Does the film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ give a false impression of Christianity or an accurate picture

In the first wedding between Lydia and Bernard, we are introduced to a vicar played by Rowan Atkinson who is known for playing Mr Bean. This gives the impression that he is going to be comical and a character not to be taken seriously. Charles and Carrie also have sex after only knowing each other for a couple of hours. Carrie then pretends that they have to get married because they slept together. Charles appears terrified but she then tells him she is only joking.In the second wedding (Laura and Angus), Scarlet and Charles wake up late and Scarlet asks ‘Who is it today?’ meaning who is getting married today? This implies that marriage is unimportant and insignificant. Carrie is at the wedding. Charles and his friends discuss the purpose of marriage. The rings are forgotten so joke rings are used. The priest makes a mockery of the service by making mistakes such as ‘the Holy Goat’ and has to be corrected by the couple. In his best man speech, Charles speaks about his ‘bewildered awe’ for anyone who can make this kind a of commitment to each other in marriage. Carrie and Charles get drunk and have sex again, after discussing how many sexual partners they had each had, Charles discovers that Carrie had 33!The third wedding that takes place is between Carrie and Hamish. Charles and his friends again discuss the purpose of marriage. One of them says ‘Isn’t it something to do with true love?’ which is ironic as he happens to be gay so cannot have a Christian wedding. Gareth, his partner, then tells them all that they must go out and find their true love. Later in the reception, he dies of a heart attack.In the funeral, his partner talks about his personality – the good and the bad.The fourth wedding is between Charles and Hen or ‘Duckface’. Charles discovers that Carrie and Hamish are divorced. Charles’ brother, who is deaf, stops the priest and says in sign language that groom is in love with someone else, which Charles admits is true. Duckface slaps him and storms out. Carrie later comes round to his house and they declare their love for each other. They promise never to marry each other. They have a baby together.Christian Views on sex before Marriage: Most Christians believe that sex should only happen within marriage so pre-marital sex is wrong. The first time Charles and Carrie have sex is pre-marital. Christians believe this because: The Bible teaches that fornication is wrong. Church leaders say it is a sin. Some Liberal Christians believe that sex before marriage is ok as long as the couple love each other. This is because Jesus taught that love is the most important thing, the Church has to come to terms with modern attitudes within society. In this case though, Charles clearly does not love Carrie as they have only known each other for a couple of hours. In the Bible, Paul says ‘ But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality’ (Ephesians – 5:4)The second time Carrie and Charles have sex, it is adultery as Carrie is engaged. Adultery means a married or engaged to be married person having sex with someone other than their partner. All Christians believe that adultery is wrong because it breaks the marriage vows and the seventh commandment.Christian Views on Marriage: Christians regard marriage as a gift from God. The purposes of marriage are:For the couple to be able to live together in love.For the couple to have lawful sex.For the couple to have comfort and companionship.For the couple to have children.For the couple to create a Christian family.When Charles and his friends were discussing this, no-one mentioned any of these reasons. Clearly they do not share an orthodox Christian view. In a wedding ceremony, the rings are used as a symbol of eternal love that the couple have for each other. Using stripy and skull rings makes a joke of the ceremony and the commitment the couple are giving to each other.Christian Views on Homosexuality: Most Christians agree that being gay is not allowed. Roman Catholic Christians say that tradition has always declared that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered.Church of England Christians say that it is unacceptable.Quakers, though, believe that it is the nature and quality of a relationship that matters.In both Old and New Testaments, it is stated that homosexuality is not acceptable.In Leviticus – ‘If a man has intercourse with a man, as with a woman, both commit an abomination. They must be put to death, their blood be on their own hands.’This is ironic because in the film, Gareth is the only one to say that marriage is to do with true love. He is the one who can not legally marry his partner.Christian Views on Divorce: Carrie and Hamish divorce after less than a year of marriage. We are not told the reasons for this but Roman Catholics would not agree with this. They do not believe in divorce because: Jesus banned it, when people marry, they make a covenant with God and to divorce, means breaking this covenant (or need God’s consent to do so). In Matthew 19, ‘Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason and every reason?’ ‘Haven’t you read,’ He replied, ‘that at the beginning the creator made them male and female and said for this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.’ Most protestant and orthodox Christians disapprove of divorce, but believe that if a marriage goes wrong and there is no chance of bringing the couple back together, then there can be divorce because:God is always prepared to forgive sins if people are determined to live a new life.In St Mathew, Jesus allows divorce for adultery.Christian Views on Cohabitation: Cohabitation means living together without being married, which Carrie and Charles do at the end of the film. Most Churches are in favour of the idea of cohabitation before marriage as this makes sure that you are ready for the commitment. Marriage is recommended as a final goal – although Carrie and Charles made it clear that they weren’t going to marry. In the view of the Church, this is wrong, especially as they have a baby.My Response: It is clear that the characters in the film do not share the Christian view in the issues raised. There are no Christian views argued in the film and it makes a mockery of strong Christian beliefs. Unfortunately, this is a reflection of society today. Most non-Christians share the same attitudes as the characters in the film and events that occurred in the film, often take place in our modern day life. The Church could change this and get through to a younger generation by changing it’s attitudes to issues such as divorce and pre-marital sex and making it easier for people to commit to their faith.The Church has to take into account that modern day views have changed and instead of fighting a losing battle with society, trying to reason with it and fit around it. It would be impossible to change the attitudes of society and the Church has to accept that. This is maybe because times have changed since the Bible was written and Christian views are seen as quite strict. They do not take into account that it is now accepted in society to be gay or divorce because of rape, adultery or just discovering that you have met the new love of your life and you and your existing partner have grown apart. If society can accept it then why can’t the Church?

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