Since my last post, I’ve been overrun with questions and comments about the upcoming movie, “The Golden Compass.”  I’ve been able to get some more information about it, so I wanted to share the information I’ve seen and heard. 

First off, I saw this article in Christian Computing magazine, which affirms the point I made in the previous post.  I encourage you to read the entire article, found here.  I was particularly struck by this statement, “Hysterical, incorrect explanations about the books,from people who admittedly have never read them, do little to advance the Christian faith.”  In order to respond thoughtfully and intelligently to this movie, and any other anti-Chrisian threat we face in the media, we need to be careful about hard line condemnation, especially when we have no direct, personal knowledge of the material in question.  What is required of us is that we actively develop a biblical worldview. 

Just this Sunday, I was called upon to practice what I’m preaching here.  A lady in the church approached me and requested that I read a Harry Potter book and view the accompanying movie, and let her know what I think.  I mentioned earlier that I’m not too keen on Harry Potter, but I must confess that my knowledge of the books and movies doesn’t come from having read or seen any of them.  So far, I’ve seen the film and gotten about two thirds through the book, and I have to say that it’s an enjoyable read.  I can see why they are so popular.  While there are no obviously demonic or anti-Christian overtones in the story, the presence of evil is very real in the story lines.  (By the way, the character who is supposed to be homosexual does not indicate that in any way.)  The prominence of magic, witchcraft, and ghosts is something that thoughtful parents need to discuss with their children if they choose to let them read or see Harry Potter.  To reiterate what I said in the previous post, if you let your kids read or watch these things, be sure you read and watch them, too. Be ready to talk about the subtle story lines and help your kids to discern the truth.  We cannot insulate our kids from the evil of the world, but we cannot just let them go out and fend for themselves, either.  Wise Christian parents need to take steps to “train up a child in the way he should go” and teach them how to deal with the enemy’s lies in a deliberate fashion. 

All this leads me to make a few points of application:

  • Be actively involved in the music, movies, books, etc. that your kids are consuming.
  • Introduce your kids to good, wholesome music, movies, and books early.  Read to them and discuss God’s truth with them from a very early age. 
  • Make the Bible your primary story book.  Heed the words of Deuteronomy 6, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
  • Be sure you know how to watch, read, and listen with discernment about the content.
  • Make sure your kids are old enough to understand what they’re seeing and hearing.  Too many parents subject chldren to mature content long before they are able to process it.
  • Seek out the support and input of other concerned parents and work through these issues from a biblical standpoint.
  • Realize that this is an issue of spiritual warfare.  The devil is cunning and he is very good and using innocent looking and sounding things to lead people away from God’s truth.  We have already given up more ground than most people realize, and we are suffering for it.
  • Be discerning about the media you consume yourself.  Ask yourself questions like, “Is what I’m watching, reading, listening to, appropriate for my kids?  Does it build up my faith, or tear it down?  How does it affect my relationship with God?” 

I hope this is just the beginning of some fruitful discussion and encouragement for us all.  I welcome your thoughts and comments.  Remember, “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  This doesnt’ happen by itself.  It has to be deliberate.