The Other Side of Angels
Lester Summrall, in his fascinating book, The Reality of Angels, says that “never before in history has there been so much interest in supernatural phenomena.” He talks of the occult, astrology, spiritualism, exorcism, UFOs and extrasensory perception, which, as he quite rightly points out, are indeed “sure to be Box-office hits.” He goes on to say that “much misinformation and blatant falsehood” is presented on these topics and I have to agree. That was in 1982.
Enter An American Werewolf in London. Harry Potter. Twighlight. Hemlock Grove. Zombies and vampires abound in today’s society and few think anything of it. I sometimes wonder if Christians have accepted the status quo.
Take a for-instance. I mentioned misinformation and blatant falsehood earlier. I’ve always believed if you want to learn the truth about a thing, go to the source. I Skype my mother nearly every Monday morning first thing, and she almost always introduces me to something I never knew. Two Mondays ago it was The Girl in the Red Coat, a book written by Kate Hamer that my mother and her reading group just finished. After all, as Andy Stanley quite rightly says, the world you cannot enter is the world you cannot reach. So if I want to reach current society I have to know a little about what’s going on in it.
Researching this led to discovering a similar book, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. I made it my mission to find out out details on a ‘fiction novel’ told by a teenager you eventually realize has been raped and murdered. It wasn’t the subject matter that caught this random redhead’s attention though. It was the movie of the same name, produced by Peter Jackson.
First off, I discovered he found his ‘inspiration for heaven through a teenager’ eyes’ in The Partridge Family, of all things. Nothing against the show – used to watch it myself as a teen. But like I said, if you really want the truth about something, why didn’t Mr. Jackson choose to go to the source? As in, The Bible? My guess is, he might not necessarily have wanted Truth. Perhaps, as a movie producer, he felt Wes Farrell had a more viewer-friendly approach to the subject, one worthy of emulating. He’s probably right. God forbid we should actually expose horror-movie-goers to the gospel: they just might get convicted! It was an interesting concept to me.
The second thing to catch my attention actually made me want to throw up, but it’s a chilling inditement on today’s society. When it hit the movie circuit there was public outcry. Why? It wasn’t gory enough.
Apparently when writing, Ms. Sebold must have felt the story was the focus, not the murder scene. Viewers thought differently. So much so that Mr. Jackson decided to reshoot the scene with much more blood. At first I was horrified. Why would the public demand such a thing? And why wouldn’t Christians stand against it?
Then I realized a simple fact – neither side knew. Children of God probably didn’t see the film so they didn’t know to protest, and gore-lovers probably didn’t know obsession with violence is not healthy because they may not know God’s view on the matter. Because Mr. Jackson didn’t introduce them to Truth. Not that he should. I don’t know where he stands with his Creator. It’s just a shame one given a high level of influence chose to wield it the way he did.
I’m left grieving for a society that idolizes celebrities and speaks against leaders. That scoffs at a holy God and looks to the world for its view on the spiritual world. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Sumrall. We have his decade beat by a mile. And it’s going in the wrong direction. I’m praying passionately for revival like never before, and I also pray that, like John Wesley, wherever I go I set others on fire with the fire burning in me.
Kari, the fired-up-and-sharing-it
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