The Golden Compass

So, as some of you may have heard, there is a movie coming out called The Goldengoldencompassposter2.jpg Compass on December 10th. This is noteworthy because it comes from a trilogy of books (His Dark Materials) that is very controversial, especially among Christians. The author is a humanist/atheist, and the books, while somewhat styled as reading for older children and young adults, have some heady and dark topics.

Among other things, they discuss the supposed corruption of religion, the problems with God and truth, and have some very graphic scenes including a mission in the final book to destroy “God.” While the author insists he did not write these intentionally as the “anti-Narnia,” that makes a good comparison. So the question we must ask as Christians is: how do we respond to this?

I have already received many emails from friends and read many articles stating we should spread the word, sign petitions, and protest this movie. At best it is pictured as inappropriate, and at worst as an intentional and subversive attempt by “Hollywood” to get in the minds and hearts of our children.

I would say this: First, let’s make sure educate ourselves. We often accuse others of attacking Christianity unnecessarily with false claims; let’s not do the same. Do some research online, or better yet, read the books yourself or see the movie. Second, don’t get so caught up that we forget how the Bible tells us to respond to the world around us. We are to respond with love and compassion. The unbelievers around us are not our enemy; they are God’s unique creation who He loves, and we should see them as the same.

Third, after taking these things in, I would use this movie as a golden opportunity to engage others. Ask them what they thought about the books and movie if they saw it. Ask them if they think religion is corrupt and evil. Respond with understanding, and don’t be too quick to give ten reasons why the movie is wrong. Take some time to discuss things rather than discounting the movie offhand. In the end, remember Jesus’ advise to be “as wise as serpents, but as harmless as doves.”

So what do you think? Is this movie evil, or is it a tool?

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