"For the Love of Christ"
What You Need To Know:
MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE is a moving, inspiring tribute to Mother Teresa, her charity work and the many people who continue that work. The movie has a strong Christian, biblical, moral, pro-life worldview. Throughout the movie, Mother Teresa and her co-workers put Jesus first, at the center of everything they do. NO GREATER LOVE also extols many positive values, including love, hope, human dignity, compassion, and service. MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE is a fitting tribute to Mother Teresa’s life, her work and her Christian faith. It should inspire many Christians and even lead many people to Christ.
MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE is a Fathom Events documentary that showcases Catholic charities for “the poorest of the poor” started by and inspired by Mother Teresa, interspersed with a narrative about the life of Mother Teresa, including some brief dramatic reconstructions of her life without dialogue, footage of Mother Teresa helping needy people, and footage of her speaking about her faith and her charity work. MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE is a moving, inspiring tribute to Mother Teresa, her charity work and the many people who continue that work, and the movie has a strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview that puts Jesus first, at the center of everything, but there are some images of people sick, dying and missing limbs that may disturb younger children.
While newsreel footage shows Mother Teresa helping and meeting people, the movie opens with Mother Teresa saying that hunger isn’t only about desiring a loaf of bread, but also a hunger for love. She adds that people also long for dignity and respect and notes that the man lying in the street is a child of God. Various people who knew her then discuss the “commanding presence” they felt when being with her. They say she manifested simplicity and holiness.
From there, the movie showcases the various Catholic charities for “the poorest of the poor” that Mother Teresa started and inspired, beginning with her charity in Calcutta, India, the Missionaries of Charity. That charity was begun in 1950, after she served for many years as a teacher and headmistress at a school in Calcutta run by her order, the Sisters of Loreto. The filmmakers travel around the world visiting some of these charities.
Interspersed within these visits are some historical recreations of Mother Teresa’s life, with no dialogue. Also included is historical footage of Mother Teresa in Calcutta and various places around the world where one of her charities was established. Also included is footage of her with Pope John Paul II, a strong supporter.
Mother Teresa became famous in 1969 when Christian conservative journalist Malcolm Muggeridge headed a BBC program about her. Eventually, Mother Teresa not only became an advocate for the poor and needy, but also an advocate for the unborn.
MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE is a moving, inspiring tribute to Mother Teresa, her charity work and the many people who continue that work. Even better, the movie has a strong Christian, biblical, moral, pro-life worldview. Throughout the movie, Mother Teresa and her supporters and co-workers put Jesus first, at the center of everything. NO GREATER LOVE also extols many positive values, including love, hope, human dignity, compassion for the sick, dying, poor, and needy, and service. Mother Teresa’s lifelong commitment to service is seen as a commitment to Jesus and to divine love.
That said, the movie contains some content that orthodox Protestants and other Christians might find objectionable or false.
For example, NO GREATER LOVE has a few references to Mother Teresa now being an “intercessor” in Heaven between people on Earth and Jesus. Protestants contend, however, that the Bible teaches in 1 Timothy 2:5 there is only “one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.” Some Catholics point out, however, that being an “intercessor” is not the same as being a mediator, especially in the way that this verse teaches. Other Catholics, though, seem to equivocate on the two terms. Their arguments don’t seem as convincing to MOVIEGUIDE®, but we could be wrong.
MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE also has some brief expressions of borderline antinomian attitudes. For example, at one point, Mother Teresa is shown saying that she has a non-judgmental approach when it comes to helping “the poorest of the poor.” This idea is specifically related to Mother Teresa’s work with poor mothers who’ve had children out of wedlock and to homosexuals and intravenous drug users dying of AIDS. It is certainly true that a poor or needy person shouldn’t be deprived of help because of their past sins, even if one or more of their sins directly led to their problem. For instance, you wouldn’t deny medical help to a drunk driver who suffers an injury in a car wreck caused by his immoral, illegal behavior. That said, we shouldn’t let our compassion and love for a poor or needy person dilute our moral or biblical standards, or God’s Justice. Thus, God tells the Jews in Exodus 23:3 not to show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit, and Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10, “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”
Mother Teresa also says in the movie she doesn’t discriminate against people of other faiths when it comes to helping the poor and needy. Her brief comments here suggest that people of other faiths actually may have a saving relationship with Jesus. Not if they overtly reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ, though, another Christian should and would reply. (Sadly, a spirit of heretical universalism has crept into many churches and denominations at the highest levels, including the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and many mainline Protestant denominations. Helping a poor or needy person of another religion or ideology shouldn’t stop or prevent a Christian from telling that poor or needy person to turn away from their sins, believe in Jesus and follow the teachings of the New Testament documents and Hebrew Scriptures.)
The above examples from the movie, however, are relatively minor and somewhat open to interpretation. In contrast to these examples, MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE is strongly Christocentric, biblical and morally uplifting. Mother Teresa clearly and publicly centered her life and her work on Jesus Christ. She says she helps the poor and needy “for the love of Christ.” Also, Mother Teresa was the epitome of Paul’s command in Galatians 5:6 that “The only thing that matters is faith [in Jesus Christ] expressing itself through love.” MOTHER TERESA: NO GREATER LOVE is a fitting tribute to her life, her work and her Christian faith. It should inspire many Christians and even lead many people to Christ. Some images of sick and dying people may scare young children or give sensitive children nightmares.
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