Posted by: Jim Black | December 9, 2007

The Golden Compass

There’s been a lot of buzz lately over “The Golden Compass”… a new sci fi/ fantasy film that was released over the weekend and has gotten a lot of Christians upset about its content. I have to admit I knew nothing about it until a few weeks ago. Apparently it is based on a series of books that has been criticized (by Christians) as “anti-Christian”. Whether it is or not, I can’t say, since I haven’t read them. The author, however, does claim to be an atheist and the organization in the books that all of the bad guys are associated with is said to represent the church. Whether it is meant to represent Catholicism specifically or all of Christendom… I don’t know. From all that I have read by way of review, the books from which the movie was made does look to contain content that could be considered “anti-church.” I wonder if some of the criticism against Christendom may be deserved at some level? It is no secret that lots of horrible and awful atrocities have been carried out in the name of “the church” over the centuries. I just don’t know the story… maybe some of you can help me?
Regardless, the question remains… should Christians go see it? Your kids may have asked you if they can go. Here’s what I know. The filmmakers have gone out of their way to portray the movie as a simple fantasy and claim that any anti-religious overtones have been stricken from the film adaptation. I wonder, however, if there isn’t a secret aim to slip that back into later sequels. The director recently said that he hoped to be more faithful in the next adaptation to the source material… which I took to mean that he intended to include any anti-religious content later on. That remains to be seen, I suppose. Ultimately it will be up to individual Christians to make the decision whether this is a movie worth watching. No doubt some will be intrigued by all of the fuss and be first in line just to see what all the buzz is about. Some will be standing on the street corner with signs condemning anyone who chooses to view it.
My opinion? I’m probably not going to be in line at the box office or the video counter. Even if it is a good film with a good story, etc…. why would I want to support something that comes with such a potential to do undermine faith? I even wonder if the fantasy element to it doesn’t make it more dangerous than if they had just come out with a clear and simple anti-Jesus message? It seems pretty sneaky to me… which I know is something the devil is pretty good at.
Bottom line… I would skip it. Wait till May, then go and see the next installment of the Chronicles of Narnia series… “Prince Caspian.” It’ll be hard to beat CS Lewis anyway!

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Responses

  1. Jim, I am in your corner on this one. There’s an interesting commentary by Chuck Colson on the movie at this link:

    http://www.breakpoint.org/listingart
    icle.asp?ID=7254

    George T


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