Friday, December 07, 2007
Golden Compass or Golden Counterfeit
It's pretty likely that you've heard the buzz about the latest fantasy film, The Golden Compass. Never satisfied with hearsay, I wanted to look into it a bit. I watched several clips and trailers online and watched a movie review segment (on mainstream media mind you) that discussed the underlying "anti-Christianity" message. The author is a blatant atheist and the story refers to "the church" as evil and out to punish you at every turn. He's even been quoted saying that he is, "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief" and that his books are about "killing God." (In the last book of this series, a character named "Yahweh" is also referred to as "The Father of Lies" – and the media says that this is all "subtle"?). In this story in particular though, each character has a soul as you and I, except their souls live in animals that walk beside them. They're kind of altar-ego spirits that walk and talk and take on the mood of their human. In a blatant, and downright scary, definition, the animals are called "daemons". (sigh)
Unlike what some of you may be thinking, this blog is not to defame or slam this movie. Regular readers know that I'm not into pushing boycotts around here anyway. God's Word will stand in the end and those not looking to Him will be led astray - it's that simple. Of course I'd willingly and openly steer anyone away from this film, should I be asked about it, but my agenda is to point what to go to, not necessarily run away from.
Let me ask a probing question, what alternative does Christianity offer? To clarify, I'm not referring to Bibleman or Chronicles of Narnia either (the latter being fantastic nonetheless). I mean what in the world is supposed to appeal to children? Most self-professed Christians deny anything supernatural and write it all off as new age or false prophecy. If you claim to believe that signs and wonders are real today, you're likely going to be labeled as some charismatic lunatic.
So, to those that want us all to boycott stuff like this, I ask you, "What is it that you have to offer other than abstinence of all that attempts to satisfy our God-given urges to seek out the supernatural?" Who will look into a child's eyes and say, "You can raise the dead! You can see angels! You can call down Heaven onto this earth! You can walk and talk in a spirit realm primarily unseen by your physical eyes"? Bibleman dolls and VeggieTales won't do it. The Audio Bible for Kids isn’t enough. 300 more cheesy Christian t-shirts will NOT fill this void.
What they need is what we need… Jesus. Look in Matthew 19, Mark 10, Luke 18 – Jesus not only welcomed the children, He "blessed them and laid His hands upon them". Incredible. Can you imagine what Jesus might have prayed? I think we'd be sadly mistaken to assume that He just recited some candy-coated prayer and patted them on the head. I'd like to believe that he exhorted them, prophesied life and proclaimed Kingdom purposes. He said, "Don't hinder them from coming to Me". I feel that, in some ways, we've done just that. We want to pop in a video and subdue their creativity and vigor instead of telling them that "the Kingdom of God belongs to them"! (Matt. 19:14)
Let's be careful not to simply tell the children (and everyone else) what they cannot do, but what they can! They too can do all things through Christ strengthening them. Perhaps even more so because they're not bound by our "adult logic" that often lacks in great faith that can envision almost anything, no matter how outlandish it may seem in the natural. To sum up, I say let's leave behind the Christian versions of worldly things and show them a real Jesus. Let's live a Christianity that embraces the spiritual realm and all of the mysteries of God. If they knew the reality of the true Word of God, they'd need no other substitute! The world can have their Golden Compasses, I choose to look to an eternal Kingdom not made with human hands. No imitation or counterfeit can compare to all that is available to us in Christ Jesus.