Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fighting Back

In case you haven't noticed, the moral framework upon which the great country of America was built, and of which much of the world has known in the past, is degrading, diminishing, and disappearing seemingly more and more each day. In nearly every aspect of life, the dissolving of any sense of decency or morality is evident. However, also in nearly every aspect of life, battles are being fought by Christians and/or moral traditionalists to turn--or at least stem--the destructive tide of which I speak.
Think of the following: Evolution as the preferred "intellectual" and "scientific" explanation of our origins; the Ten Commandments removed from the public eye; chaplains having their religious freedom and honesty deprived of them; "In God we trust," "Under God," and other phrases attempting to be removed from landmarks and traditions; the homosexual and polygamist movements attempting to redefine marriage; anything vaguely Christian trying to be taken out of schools and off public property; the continuing epidemic of abortion; and, of course, the un-yielding progressing (actually digressing) moral degradation of TV and all other sorts of entertainment.
But, in almost all these areas, Christians and others who hold both common sense and a sense of decency are finally beginning to fight back--enthusiastically and often effectively. Here are some examples:

Origins:

Answers in Genesis is set to open their massive, professional, and expensive Creation Museum in 2007 in Northern Kentucky, within relatively convenient reach of Nashville, Tennessee; Cincinnatti, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; and even St. Louis, Missouri. I recommend you check out the links, but here's what you'll find on the front page of the museum's web page:
The 50,000 sq. ft. Creation Museum will proclaim the Bible as supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice in every area it touches on. Set to open in 2007, this “walk through history” museum will counter evolutionary natural history museums that turn countless minds against Christ and Scripture.

The Intelligent Design Movement, (click here for I.D. Net, here for Origins.org, and here for the Access Research Network) continues to make progress in getting a logical, intelligent, and scientific alternate to the Theory of Evolution into the school systems.

Countless other projects also are advocating in powerful ways the fact of Creation and the Creator, including one of the original efforts: the Institute for Creation Research. Other links can be found on my blog as well.

Ten Commandments:

Depending on where you live, you've probably seen little picket signs in front yards all over the place that have the Ten Commandments printed on them. Now, I live in a relatively conservative area, but it seems like I see one in every other yard. This is the result of efforts by Christians who want to restore and preserve America's moral and Christian heritage. One effort I suggest you check out is Written in Stone, although I'm sure there are other efforts. On this particular one's front page, it states an apparent battlecry: Every School, Every Courthouse. Then it states:
With over 75% of the country supporting the public display of the Ten Commandments, Written In Stone is empowering individuals, groups, businesses and even governments to take a stand to restore the heritage of this great nation. While many great organizations and ministries are taking a stand in many different areas, we are committed to be the lead voice in America on the Ten Commandments.

Use my link to find out more.
This is something encouraging I think about the Ten Commandments: The Ten Commandments have gotten more media and secular coverage since it has been attacked then ever before. Not to mention how it's one more thing that is getting Christians pro-active. You know what they say: don't wake a sleeping beast.

Issues of Politics and Religious Freedom:

Activists like Michael Newdow and organizations like the ACLU are constantly trying to destroy not only the religious freedoms of Christians, but also the heritage of America and any symbol of God on public property. On the other side of the coin, however, you can find organizations like the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), headed by Jay Sekulow. This group of lawyers adamantly and effectively supports religious freedoms (including chaplains'), as well as other pr0-moral and pro-tradition ideals, such as traditional marriage. It is a formidable opponent for the ACLU's secular, atheistic, and amoral ideologies.

Marriage:

In this day and age, it seems to be becoming increasingly popular to think that marriage is "whatever we want to be." Yet, Christians know that's not so, and this thought-process is evidently not in the majority, for wherever a marriage amendment has been proposed or offered, it's been passed by the people.
Perhaps you've seen the bumper stickers that have a picture of a stick man, a plus sign, a picture of a stick woman, an equals sign, and a picture of a stick person family. In other words, it says "one man, one woman, equals a family [or marriage]." President Bush supports a constitutional amendment (to see an article from 2004 about the President's support, click here), and whether one is made could hinge on this upcoming election. Voting is as important as it's ever been. Also, there are some petitions that could be signed, but I don't know enough about them at present to endorse them publicly.

Abortion:

I think one of the biggest mistakes the Christian constituency could make would be to give up on the issue of abortion. Abortion is as unconstitutional, inhumane, murderous, grotesque, deplorable, and shameful as it has ever been. A significant percentage of Americans believe that abortion should be illegal except in cases that threaten the mother's life (and whether that is even appropriate is up for debate). So, what are pro-life people doing about it? Well, like most other issues conservatives and Christians face--not as much as they should be doing. But there are pro-life organizations and efforts out there, including the National Right to Life. And, like in other issues, battles are being fought and much again hinges on this election. Vote for life! If you can't vote, get involved where you'll have more than a one-vote effect!

