And This Foolishness
For most of us, the foundation of our Christian faith is not the
bible but the stories weíve been told of what the bible says.
Most of us do not believe because of conclusions we've arrived at
based on study and prayer but rules weíve learned from years
of mama Ďnem saying things like, ďGrandmaís gone to Heaven,Ē
which is a lie. Nobody is in Heaven yet. Heaven is not open for
business, yet. The most heinous lie is one we ourselves pass on,
one generation to the next. The nonsense we tell our children,
ďGood people go to Heaven, bad people go to Hell.Ē Thatís a lie.
The bible doesnít say that. Mama Ďnem say that. Why? Because
thatís some stuff they done heard someplace. They havenít read,
haven't studied. Theyíve heard. Somebody said that to them once, and it seems to
agree with logic, and weíve internalized this notion of good and
bad, Heaven and Hell. But this is not doctrine, it is mythology.
It demeans an eternal truth to the plotline of a comic book.
Devil = Bad, God = Good. God locked in a desperate struggle
against the devil. Who Will Win The Epic Battle of
Itís stupid. We need to stop doing that. The foolishness with the vampires is the most damming evidence of the abject failure of modern Christianity to teach. We teach nothing. We learn nothing. We desire to learn nothing because we believe we already know all we need to know. Jesus was a weak pacifist Who was brutalized and murdered by big, bad, powerful, evil. Most of the time, we give little weight or attention to the Resurrection, dwelling instead on the dark and gloom of The Passion. Jesus comes across as weak, the Romans as the indefatigable boogeyman.
For the record: Grandma is not in Heaven
Grandmaís dead. [Daniel 12:2]
Presuming Grandma died knowing Jesus Christ, she has the hope of
resurrection some day, when the dead in Christ will rise, as
Christ rose, and be caught up with God. [I Thess 4:16] Good people do not go to
Heaven. Heaven is a place being prepared for sinners saved by
grace. [Ephesians 2:8] Your goodness has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do
with it. You can't earn your way in by being good. There will be
lots of perfectly good, perfectly moral people burning in Hell. Bad people do not go to Hell. Hell is a
not for human beings but for the fallen angel Lucifer, whom we
call Satan or the Devil. Christian mythology conjures up this
vision of red, this Devilís Night Club of people hanging out and
jazz music and so forth. The reality of Hell is it is a place
from which God has withdrawn His Holiness. The only way you end
up there is by free choice, by choosing to not be with God.
There is only one place in all of Eternity where God Is Not.
That pace is Hell.
God does not send people to Hell. We send
ourselves there when we choose to reject God, when we desire to
be where He Is Not. The rabbit hole, goes much deeper, of
course, but this is the basics of Christian Mythology: the
notion of a milquetoast good versus a thunderous and powerful
evil. Itís a crock of bull and a lie, one perpetuated generation
after generationóby us.
It is, therefore, ironic that films like Breaking Dawn earn millions by constructing their stories off of the classic tension of Christian mythology. A more accurate view of Christian theology would not sustain the dramatic plotline of this Twilight nonsense. It is, therefore, the Lie, this Christian Myth, that is startling in its global pervasiveness. The audience has to already embrace the God vs. Devil nonsense before the lights dim or none of these films work. Without even mentioning God or the Devil, the film series relies on both to forward their main conceit: the sexual allure of evil incarnate.
It would be fringe for me to suggest the filmmakers are Satanists or wiccan or what have you, but I would guess the key drivers behind such films are not Christians. They may be Christians by culture, believing their ultimate message to be one of good triumphing over evil after a long, fierce struggle, but even such presumably noble intentions blaspheme God and rob the Gospel of its power. Oh, sheís in love with this undead abomination, a corruption and violation of Godís very nature, but sheís still a virgin. This is the con game this stuff plays on your kids: alleging value statements while glorifying Satan and the occult.
Seduction Of The Innocent: Occult-themed and aimed squarely at your kids.
What Are We Modeling?
Will Christian kids want to se this? Of course. I am less
certain black Christian kids will want to see this, but I know
many, many black Christian kids and adults who love horror
flicks, love vampire flicks. Bloody, nihilistic, demonic,
nightmare-inducing stuff. I know lots of Christians who canít
get enough of it. Who wave dismissively at me when I admonish
them that this material exists for one purpose only: to
undermine their faith. Ingesting this stuff offends God. Make
all the excuses for it you want, itís true. A person who truly
knows God, who truly loves God, would not find this stuff in any
way attractive. Or, if she did, she would present this mess as a
sacrifice to God. Lord, I love You. I will give this up for You.
Ironically, the "Christian" Left Behind mess is almost as bad as this foolishness with the vampires. ďChristiansĒ getting rich off of distorting scripture to frighten people. I canít imagine why it is we canít seem to make a buck off of the light; we need to turn toward the darkness to put butts in seats. All that dark stuff about the Rapture and who gets left is intended, I suppose, to scare people into turning to Jesus and entertain those who already have. But, like this foolishness with the vampires, it simply exploits.
No one is ever gong to make a movie about Jesus that is as riveting as a Bourne flick. Jesus did not carry a gun or get into car chases or rescue women from burning buildings. Mel Gibson omitted most of Christís actual ministry from The Passion of The Christ in favor of the darkness of Jesusí great ordeal. He gave extremely short shrift to Christís resurrection, leaving hope on the cutting room floor. This resulted in an extremely disciplined film, a very taught plot that succeeds on all levels, but it doesnít help much with the enduring legacy of Christian assumption, the mythologizing of a reality more fascinating, more intricate, and more dynamic than any silly teen vampire movie. Gibsonís Passion made $611 million worldwide and counting. I canít imagine why nobodyís tried a second swing at thrilling us by virtue of accurate revelation rather than by playing off our spiritual ignorance.
Vampires were great fun when I was a kid. Perhaps they still are. The difference, however, is, when I was s a kid, vampires were adults. They looked like they were at least 50. There was nothing glamorous about them. They didnít look like me, so the films existed on this other plane of reality. The vampires were not my friends, their lifestyle not something Iíd ever consider productive or attractive. Todayís vampires are stylish, sexy, rich, handsome. They have power. They get the girls. Every time Iím downtown, I see some kid wandering around dressed like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. The Goth thing is extremely big, especially among white teens who actively strive for the anemic, emaciated look. This is whatís so troubling about our modern-day vampire, the corruption of values and seduction of the innocent the genre promotes.
Tribalism finds its foundation in both an oral history and emulation of patterns of behavior. Your children will model your behavior. You will hear your voice, your values echo in them. But this only works if you get rid of that TV, that video console, that cell phone. Even families who spend time together arenít really spending time together because the kids are tuned out, earbuds shoved in, being fed a steady stream of filth and evil right in your very presence. You donít study Godís word so they donít see you study Godís word and therefore donít process that behavior as reasonable or normal because it is not being modeled for them. Christ is not being modeled for them, this foolishness with the vampires is.
Music, literature, filmóthese are all about stories. They all tell stories, feeding data directly to your children. Cell phones grant unlimited, unrestricted and unmonitored direct access to your child in ways unimagined before the Internet. From the very first moment you use your TV as a babysitter, you are handing your child over to the world, and this is the terrible fruit of that process: successive generations of people turning away from God, knowing only the vagueness of Christian myth as they suit up to wait in line for this foolishness with vampires.