Not enough has been written about the role of Liev Schreiber and his role in spotlight. Yes Ruffalo is great, Keaton outstanding and Tucci wonderfully manic in their roles but Liev Schreiber for me was the key role.
Schreiber plays Marty Baron the new boss of the Boston Globe. He is an outsider. His non interest in sports is the first red flag thrown in the film never mind his Jewish faith background in a city dominated by the Catholic church. This however is the key to Baron he is not like the others and by being an outsider he does not hold the same ideals in relation to the church. While others on the Spotlight team profess to be ‘lapsed’ or ‘non-practicing’ it is the difference that drives him on. He does not hold the church in the same regard and therefore encourages the team to investigate the allegations when the team has reservations.
The outsider holds the key.
So what of the church today? How comfortable are we with the outsider?
How comfortable are we when someone not like us enters ‘our world’ and points out our flaws?
I saw a quote this week that got me thinking
“…we know when we are really preaching and living the way of Jesus because it’s the Christians that are often most offended….”
– David Capener
All too often, when challenged, offence becomes the go to reaction. Outsiders are not afraid to let us within the church know when we aren’t getting it right. Yet we often take it badly. Offence is so often the go to feeling. Often that is because the truth is uncomfortable. The truth will push us outside our comfort zones.
Personally I’d rather be outside my comfort zone that have my faith stagnate. Without the challenges from outsiders my faith becomes a pointless character accessory that can be reduced to a social media bio point or degraded to a meaningless hashtag.
The outsiders are vital.
We are called to welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner.
Yet when we are called on it we become uncomfortable.
We need the outsiders.
They might understand Jesus better than we claim to.