Ethos Education

No Time To Die: Is anyone good enough for God?

Learning Objectives:            

  • Consideration of what the Christian faith teaches about concepts of judgement, sin and forgiveness.
  • Awareness of how moral values shape behaviour towards others.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will identify examples of good and bad behaviour from contemporary society.
  • Discuss whether good and bad actions make a person innately ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
  • Analyse a film in order to identify how previous good character and mitigating circumstances affect how behaviour is judged.
  • Investigate Bible passages to discover a Christian perspective on judgement, sin and forgiveness.
  • Watch a contemporary Christian testimony about redemption and analyse how an understanding of sin and forgiveness shapes the future behaviour of one individual.
  • Synthesise learning by writing a dialogue between enemies.

Supporting Values Education:

  • The values of respect and tolerance hold that all humans are of equal worth but the value of individual liberty affirms the right of any human being to choose to act for good or ill.
  • This lesson encourages students to consider how the actions are motivated by beliefs about responsibility and accountability, and helps them reflect on individual responsibility to others and God.

STARTER:

Give students copies of a local or national newspaper and ask them to find examples of good and bad behaviour by individuals or groups of people – crime reports, political stories, obituaries or awards stories are a good starting point. The activity will be quicker if you have already identified the stories in advance.

Working in pairs, invite the students to rank their stories by ‘goodness’, then ask a few pairs to share the worst and the best behaviour they found in order to check that students have understood the criteria for ‘goodness’. It will help to have a few examples of your own to share.

Still working in pairs, ask students to make a list of adjectives to describe the people in the stories (e.g. kind, generous, fair, unfair, greedy, violent). Collate all the words on a list so that students can see the words during the discussion that follows.

Having identified good and bad acts, and having thought about how to describe the people who committed those acts, invite the class to discuss what makes a person a good or a bad person. Do they think that good choices make someone good? Do they think that bad choices make someone a bad person? Can a person change from a good to a bad person, or vice versa? Who decides what is good and what is bad behaviour?

Explain that in today’s lesson, you are going to be thinking about what makes a person good or bad, and what the Christian faith says about this. You are also going to think about whether or not a person can change.

MAIN ACTIVITIES:

Show the clip from No Time To Die (Universal, 2021, certificate 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Explain that this clip shows James Bond (universally thought of as a ‘goodie’) in a tense conversation with an obvious ‘baddie’, Lyutsifer Safin. Safin is in the process of manufacturing a bioweapon that will kill millions of people. Bond, an MI5 agent with a licence to kill, has come to stop him. Ask students to pay particular attention to what Safin says about how he and Bond are alike, and to listen out for the discussion about what the men want to leave behind after death.

  • Start time: 02.01.52
  • End time: 02.05.52
  • Clip length: 4 minutes

The clip starts with Bond (Daniel Craig) climbing the stairs to a concrete-lined lair where Safin (Rami Malek), guarded by armed men, is sitting at a low table with a child, Mathilde (Lisa-Dorah Sonnet). The first line is Safin saying ‘Welcome. On the floor. Your sidearm. Careful. She’s light as a feather.’ The last line is Bond saying, ‘And with all due respect to the enormity of your tidy achievements, all you’re really doing is standing in a very long line of angry little men.’

Safin describes Bond as being like a reflection of himself. Do the students think this is true? Is Bond’s violence different to Safin’s? Does it make a difference that Bond kills in order to defend his country, and Safin for his own benefit?

Bond eventually says that Safin is right – that they are the same because they have both suffered – but that everybody deserves to have a chance. Do students think that people should be held accountable for their actions alone, or should their motives and circumstances be taken into account in judgement? Should a person’s good character mean that they are judged less harshly if they behave badly?

Remind the students that when the discussion turns to the idea of legacy – what a person leaves behind when their life is over – Safin claims that both men want to make the world a better place. Even if this is true, is he right? Do the ends (making the world a better place) justify the means (causing another person harm or death)?

Ask students to discuss whether they think that anyone is purely a ‘goodie’ or a ‘baddie’.

Explain that a Christian view of good and bad behaviour is radical. Where many belief systems teach that a good life is measured by weighing an individual’s good deeds against their bad ones, Christianity teaches that nobody’s deeds are ever good enough to outweigh their bad ones. The Bible describes this as ‘sin’ – not measuring up to God’s standard of goodness. At the heart of Christianity is the belief that God offers a solution to the problem of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Give out copies of the Goodies and Baddies worksheet and explain that students should read the verses from the Bible carefully then use the information to answer the questions below. They should then use their answers to write one sentence that summarises what Christians describe as “good news”.

If you have time, show the film Rob’s Story from the Christianity Explored website (the transcript is below the video link), a testimony of a man talking about his experience of conversion to Christianity in which he mentions good news, bad news, sin, judgment and eternal life.  Once you have shown the video, ask students if they noticed Rob using any of the words or phrases they’ve read earlier in the lesson.

SUMMARY AND ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING:

Remind students of the conversation between Safin and Bond about legacy, or what you leave behind. Ask them to imagine a meeting between two sworn enemies where one has become a Christian. The students’ task is to write a page of dialogue (conversation) between the two characters in which the Christian explains what has happened to them, and tries to persuade their enemy to join them in believing in Jesus.  Students should include reference to the following phrases:

  • Bad news
  • Good news
  • Sin
  • Jesus
  • Eternal life

If there is time, invite one or two students to read their finished dialogue to the class and invite the rest of class to vote on whether they think the enemy would be persuaded by the argument.

YOU WILL NEED:

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