When I was a kid my friends and I had tons of fun pretending we could use “the force.” We would run around the yard battling each other, pretending we could send each other flying with these powers. We would pull out fake light sabers and play for hours.
For years people have been enamored with the tantalizing concept of “the force.” Just a couple of years ago Volkswagen made a funny commercial about a little kid dressed as Darth Vader trying to use the force (YouTube). Sadly, some have taken this idea so far that they believe “the force” is real and even began the Jedi Church a few years ago. At first glace, one might think this church is just for overzealous Star Wars fans, but they claims to have had 21,000 unique visitors just last month (JediChurch). They are recognized as actual religion and there are even Jedi Church organizations in the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, and throughout the United States (ibid).
The Jedi Church’s beliefs are similar to Postmodernism (non-condemning and accepting of all beliefs and all people). Here is a statement on their website, “The Jedi Church recognizes that there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together, and accepts all races and species from all over the universe as potential members of the religion” (ibid). Naturally, they do caution people from “the dark side.”
It’s valuable to point out that God frequently warns us about false religions and false teachings which contradict Scripture (Galatians 1:6-9; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 6:20). However, there is another lesson to be learned here: Movies and TV are incredibly influential.
After watching the movie Avatar, several reports came out of people experiencing depression and legitimately contemplating suicide in hopes of being reborn in the movie’s fictional world called Pandora (CNN). Throughout the Twilight series, accounts have surfaced of people becoming addicted to the fictional story and romance so much that it was destroying their real life marriages (LA Times; Lylestyles; VisionaryDaughters). To a much lesser degree, perhaps even you to have stepped out of a movie theater feeling like your life was a bit dull or saddened by your unexciting romantic life.
Very few are going to start a religion, dip into depression, or ruin their marriages through fictional stories. However, it’s scary that this even happens. These are just a small testament to the influence movies and TV can have on us. Beyond these examples, media also has the power to desensitize us and plant corrupted moral ideas in our minds. Many are so numb to bad language they barely notice it anymore. Some are so use to sexual content that it’s no longer shocking or embarrassing. Our movies and TV shows may also be playing a very large part in the acceptance of homosexuality.
There is nothing wrong with seeing a good clean movie, but let’s make sure to keep things in perspective. There is not a single thing more important in this universe than “fearing God and keeping His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). For this reason, let’s make sure everything we fill our minds with fits into the Scriptural mold of “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).