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Movie Review: An Analysis of the Characters in Knocking at the Door
By Yifan, USA
Character is one of the important elements in a movie. Every movie creates some vivid characters, Knocking at the Door included. This gospel movie is about the Lord’s knocking for which the religious world has desperately yearned for two thousand years. In order to better explain it, the story focuses on a select group. The film vividly discloses this heavenly mystery. What happens with these people?
The movie starts with a piece of soothing mood music and a drawing of the Lord knocking at the door, which effectively bring the audience into the story. Then camera pans back to the heroine, Yang Aiguang.
Yang Aiguang, a religious co-worker, has believed in the Lord for several decades. She has been working and preaching with enthusiasm, and has been awaiting the Lord’s return attentively. Why does she, such a pious believer, again and again force them out the door when hearing people preaching theof the Lord? We can feel that her heart is tightly closed from the moment she closes her door resolutely. Whatever hinders and binds this zealous and pious Christian awaiting the Savior’s return? Her words tell us everything. She says, “God has been incarnated again? That’s impossible! Pastors and elders always say that all those who preach the Lord becoming flesh in the last days are false. Moreover, the Lord , “I shall arrive just as I departed.” The Lord Jesus ascended to the heavens in the clouds as the resurrected spiritual body, so He will surely descend with clouds as the resurrected spiritual body too. There is no need for others to bear witness for the Lord’s second coming, because we all will be able to see Him.” “Not every pastor or elder resists God even if some of pastors and elders do so. Most of them should be after God’s will because pastors and elders are all established by God.” These words sound right, but the fact proves that Yang Aiguang’s viewpoints are completely wrong and are just her imaginations and conceptions.
Yang Aiguang having so many conceptions, her heart surely is closed when witnesses come to spread the gospel to her. Now, a zealous but somewhat muddleheaded, arrogant and stubborn religious leader vividly appears before the audience. Yang Aiguang is a typical representative of this kind of person in churches who truly believes in the Lord and has been awaiting His return. However, she firmly believes that the Lord will descend with clouds on His return, and she blindly worships pastors and elders. Will Yang Aiguang open her heart finally and welcome the return of the Lord?
The heroine’s husband Zheng Qiming, having a mild nature, is an ordinary believer. He doesn’t have as much biblical knowledge as his wife. Precisely because he isn’t bound by so much biblical knowledge and religious notions and is clear-minded, it is easy for him to recognize that the words the witnesses read to them are from God and are what the Spirit says to the churches. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Zheng Qiming represents the kind of person in religious world who is not quite clear on the Bible but truly believes in God. So long as this kind of person listens to what the Spirit says to the churches attentively, he will be able to recognize God’s voice and welcome the Lord’s return.
In the movie, each time Yang Aiguang sternly tells preachers go away, Zheng Qiming plays a coordinating role. Apparently, he stands by his wife; actually, it is his conciliatory stance that gives the witnesses opportunities of knocking at their door. And thus they hear the voice of God and are raptured before God’s throne.
As Yang Aiguang is pondering how the Lord will knock, a scenery shot is used as a transition from one scene to the next. The sunrise fades into the following scene, welcoming viewers to an unexpected loud and clear knock on her door. This scene closely matches the film’s title and echo the title. Is the Lord Jesus knocking? When she opens the door, we see Li Mingzhen and Fang Min standing outside the door. After the introduction, we know they are also believers in the Lord. With the development of the plot, they knock at Yang Aiguang’s door time and again. Is there any special meaning behind it?
