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Another Attack on Christianity: The Golden Compass


I’ve been following the promotion of this new film The Golden Compass, for the last couple weeks. It’s due to open in theaters in time for Christmas (figures) on December 7th. If you haven’t checked it out, you should–especially if you have children small enough to start begging to be taken to see it…A couple weeks back, I checked out the website for the flick–spooky. Be sure not to miss the page where you are invited to meet your own DAemon..as in Demon.

Worldnetdaily ran a story on it today: Will your kid discover his personal ‘daemon’?

The spirit of antichrist is becoming bolder and bolder, isn’t he? Anyway, I came across a good article on the author of this trilogy of so-called “children’s books” today…thought you might be interested in reading it. From The High Springs Herald:

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Mike Hosey column: Kids author wants to undermine Christianity

“I am trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief,” Philip Pullman told the Washington Post for a piece published in February of 2001.

It was a brazen statement that went largely unnoticed by almost all of America. A handful of folks – a few theology wonks, a few culture warriors and some activist atheists – were the only people who really understood the profoundness of the statement.

It was a brazen statement that went largely unnoticed by almost all of America.

A handful of folks – a few theology wonks, a few culture warriors and some activist atheists – were the only people who really understood the profoundness of the statement.

Honestly, in today’s relativistic world, if anyone else had made the statement, it might have been completely ignored.

But those theology wonks, culture warriors and atheists knew that Mr. Pullman’s career choice, as well as his rising stature in that career, are what made it profound. His career field, and his rank within it, gave him plenty of clout to accomplish his stated goal.
That’s because Mr. Pullman is an award-winning writer of children’s stories.
Mr. Pullman also is a contentious atheist who has expressed a great disdain for monotheistic religion in general, with an acrid hostility seemingly aimed at organized Christianity in particular.

His most famous work is a sophisticated, well received trilogy called, “His Dark Materials.” The first book of that trilogy, “The Golden Compass,” will be released this Dec. 7 as a live action feature film starring Nicole Kidman.
He won the Carnegie Medal, Britain’s highest literary award for children’s books, for that work.

The stories are popular. At the writing of this column, all the bound trilogies in the Alachua County Library System were checked out, or on hold.

Mr. Pullman made his statement to the Washington Post in response to a question regarding the works of C.S. Lewis, whose Narnia books were beautifully mythologized, quasi-allegories of Christian narratives and themes.

 

The Narnia stories of Lewis had been written to show how Jesus might look in another world. And it is said that Pullman despises them, calling them racist, misogynistic and devoid of love.

Anyone who has enjoyed them knows better.

Where Lewis had been trying to make the Christian edifice more accessible with his books, Pullman’s expressed intent is to destroy its foundations. And he skillfully attempts this, using clever but not so subtle techniques. In the last book of his trilogy, for instance, God turns out only to be an angelic being, like any of the other angelic beings in the story – except that he is manipulative and evil.

The protagonist children kill him, and he dies a pathetic, whimpering death.

Some are saying that the alarm soon to go out in anticipation of the movie is likely to fall on mostly deaf ears. The breathlessness over the Harry Potter books, the gesticulations over the “DaVinci Code” due to Christian ignorance, and even some 1980s “fundamentalist” attacks on Barney the dinosaur, have assured many that Christians are alarmist.

Critics have noted that the Potter books, while containing many Christian taboos, like the glorification of sorcery, and recently, the outing of a homosexual main character, were at least written by a woman who professes Christianity, and who at least shows a smidgen of respect for the religion – even if it may only be feigned. Her masterfully written books also contain what others have labeled as Christian friendly themes, like love for one another, and the triumph of good over evil through self sacrifice.

But if the Potter books are taboo, then the Pullman books are downright anathema.

Consider this oft-quoted line from Ruta Skadi, an important character and witch in the trilogy. She says that the Church throughout all history has tried to control every natural impulse, then adds, “That’s what the church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling.”

Another character, Mary Malone, a scientist who used to be a nun, declares that Christianity is a “very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.” Hardly Harry Potter.

So is now the time for another Christian battle cry?

It depends on how prepared and willing the soldiers are for battle. It also depends on what kind of warfare they are disposed to fight. Banning the books, or boycotting the movie would not only be childish but also a strategic and tactical error. Besides, our society is secular and free. Because of this freedom, people behave rightly or wrongly because of choice and not because of force or manipulation.

This makes for true goodness, and true badness.

This requires Christian parents and churches to train the children in their care well. It requires producing clear thinkers who are able to spot deception and make clear, accurate discernments.

When this is done, the basis of Christian belief cannot be undermined.

12 comments on “Another Attack on Christianity: The Golden Compass

  1. Really good and really interesting post. I expect (and other readers maybe :)) new useful posts from you!
    Good luck and successes in blogging!

  2. Thanks!

    stop back again…and God bless

  3. Brothers & Sisters;

    It is my thought that we should see this movie in an attempt to discuss it and be informed. I feel we should engage our culture and discover where God is shining through.

