Engaging the Culture

Reading a StoryStory is powerful.

At our staff meeting last week, our Middle school team leader, Caleb Click, quoted Phillip Pullman (self proclaimed atheist and author of “The Golden Compass- a soon to be released movie based on his book)

‘Thou shalt not’ might reach the head, but it takes ‘Once upon a time’ to reach the heart.

Perhaps you or someone you know have received an email forwarded to you by a well-meaning friend stating,

“There will be a new Children’s movie out in December called THE GOLDEN COMPASS. It is written by Phillip Pullman, a proud atheist who belongs to secular humanist societies. He hates C. S. Lewis’s Chronicle’s of Narnia and has written a trilogy to show the other side. The movie has been dumbed down to fool kids and their parents in the hope that they will buy his trilogy where in the end the children kill God and everyone can do as they please. Nicole Kidman stars in the movie so it will probably be advertised a lot. This is just a friendly warning that you sure won’t hear on the regular TV…”

(HT: Snopes)

I got that email 3 times and I know many parents who have received that same email. This email has gotten a lot of parents worked up and ready to boycott this film.

The Golden CompassCaleb is going to do something that some parents in our church may take issue with, he is going to offer an opportunity to take the Middle school youth to the movie with him. Why? Because he wants to train and equip the youth to engage and think critically about the culture we live in.

He plans to not just watch the movie with the kids, but afterward they are going to discuss what they saw. As a parent of one of the middle schoolers, I applaud Caleb’s foresight and heart to engage movies such as the “Golden Compass”. It is important to help our youth engage and process the culture they swim in with a self-aware, biblical worldview.

Movies have powerful messages that too often fly under our radar. Sometimes those messages are positive. (i.e. the movie “Enchanted” has a message that affirms the lifelong commitment of marriage and at the same time illustrates the painful consequences of divorce. ) And sometimes a movie such as the “Golden Compass” have a message that runs counter and seeks to undermine our faith.

Mostly likely your children or children in your church are curious or even excited to see this upcoming movie. Instead of boycotting this movie, consider educating yourself about the movie and the books that have inspired it. And see this movie as an opportunity to create a conversation with your youth and train them how to appropriately engage and critique the culture they live in.


4 thoughts on “Engaging the Culture

  1. Bill,

    I agree with what you are saying here.

    I have to admit that I am not happy about this movie coming out…then again…I wasn’t too happy about the Davinci Code coming out either…but…anyone with half a brain that saw that movie could see it was a bunch of hooey!

    Christians boycotting anything never serves the purpose that they are hoping it will…it never causes anyone to NOT see/buy/do something…it only brings MORE attention to the item in question.

    I admire Caleb for doing what he is doing…and I commend you for allowing and encouraging it. Kudos!


  2. Sure, I agree, I am not thrilled with a book that wants to “kill God” being made into a movie. But what I appreciate is that Caleb is being positive and proactive and getting ahead of the issues that the movie raises rather than just dismissing it out of hand. Because chances are whether Caleb takes these kids to the movie or not, they are going to eventually see it. Either in the theater, or when it comes out on DVD or eventually on TV/Cable.

  3. Pingback: Bookmarks Tagged Engaging

Comments are closed.