24 mistakes and misplaced missionary energy
When the movie celestial fall released in 2012, it was the 23rd installment in the James Bond series which began 60 years ago in 1962 with Dr. No.
celestial fall has been heralded as the best Bond movie in years and Daniel Craig the best Bond movie since Sean Connery. This is, without a doubt, a party for Bond lovers. From Q revivals to Miss Moneypenny, returning villains to Aston Martins, it deserved its critical acclaim and box office success.
However, there are 24 errors in the film.
I know this because someone poured over the film several times and counted them.
For example, when Bond drinks Macallan in M’s apartment and puts the bottle down, the label is facing the audience. A few scenes later, the label faces the audience.
During the London Underground scenes, Bond gets on at Temple Station and gets off at Westminster, but Embankment, the station between these two stops on the District Line, cannot be found.
Bond is seen driving through Whitehall in London. Behind him, bus #38 is visible. However, the #38 bus does not get off and is not particularly close to Whitehall.
When Bond fights atop the train at the start of the film, his shoes change from black lace-ups to black slip-on ankle boots.
How dare they!
Of course, the 24 errors in celestial fall are nothing compared to the 395 found in Revelation now nor the 310 found in The Wizard of Oz.
When I came across the 24 Mistakes article, I sat down and thought: Really? Who has time to count such tiny errors? Who has the kind of “life” or spirit that would want it?
Who watches the larger-than-life story told through skillful acting, writing and cinematography in such a film – let alone Oscar winners such as Revelation now and The Wizard of Oz – and leaves with bottle labels, metro lines and bus timetables? Who wants to specialize in minors?
In fact, I know. Most leaders do. They are the same kind of people who scan a number of other people, places, or things for errors. And I know at least one of the reasons why they do it too. (We’ll bracket personality for now.)
They have lost the missionary energy.
When I speak of missionary energy, I confess that I have no verse to take you to, no great theological architect of history to quote. Just decades of working with people as a leader. But I will tell you that I believe it is very real and needs to be taken into account. When I talk to other leaders, they also believe it’s real. They may not use my language, but they know what I mean when I describe it.
Here’s the idea: It’s like there’s a certain amount of missional energy in a person and, by extension, in a community of people.
This energy can be turned inward or outward.
If it is turned outwards, towards an authentic mission, the life of the community is relatively peaceful. There is neither the time nor the energy to focus on minor disagreements or small arguments, insignificant mistakes or inconsequential missteps.
In the life of an outward-facing church, no one cares about the color of the rug, the intricacies of another’s eschatology, or the dividing of a Sunday school class in two for make room for others.
Instead, Kingdom victories are celebrated by all, grace is extended to all, and minor mistakes are ignored by all.
There are obviously much bigger issues at hand.
However, if this energy is not turned outward, the energy still exists. And when that energy is not devoted to a genuine mission, it turns inward, like a dog gnawing on a leg wound. Pseudo-missions resurface, feigning equal importance to the genuine mission. Suddenly, minute questions of order, insignificant variants of biblical interpretation, and insignificant questions of way of life all rush to the fore with a sense of gravity that is wickedly disproportionate.
Of course, this is not limited to churches. You see it in schools, homeowners associations, sports leagues…anywhere people gather.
Yes, there are times when it is necessary to point out faults and errors, moral failings and incongruities. It’s not about turning a blind eye to incompetence.
But let’s make sure the errors we report are major, shall we? Which ones really matter?
And in the meantime, let’s focus on using our energy for something more productive than finding 24 inconsequential mistakes in a 143-minute movie.
Like making a movie or two yourself.
James Emery White
“Fans notice 24 errors in the new James Bond movie Skyfall” The TelegraphNovember 23, 2012, read online.
The actual compilation of errors on which the article is based was made by moviemistakes.com.
About the Author
James Emery White is the founder and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the assistant professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His last book After “I believe” is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore. To take advantage of a free Church & Culture blog subscription, visit churchandculture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive, read the latest church and culture news from around the world, and listen to the Church & Culture podcast. . Follow Dr. White on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at @JamesEmeryWhite.