SOMEBODY POISONED THE KOOL AID! Or, Words and Films Mean Things, a Brief Essay for Christian Critical Thinking Regarding Film.
SUMMARY: We live in a Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) culture. So Here’s a summary of what you’ll see. Read the whole thing, form a habit of reading. And not just fantasy fiction, because that’s another distilled worldview- it’s just not as popular as film and television (which I will refer to as film). Don’t dismiss this because you’re lazy and claim you don’t have time- you do. It’s just that you don’t care enough to finish listening with your eyes when you could be scrolling on something else that lights up addictive dopamine receptors in your brain.
Films are fundamentally distilled philosophy forming a godless worldview.
That Worldview is then constantly being given as a low dose poisonous “Kool-Aid” catechism to you and your children. It will kill you, and them, spiritually without greater offsetting effort from you.
You allow the film access to update your “worldview software” automatically while you lay passive- a sleeping beauty, pricked by maleficent.
The principles of desensitization, jamming, and conversion utilized by the homosexual movement.
How to combat indoctrination.
Talk with your kids about what was outright sinful or unbiblical. You need to know as well. Turn on those subtitles and read the script of your children’s (and your) movies. Don’t be an empty mouth breather while you watch!
An appeal to fill yourself equally, and more so, with the real water of the Word and Prayer.
***Use the Bible, use the book “How to Read a Book” and Catechize yourself and your children.***
A brief Introduction to this Essay intended for the help of fellow Pilgrims stumbling along the way,
Hello, mature Christian. It’s time we talked about that elephant. The one in your living room. That dark, mythic mirror you gaze into on the couch, conjuring the images you desire like Maleficent herself whenever you wish. Its dark reflective surface at your beck and call. This mirror reflects you. In a way, you are a conjuring magician with a black mirror at your command. Maleficent comes to mind, but you’re thinking on the wrong side of the mirror. Because you input for a second to receive for hours- to be influenced, to be passive, to be teachable.
Once you’ve conjured the image, you become Sleeping Beauty. Brain-dead on the couch in our metaphor. The goal here isn’t to get you off the couch, not even to turn off the mirror. Rather, Lord willing, we can wake you up so you can see what’s going on. No need to strain gnats out of your drink, we just need to strain the poison out.
At the risk of sounding pretentious, (I warned you) your thoughts (or lack thereof) on the media (or as Plato would have called them, the muses, or lower forms of philosophy) are ignorant at best. Christian or not. You can be sure of two things when you’re watching any film: As a Christian, your theology (knowledge of God) is different from those people producing the film, and so is your worldview (the way we see Truth, morality, history, even mankind in the world). While you are moved by dancing images, things are being said about:
What you believe.
What you should believe.
What you need to change.
There is a constant linguistic pressure, from both performed dialogue and the language of film. The language of film is familiar, you just don’t realize it. You’ve learned to be literate in film by exposure. A camera looking up shows that person has dominance, a camera looking down makes them diminutive. This is caught, not taught to the casual viewer.
You need to think of anything captured on film (or digitally recorded) as “a conversation.” It is inherently an activity. What follows will explore this in detail. If you are a Christian, even a baby Christian, do not ignore this. Do not be lazy here, Christian. There is a language to motion pictures. With film, comes a grammar, logic and rhetoric.
You might doubt what I’m saying. Hear out my argument, and decide for yourself. Hopefully you do the same with everything else.
I saved the most damning evidence for the end, but don’t cheat. So we begin.
- FILM IS SAYING SOMETHING, AKA IT’S A WORLDVIEW PRODUCT
We explore the unknown vicariously through story, and that story contains the worldview or beliefs of its creator. Nothing in film is there by accident, despite the claims of evolutionists (who believe time and chance slap together all sorts of creations). There may be mistakes, improvisations, changes in dialogue or camera angle, even errors with props. Ultimately, every scene in the completed cut of the film was left in by choice. The film’s production is aimed all along the way. In most cases, the director is there for the vast majority of the process, especially if he has “final cut privileges.” The “auteur” director is a sort of “god of his universe.” Think of Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch or Martin Scorcese. He is the shaper of all things in the film, and the final cut of a film didn’t get there by chance and time. Films have a process, that’s why the academy gives awards to writers, directors. and editors (who cut films).
Films have a creator, that creator has something to say. The director is the key to the production. The writer(s) (and many times, director) begin the process. A director has a vision for the selected script, and it gets recorded on film. Everything in the film is part of the vision, even by proxy. Down to the stock footage, the books on the wall, the lights, the music, the camera angle, the dialogue, who’s in the movie, where the cuts are, what scenes stay. Everything is honed, specific, and aimed at your heart in any film with structure. Unless you’re watching art house films, and in that case, you’re probably the pretentious one.
A film is aimed right at your heart, piercing it through your eyes and ears, then through your mind. It’s aimed squarely at your mind, will, and emotions. Film is as near to magic as a humanistic secularist will get. A sweet and strange spell cast wherein you become spellbound. Carried off to some otherworldly reality. But that film reality has a creator, and more often than not, he wants to tell you about life, and what to think about your life. But he’s not looking into the camera from the movie to tell you his message unless you have his commentary track and even then, a good magician never reveals his secrets… He’s mixing ingredients and symphonically waving his hands to tell you.
A film is a symphony of ingredients mixed together to form a final product: entertainment.
Lights (set the mood)
Camera (aims the gaze)
Action (allures the mind)
Dialogue (enhances the illusion)
Score (enhances the mood and thoughts)
A visual symphony aimed at entertaining us. We entertain thoughts. We also entertain ourselves by killing time, by switching off. Are you not entertained?
Film can be both the distraction and the point. The very purpose of Film is to fool you. Like a magic show. Fools like to waste time. Fools are willfully ignorant and easily persuaded. Fools like being lied to. Fools don’t believe in God (Psalm 14). To quote Michael Caine’s magician in “The Prestige,” “You want to be fooled.” Wanting to be fooled is no virtue.
It was once said, “if you want to send a message use western union.” This is no longer the case. It’s become nearly routine to have an “urgent” message. But the fruit from our culture’s message is sometimes difficult to see for quite awhile.
- IGNORANCE IS DEADLY, AKA SLOW POISON
We’re going to explore the metaphor a little here. If you want to keep moving, jump down to the next section.
The haunting agony of children’s screams, poisoned by their own parents is now silence. Their parents poisoned too, with spiked Grape “Flavor-Aid.” The tapes of the sickening event still exist, but the Jonestown cult is now a distant, hazy nightmare. The turn of phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid” remains as a stark reminder of the dangers of ignorantly going with the program and imbibing the “flavor-aid.” Soaking up a culture without really knowing what you’ve gotten yourself into. Joining the culture in celebration.
Film is undeniably a part of our culture. It is the opiate for todays masses, but that opiate is poison.
Scripture says we must be washed in the water of the Word (Ephesians 5). We prefer to drink from a well of entertainment with a cultural cup, so to speak. 2 hours worshipping God on Sunday (if the game’s not on). The culture takes that water and poisons it. The poisonous philosophy is in our culture and its beloved worship form, the arts (media). It’s easily concealed with special effects, emotional writing, or snappy editing. Oh, and don’t forget the glowing review.
You don’t fall for any of that, you only watch to fit in with the “trending” discussion on social media, at gatherings, or at work. We’ve gotten that stupid. The mob isn’t insane anymore, it’s the voice of the people, and they decide!
That poison in the cup isn’t enough to change you in one sitting, but that’s not the goal. This is slow poison, it’s desensitization. It’s 5 percent at a time, just poison concentrate. It’s not real poison, just a poison cocktail. Never thinking to ask if there’s anything but “popular entertainment” in it. “Why’s the water purple now?” Who cares? It tastes good! It’s normal not to know, and not to care what’s in the (media) cultural cup you’re drinking from. Isn’t it amazing! The water drawn from the well is flavored! How entertaining! The flavor-aid tastes good, plus, it hides the bitter taste of reality. A sweet 23-240 minute escape from reality. While your Bible, and your family, and your brain all collect dust.
You keep coming back for more. We need to drink (to rest and be entertained) to live in this metaphor. Maybe your poison is “A Handmaid’s Tale.” Maybe the flavor aid is all the positive spin around something inherently anti-Christian. It tastes liberating. Look how kool you are talking with your koworkers by the well at work. Only, the thing spiking your “Kool-Aid” show or film isn’t Russian vodka, it’s the other Russian favorite, poison. A worldview steeped in the fool’s worldview, the death of a thousand torturous angst-ridden thoughts of poisonous discontentment. A nice, slow kind of death.
In case you haven’t caught on, what you watch isn’t just a pleasant, relaxing break from reality. It’s a microdosed jug of Kool-Aid with backwash from the strung out hobo that crashes behind the Hollywood sign. You’re almost always consuming a metaphorical mild dose of toxic, hallucinogenic poison. All media has a message, because it’s used by people. The etymology of the word itself makes this clear: a medium, a transporter of ideas. So what’s in the Kool-Aid? Will it aid you in being kool with your koworkers? Corpses are cool, too. Literally, touch one.
The visual medium contains rhetorical ingredients, so to speak. Film has a nutritional value, and that value is already very low considering all the metaphorical sugar. The flavor aid is quick, easy, convenient, and conceals all kinds of ingredients nicely. Kool-Aid sweetens the bite of the poison in a given culture. You’ve heard the narrative enough times, you’ve adjusted to the droning noise in the background, it’s normalized, it’s gone. You start to like the metallic aftertaste of postmodernism. Desensitizing, right? You don’t react to the sensory stimulant anymore. So now the cultural Kool-Aid doesn’t taste like death when you have half a jug on the couch with your wife on Saturday night. It’s disturbing when you think about it. I mentioned postmodernism, and you probably don’t know what that means. That’s ok, filmmakers, authors and artists will teach you. Shut up, open your mouth, eyes, ears, and mind. It’s really not so bad once you get past the taste. Go back to sleep, they were having fun.
Back to actual Jonestown for a moment. The people at Jonestown weren’t thinking about it anymore, they were entertained. They liked how they felt. No need to think. They stopped looking to their Bible as the standard. Jim Jones was all they needed, their infallible prophet. (Society tries to claim Jones was a Christian. He was not. And actively suppressed any Christian sentiments. So much for the Bereans. It’s interesting to not how every cult moves the people away from the Bible after abusing it to their own ends.) The Jonestown victims had been willingly desensitized, jammed, and converted in a slow indoctrination until they couldn’t tell which way was up. Those Flavor-Aid suicides had practice runs and rehearsals. Lectures. Entertainment. Deceit. Repetitions until it was decision time. But how easily we forget the lessons. The phrase “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is ubiquitous. People use it to joke about crossfit and veganism. The term lost its bite at some point, it’s not a sensitive spot anymore. Now it’s more of a joke than an earnest warning. But that’s the point of rhetoric, and that’s just the way we like it when it comes to what we consume.
You don’t need your brain. Especially when it’s time to bask in the blue light bingeing on Netflix, right? We’ll joke about it, and then… bottoms up. While someone warns you earnestly of its dangers, you just laugh. Gotta kill the time somehow. “It’s only a little poison though,” you say. “I can look past it.” You argue, “Just don’t ruin my Flavor-Aid grape drink (Favorite Movie or Series) for me by revealing its contents. We don’t need nutritional facts, we know what it is and what it’s made for!” No, you don’t, because the sweetness has a special sting.
The problem is the poison the 6 cups of visually sugared Kool-Aid is snappily concealing. At some point that poison (the worldview) gets mixed in to the kool-aid (film). But don’t think like that, think like a neophyte, your catechesis has begun. Drink up! You actually paid to receive this instruction, and by proxy if it’s from your tax dollars on KPBS.
Somewhere along the road we forgot that art has a message. It has something to say, even when it’s a urinal presented as art (Duchamp). We’re not just talking about paintings, we’re talking about images that move and talk. Multiple senses are being engaged. But if we’re not paying attention, it’s indoctrination. It’s catechesis. Words change meaning, ideas are introduced. This is not about “subliminal messaging” or “backwards masking” hidden in your “secular” album collection turning your teens to worship Satan and sacrifice their goats. It’s far worse, because this is actually happening. It’s killing you softly as you let a film massage you to sleep and have its intellectual way with you. You wake up with a new worldview, conveniently updates without your permission while you were sleeping.
- DESENSITIZATION, OR, THE NORMALIZATION OF NICE.
It’s much easier than “subliminal messaging” and far more dangerous. We’ve come to desensitization, or normalization. Put simply, the removal of natural and aggressive response to a given idea.
When you produce audio normalization makes the low response much louder and the high response much quieter, evening everything to a level acceptable and even. This is done in your mind by repeated exposure, the stress and discomfort goes away. It becomes normal… a habit, a routine, the peripheral normal world. This process is what’s being done to your thoughts by proxy. Allow me to show you how.
Let’s say I want to change your mind, will, and emotions about sodomy. See, I already made you uncomfortable with that word. You already have a picture in mind of who uses that word. The power of association, the power of normalization. People rarely use the term sodomy anymore. But now try to think of the last good portrayal of a biblical Christian in mainstream media. Good luck. That’s why influencing you is a lot easier than you might think, mainly because you don’t… think. Themes, dialogue, trending discussions and rotten tomatoes are all you need to get ignorant Christians to drink up. Certified fresh! Throw in a “bible thumper” and a relatable homosexual. Have some dialogue between them, look how hateful that bigot is to the poor homosexual who’s just trying to make a living. Live and let live! You just gulped down some major philosophy. The worldview undergirding it was poison. I just described a Christian favorite show, by the way. More on that in a minute.
You have to remember that Marxist postmodernism will cry out about the “dominant culture” while attempting to create a dominant culture. For instance, filmmakers need more minorities represented in their one note ideas about group identity. A clever way to conceal their ideological philosophy with an argument that ideas are not diversity, diversity by their standard is visible. There is no room for diverse thought. Check classroom textbooks. Those ideas are what the film passes on to you while you argue about which actor should have played that role. You missed the fact that you just checked out and got catechized for two hours (and so did your kids). You don’t know anything about existentialism, but your kids just got a two hour class on it, and it’s gonna stick because it was almost all works-based application.
Frozen and Frozen 2 are absolute ideological existentialist postmodern feminist nonsense. Stop letting your kids watch them until you know how to talk to them about what Olaf is saying about the world and who that Danish author is in Frozen 2 that unlocks the meaning to the movie. You didn’t catch that moment, did you? No, because you assumed it’s a kid’s movie. Here’s your catechism for today kids, now sing along! “You feel what you feel, your feelings are real.” This is one of the most reprehensible ideologies to ever be pushed on children. The heart is deceptive above all else.
Many of the philosophers (and some theologians) famously used dialogues to carry their point more effectively. Before you dismiss the thought of philosophy as a dead, or boring idea, consider this. Society thinks you’re too stupid to think for yourself. Remember that Frozen 2 Danish Author. They keep you busy and stupid (when’s the last time you read something written before 1850?).
Some brief diagnostic questions regarding desensitization:
When’s the last time you didn’t watch movies (christian movies after 1970 are garbage) for a week?
When’s the last time you didn’t listen to nonchristian podcasts for a week?
When’s the last time you didn’t listen to nonchristian music for a week?
When’s the last time you stayed off YouTube or Facebook for a week?
It starts with jokes in the periphery and then steadier and more central representation. Months devoted to speaking about it. Parades. Legislation. More central representation, more legislation. Meanwhile, you start to think it was your idea to be so nice to these ideologies. Maybe you were wrong after all.
Hollywood convinced you’re too stupid to ask demanding questions of entertainment, even though it’s “just entertainment” and you remind everyone that “I can shut my brain off.” Perfect! Films count on that. The Academy got the message, and so did society- a long time ago. When marriage became anything other than between a man and a woman, that wasn’t because people magically changed their minds, it was a unified effort that combined schooling and the fabric of media (arts, music, film…). The academy and the arts will tell you exactly what to think and believe about reality and truth. They’ll tell you what to think and how to vote. Remember all the moronic celebrities singing “imagine” to you? They’ll tell you what to do, what to think. Many Christians are just dumb enough to listen. The pastor gets blasted for telling others how to live their lives, while film/television/arts tells you exactly that. They make judgments about you, and you’re cool with it. That is the worst part. You’ll even DEFEND THEM DOING IT! I have to be clear here, the media has a right to say what they want, but you have a right to be smart enough to acknowledge it and not get desensitized.
Because on the couch, you just consume. You don’t ask questions about the films or television you consume. Which is why you didn’t notice the bitter note at the end of that drink. You don’t know why you exist- oh, actually it’s just to have a good time on the ferris wheel. Something about that bitter note stings. The bitter note was the poison in the cultural cup (the film). The tinge of anti-male propaganda, the subtle knock at church, the joke about stupid Christians. Do a quick Google search on Gaslighting and its effects, conversion isn’t a sudden thing. You have to jam the person in order to convert them. And by person, I mean their mind, will and emotions.
- JAMMING AND CONVERSION
Let’s illustrate with an example that pains me to make, because I love “The Office.” Angela from “The Office” is the only Christian some people “know”. Oscar’s a nice guy, he just… you know… likes men. Oscar is just a nice, quiet guy trying to get on with life, and in many households at the time he was (and likely still is considering 4.5% of the population uses that title) the only gay guy some people “know”. Michael makes jokes about Oscar’s proclivities and they’re meant to be wrong and uncomfortable, the finger points to you and Angela. Subtly, you can see what snuck in here. Angela and Oscar, are giving you quiet lessons on how to interact with people. Christians are uptight, vindictive people that lead double lives. Sodomites are intelligent, quiet people that lead double lives. Sodomites are nice, Christians are mean. Christians should shut up, Sodomites should speak up… OH LOOK, Jim and Pam are soo cute. Wow! What were we talking about? Right. I almost forgot because of the editing.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy “The Office,” but with an engaged mind. You know the specific cultural instruction contained in Oscar, and you’re ok with it. You shouldn’t be ok with it, it should bother you that it’s there in conjunction with Angela. It’s more than a nuisance, it’s catechetical instruction. Don’t forget that Halloween episode, with Oscar dressed up as a woman, you remember. Did something taste bitter when Michael made fun of Oscar for dressing up as the opposite sex? It’s wrong, and it’s not funny. Go back and watch that episode. You can’t identify what was in your Kool-Aid, because you weren’t paying attention. It’s doubtful the people at Jonestown noticed the poison. Maybe they just stopped caring. Maybe you stopped caring, maybe you didn’t notice…
But your brain did.
What’s a picture worth? Remember all those blank squares on Instagram? The virtue signals got fired up. No one stopped to think for a second, everyone was whipped up into a frenzy. The Black Lives Matter 501c3 was happy to sneak in by the back door and go after the patriarchy, nuclear families, and “heteronormative” instructions, while supporting the wholesale genocide of children in the womb. Meanwhile, BLM now rakes in thousands of dollars in support because they just happen to be the name of a movement that hates everything about the gospel. One that you probably got guilted into sharing. That’s another conversation.
If a blank picture is worth a thousand words; how many words is a motion picture worth? Let’s skip the math. We’ll just call it symphonic catechetical instruction. There’s a saying from a popular online film critic, “you probably didn’t notice, but your brain did.” This message permeates camera angles, score, dialogue, theme, and action. It gets into the worldview behind what you consume. You’re here to drink the kool-aid, remember? Open up for cultural catechism. A production (film) has a purpose and theme. Somewhere between Don Quixote and Aesop, the studio sets off on a quest to create the story the filmmaker has in his head.
Let’s be clear, theatre began as a religious and civic endeavor in both Western and Eastern culture. If you’re going to school for film, acting, or criticism you’re going to get philosophy and psychology classes. Guaranteed. Why? (glad you’re finally asking critical questions). A story is at its core a human event, with conflict that rises and falls, and a way to get through that conflict. That way will be a way, in the creator’s mind it’s likely the way. An ideal. The creator is telling the world his story, he is creating characters that embody his ideal, dialogue to reveal the things he sees in people, and action regarding the ways you (the viewer) need to fix them. It’s just an imaginary world, but one that’s giving you ways to solve problems and ways to think. They’re giving you a worldview, a way of looking at the world. Maybe you think I’m crazy, or maybe you want to throw your dark mirror into the trash and cut yourself off completely from society. Maybe you should if you’re immature, Christian. Why do you think part of the Pixar film Onward was edited out for the release in Russia? They know propaganda and cultural subversion there like the back of their mittened hands. I’ll let you look that up and find out. I’ll give you a hint, homosexual propaganda.
For the Christian, this is not a call to monastic isolation to ponder intellectual assertions. There is a question. Are you a baby, or are you mature? Babies put everything they see in their mouth without thinking. Mature people know what not to consume. To be clear, this is not a call to join the Amish, King James Only-ists, or the Westboro Baptist Church. Heresies aside, those are extremes. Those extremes also inform Angela. “Don’t forget not to be like Angela,” society tells you. Be like Oscar. He belongs in the open, you belong in the shadows. Angela isn’t wrong in some of her convictions, the problem is she’s a lying hypocrite. How should a Christian proceed? The key is cautious questioning, being aware of what you’re taking in. You can’t afford to shut your brain off to watch a movie. You can’t afford to shut your brain off reading the Bible. Take every thought captive… when you feel like it, right?
Remember, in Genesis 3, Satan proposed a question to Eve based on an object that she could stare at, spinning a story around that object. Look at this! Let me tell you about the world. Did God really say? I’ll only make you wise, don’t worry, I’m not killing you. I’m just bringing a curse to you and your husband, and damning one of your children for eternity (Cain). But what a delight to THE EYES! Subvert your husband, he’s too lazy to care. You really DESERVE this.
Our society preaches a gospel of discontentment, and we love it. Porn is the gospel of discontentment just the same as feminism. Worship yourself. You feel what you feel… right?
- CONVERSION CONTINUED, or, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
What you fill yourself with spills out of you. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Have you ever said something you heard somewhere, because you thought it was true but couldn’t remember where you got it? Someone else’s thinking spills out of you. You do it all the time, everyone does. It’s because those thoughts are part of your thinking now. You’re constantly drinking up society and eventually it’s gonna spill out (in the metaphor). But most of what society is telling you doesn’t match up with objective morality, specifically scripture.
Allow me to illustrate the implications of mindlessly consuming film and television. “looking past” the things you don’t agree with. We talked about “The Office” earlier, remember that Halloween episode? Good, you were paying attention.
