Friday, April 15, 2011

REVIEW: Tangled



This is a film that I've heard a lot of controversy and debate over, so I was excited to see it for meself. Review, here I come- and SPOILERS, here I come as well.

The Worldview

The Good

Rapunzel's father and mother love their daughter and want her to return. When she does, we learn that she, basically, carried on her parents' vision for the kingdom.

Flynn, by the end of the film, has repented of his thieving ways and asked Rapunzel to marry him. He also gives his life for Rapunzel's freedom. Rapunzel, in turn, was willing to give her freedom for his life. "No greater love..."

We see Flynn go from a man who values the shallow, to a man who would give his life for the woman he loves- a decision, albeit, not made on The Foundation of God's Word, but the right decision, nonetheless.

I loved seeing Rapunzel doing all these homemaking tasks, and having a blast at them.

And we also get to enjoy a pleasant amount of good, clean humor. I am really enjoying the lack of crude jokes in the animations I've seen of late.

The Bad

Another film with magic in it. Drops from the sun and magic incantations to draw healing powers from Rapunzel's hair. And the sun emblem all over the city makes me think "sun-worship," even though we see nothing in that direction.

Rapunzel and mother Gothel could both use dresses that were a bit looser and a bit higher-necked up top. ("They're animation!" Right. So it shouldn't be that hard to animate a more modest top.)

Now for some less obvious issues.

The film creates a dangerous hypothetical situation that causes us to cheer for Rapunzel when she chooses to rebel against the woman who she believes to be her mother. Situational ethics, again. "Well, if she hadn't rebelled, since Gothel stayed ever-young because of Rapunzel's hair, Rapunzel would have been locked in the tower ad infinitum!" Yeah, see what I mean. Dangerous hypothetical. They're easy to create- Jack Bauer (of the popular TV show 24) must shoot his (innocent) boss or the terrorists will blow up 2 billion people. His boss is a jerk- OK. Go for it, Jack! Well, Jack, what if it was 2 people? What if it was a choice between your daughter or 25 people? If we don't ground our choices in God's Law-Word, we're left to being lost in the labyrinth of our own depraved minds.

No. Rapunzel shouldn't have disobeyed the woman she believed to be her mother.

No. Jack shouldn't kill his boss. I don't care how big the threat.

Obey God, and trust Him to deliver.

It is a wisdom issue, definitely, how far obedience is to be taken, and how late into the child-now-adult's life. But for Rapunzel to leave home to pursue her dream is wrong in multiple ways.

I've heard the use of the tiara analogized to Rapunzel's virginity. I think it's a stretch, though one that is visible if looked for. Mother Gothel says that the tiara is all that Flynn wants and when she gives it to him he will leave her. Take that at face value and it sure sounds like a sermon for chastity- which is disobeyed with happy consequences when Rapunzel "isn't afraid" to give the tiara to Flynn anymore later on, and he tells her to keep it. But in the context of the film, they didn't play that up very much.

"When will my life begin?" Miss Rapunzel, your life has begun already. I understand the desire for advancing. That's good. So is contentment. This line in the song stated her theme very effectively, but was rather a downer in the midst of her celebration of homemaking.

The Disney Dream Theme drives me up a wall. Do you have a dream? What's your dream? Follow your dream! Will it be as good as I dreamed? And then I've heard Christians talk about how wonderful of a theme it is. I'm sorry, but I must respectfully disagree- you'll have to help me see how this is a redemptive message.

What's my dream? (I prefer vision. More manly.) To build The Kingdom of God. To have a family. To compose awesome and excellent music that testifies to The Glory of God. Ultimately, to conform my vision to be more like God's Vision for me.

Are those good dreams? I think so. But dreaming isn't good for dreaming's sake. And if all we are is dreamers who hope that everything turns out as well as we dreamed, then we've missed the point of investing our lives in Something Eternal that isn't subject to the fluctuations of our emotions. "Living your dream" isn't the highest goal in life, but I fear that that's what Rapunzel seems to think.

This brings up two other points:

1. Flynn. And his vision, or lack thereof. He's a vain, happy-go-lucky rascal who commits grand thefts and leaves his thief comrades to be caught by the king's soldiers. And when he meets Rapunzel, she's the one with the vision. He's her helper who helps her achieve her vision. She's the proactive hero- he's the guy who's stuck with her. Now, we've already discussed how he repents at the end- which is good! He learns to value deeper things than his beautiful nose. Nevertheless, he's still another example of the "Cool Bad Guy Syndrome".

2. The pub full of ruffians that Rapunzel transforms into a group of loving, singing, joyous brotherhood-of-man types. 'Cuz they, too, have a dream. (And I gotta say, I loved all the stuff about concert piano-playing. Though Mozart lived in the 1700s, so that threw me for a second...) Well, I find this interesting modeling as well. We already know that mother Gothel says Rapunzel can't handle herself in the real world. And we also know (this is Disney, after all) that Rapunzel is perfectly capable of handling herself in the real world. Right?

Well, if the real world is that a restaurant full of low-lifes can be transformed into an ecumenical meeting hall for dreamers of all shapes and sizes by a girl singing- she sure can. But that's not actually the real world. Rapunzel wouldn't last long in the real world. Sure, it allows for some hilarious stuff. But your average 18-year-old girl who sets out to pursue her dream today may find herself in a lot more trouble than Rapunzel does. Criminals aren't really just loving people who haven't ever been able to express their dream.

The haircut at the end. It was a great twist in the story, but a horrible twist in the worldview, in the eyes of yours truly. Rapunzel now looks like any 2011 teenage girl who happens to be stuck in a dress. Why does it rub me so wrong? Did Flynn do the right thing? I think so. It just grates on me, because of our culture, I guess, that they gave her such a modern, egalitarian haircut in the end- after seeing her with yards and yards of gorgeous, feminine hair the whole film long. Modeling, again.

(Quick question with regards to story consistency- why hadn't the dead brown hair grown any since it was cut when she was a baby?)

