Dark turns to light?

As you've probably already heard, there is a new movie coming out this weekend called the Golden Compass based on a trilogy of children's books. Christian groups across the country are up-in-arms about the movie and there are talks about boycotting the movie. Phillip Pullman is the writer of the children's books and is an unashamed, self-described agnostic and atheist. New Line Cinema, the company producing the movie, has claimed to have toned down the apparent atheistic overtones evident throughout the books for the big-screen in order to appeal to a broader market. The argument coming at least from the Catholic camp is that the move is to make money for the production company, but will ultimately lead to unsuspecting parents purchasing the books to find atheism and agnosticism being pushed on their children.

Now that you get the idea, I just want to share a few brief comments. First of all, I do find it a bit unnerving that movies like this, with a disbelief at best and a complete hatred at worst towards God, are making the mainstream. And I think parents especially, but also all movie-goers, should make careful choices when it comes to movies and entertainment in general.

But what I do not get is why when these types of movies come out, so come out the Christian alarm-blowers yelling "STOP THAT MOVIE" or "BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT." Again, I don't like the underlying theme of the movie, but really should I be surprised that this type of entertainment is out there? I am not only NOT surprised, I have come to expect nothing less from Hollywood, the entertainment business, shoot...even politics and the like. I realize that it is often the extremest, God-haters that get the sandwich-sign-wearing-bullhorn-carrying-siren-pulling boycotters out. But where are they when every other weekend a filthy, blood-soaked horror film comes out that is just one sawed-limb short of an R rating that is marketed towards teenagers? Where are they when 50-Cent or Kanye West put out yet another rap album degrading women and promoting all types of materialism and debauchery that is specifically designed to sell to kids between the ages of 8-18? Where are they when Britney Spears.....OK I'll stop there.

Here's my point. At what point do we as Christians (even right-winged fundamentalists kooks) say that the world is only doing what it is and has always done? And at what point do we say that this is what the world always will do! When are we going to understand that the darkness is just that. I think it was C.S. Lewis that said "You'll never scrub this dirty world clean enough to live in it." It's like every time a movie like the Golden Compass comes out, we as Christians come out and say (in Brian Reagan-esque voice) "The dark is being dark! The dark is being dark!" Meanwhile, the darkness turns to us, the ones who are supposed to be the lamp on the lampstand, the city on the hill, laughs, and wanders further away from what is now becoming less of a bright light and much more of a forgettable flicker. Listen, the darkness is going to be dark. The sun has not once said to the night sky (at least within my hearing) "Lighten up! Be more like me. Stop being so dark." Instead, every morning it pops it's head over the horizon, and pushes it's way further into the middle until all of the darkness fades away, and the light encompasses the entire sky. That's what we as Christians are supposed to do. We aren't called to be whistle-blowers, or tattle-tailers. We aren't called to point out how bad the world is getting. Instead we are called to be "the light of the world." We are called to shine bright the light of Jesus such that those wallowing in the depths of sin and darkness see our light, and can't help but be drawn to it. And it is all because we hold our light not in their eyes to blind them, but in front of them, to light there way to Jesus. John 3:17 says that Jesus came not to condemn to world, but to save it. And he wants those of us who have been blessed of God to have seen HIS light and received his gift of salvation to light the paths for others.

The Golden Compass is just one of the many many movies that have and will continue to come out that will try to deny that God exists, and try to make others believe that as well. And for some, it will work. However, instead of standing outside the theater yelling at people not to go to the movie, and instead of whining and crying about the fact that Hollywood and the entertainment industry is pushing their evil ways onto us the general public, let us as fully devoted Christ followers push back with generosity, love, patience, kindness, humbleness, and self-control and begin to shine our light, the Light of Jesus Christ, in dark places!


I'm with you, Matt. It goes back to the old line, "It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness."

December 8, 2007 at 3:24 PM  

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