Media:

If you didn't hear, "Air America," a liberal radio broadcasting network, filed bankruptcy. However, conservatives (many of whom are Christians), including Janet Parshall, Albert Mohler, James Dobson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt, and others are doing quite well it seems. Talk radio--and TV--are big battlegrounds that obviously can't be ignored. Even if you don't agree with everything these people believe or their methods or personalities [I've got to admit, I don't agree on everything with everyone on this list] they're better than the flip side of the coin, aren't they? Even a character like a Bill O'Reilly, with his new book Culture Warrior, is fighting against the "secular progressives," as he calls them. Surely he's on Christians' side of the line in the sand, at least on some issues.

Note: I realize some people's qualms about joining people who aren't necessarily evangelical Christians. Those dilemmas are understandable. But issue by issue, I think it's important to stand for what Christians believe in, and sometimes non-Christians see things the same way Christians do, and I think it is necessary and appropriate to join with these people--issue by issue. Especially if protecting this country, protecting the unborn, protecting traditional marriage, protecting Christians' freedoms, or something similar is at stake.


Entertainment:

And that brings us finally to the realm of entertainment, what has long been becoming more and more a quagmire of sin and anti-Christian sentiment. But even in this spectrum, Christians are working so that Christianity and its values are making a come back.

Believe it or not, this article was originally going to be titled "The Movie Movement," but clearly there's been an unforeseen change of direction. Instead this article has been a quick overview and summarization of some of the hot issues facing Christian society today.

My main focus was going to be on the new Bible epic based on the Book of Esther and the novel Hadasseh by Tommy Tenney: One Night with the King. I also wanted to discuss Facing the Giants, a Christian football movie produced entirely by a Georgia [ I think] church for an economical sum (by Hollywood's standards) of $100,000. I even was planning on mentioning the upcoming Nativity Story and perhaps even discuss not as overtly Christian productions such as the Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings, and the Passion of the Christ (yes, this is overtly about Christ, but some would say that it's overtly Catholic, not Protestant). I was even considering doing some research on some other projects that I'm sure are out there.

However, all that will have to wait for a later date. Bear with me, and I hope you enjoyed and got something out of this article.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, I should remind everyone that all of these efforts cannot be sustained without your and my support in four things:

1) Name

2) Deed

3) Finances

4) Prayer

Some efforts need names on petitions. Some efforts need volunteers, or at least help spreading the word about their projects and organizations. Some efforts need financial support, which can often be profitable, when you consider the tangible entertainment value of seeing Christian movies. And all of these efforts need prayer--lots and lots of prayer. It is the easiest thing of the four to do, but often it's the most neglected thing, as well. The Bible affirms and assures that we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13); if we humble ourselves and pray, God will answer our prayers (2 Chronicles 7:14); nothing shall be impossible with God (Luke 1:37; Matthew 17:20; Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27) ; if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4); and if we seek, we will find, knock, receive, ask, be given (Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10)


~Kingdom Advancer

p.s. I covered the things I'm really concentrating on right now, but if anyone knows of any efforts, organizations, or persons on topics worthy of mention, let me know.

Christians should be encouraged by the fact that there are battles for souls and societies going on right now. Win some, lose some, and some are stalemates--but battles none-the-less. This is not a peaceful takeover by the secularists, if they're winning at all.





12 comments:

Dan said...

I was searching for comments on One Night With the King and found your site and this post. Very good summary of the moral decline in the US. Also a great call for advancement of God's Kingdom. I hope and pray that more will find Kingdon Advancing. I will post about it on my Townhall blog and encourage others to check it out. God Bless.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement and endorsement! I read your post about my blog and wanted to note that I've also seen One Night with the King and loved it. As I noted in my original post, "Fighting Back" was supposed to be "Movie Movement"--a full article about Christians in entertainment. But, obviously, things changed and I am currently working on an article more thoroughly about "One Night with the King." I hope to have it published sooner rather than later.

Austin said...

Great post.

What was "overtly Catholic" about The Passion of the Christ? Unless I'm forgetting, there was nothing in it that didn't fit with the gospel accounts or Protestant beliefs. Just because it was produced by a Catholic doesn't mean that it had anything against the beliefs of other Christians.