And while we're talking modeling, I think probably my biggest issue with the film is that we have one young, handsome, fiendish guy and one beautiful, childish, naivë girl hanging out together day-in day-out in all kinds of secluded spots. Problem.


The Art

The Good

The story. Very well told. Very exciting, wide-ranging emotionally, fulfilling, classic Disney. The twist at the end was a great story point.

The animation. It was good. Maybe not great- I still like Pixar better, and Owls still takes the cake- but it was good. The hair looked beautiful.

Another Snyder rule- "A Limp and An Eyepatch". They gave the minor characters that would be tough to keep track of certain things that made them readily identifiable. Very smart. Be it a hook on the concert pianist or an eyepatch on one of the twins, I didn't struggle with remembering who was who.

The score. Mr. Menken did a great job with the mickey-mousing, and the score on the whole was enjoyable.

The Bad

Couple of things. First, this film broke one of Mr. Blake Snyder's Immutable Laws of Screenplay Physics- the Double Mumbo Jumbo Law. I can swallow one piece of magic per film. Sun-drop causing magical golden hair? Fine. I'll take it. Carry on.

But wait- this magic tear thing at the end? Where'd that come from? They broke the Double Mumbo Jumbo Law, and the result was a less satisfying climax as well as a scene of Velveeta.

It was a great twist that led to Flynn's death, but I think the story would have been better, albeit sadder, if he had stayed dead. Or something. Yeah, him staying dead would have gone over like a lead balloon for all the kids in the audience. Granted. But bringing him back from death by her tears was a stretch that was painful for this viewer.

(It is worth mentioning that the original story does involve Rapunzel healing her husband's eyes with her tears.)

The other thing that really bugged me was the use of non-fitting music. "When will my life begin," regardless the lyrics- why do we have a pop song in a fairy tale again? Why did they do the music like this? Knights (well, a thief, actually), castles, a beautiful maiden in distress, and electric guitar. Odd one out? Howzabout a drumset?

They did another montage later. And then there was the credits. "That was really super. WAIT! No, it wasn't..."

I don't like musicals, from a story perspective. It's odd. It's unrealistic. And it's telling, not showing. I love musicals from a musical perspective- when the music is good and fitting to the film. The pop songs in Tangled disturbed me "on a number of levels".

I don't like the title, either. I know there's a connection between "Tangled" and "Long Hair", but that appears to be where the connection stops. My little sister suggested "The Lost Princess", and I think that title does a much better job describing the film in a way that makes me want to see it.

So this film was OK. If you're watching it for fun, it's fun- plenty of laughs. Don't shut your mind off, though. There's more of the same tired old bad worldview, and there are also some good things we can pull from it. I wouldn't consider it anything amazing one way or t'other.

3/5

82 comments:

Rebekah said...

Good review! I agreed with most of it. It sounds similar to the one I posted on our blog. Only your is certainly more of a proper "review" than mine. :D

Just something to consider: I completely agree with obeying your parents - absolutely. BUT Mother Gothel told Rapunzel that she wasn't going to let her leave the tower, ever... Is it possible (mind, I say possible - I'm not saying that I even agree with it) that there is a time to disobey your parents? Besides if they were asking you to sin, of course. Staying in a tower all of your life, isn't a sin obviously.

I think her looked ridiculous in the end, but it's also realistic. Eugene was dying - I don't think he had the strength to think about cutting her hair at her waist instead... M'sisters and I have a theory about the short hair too: perhaps Mother Gothel kept it that way, so that there wouldn't be a streak of brown in the blond... :D

I prefer "vision" to "dream" too... But obviously NOT because I think it sounds more manly... Dream just makes me think more fantasy like... :p

To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Rebekah said...

Aiyee... I hope you don't have anything against loong comments... :p

Gabriel Hudelson said...

How would it ever be right, Rebekah? Thanks for the question, and I like long comments. But how could it be right? Let God deliver- let us obey!

Aubrey Hansen said...

I've already given you my extensive feedback elsewhere, but I wanted to say here, publicly and for the record - this is an amazing review. I was blessed by it. I'm tweeting the link in hopes that a few more people read this.

God bless you! And thanks again for being a good sport with "our deal." :)

Rebekah said...

I would certainly agree - "Let God deliver - let us obey!" Amen to that!

I'm not sure it ever WOULD be right... except, in the instance I have already mentioned. If someone has a cruel parent/s though, are they to live their life, suffering under their cruelty forever? Would it be wrong to escape them - even if they have been forbidden to do so? Now in the case of Rapunzel, Mother Gothel wasn't exactly cruel, though she was mean... I don't know. Right now I would say that Rapunzel was wrong. She disobeyed. And quite honestly, I think using disobedience to start off a film is over exploited and I'm tired of it! Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Warner Brothers - they all do it! And it's almost always the hero/heroine who does it, which is really sad!

And what did you think of the score in general? Not just the musical numbers. (which, I did like... well, most of them anyway.)

To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Rebekah said...

Oh and good thing you like long comments... I seem to make it a habit... on your blog anyway. :D

Gabriel Hudelson said...

I thought the score was... pretty good. Not one of my favorites, but well done.

I'd be curious to know what your Dad thinks on this question. As I see it now- God says obey. So, if it's not violating a Commandment of God, obey. I don't see how we can get around that. Cruel parents? Pray for God to open their eyes. Maybe even pray for deliverance, if you can do it ...honoring...ly...

Those are my thoughts.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

And thanks, Aubrey. :)

Rebekah said...

It wasn't "How to Train Your Dragon", but I thought it was pretty well done. I certainly thought it set the mood well.

I think my Dad would agree. I honestly haven't really asked him about it. Not really. And I'm pretty sure I agree too. A straightforward reading would suggest exactly what you said, and I don't see anywhere else in the Word that would contradict it... though a few years ago, I would have said differently, I think.

To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Jennifer said...

Sorry, I disagree. Rapunzel's wicked and controlling guardian was exactly the kind of person/parent that needs to be rebelled against. The colonies of America trusted God to deliver-and rebelled.

