left with some difficult questions:
What can we do, in teaching our children, that the word would take root and grow strong in their lives?
What are the consequences for us if we compromise on an aspect of our faith as the last brother did?
Can we ultimately hold onto Christ, as our mind would lead us to believe? or do we slide into further evil?
What is the difference for us, that faced with the same temptations, our faith is relevant in our lives?