January 7, 2010

Christian Liberty and the Movie Avatar

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12 Comments
  1. Doesn’t it come down to the individual conviction. I feel it would be very disobedient of me to go to the Lord of the Rings triology. But I know many people I really respect and honour they feel they have received so much insite from it. I received so much out of the Matrix, some would feel that is nuts. I do not know about Avatar. I am praying about. I do believe that their is a counterfeit feeling that is hard to discern whether that is Holy Spirit or a deceptive “Compassion for Evil Spirits” spirit that is sometimes in so much music but feels so similar. But not always.

  2. I did see this movie and was uneasy about some of the rituals, the language and things of this sort. I did not walk out, but I did think about the Lord very much in this movie on whether or not He would like it or approve of it.

    It also stirs me up to talk with my fellow believers in Christ on the movie to ask how it affected them?

    Thanks for speaking about it Dr. Brown.

  3. Thank you Dr. Brown for instilling in Sage and I the beauty of Holiness and true Godly standards. This topic has caused quite a stir at the IHOP KC, but know for sure that the Leaders here do not condone the movie at all. Thanks again for your integrity! We love and miss you so much!! My “Aquatic animal” statement was a little harsh, but I had no idea it would cause so much controversy.

  4. I’m fearful that North American Christianity has strayed so far from God. I’m fearful when Christians can enjoy the things of this world and receive no chastisement from God — indicating that they do not belong to Him. I’m fearful that we do not desire the sincere milk of the Word that we may grow thereby.

    Immediately you will cry out that I sit in judgment, but why does any rebuke automatically get equated with judgment?

    As children of light, we are different from the darkness. We love the things God loves, and we hate the things God hates. Can we tolerate vulgar speech which God hates? Does my “maturity level” as a Christian allow me to subject myself to more sin than a babe in Christ?

    If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes is not from the Father, but is from the world.

    We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

    Do we allow conscience to be our guide? Or do we put off the things of this world and renew our minds with the truth revealed in scripture and put on the new man.

    As Dr. Brown said very well, we are liberated from sin. We are no longer under its power. May we live righteously and pleasing to our God who saved us from sin’s bondage.

  5. Dr. Brown, I was very stirred by the comments on that grads facebook page. I saw the movie (and I’ll get to that later) but the way they went about this I thought was very disprespectful. And created no fruit. And you can even make a case that it caused discord among certain brothers, which is made clear not a good thing at all in Proverbs. I think it’s in Matthew here it states (I’m paraphrasing) that if you feel a brother has sin you must go to him in private. Something along those lines. Which the exact opposite happened on this certain persons facebook page. Where everyone sees it, and not just that… facebook has it set up that the most popular topics among friends are shown first on your “news feed” So anyone who was a friend of him and was on during those hours saw this going on. I didn’t feel it was my place to step in, so I stayed out of it. I guess that’s a question, as a 19 year old, compared to full time missionaries, when is that my place to step in and bring in that thought? I thought the whole facebook thing was a huge mess, and embarassing for those who were involved.

    Personally, I saw Avatar… twice 🙂 I’ll say this upfront: I’m the only believer at my job. My co-workers have the worse mouths I’ve ever heard. We’re talking rated R language EVERY minute. It’s not ideal for me right now, but I’m not so influenced by bad language. So unfortunately, the language didn’t disgust me as it did others. I fully enjoyed this movie. Being involved in film, I saw this as a breakthrough in movies. This will change how movies will be made. But more then that I felt the Holy Spirit stirring me up. The Lord has often spoke to me through movies, as He did with Avatar. I related to the main character of the movie so much. Jake Sully the main character, in the midst of hopelessness and despair, unified the people in such a way that gave hope and strength. And because of his training in military was able to draw up a strategy to defeat the enemy. And with the help of their “god” they found victory.

    As once a sinner I found a new life with God. As so in this movie, Jake Sully, once human found new life. A life greater and more amazing then he thought life could be. A life saying all he could do, instead of telling him all he couldn’t.( His character was paralyzed.) And he found himself as a leader in the group.