In the beginning, Yang Aiguang receives them warmly, but when their communions do not match her notions, she drives them away firmly. Faced with such situation, what will they do? Will they go on knocking or not? Particularly in atheistic China, ruled by the CCP, there are CCP’s spies everywhere, and cameras installed throughout the streets all monitor those who believe in God. Moreover, in this dangerous environment, Yang Aiguang pays no attention to them. At that moment, ordinary people are most likely to decide to give up. But we see that at the risk of being arrested by the CCP, Li Mingzhen and Fang Min again and again knock on the door of Yang Aiguang’s house but later are driven away. What is it that underpins their acts like this? On the one hand, we see that they have good moral character and humanity. They are certain that Sister Yang and her husband are people with good humanity, truly believe in the Lord and can understand God’s voice, but are seriously bound by religious notions, pastors and elders. In order to show consideration for God’s intentions, they, regardless of their own safety, witness the gospel of the Lord’s return to them. Such moral character makes me think of the scene when countless western missionaries ran the risk of losing their own lives in spreading the Lord’s gospel to China. Their living out really is admirable. On the other hand, it is not for themselves that they time and again go to see Yang Aiguang. It is completely for carrying out the will of God. They spread God’s words so that God’s sheep can hear the voice of God, shake off the entrapment of religious notions, pastors and elders, and follow the footsteps of the Lamb. The reason why they knock on the door of Yang Aiguang’s house repeatedly is because they have received the commission from God to spread God’s good news and preach the gospel to people.
One classic line, “God’s sheep hear God’s voice,” is all along preached by Fang Min. This word derives from the Lord Jesus’ word, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). These words of God are successfully presented in this movie. The first time Fang Min comes into contact with Yang Aiguang, Fang Min repeatedly reminds Yang Aiguang with these words, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). Through witnesses continually fellowshipping about and reading God’s word, Yang Aiguang is finally awakened by these words. She recognizes that these words really are God’s voice and what the Spirit says to the churches. She no longer shuts them out of the door, but instead, actively asks Li Mingzhen and Fang Min to testify to God’s word to other co-workers so that other co-workers can also hear God’s voice. Now, Yang Aiguang’s attitude is greatly different from before. We therefore see that God’s word is truly faithful, and that God’s sheep really hear God’s voice. At this point, the fallacy “Believers must listen to the pastors and elders in all matters,” that Yang Aiguang holds onto collapsed.
If a movie only consists of good characters, then it won’t be so attracting. There is no doubt about this. Though audience do not like the villains, the film won’t be wonderful without the villains who serve as a counterpoint. For it is just the way things are.
There is a pastor in the film called Pastor Jia, which sounds like the Chinese words for “a false pastor.” He plays a villain in this movie, and his performance is successful. I once heard a friend, who is an actor, say that after he played a villain, it was rather difficult for him to take on a greater challenge—playing a playing a positive character, as he could hardly transform from one character as villain into another as positive one. Yet, the actor who plays Pastor Jia needs to changes between good and bad character constantly, and he can play it just right. To an actor, it is praiseworthy.
Pastor Jia represents a majority of pastors and elders in the religious world. This kind of people seem modest from the outside, but they are full of treachery, deceit and malice within. They are extremely skilled at pretending. In their nature, they are antichrists who hate truth and vie with God for God’s chosen people. In the movie, Pastor Jia, in a roundabout way, repeatedly tells Yang Aiguang not to listen to Almighty God’s words but his words. He also implies that believers in the church are his sheep, and that he wants to protect these sheep. Even when Yang Aiguang exposes and rejects him and says that she will never return to religion, Pastor Jia says furiously, “If you are rejected and abandoned by the Lord and can’t enter into the kingdom of heaven, don’t blame us pastors and elders for not protecting you properly.” As a pastor, what he says makes people feel ridiculous and exposes a very serious problem that the atmosphere is already growing in today’s religious communities. The absurd views preached by many pastors and elders are no different from those of Pastor Jia. What is worse, many believers, like Yang Aiguang in the beginning, have no discernment of these absurd theories of pastors and elders and completely submit to these. This may be the reason why the religious people have not heard the Lord’s knocking so far. After watching this movie, I understand: It is not the fact that the Lord has not knocked on the door so far. Actually, the Lord has already knocked at our door, but our heart has been deceived and bound by religious notions, fallacies and heresies that pastors and elders spread, so that we time and again shut the door on the Lord knocking at our doors.
If there was or is a knock at your door, or if you once shut out the knocking one, after the movie, you may reconsider how to treat the Lord’s knocking in the last days. The Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
You may be interested in this article: Review of Knocking at the Door: Opening the Doors of People’s Hearts
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