Just a Youth Ministry Geek!

Conversations about modern youth ministry

What Happened To Imagination? April 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dj @ 1:07 pm

A couple of months ago me and Carrie went with some good friends to go see “Night at the Museum”. A comedy about a museum that comes to life at night and the night time security guard is responsible for keeping the place under control. He’s not allowed to let anything out…or else they turn to dust when the sun hits them. I thought it was a wonderful family movie, one teeny tiny swear word in the entire thing and no sex. Great movie!

So I thought “Hey, this is a good movie to show at a lock in!” So I wandered over to my usual spot for Christian movie reviews to make sure it was completely clean. I’m usually pretty angry by the time I leave that site because of lack of imagination these people have in writing reviews.

What I want to know is why even bother watching a movie if you’re going to intellectually dissect every single little scene and translate it into a ‘blatant communication of worldview’?

For example, the following review on the above mentioned movie:

Overall, it was a good show. It had a lot of references to evolution—the monkey and the Neanderthals. It also had a subtle Secular Humanism theme: The main character stands as the Giant voice of reason over the miniature warring cowboys and Romans. He explains that they both want what is best for their people and getting along is that very thing. The primitive nature of the combating Huns and other peoples are, likewise, brought under control. The implication throughout the movie is that man is capable and expected to rise above his primitive nature. Mankind, the Huns, are not bad people. They were just taught to act badly through a bad environment. Therefore, if you can change the environment you can change the behavior; you can negotiate with tyrants because love, not war, is the answer to our problems. Museum consistently refers to evolution and suggests that if we do not get it together we will become extinct like the Neanderthal who evaporated when he came in contact with sunlight.”

My favorite part of that paragraph is the very last sentence. You have to dig extremely hard to come up with that kind of an observation, and in my opinion, it’s an absurd observation.

It’s a movie!

Heaven forbid people write a story that drives our imagination and makes us dream.

I see this ‘condemnation of fiction’ more and more on the rise of the Christian community. The whole Harry Potter scene was absolutely ridiculous when it came out. The Onion (a satirical website) posted a story about JK Rowling being a witch in real life and how she wanted to convert children to witchcraft.

Christians took the story literally, and began the attack. A satirical writing became the launching pad to quickly condemn her to an eternity of hell (even though she is a devout Anglican). More slanderous lies started to come out of the church about Harry Potter and his hellbound friends.

I sat in on an ‘Christian anti harry potter’ video one night at the church I was attending.

It was literally, filled with lies.

It stated that in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, the “killer, who had already killed 3 people, wrote messages on the wall in blood on Halloween night”. Well, if you’ve read that book, you would know that that is the farthest from the truth. There was never anyone killed (until Goblet of Fire) and there was no writing anything in blood (it was red paint, I verified). And once again, the ‘Rowling is a real life witch’ came up again, as well as the books portraying REAL spells and incantations from the world of witchcraft. Again, lies and misinformation.

This was a Christian publication. Supposedly telling the truth on the Harry Potter situation. There was very little truth coming out of it. I was extremely disappointed in the Christian community for allowing this kind of junk infiltrate the church. Harry Potter is a work of fiction. There are elements in it taken out of legends and myths and greek mythology, but its all fiction.

The common argument? “But God’s word says to stay away from all sorts of witchcraft…so we should have nothing to do with any kind of witchcraft and that includes Harry Potter.”

I LOVED to ask the following question after that was raised: “What’s your favorite Disney movie?” And of course the answers would vary. Snow White. Cinderella. The Little Mermaid. Alladin. It wasn’t long before you quickly found out that these well meaning people didn’t stop to think that all of these Disney movies included “magic” and “witchcraft”. Especially when you add in Lord of the Rings. Double standards.

Harry Potter. Night at the Museum. They are works of fiction, written to first and foremost of course, to make money, but to entertain and to provide a type of escape that only stories can bring.

We are losing our imagination. The place where we dream is replaced by calendars and meetings and business proposals and clients.

Sit down and read an old favorite children’s book. Thats what I do. It brings me back to those days that I pretended I could fly with a beach towel tied around my neck.

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