    I could go on and on about what I received spiritually about this movie. The first time I saw it, I was on such a rush. Even though it was 3 am and I had to be at work at 10 the next morning…I couldn’t do anything but pray my heart out to God. The effects from that night still live inside me to this day. And I would hate it if someone missed out on what I got out of this movie, because someone who has strong convictions (which is NOT a bad thing at all) about certain media would condemn them if they saw Avatar. We live in the information age. There are many outlets to get information on the content of any movie. People should be encouraged to do some research, and if they believe that it wouldn’t bring a stumbling block or sin in their walk with God, they should be free to see and enjoy it without shame or condemnation.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts Dr. Brown.

  6. Some questions we should think about: does this movie promote immorality by words and/or action? Example: sex before marriage?

  7. Billy Jr,

    Thanks for your post!

    Here are my thoughts:

    First, I think it’s great that you work among lost people, even though I know it can be trying at times. But that’s what we’re here for: to shine our light in dark places.

    Second, in my own life, I’ve always made a distinction between being around profanity and uncleanness for the sake of ministry (which can be a healthy thing) vs. being entertained by unclean things (which is an unhealthy thing).

    Third, that being said, in no way do I pretend to be your judge (or anyone else’s judge), and I can’t say that God did not speak to you in the film or that you didn’t receive inspiration. I simply have to let your testimony stand alongside of the testimonies of those who feel that the movie is blasphemous or simply something to be avoided.

    Fourth, with regard to the Facebook posts, that’s the challenge with our information society — we tend to write and post and speak first and then think about it later. I’ve done that way too many times myself! Some of the posts were thoughtful and constructive, others were reactionary, and I’m pretty sure some folks would like to take back some of what they wrote. It’s a good lesson for all of us to ask if what we’re writing is edifying and helpful (Eph. 4:29; also Prov. 10:19).

    Fifth, the one thing I’m sure of is that if we cleanse ourselves from the pollution of the world and purify ourselves before the Lord (2 Cor 6:14-7:1) and spend quality time enjoying our Father and immersing ourselves in His Word and Spirit, our hearts will become more sensitive. And so, I encourage you along with everyone else here (me included) to continue to press in to the Lord, to be quick to obey His voice, to stay free from dead tradition, to get rid of everything unclean and defiling, and to bear much lasting fruit. The details of how that works out are between each of us and Him.

    Here’s a good word to remember: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (ames 1:27)

  8. “Hearing God” speak to you through a movie that uses blasphemy (in this case) 13 times in no way justifies anyone watching it. The means always justifies the end. The end never justifies the means. If you’re really born of above- you’ll love what God loves and hate what God hates. If you have a tolerance for blasphemy and you can sit through a movie where it occurs repeatedly then you’re simply not “born again” and you need to seek God to give you a new heart with new desires. Its hard to confront the world when you have so much in common.
    Furthermore, why would you seek this godless entertainment when you can go out and witness? Six Flags, movie theaters, and pizza are killing us.

  9. I wen to see Avatar because a pastor at church had said he saw it and thought it was great. The cinematography was great but I had to get up and walk out because I could not sit through the taking of our Lord’s name in vain several times at the point I walked out. I could put aside the obvious environmental theme. I could put aside the the obvious theme of worshiping the tree where they went and talked all those who passed before. There were other things as well but I had to draw the line at so many uses of God’s Name in vain. I do not think the Lord would enjoy it because of the uses of God’s name in vain. I do not talk about it just slipping out, if this can be done, I am talking about the obvious lack of restraint for the sense of being able to make it PG 13 just to draw a crowd.
    Do I condemn those who have seen it? No, I am merely saying I could not stay in this movie or to recommend it for another Christian to watch.

  10. I find it interesting that commonly in movies set in the distant future that the characters even use blasphemy. The prevailing worldview behind most Hollywood movies especially those of the science fiction genre is secular humanism which posits that religion is an anachronism from our evolutionary past that will soon die out. You would think therefore that science fiction writers would assume that blasphemy would not exist centuries into the future because by then the names of God (required for blasphemy to work) would have been all but forgotten. Blasphemy is only blasphemy when there are religious people around to offend (secular humanists already assume God doesn’t exist so can’t offend Him), but they would reckon that there are no religious people still left in the distant future because science would’ve long ago conclusively disproved religion.

    So in a way, for blasphemy to be written into the script of these futuristic movies demonstrates the truth of religion (and specifically of Christianity since we don’t hear anyone using “Allah” or “Muhammad” as curse words). It seems that Hollywood writers are too stupid to even write consistently within their own worldview.

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