I find the whole, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water," in the realm of Christianity has been taken to the extreme. Sure, there is room for human error, we are in fact human, living in the flesh. We all make mistakes, and things happen, I get that. But it has come to a point in our society where not only have we overlooked the mistakes, but overlooked the outright sin, deception and wrong spirit behind the motivation in Christian media and entertainment. I have no problem sitting in a service and a scripture is accidentally misquoted or said wrong. I'm not going to put that preacher under the magnifying glass and dismiss him completely. Mistakes happen. But when you are dealing with media. A movie, a music album, even a book, every single word is put there on purpose.
Every shot, every angle. The producers, the writers, those involved in production only have a limited time to captivate you, their audience and nothing, "just happens." With this in mind, when watching a Christian movie or reading a children's book, you can't just take the good with the bad. If red flags go up with a certain line, or bells go off during a particular scene, know this, that part was put there on purpose. We have been given the Holy Ghost to lead us, guide us and protect us. The problem is, when we ignore the prompting of the Holy Ghost enough, our conscience becomes seared. At this point, God will hand us over to our pleasures. We feel uncomfortable at first, but then we begin to justify a movie or book because of the Christian content.
But Aslan represents Jesus, we cry out! So we continue to read a book with witches and wizards even though the Bible clearly tells us to stay far away from such things. Darkness has no fellowship with light. Satan himself knows the Bible and even quoted scripture. I appreciate the following quote from Berit Kjos:
"Lewis has a remarkable ability to bring Christian readers into new worlds and make them feel at home in the midst of pagan rituals, occult mysteries and magical forces. In so doing, he presents unbiblical versions of the most important gifts God has given us: His unchanging truth, His uncompromising righteousness, His peace in the midst of turmoil, His unwavering faith, and His eternal gift of salvation."
Anyone can write a book representing spiritual truths and captivate the audience they want. Especially Hollywood.
With this movie, I was highly impressed with the quality. The actors. The production was pure quality. The story line was amazing with a theme I hold close to my heart, Creationism. Many issues Christians face were showcased in this movie. And yes, at times, I was moved to tears. How could I not be. It tugged at my emotions and hit me where I am weak.
A Muslim woman was disowned by her father for converting to Christianity. They showed the violence, I shuttered and cried. I have met more than one woman that this has personally happened to. It hit close to home for me.
A Chinese man talked about house churches over the phone with his father in China. The father was upset because the phone could be tapped. Personally, I have had to email missionaries in code so their Christian identity wouldn't be revealed. This too, hit close to home for me.
Other relatable experiences were shown and portrayed which normally would make for a great movie, and a positive movie review.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Yes, I will throw the baby out with the bath water because in this case, the baby has been contaminated!
What's the Big Deal?
The Newsboys. Obviously. I mean they popularized the song, God's Not Dead. But honestly, the whole movie was an advertisement for their album. Ok, so I don't like Newsboys, keep our personal preferences to yourself. No. It's not that I don't "like" them. It's that God has delivered me from their culture that once ensnared me. It's like saying to a former alcoholic, "give the bars a chance, people can get saved there too!"
You know, the Newsboys were my gateway band. Seriously. It all began with an album I bought of theirs close to 15 years ago. It was a downward spiral from there. First an innocent, "Christian rock band"(yes they consider themselves that genre), then something a little heavier, and then a little more rockier. Before you know it I'm tattooed, pierced, listening to Christian death metal bands living a completely ungodly lifestyle. And it all started with an innocent Newsboys concert with an alter call and prayer of salvation in a back room. Do I personally blame this band. No, obviously not. Does everyone who listens to this music go down the path I did, no but there are more than you realize!
Listen. The red flags in this movie are this. When a young man gets saved he is not directed to prayer or Scripture. Rather, the one who led him to the Lord takes him to a Newsboys concert. Immediately. That bothered me.
This is a common problem in evangelism. We train our young people to "invite the unsaved to our outreach event" and we throw in a part of the world mixed in with Christianity. We aren't training them up to do what the Bible says, "Go ye into the world making disciples of all nations." We need to be the ones making disciples. God has equipped us with everything we need to do so.
This whole "outreach movement" whether it's a lock-in, pizza party, or movie, reminds me of Catholic church history. When the word of God was not allowed in the hands of the people, they were forced to believe what they heard in church as truth.
Lies were thrown into this movie left and right. Many of us heard the quote, "if you were the only one on earth, Jesus still would have died for you." Yes, I believe He would have, I understand that each person is important in God's eyes. But, this quote was misquoted in a slight manner to say, "if you were the only one of earth, Jesus would die for you again." Again? This is unscriptual on so many levels. See how the lies creep into the truth? We can become so blinded and not see that the enemy is trying to creep in and infiltrate our minds.
What bothered me the most about this movie was not only the glorifying of people more than Jesus but the contradictions about the main character's doctrinal beliefs. He worded things differently several times to try to appease to different crowds. The message was watered down, trying to appeal to the masses.
I do not glory in writing such a strongly negative review of this movie, but I find it is important to share my heart.