Rebekah, your thoughts are wonderful. Please see the book "Quivering Daughters" for more examples of how to deal with abusive guardians in a Christian fashion.

Jennifer said...

Oh, and wasn't Rapunzel a grown woman? If so, she does not owe a child's obedience to a guardian anyway.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Miss Jennifer, first off, thanks for the comments.

"Rapunzel's wicked and controlling guardian was exactly the kind of person/parent that needs to be rebelled against. The colonies of America trusted God to deliver-and rebelled."

Two things- first, what Scriptures would you use to back up this proposition?

Second, and as an aside, is there not a (large!) difference between the rebellion of colonies against a tyrannical and oppressive government and the rebellion of a daughter against her mother?

"Oh, and wasn't Rapunzel a grown woman? If so, she does not owe a child's obedience to a guardian anyway."

Again, I have to ask for some Scriptural backing for this.

Scripturally I see that when a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife he has begun a new household. While he and his wife should still honor their parents, they are no longer members of their parents' households, and the authority of the woman's father has transferred to her husband, while he has now taken the role of the head of the home.

But while in her father's household- or while the man is in his father's household- they are called to obey their parents, as I see from Scripture.

This obedience is obviously qualified by the assumption that the parents aren't commanding them to break God's Law, but that's not what Rapunzel's doing here.

So again, thanks for the comments, and I look forward to your reply!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for your politeness. I see no Scripture commanding adults to obey their parents. You said, "while in her father's household- or while the man is in his father's household- they are called to obey their parents, as I see from Scripture". This is a good point, which indicates that the man/woman may leave whenever they choose. However, Rapunzel's option to leave was stolen from her. And while she was not asked to break God's law, her mother DID. We are not commanded to put up with abuse.

How do you yourself defend the difference between colonies' rebellion and one young woman's rebellion? Why has she not the same rights?

Rebekah said...

Jennifer, Rapunzel had no reason to believe that Mother Gothel wasn't her mother who was trying to protect her from the "selfish, cruel outside world". Rapunzel left the tower because she had a dream to go and see a bunch of floating lanterns and her "mother" said no. Yes, it was cruel (as you said on my blog) to kidnap the girl and keep her locked up, but Rapunzel didn't have that point of view! No, Mother Gothel wasn't in the right. Yes, she was evil. But from Rapunzel's point of view, she was her mother and she should have obeyed her. She had no real reason not to.

Rapunzel was one day shy of her eighteenth birthday in most of the film. Adult or not, I don't see any Biblical backing for leaving the home and choosing things contrary to your parents wishes, prior to marriage. The Word does tell us to obey our parents for "this is right".

To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Rebekah said...

And the end of my comment should have had added: Rapunzel did follow this command throughout most of her life, but she broke when she left. She was planning to hide it from her "mother" by returning before her and acting as though she had been home all along. Deception is lying and lying is an abomination to the LORD.

To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Jennifer said...

"I don't see any Biblical backing for leaving the home and choosing things contrary to your parents wishes"

On the contrary, there is no Biblical backing for grown children to obey their parents rather than serve God as adults.

"from Rapunzel's point of view, she was her mother and she should have obeyed her."

Apparently this was not her point of view. Let me tell you, most abused kids WILL rebel in some way sometime, because some part of them knows inherently that what's happening isn't right. It's not natural to lock a human up from the world, so after seventeen straight years of abuse, Rapunzel finally followed her human nature and left. I often see conservative people like you praising kids who go to church or pray against their parent's wishes, yet other forms of abuse or restriction they're expected to put up with, unless it directly involves God? I don't think so.

Jennifer said...

To clarify, Rebeckah, I agree with your general point that sneaking out of home and practicing deception is wicked; this was a weak point of the film, and you can check out my enraged comments on Stacy Mcdonald's blog regarding similar behavior in "Soul Surfer". It was actually Rapunzel's greater action, her simple refusal to be held prisoner, that I spoke in support of, and this should be done in an honest fashion; if for any reason a grown person wants to leave home, they should do so responsibly and openly, including if their parents have been repressive in a sinful manner. The exception would be if said guardians were a danger to them and truly unstable.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Whoa. Lotsa comments. :-D Here I go...

"I see no Scripture commanding adults to obey their parents." And you said things like this multiple times.

I see no Scripture drawing any end to "children be obedient". When do I become an adult, and are you saying that once I'm an adult I don't have to obey my parents anymore, if I'm still in their household? Further, a Hebrew bar-mitzvah comes at around 13, right? So... if he's an adult at 13, can he leave the house?

"This is a good point, which indicates that the man/woman may leave whenever they choose."

I had no intention of indicating that. I don't see this in Scripture.

"How do you yourself defend the difference between colonies' rebellion and one young woman's rebellion? Why has she not the same rights?"

I'm glad we're getting into this. It's not a difference in rights, but in roles. In the instance of the colonies, we have the men of the household and of the nation overthrowing an oppressive tyranny. They're not just rebelling for rebellion's sake. They're not running from authority. They are seeking to set up Scriptural authority.

So now we have two issues. One is whether Rapunzel has the right to rebel at all, and the other is how she should do so if she should.

If she should rebel, then methinks that the way she did rebel was not the way to do it. It would be a far different story if she was going to appeal to an impartial third party for justice according to God's Law. As it is, like Rebekah said, she's running away just to pursue her dream. Problem.

And I still don't see why she should rebel.

You keep mentioning abuse. Rapunzel was not being physically abused. If you consider keeping her at home abuse, then yes, she was abused, but it was sure a comfortable abuse. If she was in danger of losing her life then we do have the Scriptural concept of breaking a lesser commandment to keep a higher. So to preserve her life, maybe.

Otherwise, I see no Scriptural adult age to where she may now disobey at will.

Honestly, a large part of me wants to agree with you, and I'll readily admit that it's not an easy question. But until I can see Scriptural support for your position I can't do so in good conscience.

"On the contrary, there is no Biblical backing for grown children to obey their parents rather than serve God as adults."

Why can't they serve God by obeying their parents?