    We will get no further in our lives of faith simply pulling the weeds of fighting sin, but rather on encouraging growth and truth by living in this balance. I can not expect these books by secular authors to be other than they are — books written from a godless point of view. Perhaps we might pray for our enemies instead of just shooting them down.

    Jesus spent more time praying than speaking, and when he spoke harshly, it usually was to “those in the church”.

    Thank you listening.

  4. Patrick, thanks for the post…

    I wouldn’t see anything wrong with mature believers sitting down and watching this movie to bring about discussion…

    What my own personal objections to the movie are [besides the anti-God content] is that its being heavily promoted as a family film to be seen by children during the Christmas season.

    A lot of parents would just accept it as a ‘decent, harmless, fantasy film’ …something fun to allow their children to go see with friends etc..not realizing the true content within it.

    I have 8 grand-children, and i have warned my own children about allowing their children to go alone [without them there to explain the contents] to watch this movie.

    While we as adult Christians might learn something from watching it–mainly that being how the enemy of God is using any/all methods today to portray the God of the Bible as evil [which this film does–as do the books by the same author] children, who’s minds are easily influenced by fantasy on film, may be damaged.

    My posting the article about this film was to offer parents with children still at home, an opportunity to see and read what is in it before just accepting it as a harmless little fantasy movie they may unknowingly send their children off to watch on a Saturday afternoon.

    God bless…

  5. Patrick and PJ,

    It is interesting, and disheartening, to see the affect our society has had on Christian discernment.

    That Christians can honestly talk of “[seeing the] movie in an attempt to discuss it and be informed” when to do so is to line the pockets of those that willfully vilify and ridicule God is incomprehensible!

    That one would consider advising that their [grand]children be allowed to go but not “to go alone [without them there to explain the contents] to watch this movie” is totally unbelievable. Children are not “little adults” and exposure to this sort of propaganda, with or without adult commentary, is harmful and could possibly result in an eternity in hell for the child. All this simply because the Christian parent/grandparent doesn’t want to be deemed a religious zealot or fanatic. We have, indeed, been well conditioned by our society.

    Do we honestly believe that our God, who has warned us to have no other gods before Him, will wink at our financing such an attack on Him and jeopardizing the eternal lives of our children in the process? Try to think back to God’s word the next time you pontificate on travesties such as this, rather than the psycho-babble we’ve all be inundated with since childhood. Pray for Christian discernment, not secular conformity.

    In Christ,
    Joe Martin

  6. Joe, i do understand your position…and i do agree that we must be careful to not compromise our stand as followers of Christ. We must also know and understand our enemy.

    Thats not a recommendation for ‘all’ mature believers to go to the theater and see this film, rather it was a comment in which i said “if” mature believers want to have a discussion concerning its contents, i saw nothing wrong with it. I saw enough at the link which i provided with the OP to know what it consists of..and can discuss it from that alone…

    That one would consider advising that their [grand]children be allowed to go but not “to go alone [without them there to explain the contents] to watch this movie” is totally unbelievable.

    First, you misquoted me which is using a straw-man argument to make your point…no where did i write that i advised that my grandchildren be allowed to go. What i wrote was i warned my children about allowing the grandchildren to go alone.

    Why?: because my grandchildren all are older–all but 2 are older teenagers, two drive.

    Sorry you can’t understand that or find it unbelievable. My ‘kids’ are all mature adults, one is actually middle-aged, and all but 2 of my grandchildren are older teens.

    All we can do as believers when our children or grandchildren become adults [or young adults, as in the case of my grandchildren] is tell them the truth–which i did concerning this film, and pray they listen.

    All this simply because the Christian parent/grandparent doesn’t want to be deemed a religious zealot or fanatic.

    Ummmm, it could also be my friend that we as Christ’s followers need to be careful and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when speaking. ‘Holy’ sounding words without the Holy Spirit behind them, can accomplish more harm then good. When God tells us to be silent, i’ve found its because He knows prayer is the answer.

    God bless..

  7. PJ,

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I apologize for misquoting you but it was not an intentional “strawman argument” but rather an honest mistake. I understand, and agree, that all we can do in such a case is tell them (our children and/or grandchildren) the turth and pray they listen. (I often find myself in a similar situation with my son and grandson.)

    I will also accept responsibility for misunderstanding the overall intent of your posts (and for confusing a statement made by Patrick for one of yours.) However, I can tell you without reservation that what I wrote comes after much prayer and scripture study. I am not trying to sound holy or use “‘holy’ sounding words.” I posted what I posted because of a very real concern over a very real lack of discernment evident among today’s Christians.

    I have been alarmed at the lack of Christian discretion evinced in the choices made by Christians for some time now. I’m confident that you’ll agree this is a real issue with real eternal consequences. Too many of us are willing to forfeit sound Christian judgment in order to be entertained or to avoid being labeled with some variation of the labels previously mentioned. Please note too that I am definitely not writing this as an admonition to ‘wrong-doers’ from a ‘right-doer.’ To the contrary, it is because I have seen these very failings in my own life (and repented of them) that I take stronger note of them in others.

