Monday, May 23, 2011

Discernment: Art and Christian mumbo-jumbo


Have you ever had to sit and listen to someone tell you how utterly "touched" they were by a supposedly Christian theme of some big Hollywood blockbuster? (Rolling my eyes, here)

I'm thinking right now of a friend who thought the Matrix Trilogy was some sort of Christian movie with Christian themes and Neo was a Christ-figure. Oh really?

There are tons of people in the world who think so and who think other movies are Christian. They think this way because they lack discernment (and true spiritual discernment requires understanding subtle deceptions and counterfeits.) And they think this way because they are swayed by some similar theme, some "christian" word, thrown into the mix.

Now, of course folks can be "touched" -- even spiritually touched-- by a movie that makes them think of Christ. But just because a movie makes one think of Christ doesn't mean it leads you to the Biblical Christ. In fact, sometimes it leads one to the Antichrist...a false notion of what the Christ represents.

And let's face it...we Christians are so sentimental and gooey that we are easily touched by anything that reminds us of our Lord. So when a film uses Christiness to somehow depict a different Christ...we fall for the ploy.  Honestly, let's ask ourselves: what is the theology of the Matrix trilogy? What is the doctrine of that movie? It's right in that it implies we are all asleep and some evil force is using us and feeding off our emotions. Whether its corporations in the physical realm or demons in the supernatural realms or governments.... we know instinctively that we are not free and that we should fight against the parasitic power. But...does it lead to the specific salvation pointed to by Christ? Seriously, any old savior -- mythological, folkloric, or historical-- can fit into the savior mold without it having to be particularly Christian.

Yes, i know.. Matrix was decades ago. But the fact is...Christian lack of discernment has gotten worse..and the average Christian's ability to see through the subtlety has also gotten worse.

The crappy Christ figures are even more annoying when they show up in artwork by so-called Christian writers. A character doesn't have to be totally Christ in all aspects but must he be so one-dimensional? When I see books such as The Shack the writer in me -- not even the Christian in me, mind you-- just thinks: "What a weird character this Christlike character is!" If the writer in me can see silly sentimentality and bad characterization, the Christian in me....well... yes, I get supremely pissed. What has happened to the ability of modern Christians to truly think and dissect all aspects of a subtle work of art? What has happened to our ability to know how to think..period? Most Christian commentators and Christian writers are not deep. The folks writing these supposedly deep books come from strange disciplines where they study a lot of modern books but they never studied the great theological books of Christians from other ages or other countries. They don't know that some of the objections or ideas showing up in modern books are old as heck. And because they don't read as widely as they should...they basically think they are asking new questions and stating new propositions......not knowing that they are showing their ignorance.

Oh, I could go on but I am just so annoyed at the lack of critical thinking, the lack of historical knowledge in so many modern Christians.

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