Would I tell a child to not pray in obedience to their parents? No. Would I tell the child to not pray in front of their parents? Probably. Run away to church? I don't think so... but in this case we do have elders that you can contact, appeal to, pray with, and in general show that you're not just trying to rebel. You're seeking justice.

"We are not commanded to put up with abuse."

But we are commanded to obey.

Also- this equation seems to oftentimes exclude God. God is sovereign over the situation. He is the vindicator of the helpless. Rapunzel isn't alone in the tower.

And you're welcome. :-D

Gabriel Hudelson said...

More thoughts... I definitely see a distinction between the obedience of a child and that of an adult.

I also see a Scriptural principle of male headship. If a woman is going to leave home, what man is she going to go place herself under? (Num. 30)

Thanks for the debate. This is good for me to wrestle over.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

You're right that we have Eph. 6- children obey your parents. Then we have the commandment for honor.

So let's say I'm 40 and Dad's 60 and he calls me and tells me to come to his house and take out the trash. Well, I might do so because I want to be honoring, but I'd probably want to be discussing with him the wisdom applying here.

If I'm still in his household, it's still his rules. But by that age I should probably be taking responsibility for my own household.

I'm beginning to lose some of my dogmatism as I'm forced to think about this, and that's a good thing. Thanks. :-)

In Rapunzel's case, I still don't see that there's any way that she should run away from home just to pursue her dream. That's entirely wrong on a number of levels.

Jennifer said...
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Jennifer said...
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Jennifer said...

Just to have one thing be clear here: I am not promoting Rapunzel's decision to run off one night and lie about it. This was dishonest and irresponsible, hardly the mark of a woman. My point is that she simply needs to live as an adult woman, not living "rebelliously" but living as a woman, not a child. It's her greater decision to ultimately leave the tower that I support; if a person wants to leave their parents' home, they should do so with consultation and honesty, but the decision is theirs. This is the entire basis for my argument. If a grownup moves out of their parent's home against said parents' wishes, this shouldn't even be considered rebellion because they're grownup!

"I see no Scripture drawing any end to "children be obedient""

How about when they grow up?

"When do I become an adult, and are you saying that once I'm an adult I don't have to obey my parents anymore, if I'm still in their household?"

Of course there are household rules, but you should be making adult decisions about your own life. I think we all know the difference between a 13-year-old child and a 20-year-old young man. The amount of authority I've seen uber-patriarchals give parents is outragous and the idea of commanding adult offspring has no real Scriptural ground. Claiming it's done because people of Biblical times did it is not a reason for me.

"In the instance of the colonies, we have the men of the household and of the nation overthrowing an oppressive tyranny"

They were still rebelling, big time, because they decided on their own that the monarchy was tyrannical. Dozens of men can overthrow a huge authority like a monarchy off of their lives, but one grown woman can't make decisions for herself if mommy doesn't want her to? One rebellion here is MUCH BIGGER than the other, which shouldn't even be a question of rebellion.

"It would be a far different story if she was going to appeal to an impartial third party for justice according to God's Law"

And how would she do that? Would the witch summon a third party for her?

"If you consider keeping her at home abuse, then yes, she was abused, but it was sure a comfortable abuse"

You may wish to ask some real adults who suffered emotional abuse and repression whether they found it comfortable. I've unbelievably heard more than one person dismiss Rapunzel's lack of friends, further human contact and even fresh air because her prison was "comfy".

"But until I can see Scriptural support for your position I can't do so in good conscience"

You have common sense, and that should be enough to see the holes in the argument that claims a young woman should remain stifled like the child she isn't anymore. There is no Scriptural end to the command, "Wives, submit to your husbands", yet we assume that the line is drawn at sin and abuse. Should we recant this common sense and declare that women should obey their husbands no matter what, simply because the Bible doesn't specifically say what should be obvious to all? Must God really spell everything out to us?

Jennifer said...

"Why can't they serve God by obeying their parents?"

For a time they can, but even adults at home w/parents should be making decisions which were heretofore left to mom and dad. How else are they going to learn how to take care of themselves and their families?

"But we are commanded to obey"

For how long? Till we're 25? 30? How exactly was Rapunzel to wait for marriage when we know darn well no man was allowed near the tower? Be a wife or be an obedient over-grown child; can't do both. She'd have to rebel just by talking to a man.

"Also- this equation seems to oftentimes exclude God. God is sovereign over the situation. He is the vindicator of the helpless. Rapunzel isn't alone in the tower"

Yes, it would have been nice to see Him.

"If a woman is going to leave home, what man is she going to go place herself under?"

JESUS. I don't believe in having a human male's head over me my whole life because I can't get along on my own.

"Rapunzel's case, I still don't see that there's any way that she should run away from home just to pursue her dream. That's entirely wrong on a number of levels"

Ok, this is a problem area all by itself. If we're speaking of a young teen, you're totally right. But two things here: one, every person has an individual role, and that role for most doesn't include living w/parents all our lives. Rapunzel, and many real adults, have wanted to leave to find their unique role in life as God's servants, much to the chagrin of repressive parents. This role is not some flimsy dream, it's the purpose we were created for, and only God decides it for us; it's the right of every human being to determine what their role is and to do so ultimately between themselves and God, no one else. And two, again, whether an adult is called to obey their parents like a child; I say no. Your argument seemed to be, "Do what your parents say as long as you live in their house, but you CAN'T leave their house until they say so". So adulthood is stunted, and relies on the parent's say so to even really occur, instead of God's natural biological design of maturity. I hardly think a person should just run away from home, but Rapunzel did have the right to say, "Mother, I can't live like this anymore. I need more in life, I need to move on, and I'm going to."