I used to complain about Catholics, but I've decided to let them be. We have brothers and sisters in the Catholic churches. We can push them to change their false doctrines, but they aren't really all that bad nowadays, especially compared with the Roman Catholic church of the dark ages and the Renaissance.

Anyway, that's beside the point. The point is there was nothing "overtly Catholic" in the movie that I noticed.

There are a lot of good Christian movies coming out lately, now that you mention it. I loved The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Did you know they're making Prince Caspian now? I can't wait until it comes out!

Kingdom Advancer said...

RE: Austin

Here's a few things that I know:

1.)"The Passion of the Christ" focuses on Jesus' suffering--which is not inherently wrong. However, look at the ratio of suffering to resurrection: the resurrection scene is about a 3.5 second part that shows a hole in Jesus' hand.
In this way, Catholics overly focus on the crucifixion rather than the resurrection. It's the difference between displaying the cross in Protestant churches and showing Jesus on the cross, as the Catholics do. Catholics believe that they re-crucify Jesus every mass, which is very unbiblical.
2.) You know the lady who wipes Jesus' face? That's something of Catholic, not biblical, lore.
3.) And, although I haven't researched this too much, I've heard that the story of "The Passion of the Christ" follows Catholicism's stations of the cross, as well as other things.
4.) It was not only made by Catholic Mel Gibson, but he based it off a book by a nun--though I can't totally condemn that formula, since "One Night with the King" is based off the novel "Hadasseh" by Tommy Tenney, not directly after the book of Esther.

Those are just the things I can remember. If you want more in-depth and thoroughly researched resources, visit www.bereancall.org and search words "Passion of the Christ." Some of the resources cost money, but you might be able to find some good, free articles on the topic.
Personally, I think that we should be wary of movies like the Passion, but I think our focus and efforts would be misplaced to try to tear down a movie like this. What we should do is utilize the good elements, and explain and correct any Catholic, unbiblical elements.

We can discuss the possibility and probability of some Catholics being saved until we're blue in the face. But here's my bottom-line: to be a true Christian, you have to believe the Bible. To be a true Catholic, you have to believe A TON of unbiblical, heretical--"salvation at risk"--type stuff. So, to be a true Christian in the Catholic church, you basically have to be an a-la-carte all-the-way Catholic. Therefore, if you are a true Christian, you should NOT stay in the Catholic church.



By the way, "Prince Caspian" comes out when? Is it December 2007?
I really think "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is one of the greatest movies ever!
One thing I didn't even mention is this: if we can get companies like Disney to start using their massive budgets on making Christian fare, that's great!

Kingdom Advancer said...

Just to clarify: What I mean by "salvation at risk" is that at some point, believing something unbiblical, or not believing something biblical, puts one in a position where one may very well be making a belief decision determining his/her salvation.

Regardless, though, this post wasn't really purposed to become a full-fledged discussion on Catholicism.

Austin said...


1.)"The Passion of the Christ" focuses on Jesus' suffering--which is not inherently wrong. However, look at the ratio of suffering to resurrection: the resurrection scene is about a 3.5 second part that shows a hole in Jesus' hand.
In this way, Catholics overly focus on the crucifixion rather than the resurrection. It's the difference between displaying the cross in Protestant churches and showing Jesus on the cross, as the Catholics do.


I think you're reading a lot into this that isn't really there. The movie was supposed to be about the crucifixion, and besides, I don't know very many Christians in any denomination who attribute more significance to the resurrection than the death. They're wrong, but they're everywhere - blaming Catholics for this is silly. It's just as much Calvin's fault, most likely.


Catholics believe that they re-crucify Jesus every mass, which is very unbiblical.


They owe that to Jerome, who mistranslated some verses in Hebrews that caused the Catholics to adopt this belief. I'm not entirely sure that most Catholics still hold this belief.


2.) You know the lady who wipes Jesus' face? That's something of Catholic, not biblical, lore.


Gee, how horrible! Those evil Catholics! haha just kidding, man.


3.) And, although I haven't researched this too much, I've heard that the story of "The Passion of the Christ" follows Catholicism's stations of the cross, as well as other things.


Not really a big deal at all, especially considering nobody would even notice it if it wasn't pointed out to them.


What we should do is utilize the good elements, and explain and correct any Catholic, unbiblical elements.


There's not really anything to correct. Do we need to say, "By the way, nobody really wiped his feet at that time."?


We can discuss the possibility and probability of some Catholics being saved until we're blue in the face. But here's my bottom-line: to be a true Christian, you have to believe the Bible.


To be a true Christian, you have to crucify the desires or your flesh, be born by the Spirit of God, live by the Spirit, take up your cross daily, etc.

