I just received an e-mail from my daughter that warns Christian parents about an upcoming movie, titled “The Golden Compass.”  I had seen something about it a few days ago, and now that there is an e-mail warning circulating, I thought I would check it out.  The movie is scheduled to release on December 7, 2007 and is based upon a trilogy of children’s books by Phillip Pullman titled His Dark Materials.  The author is an avowed atheist who has said that his purpose is to kill God in the minds of his young readers.  I encourage you to read up on the issue before you decide whether or not you will watch the film, or let your children do so.  Here are a couple of informative links — Fox News Article   Snopes.com Article

In the interest of balance, I have to mention another film that is receiving just the opposite response.  This movie is titled “Bella.”  From what I can gather, this is a story that deals with some difficult, real-life issues in light of God’s providence and grace.  It opened on October 26.  You can read more about it by clicking on this link – “Bella”  For some reason, I’ve neither seen nor heard ANY publicity for either one of these films.  I guess that’s what happens when you don’t have cable TV.

I’m not too keen on some of the recent movies, such as the Harry Potter series and the books that inspired them.  But then again, my children are all grown and past those things.  But we have to base our biases on fact, not hearsay.  I had a young lady confront me a couple years ago when she found out that I was “against” the movie “The DaVinci Code.”  I tried to defend my discomfort with the movie to her, but my arguments were not received well, because I have neither read the book nor seen the film.  I have become convinced that we Chrisitians need to be careful about how we determine to boycot or oppose any book or film simply on the basis of what someone else has said about them.  While I am confident that the information I have gathered about these films is dependable, I have to realize that another person with whom I talk about such things might just think I’m another one of those “closed-minded” Christians.  In order to engage the culture, we have to expose ourselves to it in some degree.  I must say that I am intrigued by the “Golden Compass” because it is supposed to be an answer of sorts to C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.  For that reason, I will probably take a look at the film, just to see what the uproar is all about.  For you parents who have young children, to whom the movie will be marketed, I advise you to proceed with great caution.  If you decide to let your kids watch it, then you make sure you watch it with them and discuss what you see afterwards.  Interact with the plot and characters and compare them to God’s standards and the Bible.  Wise parents will do the same with every movie you see, either with or without your kids.  We need to learn how to be discerning watchers, and not simply sit and be passively indoctrinated with lies.  It takes some effort to get there, but it’s well worth the time and effort to become a wise consumer of thought.  Perhaps it would be good to form a parents’ movie club, who view movies together and then talk about them in light of a biblical worldview.  Maybe we need something like that here in Dunkerton. . . . Hmmmm.