Thoughts on the film Silence

– Without the Holy Spirit I am certain I would not be particularly good at withstanding torture.

– As a protestant the Christianity the padres spread is quite foreign to my experience of Christianity, especially:
• Importance and veneration of priests
• Importance of items and symbols of worship, both the paraphernalia passed between the believers and the images to be trampled upon.

Many of these differences make this a more necessarily visible practice of religion. Believers can be discovered because of images in their homes. They must go to a priest for confession. Kichijiro keeps putting himself in danger, showing faith, to get into the presence of the priest so that he can confess his previous cowardice and trampling, showing his doubt.

-Both the Christians and the governing authorities have to deal with the importance of trampling on images. If it isn’t a big deal as a believer, then just trample. If it isn’t a big deal as the daimyo, then why are you demanding that the Christians trample, but saying that it is just a formality? So it is a big deal, you are trying to stop something that you think will grow despite your claims that Japan is a swamp where Christianity just won’t grow? Then believers should resist.

-Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael’s* reply to Nebuchadnezzar when he demanded they worship his golden statue in Daniel was and is a good response to the “silence” of God.

King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.

(Daniel 3:16-18 NIV)

They recognized the possibility that God may not deliver them while continuing to believe that he would.

-I kept wanting Rodrigues to respond to Inoue’s insistence that only he could stop the suffering with: “No, the only one here that can stop it is you. You are the authority and the one causing the suffering. If I trample or don’t it is according to your authority that these people are being tortured.” Especially after Inoue continues torturing Christians who already apostatized.

*a.k.a. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego