Released: Avatar and this culture’s cry for Christ

Avatar.  One of the most epic movies of all time.  Some Christians absolutely love it.  Others despise it.  There are theological and entertainment reasons on both sides.  The plot, the graphics, the colors, the dimensions, the fantasy, the storyline…it all just flat-out epic…and controversial.  So, how should a Christian think through these movies?  Enjoy them?  Criticize them?  Fast-forward at the “bad” parts?

One thing is for sure, we don’t have to worry about the world ever completely becoming atheistic.  A great missionary friend of mine showed me how America is becoming more like Asian animistic cultures and less than European atheistic cultures.  “Just look at the movies the media is producing because its what the audiences wants to see.”  So with box office blockbusters like Avatar and Twilight, our culture is becoming far more spiritual, far less atheistic, as well as far less Christ-centered.

I’ve heard many Christians get caught up in the rawr over Avatar because of its absolute, complete paganism…which I totally agree it is.  Its panentheistic with the fact that the “God” is simply everything.  It equates the animal kingdom with the human race.  It promotes creation worship, and it doesn’t even conceive of monotheism whatsoever.  So all of this paganism is absolutely terrible enough for all Christians to stay away from it….right?

Well, there is a completely other side to Avatar.  My pastor and I had a conversation that enlightened me greatly.  In Avatar you have a storyline of a man in one “superior” world going to an “inferior” world as a mediator and actually “taking on the flesh” of the creatures of that world.  This man’s mission is to save the planet’s population by coming in with a warning and good news.  The people of Pandora see their life connected to a tree which is central in their world.  This mediator ends up dying and returning to life.   Continue reading

Framework #27: The Doctrine of Providence – How could a good God allow evil?

free resources for youth pastors and small group leaders

1 – Doctrine of Providence – Problem of Evil (mp3)

1 – Doctrine of Providence – Problem of Evil (notes)

1 – Doctrine of Providence – Problem of Evil (handout)

1 – Doctrine of Providence – Problem of Evil (service)

1 – Doctrine of Providence – Problem of Evil (small groups)

sermon intro video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muJjOmZH7Fc

We’re taking a break from our normal Storyline series that goes through the whole Bible, and we’re going to look at the Doctrine of Providence for this month in our Framework series.  I don’t want our student ministry to just be about “love Jesus”.  I also want us to know the truth of Jesus from His Word.  So we’re taking a long, hard look at what providence is and what it means for our lives.  We call this series Framework because we want God’s timeless truths to be the Framework structure that holds our lives, faith, and thoughts together.  We’re tackling super tough questions in this series, so I hope you enjoy it with us!