The new CROSS CURRENTS movie review section in the MB Herald, called Great Stories on screen for 2009, says:
As the entertainment world’s attention turns to …outstanding movies for the year, the MB Herald asked some cinephiles among our ranks to offer their suggestions.
Good movies, says the intro, “help us to see our world more clearly,” and “see ourselves as we really are,” while empowering us “to love the world more passionately…and to seek the transformation of the world in the light of the kingdom of God.”
Among the animated features which have been chosen to be in the spotlight by Ken Priebe, an animator and member of Cedar Park MB Church, Delta, B.C., is Avatar:
Directed by James Cameron
Twentieth Century Fox
Avatar explored the way scientific, religious, military, and commercial institutions interact. Despite weaknesses (familiar plot, characters lacking depth), the film moved beyond its breathtaking visual effects to prompt some interesting religious questions. What would be possible if scientists and people of faith united to save the earth from military and commercial conquest? How would the relationship between science and religion be different if faith were measurable? If religious groups are primitive and tiny compared to commercial and military might, would uniting in the face of a colossal task be effective? It’s exciting to see a movie that inspires wonder and hope for the future.
How the MB Herald allowed the promotion of this movie as an inspiration of hope for the future is simply mind boggling. Besides the fact that the message in this movie clashes with the passive Mennonite gospel of preaching peace, Avatar is a platform for preaching a new blend of Hinduism, shamanism, and goddess spirituality. However, this Mennonite magazine is not alone in its downward spiral of compromising Christianity as it grasps at straws to redeem the culture.
Christianity Today, the Emerging Church Movement, Rick Warren’s Global P.E.A.C.E. plan, and those among some mission and parachurch organizations (e.g., those that follow the leadership and teachings of C. Peter Wagner) have a penchant for trying to find buried nuggets of Christ in the culture, or accommodating Christianity to the culture, and vice versa. Many are about sanctifying and redeeming the paganism of a society, or at least trying to harmonize and work with all religions. This is all fodder for syncretism and ecumenism. They are contributing to the religion of the Antichrist.
…Warnings are also clear in the Word of God that a great spiritual battle is being waged all around us, that we are in the days of rampant apostasy in the church, and that we are being subjected to an increasing antichristianity in the world.
–The Avatar Gospel
For more Christian reviews of Avatar from biblical perspective, see these:
The Mind-changing Myths of AVATAR
Blending Hinduism, Shamanism and Goddess Spirituality
Is there anything that redeems ‘Avatar’?