Christian Themes In Back To The Future | Finding Christ In Cinema

Marty McFly is looking for a better father figure. At the beginning of the film, his father George McFly is a wimp and a slacker who does not like confrontation even if he is in the right. Because of his father’s incompetence, Marty is perceived as a wimp and slacker. This negative influence also leaks into Marty’s self-confidence; he refuses to send his audition tape to a record company because he would not be able to stand it if they refused him – a trait he picked up from his father.

This image shows Crispin Glover as George McFly in the film Back To The Future.

Fortunately, he has another father figure – who is slightly more stable even if a tad eccentric – in Dr. Emmett Brown, whose loving encouragement comes in the form of one of the most pragmatic proverbs, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” Marty isn’t getting this type of support from home, so he’s getting it from where he can: the local nut-job.

This image shows Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly sitting on the bed with his mother, Lorraine Baines, back in 1955 in the film Back To The Future.

As the story moves on, Marty has to stir his younger father to woo his mother Lorraine the right way (any other way wouldn’t work because Lorraine is smitten with Marty since her dad hit him with the car instead of George, thus upsetting the entire space/time continuum, but I digress). Marty earns George’s trust by showing him the same kind of loving-kindness that Doc has been showing him throughout the film thus far. Marty then gives George the right words to say and shows him the right thing to do, thus enabling George to do the right thing when the time calls for it.

This image shows George McFly and Lorraine Baines kissing at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance in the film Back To The Future.

This is a mirrored image of how we as Christians can facilitate the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven: by using God’s kindness to lead others to repentance as Paul describes in his letter to the Roman Christians. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to be there for someone whenever they need it and help stir them along to do the right thing. Eventually, the entire future will change for the better, and instead of living a distressed life, the world can enjoy a fulfilled life.

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QUESTION: What Christian themes did you find in BACK TO THE FUTURE? Let us know below.

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