Let’s go further to illustrate this metaphor. You can not tell me that sneaking a little bit of dog crap into a peanut butter banana smoothie somehow makes you feel refreshed. Just because you can’t smell it, and can’t taste it, doesn’t mean dog crap was not on the list of ingredients. Don’t tell me that it’s good for you, either. You don’t have to drink the smoothie, but we all do it at some point. Maybe not every ingredient is dog crap, and maybe there’s a right way to go about it.
If you think actively and look at what is going into the smoothie, you can stop the dog crap from going into the blender. Michael and Dwight shouldn’t distract you from active thinking. It’s fine to laugh, but make sure it’s not shutting off your brain. The Sith lord costume is funny, Kevin wearing spandex is funny, the man dressed as a woman is not. If we ask questions about what’s being said (the main ingredient, the big idea), maybe we can find a way to parse the good from the bad. Is the Halloween episode saying something about identity, about how others see themselves? Oscar walking out of the men’s bathroom with a dress on. What’s that about? It seems random, but it’s not. It’s in the final cut, the final edit FOR A REASON. Scenes don’t accidentally end up in a movie or show by accident. There is a cutting process, a blending of ingredients.
Not all the ingredients are bad, perhaps it has virtue. It’s your responsibility to find that virtue. The redeeming qualities, because nothing’s perfect. That’s absolutely true. But there’s a lot of dog crap masquerading as peanut butter on the menu. There’s a difference between Fifty Shades of Grey and Pride and Prejudice. Between Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.
We’ll take it a step further. We’ll leave “The Office” and go to something that was once more glorious in its heyday and more beloved by many a “Christian”. Christians everywhere were abusing their liberty by obsessing over the HBO version of Game of Thrones. Let’s be frank here, you cannot be a mature Christian and find any season of Game of Thrones satisfying, period. There is no place for that amount of nudity and sexually explicit material. The subversion of what is pure and good. Perhaps you can say that it reminds you of the depravity of man. Maybe you’re thinking I sound like Angela now. But being a mature Christian and loving “Game of Thrones”? That is as much a fiction as Game of Thrones itself. That’s like saying you spread your dog’s crap and some jelly on two pieces of bread because your dog ate all the peanut butter and you wanted a PB and J. Go buy some actual peanut butter and stop eating crap. You’ll get more out of Dune or Lord of the Rings, especially on revisits. Game of Thrones was a nasty dog turd that was rotten before it got to the later seasons. It was rotten from Episode 1. You enjoyed it because you couldn’t smell. (2 Corinthians 2:16)
Do you smell dog crap? Go sit in a room with it for four hours. Your brain tunes it out. At some point of exposure, we forget the odor. You leave the dog crap on the floor long enough, you won’t notice the smell. You just tune it out. This is why it’s key to make some distinctions when it comes to the acceptable parameters of entertainment filling your screen. To be clear here, language and violence aren’t on the same level as sexual sin. There is a difference between necessary violence and murder. There’s a difference between coarse language and blasphemy. But here’s the clincher! Sexual acts portrayed on screen are always sinful to observe, nudity onscreen is ALWAYS sinful to observe. Male or female. Maybe you haven’t read Sun Tzu, maybe you haven’t read Scripture, maybe you don’t avert your eyes, maybe you haven’t stopped to think about what you’re taking in. You are at war, and you are asleep when the battle is happening. You think that’s ridiculous? It happens. It’s just as bad as what you’re doing when you switch your brain off. Eventually you say something you know you heard somewhere, you’re just not sure where. A wise man once wrote “somewhere it is said…” That’s what writers bank on, your memory. The author of Hebrews knew he’d read what was written somewhere in Scripture, but you don’t read your Bible. At least, not as hard as you Netflix. Writers and producers take that to the bank. They also bank on you being passive when they push the product.
Filmmakers count on you being stupid.
For the most part, the academy wasn’t wrong about Christians, more concerned about being cool and nice than being consistent with the truth. You got duped by Will and Grace’s gay friend. The one Angela (from “The Office”) complained about while she hated on… wait a second. They downplayed it, and you were duped. You got duped by the stupid lazy husband in every comedy. You got duped by Angela, the bigot Christian. You got duped by someone else’s definitions of kindness, bigotry, love, and hate somehow becoming yours. The whole point of Angela is to make a joke of something of earnest importance (for more, see Aristotle’s Rhetoric). Thus ever reminding Christians how stupid they are when they sound like Angela. So better not speak up, right?