I admire your determination to obey when we must, and living at home is a blessing; not only this, but I do not approve of older teens thumbing their noses at parents, which is why "Soul Surfer" has me much more concerned than "Tangled". I do not promote an adult abruptly running away from home and leaving parents worried and unconsulted; the rebellion in this film was not a good example. I simply believe that once true adulthood is reached, grown offspring should be treated as such and allowed to make their own life decisions, including when to leave and what to do. This is not inherent rebellion, it's pure and simple adulthood. Here is an awesome article by two very strong patriarchal homeschoolers..who refute ruling adult children and proudly speak of their daughter, who lived on a mountain alone for some time as a missionary with a tribe: http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/articles/child-training/parent-child-relations/article-display/archive////cloistered-homeschool-syndrome/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPID%5D=7

Jamie T said...

Wow, as my dad would say, ‘you’re cooking with grease’ over here, Gabe! I’m loving these debates going on (I’ve been having my own on Rebekah’s blog.) Kayla and I are finding the debates interesting!

Jennifer, I just wanted to leave my stunned reply to the last thing you said. :)

I’m STUNNED at what you said about a ‘daughter, who lived on a mountain alone for some time as a missionary with a tribe’. Simply stunned! That kinda blew my head up! Maybe because it’s been so en-grained in me that daughters should remain under their father’s protection until given into marriage to a man who would then take the role of protector. This is something God designed and I find it truly wonderful that we women should have such care from, first fathers then husbands. It’s stunning to think that this father was PROUD of this act! It’s just...so unbiblical! And frightening, to me.

I wouldn’t applaud these gentlemen for this act for a single moment.

Okay, ignore me, now! :D I simply had to express my stunned thoughts.

Can’t wait to see you’re replies, Gabe!

~Jamie Joyce

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Jamie, thanks for the comments. Your passionate perspective is encouraging.

Jennifer, with Rapunzel appealing to a third party I am meaning that she run away to get justice, which I might be OK with. Very different from what she did.

Dad brought up in my discussion with him a great example in Jonathan. He lied to his father and disobeyed him, but he sure seemed to honor him.

So I agree (now, thanks to you!) that there are times when (especially adult) children shouldn't obey, even apart from the obvious "sorry, dad, I won't rob the bank for you", though they should always honor.

That said, especially when the adult child has a Godly father/mother, he/she would certainly be wise seek his parent's blessing and advice before making decisions like marrying or leaving the house.

And here we come to the role of women, which is probably where we really are going to disagree. I don't think it was wise what the Pearls' daughter did.

Yes, you should be under The Headship of Christ. But does not Scripture also model the headship of a husband, father, or the Church elders over women? I really appreciate Jamie's comment because it's so... un-oppressed. It just breathes with the joy and glory of embracing Biblical, submissive womanhood.

It's not oppression. It's freedom.

And then your thing about vision- dream chasing.

Whatever "calling" we perceive that God has for us in life must be subjected to His Word.

Maybe a woman feels a strong calling to be a pastor, or missionary alone. I would encourage her to curb that feeling, because I can't reconcile it with Scripture. If she feels a calling to go to Africa, then- marry a missionary to Africa!

One of my "dreams", as I mentioned, is to be a composer. If I didn't have my father's blessing on it, would I pursue it? No. Not at this stage in my life, and I'd certainly be praying hard about it even when I'm out of the household- not as an obedience thing, anymore, but simply from the honor and esteem I have for my godly father.

I'm glad to see that we agree on this- honor is good and it's a wisdom issue.

You are also making good points as to common sense, which should be weighed in.

"And two, again, whether an adult is called to obey their parents like a child; I say no. Your argument seemed to be, "Do what your parents say as long as you live in their house, but you CAN'T leave their house until they say so"."

I now agree with you on this. An adult isn't bound to obey the same as a child.

However, I don't agree that a daughter should be able to just leave- she needs to be under the headship of a man.

Keep 'em coming!

Rebekah said...

I think this discussion might be getting a little mixed up and I'm afraid it is probably my fault. When I asked Gabriel about obedience to cruel parents, I wasn't exactly referring to Rapunzel. I know I made it sound like it and I apologize.

Rapunzel wasn't trying to escape the tower for good - she was planning an outing of three days and then coming back. She was trying to sneak out and come back without her "mother" ever knowing. I don't think escaping from cruel parents really applies here. I only mentioned it as a point of discussion and consideration that I had been mulling over and I was curious about what Gabriel thought. (Oh and Gabriel, to clarify - I have talked to Daddy about obedience on multiple occasions, just not this recently - though I do plan to. :)

Jamie - I love some of the phrases that your Dad uses! :D

To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Rebekah said...

Hmm... Gabe, would you agree though, that the adult in their father's house should have a VERY good reason for disobeying? In Jonathan's case, he was disobeying to save a life (if your talking about the David and Jonathan). He wasn't disobeying just because he wanted too - and we also know that he was a married man, so how would that apply to an adult living under their parent's headship? :)


To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Oooh, oooh, great points from Miss Rebekah now.

Jonathan was the head of his own household.

And Rapunzel was just doing a deceitful flit.

Points well noted.

And absolutely. Disobedience isn't something to take lightly...

Jamie T said...

Go, Rebekah, go! Go, Gabriel, go! *cheers* *wink*

I've got some wise friends . . .

And I love debates! :D

~Jamie Joyce

Jennifer said...

"I’m STUNNED at what you said about a ‘daughter, who lived on a mountain alone for some time as a missionary with a tribe’. Simply stunned! That kinda blew my head up! Maybe because it’s been so en-grained in me that daughters should remain under their father’s protection until given into marriage to a man who would then take the role of protector"

Some don't seem to think God is protector enough. He's called people into dangerous situations for hundreds of years.

Gabriel, I'm glad you agree that there are times we can't obey, and I agree with you 100% on this: "especially when the adult child has a Godly father/mother, he/she would certainly be wise seek his parent's blessing and advice before making decisions like marrying or leaving the house".

Womanhood should be modeled around submission to Christ. Yes, a father's called to protect, but there have been numerous times when God has said, "Time for Me to take her under My wing and further out, where she will do other work." And btw guys, Michael Pearl did not brag of "letting" his daughter go by herself; she was called to, she counseled with her parents, they knew she was meant to and they let her go with prayers and blessing. She is now a happy wife and mother who changed lives, and her own mother was pacing their home until she came back, but she trusted God to bring her, and He did. This is beauty and freedom, womanhood submissive to God's will, whether His will is to stay home or go with only His sky as the roof.

