Monday, December 17, 2007

Caroling Time Changed!

Due to weather our Family Christmas Caroling has been changed to this Wednesday night at 7 PM. Sorry for the schedule change but we want people to be safe during travel and wanted to be cautious. See you there!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can Your Family Make Some Noise?

Can your family make some noise? Well the Bible tells us to. "Make a joyful noise to the Lord."

This Sunday night is Family Caroling Night at First Baptist Church. So many times our children get, get and get. This is one way for your family to give back to others. I know this is a busy time, but our kids need experiences where they give to other people.

Join us at the church at 6:30 pm and then we will divide into groups to go Christmas Caroling in our community. We will be done around 8 pm. Please bring your family and give a little of Jesus' love this Christmas!

Don't worry if you can't sing. You will fit right in with me. We might even have more fun! See you there.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Golden Compass: My Thoughts

There is a new film that will be released this weekend called The Golden Compass. Many times I don't speak directly about a film or other media points but I do feel a responsibility to share with you, parents, my thoughts concerning this new film. I am also going to post parts of two other articles I found concerning this movie. So please read the following two posts after this one.

My Thoughts:There are times when Hollywood or other media outlets will attempt (and unfortunately very successfully) to desensitize Christians through shows, movies, music, games and even cartoons to God's truth and moral standards for Christ followers. Many times this is done through the back door and we don't see it coming.

However, this is not the case with this movie. I did some research through Chrisitan and secular mediums and through official sites of this movie and found that there is clear attack upon the belief of God and the role and purpose of His church. The movie is based off of Phillip Pullman's books titled His Dark Materials. A direct quote from Pullman concerning his writings was "my books are about killing God."

Where are the dangers? There will be a time in your children's life where they question the existence of God. Most people ask that question. Proponents of the movie will say "what are you worried about." Well, as a Christian parent I don't want to be the one to introduce my child to questioning the existence of God. I want to build them up in the truth of God. In time as they get older and ask those quesitons I believe what was taught at home will be the very thing that will help point them to the reality of God. The movie also speaks strongly to evolution, witches supporting evil as actually being good and the role of the church is falsly portrayed.

You may say that is alot for a kids movie. The use of symbols is strong, yet undeniable. By watching the previews you may say it looks alot like C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and those were good movies for Christian children. Again the author of the book, Pullman, represents the polar opposite of Lewis. Pullman has repeatedly—and with apparent glee—lashed out at both Lewis and the faith he represents. "I hate the Narnia books, and I hate them with a deep and bitter passion."

Please take caution concerning this movie. But don't run and hide. When your kids ask about the movie take time to explain to them why this is not a good choice in movies. Talk to them at their age level. And don't say its just not for kids and then go see it with your spouse. Kids are smart and what they will learn is not to only allow Godliness into our lives, but that God's standards change when you get older. But's that another story. Please take time to read the two following posts that provide more detail.
Posted by Rich Cochran at 1:33 PM

The Golden Compass Article Two

The following is taken from an article written by Adam Holz on Focus on the Families website The article is titled Sympothy for the Devil.

A gargantuan polar bear bounds through snow dunes. A well-coifed gentleman whispers to the snow leopard at his side. A golden-hued beauty gives her ferocious monkey a furtive glance. And a young girl traces her fingers over symbols on a device vaguely reminiscent of ... a compass.
If you've been to the movies lately (or watched much TV), these images from the Dec. 7 film The Golden Compass (starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig) may have caught your attention ... and perhaps even whetted your appetite for fantasy and adventure.
Which is, of course, exactly what New Line Cinema is hoping.

To stoke the fires of imagination further, the studio's early promotional material went so far as to equate this adaptation of author Philip Pullman's work with The Lord of the Rings. "In 2001, New Line Cinema opened the door to Middle-earth," says one trailer, "This December, they take you on another epic journey." It's a safe bet, however, that J.R.R. Tolkien wouldn't be amused by the comparison of his story to that of Pullman (who, coincidentally, also hails from Oxford).

The 1995 book The Golden Compass is the entry point to Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy—a series of fantasy novels aimed at children that loosely draws inspiration from John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. This time around, however, "God" gets overthrown and the "Fall" becomes the source of humankind's redemption, not failure.
These three books, along with at least one (and presumably two more) movies, constitute British agnostic Philip Pullman's deliberate attempt to foist his viciously anti-God beliefs upon his audience.

A Different Kind of WardrobeThe Golden Compass begins with a precocious 12-year-old girl named Lyra clambering into a wardrobe to avoid detection ... a choice that unwittingly launches her into a universe-altering adventure. (Sound familiar?) Lurking in the wardrobe, she hears her uncle, an iconoclastic explorer named Lord Asriel, describe a mysterious substance called Dust to a group of scholars.

Several events then occur almost simultaneously: Lyra is given a truth-telling device called an alethiometer (the golden compass) and told to keep it secret; she begins to hear rumors of children disappearing without a trace; and she's whisked into the care of a glamorous but ruthless agent of the church named Mrs. Coulter. Lyra soon discovers that the church is also desperate to learn about Dust—a substance they believe is somehow connected to original sin—and that Mrs. Coulter is spearheading chilling experiments on children in her pursuit of "truth." Specifically, she's separating children from their dæmons (pronounced demon), animal spirits that physically embody each person's soul and accompany them throughout life.
As The Golden Compass draws to a close, the forces of good (represented by the church-rejecting Lord Asriel) have begun to array themselves against the forces of tyranny and wickedness (represented by Mrs. Coulter and churchmen who blend the worst of, say, the Spanish Inquisition and Adolf Hiter's dreaded SS). The battle will span not only Lyra's world, but many other alternate worlds. In Vol. 2, The Subtle Knife, Lyra meets 12-year-old Will, who comes into possession of a potent blade with the power to slice portals between those worlds. The Amber Spyglass concludes the series, with angels, armored bears, witches, a shaman, a lapsed nun-turned-physicist and other fantastical creatures marshalling their resources against the hated Authority—the "god" whose reign they can tolerate no longer—even as the mystery of Dust is finally resolved.

The Anti-LewisThere are no shortage of parallels between His Dark Materials and C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series. Lyra instead of Lucy. A wardrobe. Alternate worlds. Talking animals. Cosmic consequences linked to a final battle. Oh, and witches—this time on the side of so-called good rather than evil. But beyond those superficial similarities, Pullman represents the polar opposite of Lewis. Pullman has repeatedly—and with apparent glee—lashed out at both Lewis and the faith he represents. "I hate the Narnia books, and I hate them with a deep and bitter passion," he told one interviewer, "with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling-away."

Such venom isn't the exception when it comes to Pullman's stance on all things Christian. He told the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph, "Atheism suggests a degree of certainty that I'm not quite willing to accede. I suppose technically, you'd have to put me down as an agnostic. But if there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against. As you look back over the history of the Christian church, it's a record of terrible infamy and cruelty and persecution and tyranny. How they have the bloody nerve to go on Thought for the Day and tell us all to be good when, given the slightest chance, they'd be hanging the rest of us and flogging the homosexuals and persecuting the witches."
exception, Pullman characterizes churches and anyone connected to them as agents of wickedness, oppression, torture, murder and malevolence.

At the most basic level, His Dark Materials is an attempted refutation of the Christian faith: "The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all," says an influential character named Mary Malone, who then goes on to relate her own "testimony" of why she abandoned her calling as a nun. Other messages woven into this story exalt witchcraft, evolution, divination, homosexuality and premarital sex. Accompanying them are smoking, drinking, occasional mild profanity and moments of visceral violence.

That Pullman's message is blasphemous and heretical goes without saying. What's more diabolical—a word carrying with it an original Greek meaning that literally means to separate into two pieces—is the fact that he's aimed his well-written tale and its messages directly at children. "I wanted to reach everyone," he says, "and the best way I could hope to do that was to write for children." Pullman's strategy for inculcating his beliefs involves planting these bad seeds in the minds of those who may not have the discernment to understand what he's doing.
Beliefnet's Rod Dreher writes that that's exactly why he intends to protect his children from Pullman's poisonous influence. "One expects that religious parents will keep their children away from the [Golden Compass] film. 'But why?' the question arises from liberals. 'What are you afraid of?' My children losing God, especially before they have a firm hold on Him, that's what. At some point they will question the existence of God. I did. It's normal to do so. I want more than anything else I want for my children, even their own happiness in this life, for them to believe in God, who is their salvation. If you believe in God, and that the loss of God is the worst thing that can happen to a person, then you would sooner give your child a rattlesnake to play with than expose him or her at an early age to the work of a man who openly says he wishes to destroy God in the minds of his audience."

Trying to Kill God Pullman has said unambiguously, "My books are about killing God." But despite a great deal of publicity on this subject, the series never addresses the issue of God's existence with any real certainty. There is a character who masquerades as God, known as the Authority. But we discover he was simply the first being to evolve—and there's definitely a heavy emphasis on evolution in this story—out of Dust into conscious existence. As to whether or not a real Creator is responsible for everything, however, another character says simply, "There may have been a creator, or there may not: We don't know." Ultimately, then, the story remains agnostic about God's existence. And with regard to death and the afterlife, Pullman first imagines a dark underworld where all the dead go, regardless of their actions or beliefs. The dead are then released by Lyra, and their molecules are dispersed throughout the world.

In the final analysis, Pullman has nothing of substance to offer when it comes to concocting an alternative to the Christian faith he detests so venomously. Which is why, perhaps, flowery-but-empty passages and promises like the one above seem to echo those of a well-known serpent.
And lest that comparison sound too harsh, the author himself seems quite comfortable with the association. "[English poet William] Blake said that Milton was a true poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it," Pullman has said. "I am of the Devil's party and know it."

The Golden Compass Article One

This is an excert taken from wikipedia concerning the movie The Golden Compass:

Several key themes of the novels, the rejection of organized religion and the abuse of power in a fictionalized Catholic Church, are to be diluted in the adaptation. Director Weitz said "in the books the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic Church gone wildly astray from its roots" but that the organization portrayed in his film would not directly match that of Pullman's books. Instead, the Magisterium will represent all dogmatic organizations.[34] Weitz said that New Line Cinema had feared the story's anti-religious themes would make the film financially unviable in the US, and so religion and God will not be referenced directly. Attempting to reassure fans of the novels, Weitz said that religion would instead appear in euphemistic terms, yet the decision has been attacked by some fans,[35] anti-censorship groups, and the National Secular Society (of which Pullman is an honorary associate), which said "they are taking the heart out of it, losing the point of it, castrating it",[36] "this is part of a long-term problem over freedom of speech." The changes from the novel have been present since Tom Stoppard's rejected version of the script,[23] and Pullman himself believes the film will be "faithful."[34]

On October 7, 2007 the Catholic League called for a boycott of the film.[37] League president William A. Donohue said he would not ordinarily object to the film, but that while the religious elements will be diluted from the source material, the film will encourage children to read the novels, which he says "denigrate Christianity" and promote "atheism for kids."[4] He cited author Pullman as saying that he is "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief."[38] The League hopes that "the film [will fail] to meet box office expectations and that [Pullman's] books attract few buyers."[39] Other evangelical groups, such as The Christian Film and Television Commission, are adopting a "wait-and-see" approach to the film before deciding upon any action,[40] as is the Roman Catholic Church in Britain,[41] while the Catholic News Service suggests that instead of a boycott, it may be appropriate for Catholic parents to "talk through any thorny philosophical issues" with their children.[42]

Pullman has since said that the books do not have a religious agenda, saying of Donohue's call for a boycott, "Why don't we trust readers? Why don't we trust filmgoers? Oh, it causes me to shake my head with sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world."[41] In a discussion with Donohue on CBS's Early Show, Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, said that rather than promote atheism, the film would encourage children to question authority, saying that would not be a bad thing for children to learn.[43] Director Weitz says that he believes His Dark Materials is "not an atheistic work, but a highly spiritual and reverent piece of writing",[35] and Nicole Kidman has defended her decision to star in the film, saying that "the Catholic Church is part of my essence. I wouldn't be able to do this film if I thought it were at all anti-Catholic".[26]