Jesus prayed that God would not take us out of the world, but that He would keep us from “the evil one” (John 17:15). How does that work when there are so many good movies with an embedded message that contradicts Jesus?
In every piece of art there is an embedded worldwide. I remember art class in 7th grade. We were taught that it wasn’t until the Renaissance did artists figure out depth perspective. Do you remember those medieval paintings were John the Baptist is off in the distance baptizing people but his head was bigger than the people in the foreground. It made sense to say they didn’t understand depth perspective.
But it wasn’t true. Look at Roman and Greek art, and you’ll see depth perspective. Medieval artist sought to portray spiritual perspective as well as depth perspective. That’s why the heads of saints were bigger regardless of where they appeared in the painting. The big head communicated spiritual reality.
In all art, worldview is embedded. Whether it’s the big headed John the Baptist or Ewoks worshipping in Star Wars, worldview is embedded in it somewhere. By embedded, I mean it’s beneath the surface, so that the viewer takes it in without thinking about it.
In the third Star Wars movie, which was actually episode VI, there is the one and only scene where worship occurs in Star Wars. If you don’t remember the scene, the primitive childish Ewoks capture Luke, Leah, and Hans. Lucky for Luke, Leah and Hans, Sigmund Freud was “right.” Worship, according to Freud, belonged to the primitive childish age of evolution. When the gold plated android C3PO seat up, the childish Ewoks bowed down in worship. Our heroes were saved. The audience smiles at the Ewok’s primitive simplicity and were pulled into the Freudian worldwide without thinking about it.
Who would have thought that the Freudian worldview would make it into Star Wars? The script writer who embedded it in the movie thought of it. Whether it was intentional on his part or just so deeply embedded in his way of thinking that it came out as a shared assumption, who knows? I’m not accusing anyone of anything. But as a Christian how do I respond?
I can boycott Star Wars. I thought of that, but I liked the movies too much. And boycotts rarely work. I remember when my dad’s church boycotted the T.V. show Dallas. He asked me to sign the boycott, but I declined. I didn’t watch Dallas anyway. A few weeks later, when my dad asked at the dinner table, “Who do you think shot J.R.?’, I knew then that boycotts by Christians rarely work.
The second option is I can stop watching any movies that don’t reflect a biblical worldview. That would be… [to be continued]
Dr. Michael Peters is the lead pastor of Christ the King: TheCellChurch.com. He is married to Linda, and they have two children and seven grandchildren. Dr. Peters graduated from Covenant Seminary with an MA and obtained a PhD in historical theology from Saint Louis University. He has written several books. His most recent is titled Cell Vision. It’s about organic discipleship and how to develop supporters into disciple makers. He taught critical thinking and Biblical worldview at Missouri Baptist University. His favorite course textbook was Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom. His favorite philosopher is Nietzsche because postmodern people are just catching up with premodern Nietzsche. And his favorite Christian writer is G.K. Chesterton because he understood the difference between a poet and theologian. “The poet,” he wrote, “only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the theologian who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.”