"And then your thing about vision- dream chasing"

Again, this is not some flimsy dream, but determining God's role for us. I think Rapunzel's ultimate dream was simply freedom to decide and find out where she belonged.

"If she feels a calling to go to Africa, then- marry a missionary to Africa!"

Or go with a team. My pastor's daughter had been going to Africa for years with teams before she found her husband.

"I'd certainly be praying hard about it even when I'm out of the household- not as an obedience thing, anymore, but simply from the honor and esteem I have for my godly father"

I agree with that: no need to pursue it yet, or give it up permanently.

Thank you for your courtesy, and considerations and openness to my points :) It's gratifying and nice to share edifying thoughts, and your dad gave a wise perspective.

"However, I don't agree that a daughter should be able to just leave- she needs to be under the headship of a man"

I certainly understand the concern of safety. This is partly why I still live with MY parents! (I'm in my mid-20's). Plus, I just don't want to leave yet; childhood zipped by, and I still want to be making memories with my family. I most definitely listen to my parents on matters like politics; they know more than I on who it's wise to vote for. Aside from this, I recently became attached to a young girl who's reached celebrity status, and I've given her safety advice before: "don't go anywhere alone or without your parents knowing, don't talk to anyone weird", etc. She's still a child anyway, but I hope she chooses to stick around her home once she comes of age for a good while (they live in LA, *shudder*) and I hope her 17-year-old sister will too. Once my protective instincts came into play for her, I saw things in a whole new light.

LOL Rebeckah, I feared that too, regarding the discussion getting confused. This is why I clarified: I do NOT approve of Rapunzel's sneak-off. Hardly an adult action; definitely no comparison to Jonathan, who is an excellent example of what to do in extreme situations.

Jamie T said...

Correction, please? (there's some Charlie Chan lingo for ya!) It is not that God isn't a big enough protector. It is a matter of obeying Him in that He TOLD fathers to protect their daughters. It's a matter of obedience to His Holy Word. I don't see how sending one's daughter to a foreign tribe alone is obeying God's command to protect her. :D

I completely agree with what you said, Gabe, if a girl feels led to be a missionary. Let her MARRY a missionary! Amen!

~Jamie Joyce

Jennifer said...

"I don't see how sending one's daughter to a foreign tribe alone is obeying God's command to protect her"

If God wants her to go, she must go; as far as fathers go, God is the Big Daddy. And what about travelling in groups?

Anyways, I don't think she traveled alone, I think she ultimately spent time with the tribe alone; can't remember all the details. You may want to check out her journal, "Rebecka's Diary", it chronicles everything.

Jamie T said...

How do we know God wanted her to go? Was it just a 'feeling' this woman had? Feelings and hearts are deceptive, as the Bible has clearly said. He couldn't have wanted her go against what He has said in His Word that daughters should remain under the protection of their fathers.

God is not 'the Big Daddy'. He is Abba Father.

As to 'traveling in groups'. It is not up to a group of people to keep a young woman safe. It is her father's role alone. And it's more then just protection in the sense that the girl needs a guardian (which she does). It's about mental protection. Emotional protection. That is the Father's given role to do. And GOD, Abba Father, gives HIM the strength, means, and wisdom to protect and provide.

I don't see any other way around it. Sorry if I seem ruffled. You had me literally banging my head on the keyboard a couple moments ago . . . *wink* *grin* I do want to speak respectfully because you are older then I am. :)

~Jamie Joyce

Jennifer said...

No problem, Jamie :) But why do you doubt this so much? It's not about it being "up" to a group of people to protect her, but about this being naturally beneficial. And no, I'm positive this was not just some feeling. Women do not need a person to guard their emotions and minds, as though they're somehow unstable, nor is there a command to stay home or go nowhere without one's father.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebekah said...

A gentle reminder in this conversation: Let us remember my brother and sisters to "Let our speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt..." (Colossians 4:6) and to "Let all we do be done with love." (1 Corinthians 16:14) :)

To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the reminder, Rebekah. I'm not offended and hope I haven't offended.

Jamie T said...

Not offended. :D Thanks, Rebekah! You're super-duper. :)

You ask 'why do you doubt this so much'. Here's why. Because I know there's a better way to go through life. My life will be much happier and safer if I remain under the eye of two people whom have authority from the Lord to protect, defend, and provide for me. First my own Dad. Then my future Prince Courage. This is something God designed and it's beautiful and I want to follow in it. Any other path will not be safe. Broad is the road the leads to destruction.

"Women do not need a person to guard their emotions and minds, as though they're somehow unstable" *COUGH* We women can be unstable; we are the weaker vessel; he also designed men to want to protect and provide. That is why he gave Fathers and Husbands roles to protect their daughters and wives. Having a father or husband mentally and emotionally protect me is no binding, no burden, no handicap! It's a blessing! I can't speak for anyone else, but I find this quite a relief! I would be tripping and falling into all sorts of sin if I didn't have a father to guard the movies that came into the house, who watched what types of books I was bringing home, who didn't keep an eye on where I went on the computer. He keeps me in focus. This is God working through my Dad to protect my mind and emotions from the poison that the world waves in our faces. And it's wonderful! This is why I doubt the other options so much. *sighs and grins happily*

I don't have the time at the moment to say my thoughts on your last comments about staying home; my sister is calling that it is dinner time. Gotta run! Be back shortly!

~Jamie Joyce

Jennifer said...

"Because I know there's a better way to go through life"

Going through life obeying God's commands is the way to go, whether this means the sheltered path we originally chose or preferred or not. Besides this, Rebecka Pearl's choice to go minister to the lost has nothing to do with the lesser way of going through life that I know you're describing, which is that of an "independent" person with little to no one to fall back on. God's strange, exotic ways and bigger picture enrapture me.

