Movie Review: ‘God on Trial’

God on Trial describes in a remarkable way the suffering inflected on this world and raises the question weather or not God abandoned his covenant and sided with the Nazis. Producer Mark Redhead remarks that religion is now center-stage in a way that has not occurred before in my lifetime; extraordinary atrocities are being committed in the name of God, while natural calamities and man-made disasters claim thousands of lives every year. God on Trial is set in an extreme situation, but it wrestles with the great questions we all ask ourselves: how can there be so much suffering in the world, and what kind of a god could let such things happen? God on Trial attempts to look at some of the most perplexing metaphysical issues, but it is also a drama about what keeps the human spirit alive even when faced with the worst suffering and impending death.

The movie represents the protestors against God being faced with the supporters that try to explain their position on defending God. God has been put on trial in past stories of the bible such as the story of Job’s innocent suffering. Job’s response to the inflicted pain for no good reason is reflected in the story of these prisoners who try to explain why there is so much suffering in the chosen covenant of Israelites. The argument made to defend God is that he knows better than humans the cosmic order pf things because he created it all. It is argued that God’s plan is bigger than the human understanding and that he might have a purpose for all the evil and suffering in the world. The believing protesters are trying to remain faithful to their creator but interrogate him at the same time, without jeopardizing their soul in the process. Another defending argument bought before the court is the free will that humans possess in a world where suffering and evil that makes happiness possible. It is argued that without evil there could be no good.

The other side of the argument questions God and his promise to the people of Israel. God, the creator, is interrogated for the crimes against his covenant inflicted by the Nazis. God cannot be exonerated because of human freedom. He must bear a big responsibility for the evil and suffering, they argue. The question the prisoners are trying to answer is: “What is the nature of a God that can allow so much suffering?” They describe God as having a history of letting down his people or inflicting pain on his enemies. It is considered how Israel’s enemy were slaughtered at God’s command and Saul is given as an example of leader that tried to spare children from slaughter for which he got punished. The question here is if Israel is now on the enemy side and are being punished for no particular reason. Another example of nations being on the wrong side of God, are the Egyptians that were punished with cruelty for being on the enemy side of Israel. A question raised is what if Hitler does God’s will and resisting him means going against God’s desire. The contradiction here is that the punishment the Hebrews are receiving is not even close to any sin or crime they have committed in the past. So, the suffering inflicted on them does not make any sense in a world were God is omnipotent and omnipresent.

God is found guilty for breaking his covenant with the people of Israel. Even if God is questioned and put under the reasoning microscope, he is not abandoned by the prisoners. When the guard come to take them to the gas chambers they start praying in humble unity up until their moment of death. The movie brings questions and answers to conflicting arguments regarding God’s sovereignty and fairness.


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