Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Once upon a time . . .

“Once upon a time . . .” Isn’t this how the innocent and wholesome stories are supposed to begin?

I remember, once upon a time, when the movie industry and TV producers insisted that their movies and TV shows and advertisements merely “reflected” society and did not shape it or define it or influence it or inspire it.

These statements were made in response to concerned citizens and especially those who called for boycotts against certain programs and movies.

I don’t know whether any thinking persons actually believed this propaganda, but it was nevertheless what the media elite claimed and propagandized. While they continued “reflecting” the “societal norms,” society and its views and perspectives and ways did most certainly change dramatically.

Now the movie industry in particular is making a different claim. Now, as The Film Foundation is seeking donations and support for the restoration of old films, now they say something else than what they previously claimed. Now, in the preview and advertisement portion of DVDs they are presenting a video saying that films have had much more influence.

The following is a snippet from this new propaganda produced by The Film Foundation. I decided not to include any sound, and to let the primary message be viewed. Watch for the three areas of influence that the media elites now claim:

So, what three things does The Film Foundation now claim that movies do and accomplish?

Wow! So movies and the media do impact and influence and change the views of people after all. So the violence and the sex and the alternative lifestyles and the theology and the immorality and amorality and the acceptance of divorce and promiscuity and the cursing and the foul language and the taking of the Lord’s name in vain and the mockery of Christians and the Christian faith all do influence and define us after all.

And what do we have now that we did not have before? Have things improved?

Are people living happier lives? Are families more stable? Have addictions to tobacco and alcohol and drugs ceased to enslave people? Have child abuse and spouse abuse disappeared? Has the rate of suicide declined? Have people been filled with hope? Has depression become less of a problem? Has the threat of terrorism diminished? Has worldwide hunger been eliminated? Has peace filled the world? Is the Middle East at peace? Has the economy stabilized? Do we face less debt? Do we suffer from less daily stress in our lives? Are people kinder and gentler and more compassionate and charitable? Is there less threat of violence in the public schools and in our neighborhoods?

Wow! So movies define us. Movies inspire us. Movies are what we dream of.

Thanks Clint! You’ve done a great job! Thanks Scorsese! How can we ever repay you?

I pray that you do not receive the payment that you have earned for yourselves.

God grant that you repent of your definitions and inspirations and hellish dreams and nightmares so that what you deserve may be forgiven you. God grant me the heartfelt desire to turn from your promotion of vengeance and self-justice and violence and unbridled lifestyles and self-defined moralities. God grant you freedom from these as well so that we may embrace one another as true brothers and share together in the everlasting joy of His peace and mercy and love.

Yes, this is a genuine prayer and not mockery or sarcasm. This is what the Lord Jesus teaches His disciples to pray continually, especially in the Our Father.

Of course, the movie industry has not forced anyone to watch their movies. They have seduced people and people have been willingly seduced. How many of us who claim to be disciples of the Lord Jesus and members of His body willingly pay to watch movies and TV programs that we know are contrary to His will? How much of our lives do we devote to this so-called entertainment? Has this influenced the life of those calling themselves Christians? Has this influenced the activities of the churches? Do the churches stand apart as lights on a hill or do they imitate the media and incorporate their ways, seeking to lure and seduce people rather than unabashedly preaching the Gospel?

Do Christians need to hear the call to wake up and stop sleeping? Do Christians need to check their lamps for oil and trim their wicks? Are we allowing ourselves to be lulled into spiritual slumber? What things in our lives are defining us and inspiring us? Of what things do we dream?

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