"The Golden Compass"
[Editor’s note: Here is an article from the Dec. 9, 2007, issue of The Persuader, weekly bulletin of the church of Christ in Wheelersburg, OH, by the editor, our good friend Lynn Wessel, who is a faithful gospel preacher with the Wheelersburg congregation. I think it contains some sensible thoughts. Notice, he did NOT says, "It WILL plant seeds of atheism and anti-church in the minds of everyone who watches it" but that "it has the potential." There is a big difference, but that difference is where the danger lies. WSW.]
On Friday, December 7, a movie opened in theaters around the country. This movie is entitled The Golden Compass and has been publicized as a movie for children. For weeks before its holiday season release, this movie has been the subject of much controversy and for good reason.
It was written by Phillip Pullman, a well known atheist. Pullman is an activist against God and anything "church." The Golden Compass is purported to be the ultimate expression of the author’s atheism. Time Magazine (December 3, 2007, p. 103) reported it to be "based on another quasi-religious fantasy novel by a Brit and set in a parallel world in which kids must smite down malevolent forces….The film’s appeal will rest as much on how well the fantasy elements are handled as on how the story’s more controversial anti-church elements have been transliterated for family audiences."
In this movie the "bad guys" are the religious ones and the "malevolent forcers" are those that are religious in nature. As I understand it, in the series of books (written by the same author and called "His Dark Materials") upon which this movie is based, people are led to believe that God/Religion can be successfully opposed and even defeated. This is all based upon the atheist author’s perception and reaction to religion as he sees it with its history that sometimes did/does involve evil done in the name of God. As we know, this is not an accurate representation of God and the religion that is of His Son, Jesus Christ, as taught in the New Testament scriptures.
This brief article is being written to express a word of caution about this movie and to raise our level of awareness concerning its content. It should be approached with great caution, if at all. Children should not be permitted to watch this movie period! (in my opinion); but, if watched it should not be done without supervision and guidance from parents. It is deceptive and misleading. It has the potential of planting the seeds of atheism and "anti-church" in the minds of everyone who watches it. Since it is billed as a children’s movie for "family entertainment" it is especially important for children to be guarded against its evil. When seen from God’s perspective, the compass should be called black, not golden.
‘Golden Compass’ movie opening to controversy
[Editor’s note: And, finally, here is an article to sum it all up. It was written by our good friend David Pratte, who is one of the editors of Family Times: A Home-school Newsletter for New Testament Christians, and also a faithful gospel preacher. It is taken from the Dec., 2007 – Feb., 2008 issue. WSW.]
The above is the title of an article posted on Nov 16, 2007, by Michael Foust at Baptist Press. The quotations I cite below are from Foust and from an article by Adam R. Holz on Focus on the Family – PluggedIn entitled "Sympathy for the Devil," 11/20/07. To see the whole articles go to http://www.pluggedinonline.com/thisweekonly/a0003516.cfm and www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=26849 .
Dec. 7 is the opening of a children’s movie entitled The Golden Compass, based on the first book of a trilogy named "His Dark Materials," by Philip Pullman. The books begin relatively innocently, presumably to gain children’s interest, then they become increasingly overt in expressing anti-God and anti-biblical concepts.
Pullman is an agnostic/atheist strongly opposed to "Christianity." He specifically wrote his trilogy as an alternative to the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. There are many parallels between the two series, except that Lewis wrote to instill Christian concepts and Pullman wrote to contradict them. Pullman’s trilogy is being sold nationwide in schools.
Pullman said in a 2001 interview, "I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief," and two years later told another newspaper, "My books are about killing God." God is often called the "Authority," and the church is called the "Magisterium," but the significance is clear and becomes more overt as the books proceed.
In the last book in the series The Amber Spyglass, two fallen, homosexual angels inform a hero that "The Authority" has many names, "God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty." They proceed to state that God "was never the creator." The hero is also assured that they "tell their believers that they’ll live in Heaven, but that’s a lie."
Another character states: "The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all."
A witch says: "…every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling."
"There’s no one to fret, no one to condemn, no one to bless me for being a good girl, no one to punish me for being wicked. Heaven was empty. I didn’t know whether God had died, or whether there never had been a God at all." (The Amber Spyglass, pg. 445; http://www.sntjohnny.com ).
"[I]f there is a God and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against," Pullman told the Telegraph newspaper in 2002. "As you look back over the history of the Christian church, it’s a record of terrible infamy and cruelty and persecution and tyranny."
In that same interview he said: "I wanted to reach everyone, and the best way I could do that was to write for children and hope that they’d tell their parents … which is what happened."
"Other messages woven into this story exalt witchcraft, evolution, divination, homosexuality and premarital sex. Accompanying them are smoking, drinking, occasional mild profanity and moments of visceral violence."
In the end, the characters in the books kill God.
Pullman has been quoted as saying: "All stories teach," he’s said, "whether the storyteller intends them to or not. They teach the world we create. They teach the morality we live by. They teach it much more effectively than moral precepts and instructions. … We don’t need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do’s and don’ts: We need books, time and silence. ‘Thou shalt not’ is soon forgotten."
Pullman has said: "I am of the Devil’s party and know it."
Movie director Chris Weitz has said some of the more controversial ideas have been removed from the first movie to make it more palatable for the public. "The whole point, to me, of ensuring that ‘The Golden Compass’ is a financial success is so that we have a solid foundation on which to deliver a faithful, more literal adaptation of the second and third books," he said Nov. 14 on an MTV movie blog.
The movie has been highly advertised and well produced, supposedly in the same pattern as the "Lord of the Rings" series. The first movie may not be very objectionable, but parents should remember that it’s goal is to captivate your children, so they will want to read the books and see the later movies, which will be far more objectionable.