“You hate gay people” they say. While you were rushing to defend the line of attack, saying you don’t “hate gay people” the academy already advanced and flanked you, and now you’re forced to retreat. Just let gays get married, that’s all. It’ll stop there. Wrong. “The Office” wants Angela to shut up about sodomy. Speaking up is being homophobic. Chuck and Larry, right? Pretty funny, right? Because they’re not gay. But now you could imagine two dudes getting married it if you or someone you cared about were gay, right? Wrong.
Don’t miss this! The film industry banks on your heart strings being accessible and your brain being “turned off”, so the filmmaker can install the Worldview 22.214.171.124 software into your thinking. How do you install updates to the software on your computer? You can update your worldview automatically, or you can make them ask permission before they upload. Be a demanding watcher of film.
Is this a nebulous, shadowy conspiracy that’s aimed at world takeover? For the most part, no. At least not actively. It’s an internal guilt trip on the part of content creators. The burden of “responsible” fame. The guilty mind needs to do something with its guilt. Money and white-ness are power, and so they think of Uncle Ben from Spider-Man (with great power…). We have a bunch of money (thinks the academy) we better make sure we’re using it to “benefit society”. Looking at you, PBS. Hollywood has to think, what’s good for society? We’re taking money from the people in droves. The working man needs to get something out of the pictorial escape we give him. Teach him how stupid he is, and that he treats women like garbage, but he’s too stupid to see it. Consider it a social service. At least Hollywood sees it that way. Others are the mediators of a new priesthood. The priesthood of secular humanism. Driving you and your children over a cliff. Art is not for art’s sake, it’s for agenda’s sake. It’s not a world takeover limited to the people involved. It’s a worldview takeover.
7. WAR OF THE WORDS
Discuss the film or series with someone who has a Biblical worldview. See how it lines up with Scripture. Don’t just fill your time with Netflix, HBO, YouTube, and movies.
Words mean things. Screenwriters know this. The academy knows this. Speech is thought communicated. So suppress it. Change the meanings of words. Use them against your audience in clever ways.
Let’s illustrate. How about homophobia? I’m not a homophobe, you say. The academy responds, “Ah, but are you a “fundamentalist” Christian like Angela?” You respond as kindly as you can, truly loving the person asking the question, so you throw the softball. “No, she’s mean and uptight. God loves the sinner but He hates the sin.” The academy has you dead to rights. “Which sin is the LGBTQ (an inconsistent mess of conflicting definitions of identity that become the opposite of community) community guilty of?” They ask you, feigning curiosity. You pause, beginning to see the walls closing,“well, immoral sexual actions with each other.” The gotcha moment is prepared as the tattooed humanist zealot moves in for the kill, “you mean outside of marriage?” You let the marriage argument go, it’s legal in the state’s eyes you think… So you have no ground, you’ve delineated sinners from sin, so you stick with that. You blurt out “it’s sin no matter what. God offers the person repentance and love in Christ.” The androgynous person before you straightens its asymmetical purple hair, relishing the moment. “That’s homophobia. The act, desire, and identity all compose it. You’re a bigoted fundamentalist, and your hate has no place here.” You’ve lost the argument, by every standard. Winning arguments isn’t everything, but you’re defenseless. Hopefully your conscience hasn’t been taken captive by the pseudo-religious guilt trip that just got laid on you.
I’ll illustrate this further, and this time not using scripture. Just pragmatic liberty. I recently read an opinion piece about the Spartans, it posited that the Spartans were actually petty and pathetic. They didn’t know how to forge a winning alliance. But the writer forgot something. Virtue, principle, ethics. Something worth dying for. If you’re not willing to die for something, you don’t actually believe anything. You’re living for nothing.
You’re told to keep your religion to yourself. But watch the magic trick. Film and television push their views about God on you. They force their views about Jesus on you. You’re a captive audience to their worldview, and you don’t care. You actually help to fund it. The academy says, don’t talk about God while we tell you what to think about Him. They assume He doesn’t exist, or if He does, He’s not who He claims to be. Words mean things, and ultimately either way, it is about God. It is either compatible or incompatible with what is written. There isn’t a neutral. Especially not when you read Scripture as the infallible, inspired, inerrant Word of God. But they’ve got you captive to their religion.
8. THE PAYOFF
Film and television productions are preaching. This preaching requires its dovetail. It’s a favor from writers, directors and actors to the Church, or so they think. “Do you want more people in your churches?” Then they continue their hellenistic monologue, “well you better listen up, this is what we want, this is how you are, here’s what you need to change if you want to see us in your church. Better lock step!” The desire for numbers in the church. Metrics become a tool for the approval of man to soften the Church. But that’s another discussion altogether.
