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Thursday, January 27, 2005
Apparently I'm going to hell...
A couple of days ago, Danielle posted a link to a web site called Star Fast Episode III: Repent of the Sin with the words, "No comment." I was curious about what the site was, so I clicked on the link and went for a visit.

What I say was, quite frankly, depressing.

I've read over what the web site says several times now just to make sure I'm not misreading what this group is trying to say. Here's some excerpts:
The new Star Wars movie, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, will be released in May 2005 and already there are vast numbers of people all over the world waiting in eager anticipation to see it. Among these are Christians who get just as excited and engrossed in Star Wars as everyone else. Though they deny that they are engrossed, they declare by their actions that they are denying God (Titus 1:16).

Out of love for those who are watching Star Wars on the way to hell, Christians and churches everywhere should be setting an example by fasting from this movie. We should be weeping for those who are already looking forward to watching Episode III. In fact, it should take a direct instruction from the Holy Spirit to prompt any Christian to see this movie, against their own will.

Christians everywhere, should not be picking up their lightsabers but instead putting on the full armor of God.

Star Fast is an opportunity to take a stand with Jesus, reject the world with joy, and deny ourselves as Jesus commanded us to do. Together, we we will seek the light of God's face rather than the light of a movie screen.

2 Corinthians 6:17 "Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."

Let me pause here to say that I'm a Christian and I'm also a Star Wars fan. And let me also say that I can see what I think they're trying to say here--which is that putting anything of this world above God is a sin. I seem to recall that that is the first of the 10 Commandments. I can agree with that message.

But what I take difference with is the way this site is presented. I took a lot of time thinking about this, praying about this and reading the various information posted on the web site. They have an FAQ where they claim to not be "legalistic" or that they are "taking scripture out of context." Well, you may think you aren't, but I think you're missing the big point here.

The Christian church is struggling today to grow in America. In fact, here's a scary thought for you--other countries send missionaries to the United States because we are so desparately in need of a revival. Supposedly we are a Christian nation, but yet the Chrisitan church in America is on the decline?

Why?

Because of stuff like this. There's a pereception by a lot of people who are non-Christians or even Christians that don't attend church on a regular basis that the church is boring, stuffy and not relevant to their daily lives. I'm not saying that we, as the church, are really doing a lot to combat this--or let me say we're not doing as much as we could or should be doing about it.

Here's where I come from 0n this. In the New Testament, Christ is asked what is the greatest commandent. He replies, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself." For me, this is what being a Chrisitian comes down to on its most fundamental level. Of course, I also strongly believe that part of this is you have to accept that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savoir who paid the ultimate price for our sins.

Now there is this misconception out there that being a Christian means you can't have fun anymore. I don't think anything is further from the truth. Now, yes, that does mean that you may be holding yourself to a different standard than you were before and that you're going to struggle with that every day. But it does not necessarily mean that just becuase you're having fun, you are sinning.

The Bible says that we are to be "of the world but not transformed by it." If God wanted us to not face the temptations and snares of the world, we'd be beamed directly to heaven the moment we got saved. No, what God wants is for us to be in the world, growing daily in our walk with Him and bringing others to know Him. When we accept Jesus, we are perfected, but we are not perfect. Big difference there. We are still going to face struggles, trials, etc. The worst lie that anyone can tell you is that by becoming a Chrisitian your life will suddenly be all roses and yellow brick roads. That is what the enemy would have us believe so that it makes it easier to backslide when face a crisis instead of turning to God.

Again, I can see the point of not putting enjoying the Star Wars movies above God. And I can also see that maybe there is a point that a lot of people may know a lot more about the Star Wars movies than they do about the Bible because they've spent more time studying the Star Wars trilogy than they have the Bible. I can see that and I think they have a point.

But here's my thing. On its most basic level, Star Wars is the on-going struggle of good vs evil, the choices that people make in that struggle and redemption. So are a lot of other stories that some very conservative Chrisitan groups are quick to condemn such as the Harry Potter books. Again, I say that I've read the Harry Potter books, I've seen the Star Wars movies and while they do contain supernatural elements, they have not taught me how to do magic or fly through space. It's just a fictional story that people enjoy that has these elements as part of the storytelling process. Now reading or watching them so much that they become more important to you than God, your family, real life, etc...that is a problem.

I also had to chuckle a bit at the web site's idea that you take the money you'd save from going to see the movie and buy their literature to give to your church and youth group. So, basically we save that money and give it to you? Honestly, if I'm going to fast from going to see Star Wars, I think that I will give the money to something that really will help God's kingdom here on Earth such as the local rescue mission, tsunami relief, the youth group's mission trip. Something. I think this group missed an opportunity here to be an example and instead of saying give the money to us, they could have asked those who signed up to pray about how to use that money for God's purposes.

Also, I love in the FAQ how if you ask--yes, but can I see the movie on DVD?--are are apparently also hell bound. I hate to say it, but isn't it going to cost just as much if not more if people watch it on DVD or--worse yet--buy the movie on DVD?!?

It just makes me shake my head. Again, it's not that I don't think this group doesn't have a point. But by being overly legalistic and closed-minded, they are closing themselves off from the world and making Christianity even more irrelevant to those out there who are struggling or don't yet know Christ. And that saddens me a great deal. Because what we should be doing is working to make a relationship with Christ relevant to the people of the world today. The chruch has turned people off to Christ for years and it doesn't seem that some of us are making any strides toward finding ways to turn people back onto Jesus Christ.



posted by Michael Hickerson at 1/27/2005 08:28:00 AM | |
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