"we are the weaker vessel"

Not emotionally we're not. I respect your choice in life, Jamie, but if every woman stayed home, not nearly as much would get done. God calls us to many different roads, and if it's His plan to call a daughter out, there's no better road than His. I'm glad your dad helps you stay in focus, but one day you'll have to do that on your own; if there's one thing I don't believe in, it's that women need protection because we're more mentally weak and, because of this, must always live with a male guard. No one, not a soul, can guard your thoughts 24/7; sometimes it's just you and God, plain and simple, and when this occurs, it will have to be enough.

Jamie T said...

This is true, but God has given our fathers and husbands to us to HELP us with our thoughts. Was not Eve deceived by the serpent? I am not saying that women are weaker in mind. I said we need help in protecting our minds from wrong and sinful thoughts. We women are more easily deceived. It is our fathers and husbands duty to help protect us.

I believe you mis-understand me. I am not saying that we women cannot think on our own. I am not saying we need men to help us with our entire thinking process. I am saying we need those whom God has placed over us to help us guard our thoughts, to keep every thought captive.

As I've said before, I'm no brain master. I only know what Scripture says, what I have been brainwashed by my Godly parents and things the Godly men of my church utter every Sunday. Also, I can't hash out everything you've been saying; meaning, I'm a bit too busy at home to debate over any more information. I'm not saying I will not be commenting anymore. I'm only saying I can't reply to everything you've thrown to me. :)

Gotta go. I missing the climax to 'Sante Fe Trail'. :D

~Jamie Joyce

Jennifer said...

Hi Jamie. Eve was deceived by the serpent, but Adam was not; he willingly disobeyed and his sin was therefore more menacing. Just a thought; I think women and men are both meant to balance each other out and help each other be accountable, and I agree in general about the import of having older minds watch over us; it's a great comfort. I don't expect you to wrangle out every point :) These are just my own thoughts, and I enjoy seeing the very different way God works in individual lives. Me, I'd love to see Africa one day, but I'm not hopping to be a missionary myself, Lord forgive me; yipe, the conditions that could mean. God would have to take me a bit forcefully. Have a good night with your fam :) I'm going to enjoy a film myself tonight.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

I think the basic disagreement here is on male headship. Jennifer says no, Jamie (and Rebekah, I think, and certainly I) say yes.

If God desires for women to be helping their man, then we should obey that. Any callings we feel must be subjected to His Word.

Jennifer, you say no- He doesn't necessarily desire that women be under a husband or father.

And there we disagree.

Really wanted to address this: "if every woman stayed home, not nearly as much would get done."

If it is God's design for women to be the keepers of the home- and I think it is, and you don't think it is necessarily- they will get OODLES more done by obeying Him than by anything that makes more sense in "our own understanding".

That line ruffled my feathers. :-D

Enjoy your films, you two. Teehee...

Rebekah said...

I think you're right, Gabriel. That is the basic disagreement. I also agree with male headship. Absolutely. It is all over Scripture. Adam was created first and Eve was created to be his help-meet: Genesis 1. Women are the ones called to submit: 1 Timothy 2:11, Ephesians 5:22. Women are not to be in authority over men, but are to remain quiet: 2 Timothy 2:12. And I know that there are more references and illustrations that could be put forth.

Interesting to note, that Paul in his first letter to Timothy does mention that Eve was the one deceived and not Adam, but he seems to give this as a reason for submission.

"A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint." 1 Timothy 2:11-15

And I hope you enjoyed your movies... I really need to get to bed now. :)


To the KING be all the glory!
Rebekah

Jennifer said...

Adam's sin was worse, so I don't believe God issued a male guard over every woman after Eve in case she messed up. Paul was issuing a correction regarding the Creation order due to a pagan belief of the time that claimed woman was created first, and that Eve was wise in taking the apple. Even if you do believe in male headship OUTSIDE of marriage, the idea of a woman having it her whole life because she may be sidetracked has often harmed women with doubts regarding their own minds.

"If it is God's design for women to be the keepers of the home- and I think it is, and you don't think it is necessarily- they will get OODLES more done by obeying Him"

Of course I believe women are homekeepers :) Just not exclusively. Being a keeper at home does not keep them from doing numerous other things, especially before or after children. They'll get the most done by obeying whatever His call and timing is, and it's not the same for everyone.

Jennifer said...

Oh and I will enjoy the film :) Thanks!

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Well, I think we've boiled it down to the basic disagreement- male headship.

Thanks for making me think, Jennifer. Because of our discussion my views have definitely changed on some things, and I praise God for it! More like Him may we ever become...

You also made a good point that, at least in the 1 Timothy passage, Paul doesn't say that "women are more easily deceived." I think the principle might still be there, but you make a good point that it's not there B+W.

However, the argument for patriarchy doesn't hinge on women being easily deceived.

I'm curious as to what you think about Numbers 30- the vow nullification laws. If you want to continue discussing, that might be a good place to start- if you'd like to be done, here's a good place to stop. :-D

Either way, y'all, thanks for the edifying conversation.

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad you have an open and honest heart about things! :) It's been great talking about this matter. As far as Numbers 30 goes, I believe it was a temporary thing for cultural times (I can't recall if it was a decree from God or not, but if not, it was definitely limited to cultural differences). Vows are sacred, and I don't believe a parent has the right to annull their kid's marriage unless it occured while either the bride or groom was still a minor, or if one was mentally unstable.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

OK. Two thoughts.

1. Should we not at least apply the principle?

2. If God said it, how can it be wrong? I mean... it was stated clearly there that if the head of the home hears a vow made by his wife or daughter, he has authority to annul it. God gave the parents that right. What Scriptural basis would we have for saying that it's not a right anymore?

And I'm glad that you're enjoying the conversation. :-)

Jennifer said...

What would be the point of being an adult if your parents control your marriage? Vows are supposed to be forever, not "Till Dad do us part". Everyone speaks of what God joins together, no man can put asunder. Did God in fact say this in Numbers? Was this a Mosaic law? Even if it's not, I must conclude it was temporary, like stoning fornicators and circumcision. I'm not trying to defy God, I need this matter to be clear; I cannot imagine Himself and Paul making such strict words about marriage if a mere outsider to it can tear it up.