    The affects of a lifetime of seeing Christianity framed (in most forms of media) as evil and every expression of concern over sin as the ranting of a religious zealot are evident in the lives of most Christians today. I find myself hesitant to point out sin and error for fear of being ridiculed. This hesitation is something I have tried, by God’s grace, to overcome.

    So, in summary, while I may have over-reacted to the posts here it was due to reading into them the very real complacency of many professing Christians that I have seen over and over of late. For that I apologize. My tone possibly seemed too harsh, a problem only exasperated by the limitations of written communications. I regret any misunderstandings that may have arisen from that as well. However, the issue I pointed out is very real and something that the Christians of today must deal with, and decidedly, or face the consequences in the loss of our testimony and the possible loss of our precious children. We must be very careful that we don’t play into the hands of those that would attack our Lord.

    Ephesians 6:12 – For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    In Christ,
    Joe Martin

  8. Please forgive my strawman argument comment…i’ve been around too many Christian debate boards. LOL

    I find myself hesitant to point out sin and error for fear of being ridiculed. This hesitation is something I have tried, by God’s grace, to overcome.

    Me too Joe; i believe its the time we live in–a time when being politically correct or non-offensive is the ‘spirit’ of the world. Don’t you?

    Even believers become easily offended today.

    Knowing this, i even try to be wise as a serpent but gentle as a dove, concerning some things i post on this blog.

    Why? because i know if certain topics are presented the way i really want to present them, the reader will be so turned off they will not continue to read through the post.

    Its not compromise, its trying to lead someone to see the truth of the matter for themselves—or allowing the Holy Spirit to use my feeble words to point out something.

    You are 100% correct about the lack of discernment today within the body of Christ: for the most part its non existent.

    For too long the majority has come to rely on the minority to discern for them! This should not be. Every child of God has the same Holy Spirit dwelling within them–the same Spirit which ‘discerns’ the things of God, and that which is not of God.

    But, if its not exercised, this work of the Holy Spirit, we become deaf to what the Spirit of God is showing us. How much better it is to point out the truth, and then allow the believer to learn to discern for themselves. In todays world of ever growing apostasy it is a must!

    My tone possibly seemed too harsh, a problem only exasperated by the limitations of written communications.

    No not harsh at all Joe, your comments were greatly appreciated, you spoke the truth. I think, as you pointed out, writing on blogs [or boards/forums] can lead to mis-communication on all/any of our part at times.

    You and i actually agree Joe…

    God bless,
    pj

  9. From an Associated Press article:

    The previous No. 1 movie, New Line Cinema’s fantasy “The Golden Compass,” nose-dived in its second weekend, coming in third with $9 million, down a dismal 65 percent from its less-than-expected $25.8 million debut a week earlier.

    “The Golden Compass,” which cost $180 million to produce, has done $90 million so far overseas but has proven a dud domestically with just $41 million.

    It is good to see that this movie is failing. It is a shame that anyone paid money to see it but at least many have stayed away.

    The sad fact is that, even though it is loosing huge amounts of money, Hollywood will do their best to crank out sequels and other movies along the same line. Money is of no concern when attacking the Christian faith (or for that matter, America.)

    Joe

  10. I am so glad I found this post.

    I took my son, who is 7, to see this film last week – and I have to admit I loved the movie. However, certain things concerned me, such as the glorification of demons as fluffy little animals. Also, the misuse of the term Magisterium, which is a Catholic term used to describe the House of Bishops. Whether or not you are Catholic is irrelevelant – its a disgrace to take a christian term and use it to describe something supposedly ‘evil’.

    I was careful to explain to my son after we left that demons are not fluffy little animals and we as christians do not want to have a demon accompany us everywhere we go. He’s a bright child who loves Jesus very much, and I think he understood the difference but I feel terrible fear for all the children who don’t… or who havent been educated in Christianity by their parents.

    I really fear for the future of our country. Don’t get me wrong – I am not a book burner or a zealot. I am an avid proponent of the Harry Potter books – they are as much a Christian allegory as the Narnia stories are in my opinion – I am as far from a religious fanatic as you can get. And even I am horrified by what Pullman is trying to accomplish with his writings. To use such a gift in such a despicable way is just… well, despicable. To actually kill God… well I have news for him. Thats never going to happen.

    I’d sure hate to be Pullman on judgment day…

  11. Hi Spring…

    Yes we live in an up-side down world today, where evil is called good, and good evil. This guys book series and movie, seems to fit that perfectly!

    I’d sure hate to be Pullman on judgment day…

    amen…right now he is an enemy to the Gospel…. If he continues in this state, he will die lost. His only hope is Christ.

    Miracles happen though–im one myself! So as long as there is breathe in this guy, he may still be reached!

    Glad you were able to explain the truth to your son…my biggest concern with this film’s release during the holiday season, were the many kids out of school on break, going with other kids without an adult.

    I was overjoyed to read this film didn’t do nearly as well at the boxoffice as predicted. Perhaps that will make the producers re-think making the rest of the series.

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