Friday, November 2

The Golden Compass: To Boycott or Not to Boycott?

Don't know if you've heard all the fuss about the new NICOLE KIDMAN movie, The Golden Compass... apparently, it's based on some "anti-God" childrens' books by Philip Pullman. While that might be true, God hasn't called us to picket and boycott people or places because they disagree with what we believe.

I wanted to post my response to an email (one of several) that I received about the movie. Hopefully, it will stir up some dialogue... or, better yet, stir our hearts to really seek to better understand the mindset of this postmodern, post-Christian culture we live in. Here goes:

Hello, all...

No offense, but I'd like to push back just a little, because I think we sometimes still don't research enough. I've looked at both sides (including the interview with the Sydney Morning Herald ), and have formed the following opinion: 1) the author is INDEED atheistic and not favorable toward Christianity; 2) HOWEVER, his gripe is not so much with Christianity itself, as it is with "organized religion."

Here are a couple of quotes from him:

From his website:

"I think it's perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don't know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it's because he's ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they're responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I'd want nothing to do with them" (emphasis mine).

From his interview with the Sydney Morning Herald:

"If we're talking on the scale of human life and the things we see around us, I'm an atheist. There's no God here. There never was. But if you go out into the vastness of space, well, I'm not so sure. On that level, I'm an agnostic. That's not to say I disparage the religious impulse. I think the impulse is a critical part of the wonder and awe that human beings feel. What I am against is organised religion of the sort which persecutes people who don't believe. I'm against religious intolerance" (emphasis mine).

So, while I agree that we DO need to be careful with allowing our kids complete license to view the movie and read the books, we also need to understand (it seems) how this man has formed many of his opinions. His opinions have been formed (it seems) from what he has observed from the lives of so-called Christians! So, whatever you do... DON'T BOYCOTT THE MOVIE! Teach your children (as you learn yourselves) to understand their faith... learn to love people (especially non-Christians) unconditionally... and follow Christ relentlessly.

One last thing... here are a list of books I would recommend reading to gain an understanding of how non-Christians view us. It's imperative that we know and understand their image of us, and how we can/should respond to transform their image of what a true Christ-follower looks like:

1. No Perfect People Allowed

2. Peppermint-Filled Pinatas

3. They Like Jesus, but Not the Church

4. unChristian

Pastor Darren Plummer

**edited, 11/2/07**

7 comments: said...

Go Darren! Well said.

dave said...

Spot on!

Don Record said...

Exactly! Our neighbors will be far more receptive to us being "for" something instead of always being "against everything"!

JesusFirst, OthersSecond, MeLast said...

I may be the only person here who actually read all 3 books of the series His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. This movie is the first book of the series.

I was in 7th grade, and the anti-God stuff didn't show up til the 3rd book in the series.

I've gotta say they were 3 of the most well written fantasy/adventure books I've ever read in my life (to this day). Now, how do I feel about that in regards to my relationship with God? Do I feel slighted or offended?

Not as such. I feel I was blessed to have been exposed to one of the many views of atheism at a young age, and that has actually resulted in me having a stronger faith base.

Like a character said in my friend's short film "The Pursuit," it's a good story, not a reality.

Did not most of read or go see "The DaVinci Code" fully knowing it was not fact or real? I'd only suggest not seeing The Golden Compass if you struggle with your belief/faith in the Bible.

- Drew

brother4Him said...

I understand what you are saying but,……….I think that we need to look at the big picture. The money that this author makes from this movie and the books will help to support his theory. It is no different than going down to the local abortion clinic and watching what they are doing, then giving them a donation. We should research this author and his writing without seeing his movie and giving a “donation” to support him. I feel we need to go along side this author and show him God and show him that God is here and give him proof. I can do this without supporting his movie and his cause or corrupting my child. Children are “babes in Christ”. They are still on “milk” and do not know how to defend their faith yet. So why would I send them somewhere to open them up to false teachings? We can love this author but hate the sin.

Your brother in Christ,

scottcrocker said...

Hi Darren,

It was great to meet you at the Impact retreat today. Thanks again for taking the time to minister to our students.

I've added your blog to my Blogroll and would appreciate it if you'd consider adding mine to yours. Thanks and God bless.

Scott <><

D-PLUM said...

:-) Good... finally someone pushes back. Randy, I understand that viewpoint, and you're definitely welcome to it. I'm not at all advocating the movie; if people don't want to expose their children to it, then I definitely understand. For years, though, Christians have been known for what we DON'T do and what we DON'T believe, while all the while not being loving and clear about what we DO believe... and, I emphasize LOVING. And many times we end up becoming exactly what this author accuses us of: close-minded and arrogant. So, there are times where I choose to take my children (not send them) to something like this, and then fulfill my God-given responsibility and role as a teacher and guide in my child's life, so that he understands truth from fantasy, fiction, and falsehood.

As for putting money in this dude's pocket, should we sell our cars because the car manufacturers are not God-lovers? What about the gas we buy? Or the food we eat? What about the houses we live in? So, that argument goes down the drain on ALL sides. ;-)

Appreciate the zealousness, but I'm committed to engaging culture... not evading it.