Jennifer said...
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Jennifer said...

Hi Gabe, I just read the Numbers passages myself. And I realized something: while I saw that God allowed fathers to annul vows made their daughters, marriage and its vows were never mentioned; I do not think marriage was included! I believe the Lord meant vows that only directly involved the daughter; the vows of marriage involve TWO people. Once that binding is made, it's solid. All of the pledges and vows mentioned seemed to be exclusively about the woman herself, not any bind to another.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Right, I was wondering why you kept applying it solely to marriage. Now, I would think that it would apply- say daughter runs off with some ruffian named Flynn and promises to marry him, then the father can annul it. However, I don't think by any means that once they're married with her father's blessing he can break them up when he feels like it... they're now a new household.

But the principle of male headship is definitely there in that passage- isn't it?

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Another thought- marriage on this earth is a type of The Marriage of Christ and His Church. No one would question that Christ is The Head of His Church. How does that translate to our earthly marriages?

Jennifer said...

"say daughter runs off with some ruffian named Flynn and promises to marry him, then the father can annul it"

I agree, though today, again, I think that should apply only if one of them is underaged or unstable. Daughters were strictly protected back then; if there had to be rampant patriarchy, God had to ensure it was protective.


I believe husbands are meant to be the protectors and sources of life and love to their wives.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

"I think that should apply only if one of them is underaged or unstable."

Why?

Jennifer said...

Because there's no other cause for an outsider trying to end a marriage that just began.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

I wouldn't consider a father an "outsider". Now, I'm guessing you mean "outside of the married couple". Good.

Maybe he can see a train wreck coming that his daughter, struck blind by "love", can't see?

Jennifer said...

Yes, an outsider to the marriage. Like I said, if she's under-aged, that's pretty likely (being blinded by love). But if she's not, then it's her decision. Plus, the law doesn't support anyone forcing her to annul or anyone other than the husband or wife anulling the union for them.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

OK, we could keep discussing this but I think it's a little bit off the track of our main disagreement. Would you not agree that this passage presents a principle of male headship?

Jennifer said...

Yes it does, though one I found done out of necessity more than anything.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

And do we not see this principle reinforced throughout Scripture, both OT and NT?

Jennifer said...

Male guardship is throughout, in family, but not always on that level. Mosaic laws were stricter than many, and the New Covenant abolished the need for things like an intermediary between man and God.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

OK, so if male "guardship" (which I'm assuming you mean to be different from headship) is a Scriptural principle, why would we then say that if a girl feels like God wants her to go out from her father's guardship and into the world, that's fine?

Jennifer said...

Depends on how old she is. If she's an adult, she should be advised against a risky or unwise venture, but a decision can't be forced on her.

Jennifer said...

I wouldn't say guardship is different from physical headship. It's spiritual headship, which denotes spiritual hierarchy, at adulthood that I dislike.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

So does this not apply to married adult women? "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ."

(The head being their husband)

Jennifer said...
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Jennifer said...

I'm reposting this comment, since it came out a little garbled.

Yes, the husband is clearly head. What I don't believe in is the habit of some to try and give a woman a head before she's even married, even if she's an adult living outside of home. These people believe a woman can't get along without one, and some even claim that a woman unmarried her whole life must have some other man in charge of her, and I dislike this.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

I wouldn't say she "can't". I would say that The Scriptural Principle appears to be that she shouldn't.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

(i.e.- women can be great... well, men. They can make a career for themselves, be a missionary, etc. But is it Biblical?)

Jennifer said...

Well in fact, I don't remember the Bible calling anyone but a woman's husband her head. God called even Biblical women to do unusual things, and women like Amy Carmichael and Elisabeth Elliot to do extraordinary things even in their most vulnerable times. I don't go by historical practices; I go by what women can do and what I've seen God do with them. It's best for the sexes to work together, even outside of marriage, but both men and women are still whole workers without another half.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Whoops, sorry, didn't reply in a while...

"I don't go by historical practices; I go by what women can do and what I've seen God do with them."

OK, I'd suggest we go by Scriptural Principle.

Like I said, women can be great at doing things that aren't their role. It's not an issue of capability.

And God can strike a straight lick with a crooked stick, so to speak. He can use anything- He can certainly use women who are trying to follow Him, even if they- well, if they aren't following His Pattern for their lives.

Jennifer said...

True. The difference between me and certain somewhat recently surfacing groups, is that I see more than they in a woman's sphere.

Gabriel Hudelson said...

That sounded like an "agree to disagree" comment. :-)

Jennifer said...

Thanks again for the great discussion :)

Kayla T said...

Sorry my comment it sooo late, but our family seems to have a habit of watching movies a long time after everyone else. :)
Anyway, I am kinda glad this 'debate' took place already. It's nice to watch the confusing movie and then come read the ethical stuff get worked through.
I agree children should obey there parents. But, tt seems to me if you have a 'pagan' hero in the film (Repunzel; she wasn't Christian or anything like that) you will have to work around some pagan characteristics. Should a pagan obey God’s Law? OF COURSE! Will a pagan automatically do so? NO!!!!! Therefore, your pagan hero is going to make some unwise decisions. That doesn't mean you ignore the bad behavior, but can't you still enjoy the plot and the turn of events?
I hope this makes sense. It just sorta seems we tend to miss the fun in some movies sometimes because we are so scrutinizing. (Scrutinizing is good BTW)

Gabriel Hudelson said...

Kayla, don't get me wrong, I very much enjoyed the film. :-)

Kayla T said...

Oh good. :) I'm glad!

Renata said...

Wow.

Loved the review Gabe!

Whew! You almost have 100 comments!

~ Renata

Bethany Grace said...
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Bethany Grace said...

Wow, a woman is locked in a tower by an abusive person, escapes, and you have a problem with it, because the abuser happens to be her stepmother? No wonder the church is rife with abuse, and few do anything about it.