Thursday, November 29, 2007

"The Golden Compass"

I have received many, many emails lately warning those of us on the distribution list about the upcoming movie "The Golden Compass" with Nicole Kidman. It is based on a trilogy of books by a self-proclaimed atheist who attempts to introduce atheism to kids in his books. The subject matter is concerning so I delved a bit more and found what I think is the most reasonable approach we should take towards a movie/books like this. We have to get smart about it...we need to be armed to talk about it and refute the material presented using THE TRUTH as presented in the Bible. As usual, a discerning spirit is required for viewing any movie or reading any book these days. Know what you are getting involved in before setting out to line Hollywood's blasphemous golden pockets. There is no doubt in my mind that Satan is at work here...

'The Golden Compass'

Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship Ministries President Mark Earley.

All of you have probably received the e-mail by now. A lot of Christians have, including many of us here at BreakPoint. One of my colleagues received it from five different people no less!

I am referring to the e-mail that is circulating about the upcoming fantasy film The Golden Compass, based on the book by Philip Pullman. It says that Pullman’s fantasy trilogy is openly anti-Christian.

Unlike many other e-mails that get circulated, The Golden Compass e-mail is not a hoax, though, in fairness, there are some incorrect details. (For example, contrary to what the e-mail cites, Jesus is mentioned in the books, and the girl and the boy at the center of the story do not kill God, though they are present when a being calling himself God is killed. God is actually presented as completely unreal in The Golden Compass; there are only angelic beings who try to set themselves up as God and are defeated.)

But the part about Pullman hating the idea of God is completely accurate. He uses his stories to twist and distort familiar biblical accounts of creation, fall, and redemption, making heroes of those who rebel against religion, and having one of his “good” characters even say, “The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake.” It’s sort of a Da Vinci Code theme for kids.

But I suggest that we should do more than just read the e-mail and press “Forward.” If we really want to be able to speak out against Pullman’s ideas, we must know what we are talking about. That’s why I mentioned the story details that might seem a bit trifling. Because when Christians start warning the culture about something dangerous, we often get a backlash. And it is worse if we are not prepared. If we just go out there and tell people, “This movie is about kids who kill God!” we just get a reputation as ill-informed scolds. Already that is starting to happen.

There are several ways you can prepare yourself to talk about Pullman’s books and upcoming movies. You can pick the books up at the library and skim them. You can read a book called Dark Matter by Tony Watkins; although Watkins finds more to like in Pullman’s books than we do at BreakPoint, he still does a good job of explaining the problems. You can visit our website——where we have a number of articles, blog posts, and commentaries pointing out Pullman’s spiritual and literary flaws.

I know of one school in Virginia, Immanuel Christian, that is considering having the older students discuss and evaluate the worldview of the books in their weekly book discussion group. This is a terrific idea. When the movie comes out and their friends head off to the theater with no clue about what kind of indoctrination they are going to undergo, kids who have discussed Pullman’s worldview with Christian parents and educators will know what’s going on. Then they can choose the good and reject the bad.

Of course, all of this takes time for parents and teachers who already have enough to do. There is no easy way around that. But it is worth the investment in the lives of our children. As parents, teachers, and leaders, we can and should do no less.


Courtney said...

GREAT info, Debbie! thanks!

Zach and Julie said...

Hi Debbie, thanks for posting this. I actually read the trilogy 3 summers ago. Zach heard about the series on the radio or in a magazine and thought I might like to read it (I am always craving books to read here). And so one summer (3 summers ago) I read all 3 books in one month. We were at our English camps and Eli was an infant, so I was stuck inside with nap schedules a lot. And I really enjoyed them until I got about halfway through. I think he has a lot of "Christianize" in his book, so I was hoping he was a believer, but the more I read it the more I realized he wasn't. I read it hoping it would turn out with a postive message, but it left me empty and annoyed. It started out so great then ended so blah! I just thought I would share, so I am thankful for this article that tells Christians to think critically and discover information for themselves... thansk for sharing.

veronica said...

great info but I think we also need to remember that it is a fictional story and that we can teach our children about fiction and fantasy. Although I am hesitant to take Meghan to this movie, I also think it could lead to a great discussion about good and evil and making the right choices. There will be many times in our kids lives that they will have to choose whether they believe or not. We need to help teach them that God is real and he is great!