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"The Word of God?"

[ This article is especially well-timed because of the current incident involving the movie Money Train, where two youths reenacted a scene in the movie, killing one. To the media: before you jump all over this issue, why don't you think about how copycat crimes such as these are symptoms of the problems of these people, and not the causes? Just because I see a violent movie doesn't mean I'm going to kill someone. It's a sign that something's wrong with you, or you're just plain stupid, if you copy a movie. ]

This is an article published a few months ago in The Dallas Morning News, sent by a local church:

"What Does the Bible Say?
Teaching Through Entertainment"

"Most thinking adults realize that entertainment teaches. The correlation between adultery as entertainment and the viewer seeking these real life experiences is undeniable. Scenes of violence desensitize the entertainee to violence and in some cases leads him to attempt the same. Moral people will try to protect their children, and themselves, from immoral and violent "entertainment". They don't want themselves or their children taught to be immoral and violent.

Movies containing no violence or immorality, which outwardly appear innocent and neutral, can also teach. One such movie is Disney Corporatioon's fanciful production, Pocahontas. Besides being historically inaccurate and by inference a belittling of Christianity, the film is a promotion of pantheism. Pantheism substitutes a "life force" for the Biblical God-Creator. Literally it means god is in everything.

This pantheism is taught by Pocahontas to John Smith, and the audience, as she informs him that every rock and tree has a spirit, that animals are equivalent to people, that rainstorms and rivers are our "brothers", and that, if you cut down a tree, you are an enemy to the great "Circle of Life".

Certain segments of the environmental movement sincerely believe that pantheism is superior to Christianity in that this religion will teach respect and provide protection for all living things. They rejoice to see Pocahontas espouse their cause.

The Bible, however, exposes pantheism as a great evil. In describing those who practice pantheism the Bible says, "They exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."

Then the Bible tells the results of such beliefs, "God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves....For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due....God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things which are not fitting, being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness ... untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful" (Romans 1:24-31).

The Bible and experience teaches that pantheism, as depicted by Disney's Pocahontas, will not bring about an earthly utopia. Quite the opposite. When people are turned from the Creator their evil hearts will bear the fruit of greed, exploitation of the earth, and violence toward their fellowman. A way of life will follow that spreads disease and untimely death.

As we become alert to the entertainment and environmentalist groups which actively promote pantheism, all the more we need to hear the Bible, "Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth" (Eccl. 12:1), walk humbly before Him, live in respect of His creation, and recognize the redemption He offers in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.

If you wish to discuss this further or if you would like to inquire into placing your child where the Word of God is freely taught, please call Pastor *omitted* at *omitted*."

Okay, so where do I start? *grin* I have reread this article many times and have found new things to pick apart each time. I suppose I'll admit that I have never been to this church and I have never seen Pocahontas. I haven't studied Christianity or Catholicism in depth. My view into this article is as a spectator.

Even the opening part of this article is disgusting and false. It claims that because we see violence on television, we will go out and do it in real life. The article goes on to proudly say that perfect people will hide from such hideous television programs. The church places its blame on something else, instead of society. I am a strong believer that strong parenting is essential to bringing up healthy children. If a parent teaches his children that the things on television are fake, and he goes on to educate them about sex, drugs, and all the other dangerous things out there, his children will be more confident when they face these situations. I never had any restrictions placed on what I watched or what I saw. But I was educated well by my parents and my other adult figures of authority that these things were fake and that I had too much going for me to start messing around with illegal things. A growing percentage of children these days grow up with single parent families, or families which can be called "dysfunctional". They watch what their parents do and imitate. Peers also teach them. Movies like Pocahontas do NOT. Children are taught by their friends and parents that fighting and killing is the only way to end a dispute. Now, does the blame go to media or the people who children see every day? And it's funny to see, you know, that America has the one of the largest percentages of Christian/Catholic people in the world, yet somehow the preachings of the Bible aren't helping. Isn't it easy to see that the effect isn't completely caused by mass media? People do stupid things in most cases because they don't know any better.