If they would only stop worshiping Mary and the saints, things would get better.

I'm not sure when Prince Caspian comes out, but I can't wait!

Kingdom Advancer said...

RE: Austin

I guess "overtly" was the wrong word to use, since most people probably don't notice the Catholic elements. I mean, I had to have them pointed out to me. However, I would suggest that you check out the Berean Call's website, which I posted in my last comment (and is a link on my homepage). For, as you probably could tell, I'm not too studied up on the Catholic issues permeating the "Passion of the Christ."

"I think you're reading a lot into this that isn't really there."

Maybe I am. But all I know is that towards the end of the movie (when I saw it in the theater), I felt like I had just run a marathon--it was so intense. Then there was very little pay-off. I think any movie about Jesus should leave a significant sense of victory at the end, but Mel Gibson didn't do a very good job of portraying that. Perhaps that's just my opinion.

"I'm not entirely sure that most Catholics still hold this belief. "

Hence my comment about "a la carte" Catholics. Many beliefs of Catholicism probably aren't held by most Catholics. It can be almost humorous when talking to a Catholic. A lot of times you're left with the question, "So why are you a Catholic again?" And they oftentimes say that it is because they "were born a Catholic," or they "like the pomp and circumstance,the rituals,the architecture, etc."

"Gee, how horrible! Those evil Catholics! haha just kidding, man.
Not really a big deal at all, especially considering nobody would even notice it if it wasn't pointed out to them. "

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, one Catholic ritual or tradition calls for another, and what Christians really should not want is for a movie about Christ to raise interest and intrigue of unbelievers in Catholicism.
Consider someone like Jim Caviezel--the actor who played Jesus--attended mass every day while filming (I think I saw that in a Berean Call article) and Mel Gibson considered "The Passion" a "very Marian film" (ditto source)--whatever exactly that means. That just doesn't sound too good to me.

"There's not really anything to correct. Do we need to say, "By the way, nobody really wiped his feet at that time."?"

Well, there's a lot to correct in Catholicism as a whole. If someone is willing to shrug off the Catholic errors put forth in the movie, then we need to point out that the miscues get a lot bigger than that!!!

"To be a true Christian, you have to crucify the desires or your flesh, be born by the Spirit of God, live by the Spirit, take up your cross daily, etc. "

My point was, it is impossible to become a Christian without believing in at least some of the Bible. And, if you don't trust it all, how can you trust some of it? How can you trust and know to 'crucify the desires of the flesh, etc.' without the Bible and its complete infallibility? Throughout history, Catholics have trusted the clergy. But...I guess if the clergy is teaching the Bible accurately, it's okay, but if not...then...it's not okay.

"If they would only stop worshiping Mary and the saints, things would get better."

Well, "better" is relative, I guess. Everything from the infallibility of the Pope to performing masses for the dead needs to be addressed. Trust me, the blazen unbiblical-ness of Catholicism far surpasses two things.



I think the ballpark on "Prince Caspian" is certainly 2007, but I'm not sure that it is coming out in December.

Austin said...

Good points. I just have one more thing, and that's it.

About the resurrection receiving too little time:

For the record, my mother felt the same. She endured the suffering in hopes that they would show him appearing to his disciples later, and when they didn't, she was disappointed.

Personally, I thought the resurrection scene was wonderfully done all the same. They showed that he conquered death, and that was the point. Then they showed him walking off determined to complete his mission. I thought it was beautifully done, but whatever, I guess it's just a matter of preference. My point is, I don't think this has anything to do with Catholicism. You're looking for "secret Catholic messages" in the film, like Jesus' death being more significant than his resurrection. Perhaps your other points are well-founded, but this one is just silly. "Those Catholics are trying to brainwash us into believing that his death is more important than his resurrection!" Truth be told, as I said before, I know very few Christians from any denomination who talk more about Jesus' resurrection and consider it more significant than the crucifixion. The resurrection is ignored everywhere - Catholics are not responsible for this.

under_the_mercy said...

One thing I found was that they gave Mary special powers, i.e. she knew when Jesus was under her & that whole scene about her "feeling" that something was going to happen the night of Jesus' arrest.

Kingdom Advancer said...

RE: Under the Mercy

Perhaps that's one of the reasons why Mel Gibson called it a "very Marian" film.

I haven't seen the movie in a while, and I don't have the comprehensive list of things Catholic in it on hand, but an unbiblical spin on Mary wouldn't be surprising.

Austin said...

Yeah, she didn't have the Holy Spirit yet, so it's doubtful if she would have been able to do those things.

Austin said...

Although, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.