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Encounter questions in Compass


I appreciate the Nov. 8 article in reference to The Golden Compass. I have to confess that I did go see the movie to see what the hype was about. The truth is that the movie is everything that people have warned it to be.

It does have a clearly embedded agenda that is anti-church and anti-Christ. However, the movie is relatively tame in that it has no foul language, no sex, and only fantasy related violence.

I suppose my biggest problem with our tendency to sound the retreat (or call for the boycott) is because by doing so we are isolating ourselves from a very important discussion. We spend a lot of time talking about what we think among ourselves. We’ll debate Calvinism or contemporary music at the drop of a hat – ignoring the fact that the world is lost and going to hell. Our lost neighbors are going to go see The Golden Compass. Our coworkers and classmates will have their eyes dazzled with millions of dollars of special effects and Narnia-like talking animals and snow. They’re going to take their kids to see it. And if they’ve read anything about Compass, they will know that the church is represented in a very shady light.

We can either engage in the debate or talk about how offensive it is for a self-proclaimed God-hater to write a book-turned-movie about undermining the church. I can’t seem to get angry when someone who is lost behaves like they are lost. It’s like getting angry at a baby for being a messy eater – it just comes naturally.

It doesn’t mean that I’m happy about Compass. But, I would also prefer that we lived in a Christian nation where everyone shared biblically-based morals and values. We obviously do not.

Personally, I am thankful that Hollywood made the movie accessible to us as believers. They could have littered the movie with sex and profanity, excluding the evangelical community. But, they made the movie available.

I can’t say that about future installments of Pullman’s trilogy. The sequels to Compass will probably be much more offensive. So, why don’t we engage the culture and engage the discussion – rather than sound a holy retreat?

Perhaps parents should go with their children to see Compass instead of dropping them off with a handful of cash for a night at the movies. Perhaps the church needs to discuss this in a serious way, rather than just clicking “forward” on every hateful email that comes through the inbox.