Going back to how "moral people" will hide from such filth on television, isn't this a bad way of thinking? In order to become more intelligent and thoughtful, one must explore and understand many different ways of thinking, even if they're undesirable or evil. Only by understanding and accepting the evil will one strengthen the good side of himself. Denial is destructive.

It is important to recognize that our desensitizing to the murders and rapes that we see in the news is a natural reaction. It is our attempt to deal with such problems without breaking down completely. We must accept it or else we'll get more frustrated as we see more crimes being committed. This is how we survive through all the evil things happening out there. We have not become desensitized because we see fake death on television.

The article also shows how this church seems to endorse complete faith in a big book. Apparently these people who run the church do not place any importance on independence of thought, or else they would give more consideration to such complex issues. Is this what you would want your children to learn in school? That they are not to think for themselves? Independent thought is one of the things that society lacks right now, and the results of this lack have been shown in talk shows, political party loyalty, etc. Religion is for the heart, not for the mind. I am an atheist, because I believe that humans have represented their hearts as an almighty, heavenly figure or figures. God is actually what is inside our hearts, and that faith that we have in God is the faith we have in ourselves. When we ask God to help us pull through, we are actually asking ourselves to find strength. It is quite clever, though, that humans have been able to turn an abstract concept into something near tangible, such as God or religious locations.

The article bases its criticism on one of the most harmless movies I can think of, Pocahontas, by Disney. Disney is well-known for its beautiful movies which appeal to adults as well as children. Not only is the animation and color fantastic, but the characters come to life and inspire the viewers. But the church flames it, calling it pantheistic, a belittler of Christianity and historically inaccurate. Look, it's just a movie! Disney means nothing more than to let families enjoy themselves at the movies and make some money on the side. Where's the wrong in that? Is Disney trying to spread subliminal messages into today's children? I don't think so. They're a company, and they're out to make money. This church "represents" religion, and it's the one which is trying to pass on subliminal messages.

The religion practiced by the American Indians centered around a pantheistic belief that everything had a soul and that nature was sacred. Romans had the same belief, for they developed household gods for the fireplace, food, and even door hinges. The church denounces pantheism, using the Bible as evidence to support the evil found in such practices. One of the messages we get from the church's article is that it is okay to destroy other animals and plants, since humans are superior to everything else. I hate this line of thinking. Humans have only advanced further than other animals. We are only superior in intelligence, but we are still animals and we are still part of Earth. We have the power to either destroy or help Earth, and we seem to choose to destroy it. There is little respect for nature these days, and the efforts to save vital natural locations are kept up only by a few brave groups. Would God approve of his creation becoming proud (a deadly sin) and not caring for other animals?

This article also belittles many other religions which are based on ideas similar to pantheism. So Christianity is the only correct religion? How do people know this?

The church seems to say that certain people are outcasts and shouldn't be listened to. It even points out that homosexuality is wrong, according to the Bible. I thought one of the teachings of Christianity was that everyone was a brother, and that one should hate no one else. Care to explain such hypocrisy?

"The Bible and experience teaches that pantheism, as depicted by Disney's Pocahontas, will not bring about an earthly utopia." Neither has Christianity, apparently. Look how well the U.S, a center of Christianity, is doing.

When society is currently trying to rebuild its morals, do we need our children being taught such ideas as found in this article? Do we want to shield our children from the problems of society and teach them not to think? Do we want to release naive little kids into the real world? Would God want us to? No...so how can the church proudly claim this is the "Word of God"?

The most amusing thing is that "the Word of God is freely taught" at this church. They seem to be rather opinionated for such a free-thinking church, huh? Maybe they're proud of such hypocrisy?

Pocahontas is an easier target to attack than society is, but we must eventually face what the world is like and try to tackle the problems ahead of us. The sooner, the better.

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