“We want more people in the church, we’re seeker-sensitive. Review us on Yelp! Give us feedback so we can know how to make you more comfortable next time you show up!” We aren’t negotiating a business deal when we’re worshipping God. They don’t want your feedback, they want your mind, will, and emotions. They want you to pay for it, too. You’re buying a lifestyle that’s a religion. They’re not just making movies, they’re honoring their household gods. They are worshipping their gods. We’re worshipping. It’s culture, remember. Cultus. Cult. How’d that get there. How’d cult get in that word? And here we are, full circle. The Kool-Aid of the culture. It’s a cosmic joke, right? Just laugh it off. Just dance it off. We’re just cosmic gasbags. We both know why you’re here… on the couch. Turn off your mind, it doesn’t matter, we’re just matter. That’s what film and television want you to think. Here’s what they want you to do. What feels right. Feel. Follow your heart. The heart is deceptive above all else. But don’t worry, the only agenda is your conversion. Indicatives and imperatives. We have ourselves a new conversion. They want converts, too. They want your modernist meekness. They don’t want your fundamentalist feedback, and they won’t give you a refund.
But that’s insane! Who would really believe this?
“We mean conversion of the average American’s emotions, mind, and will through a planned psychological attack, in the form of propaganda fed to the nation via the media. We mean ‘subverting’ the mechanism of prejudice to our own ends—using the very processes that made America hate us to turn their hatred into warm regard—whether they like it or not.”
-From the book “After the Ball- How America Will Conquer its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 1990s”
So what do you do, mature christian?
9. Now What Do You Propose I do?
Hide? No. Watch solely Christian media? Heavens, no. Pathetic imitations with equally pathetic worldviews on “positive, encouraging thinking” do you no good. Throwing bad theology onto a stupid postmodern worldview with washed up actors and terrible writing doesn’t make anything better. It just makes you more vulnerable when the storms come. It’s hard to “positively think” your way out of persecution.
With all this talk about religion and poison, there is an antidote. It hearkens.
Ask some of these questions:
What is the theme?
Is there truth? Where does it come from? Objective/Subjective?
How does the dialogue inform the events on screen?
What does the dialogue tell you about life?
What do they say about morality?
What’s their view of God?
What’s their view of religion?
Is there virtue?
What do the filmmaker’s think the “right” thing is in this situation?
Does this agree with scripture?
PRO TIP! Do your brain a favor and turn on the subtitles. Consider what’s written down, look for patterns. Look for assertions and arguments. Sometimes the dialogue frames the action in a metaphor. Think about how Jesus uses the parables. Symbolism is film. It is fundamentally a part of film.
Read scripture, pray, study. Read the book, “How to Read a Book” and use those principles for watching a film. Remember, a screenplay is a piece of writing.
May God bless you in this endeavor
AN ADDENDUM FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR CHILDREN
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
I Cor 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.
Eyes to see and… what?
Ears to Hear. Surely, at the times Christ was speaking, there were plenty of sounds: livestock, people whispering their commentary of Christ’s words, in some places the bustle of Temple activity, crying babies. But these were not the only distractions. The heart is deceptive above all else. Man’s heart is wicked. As many did not hear what Christ was saying, many more didn’t hear what Culture was saying against Christ. Many fell into heresy because they were ignorant, blind, and led astray like Ritschl into believing the social gospel and with Schleiermacher that feelings are sufficient tools for “christian experience.”
There is a distinctly Christian worldview. Then there is one that is distinctly not, but somehow uses Him as a lifeless, effeminate prop devoid of divinity(PCUSA). There may be places where natural law and God’s Law meet up because they share the same Creator, but this is seldom the case when man gets involved. Listen closely, look closely, don’t become a slave to silly myths. Besides, they only want your kids. Don’t believe me? Read your Bible before you read the news.
Spend time in Scripture, do a yearly reading plan. Lead your family in family worship! Catechize yourself and your children.
P.S. IT’S PROGRESSIVISM, REMEMBER? SEMPER DEFORMANDA (ALWAYS DEFORMING)
Just follow the BLM (501c3) “We Believe” argumentation on their website from queer sexual identity to their argument about ageism and put the two together. Remember, morals are cultural impositions from “dominant culture.” Do the math. You can’t spell NAMBLA without BLM. Don’t be an ageist bigot. I hope the poison has in your cup has started to make you feel sick. Time to do something about it. If it hasn’t, start reading your Bible. God being sovereign doesn’t make it ok to punt the problem to your kids.
Ask NAMBLA. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid without asking what’s in it. Because Jonestown didn’t become Jonestown overnight.