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DHD: Takeaways from watching ‘Victoria and Abdul’

Greetings!

I’m covering different topics this week, but I am happy to share a review of a movie I watched last week. I’m so happy that I’m committing two topics to the movie on this week’s DHD list.

Thank you for reading!

  1. Takeaway from Victoria and Abdul

Karen and I have spent a LOT of time at home together since the beginning of the pandemic this year. We basically find ourselves doing the same thing every night, including what we watch on TV. If you’re curious, we’ve become fans of the Game Show Network, mostly because of limited interest in all other shows that come on every night—and because we’re not smart enough to figure out any of the streaming services.

Anyway, we were able to watch an interesting movie titled “Victoria and Abdul,” which came out in theaters in 2017. The biopic is based upon England’s Queen Victoria in her later years, around the beginning of the 20th century.

The queen has been widowed for many years and appears to not have much great connection with anybody, despite having hundreds of servants at her beckon call at all times of her day.

Abdul makes a trip to England from India to present a coin that was dedicated to the queen. Abdul is a commoner from India, well-educated in Indian culture and language, as well as in Muslim religion.

If you have a fascination with royal pageantry and rituals, this movie will strike your interest. Abdul and his fellow servant go through a rigorous training for how they are to present the coin to the queen. One important instruction was they were never to make eye contact with her majesty.

Abdul, however, doesn’t follow the rule, and he and the queen exchange a glance. What results is a type of mother-son relationship that disgusts the royal household.

What I learned from this portrayal is close friendships make a difference, especially for those who are grieving. One of the most influential leaders in her time had no deep connections, despite being surrounded by people, until a Muslim from India tries to be friendly and show compassion.

Keep this in mind when you encounter people throughout your day and week.

  1. Second takeaway

“Victoria and Abdul” reminded me of another friendship that is told in the book “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity.” This time, it is the Muslim who needed the support of friendship.

Nabeel Qureshi is a passionate, well-educated American Muslim who grew up around the time of 9/11, the terrorist attack of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and elsewhere. This caused quite a scrutiny and distrust among Americans about Muslims, so Qureshi did not have many close friends.

This changed when he met David Wood in college. David is a committed Christian who understood effective evangelism (with some exceptions) required relationship. Qureshi needed David’s friendship, and through this friendship, a committed Muslim made a profession of faith in Christ.

Friendships are important. Have you made a friendship with someone who needs to know about Jesus?

  1. God and Government

Kevin DeYoung can write some great articles. He wrote one this week that is important guidance for Christians in this political time.

Check out DeYoung’s article “God and Government,” and go through his six implications from Jesus’ teaching in Mark 12.

“Patriotism is not bad,” DeYoung wrote. “Singing your national anthem and getting choked up is not bad. Allegiance to God and allegiance to your country are not inherently incompatible.”

  1. Voting for life

I have stressed before the importance of Sanctity of Human Life, especially in how an Evangelical Christian participates in voting for a political candidate. A really, REALLY good article that explains clearly this importance is “Voting for Life” by Ramesh Ponnuru and Robert George.

Please consider reading this, especially if you have justified voting for someone who supports abortion. The article answers arguments involving SCOTUS justices, appointed by pro-life presidents, not ruling in favor of pro-life; healthcare policies and the view that abortions declined under abortion-favored politicians.

“If both leading candidates for an office fail a threshold test of moral acceptability, it remains possible to choose an independent or third-party candidate, write someone in, or abstain.”

That option of abstaining is the same message I have been promoting of “leaving it blank.”

Check out what my friend Nick Atyia, pastor of Seminole, First posted today on Facebook:

“My conscience, which is the working of the Holy Spirit, puts a strong conviction within me on the issue of life, and the protection of all life (at every stage of life). Why? Because, I am, like you, and everyone else, born in the image of God. I will always put that first (that doesn’t mean I am not informed of other issues) in my considerations for those running for public service. Always. I believe it is important to be informed. I believe it is important to vote your conscience. The world is not going to be at peace because of my vote, the Word of God tells me differently. My hope is not in the next four years or any of the previous or future “four years.” But I will vote my conscience, which I pray is being shaped daily by the Word of the Lord. In all things, I will trust my Savior, Jesus.”

  1. Surviving and thriving in a presidential election

Bruce Ashford mentions Mark 12 as well in his article “3 Ways to Survive and Thrive in a Presidential Election Season.”

Ashford gives good guidance for Christians at this time. He also makes the important point of emphasizing Sanctity of Human Life.

“One of the ways we seek the common good is to use our votes to elect officials who will secure justice, as a biblical worldview defines it, for all of the various individuals and communities under our government’s purview. So, we must not, for example, elect officials who refuse to secure justice for the unborn individuals under our government’s purview.”

  1. DR Update

This morning, Don Williams, Oklahoma Baptists Disaster Relief (DR) state leader sent a report about DR, both state and national, working in the aftermath of recent hurricanes.

Williams reported “Oklahoma Baptists worked six weeks in Lake Charles, La., following Hurricane Laura. A recovery team was sent to Robertsdale, Ala., following Hurricane Sally.”

As of Oct. 6, Williams reported Southern Baptist DR prepared 416,112 meals in Louisiana, made 1,593 Gospel presentations and witnessed 403 professions of faith in Christ. Southern Baptist DR has been responsible for helping 1,737 families with recovery efforts.

Praise God for Disaster Relief and Oklahoma Baptists making it possible to provide this valuable ministry. For more information on DR, visit okdisasterhelp.org.

Chris Doyle

Author: Chris Doyle

Chris Doyle is managing editor of the Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Chris Doyle.

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