Any notion of Christians being separate from and unspotted by the world was jettisoned long ago by the majority of institutions falsely calling themselves “churches” in the West. Faced with fast-emptying pews and the corresponding loss of income, they decided that they needed to re-write the Gospel, re-define Christianity, and become fashionable and “relevant” in the world; in a word, to become precisely what the Bible forbids Christians to be. For the Word of God teaches true Christians that although they are in the world, they are not of it, they are not to love it, and they are to remain separate from it (Jn. 17:11,14-16; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Jas. 1:27); but the Word of God is ignored by most who call themselves “Christians” today, and in its place they have formulated their own policy. And what is it? It is to be as much in the world as it is possible to be; to drink, to dance, to date, to dress in short skirts and low tops, to listen to the world’s music and watch the world’s movies, to show the world that “it’s cool to be a Christian”, and that being one does not in any sense mean that a person must deny himself anything. Their attitude is, “We can have the world and Jesus too!” Their message is, “Being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t go out for a night on the town. Christians can participate in virtually all the activities anyone else participates in; the only difference is, we have Jesus as our Saviour!” The tragedy is, such “Christians” are Christians in name only. They are as lost as anyone else. The Bible is very clear: “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19). They have never known the Lord and Saviour, the holy, harmless, undefiled Son of God who is separate from sinners (Heb. 7:26), and who came into this world “to save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
Hollywood Casts Greedy Eyes Towards the “Christian” Niche Market
Disney is smiling all the way to the bank, grateful indeed for the gullible thousands of churchgoers who naively assume that this movie is great Christian entertainment for their kids. Hey, if “Christians” want to see the story in that light, what does Disney care? It brings in more money – a lot more money – and money, after all, is Disney’s god.
For decades, Hollywood ignored the millions of professing “Christians” as a market. Hollywood promotes everything that Christianity opposes: violence, profanity, sexual sin of all kinds, nudity, drunkenness, and a whole host of other sins. It has gone out of its way to mock Christians, to portray Protestant ministers as wild-eyed, dangerous fanatics, to ridicule the Bible, to attack everything held dear by Christians. But while this was going on, something was happening in the “Christian” camp. The times were changing, and millions of people who claimed to be “born again Christians” were no longer as antagonistic towards Hollywood as earlier generations had been. The men in the pulpits no longer thundered against the movies, and the people in the pews were regularly attending the movie theatres, and soaking up the same filth that everyone else was enjoying. What had happened was this: the vast majority of those now naming the name of Christ were in fact not truly born again at all! They were merely disciples of the new, popular, easy-believism, “call yourself a Christian but be part of the world too” doctrine that had been sweeping through churches for years. A false “gospel”, indeed, but one that was, and is, believed to be the true Gospel by millions today.
Nevertheless, despite their acceptance of so much Hollywood filth, these same millions would readily flock to watch a movie with a supposedly “Christian” theme. After all, they called themselves Christians! Hollywood, however, wasn’t paying attention. Until The Passion, that is.
When Roman Catholic Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, hit the screens, it was a runaway success, a blockbuster of note, and Hollywood was stunned. Multiplied millions of people calling themselves “Christians” flocked to see it. The fact that it was a blatantly Roman Catholic movie didn’t faze the “Evangelicals” who supported it as much, if not more than, the Papists did; the fact that it was full of false doctrine, and that it was one of the most gut-wrenchingly violent films ever made, didn’t faze them either. The masses of unregenerate worldlings who nevertheless call themselves “Christians” made Mel Gibson laugh, no doubt, all the way to the bank, as the film at the time of writing had made $600 million worldwide. And suddenly, Hollywood sat up and took notice. Here was a very lucrative niche market indeed! One which Hollywood had been ignoring!
“The Passion really surprised Hollywood,” said John Buckeridge, the editor of Christianity Magazine (certainly not recommended for any true Christian!). “Everyone thought it would bomb. What they didn’t realise was that there is an audience for a film with a Christian message.” Passing by his inference that The Passion was Christian, he was correct in saying that the movie surprised Hollywood, and made the movie-makers realise that there was a vast untapped niche market out there. “Disney recognises the marketplace. In Hollywood, money talks,” added Buckeridge. Very true! But this didn’t seem to concern him in the least, nor did he appear to note the obvious paradox of saying that Mammon is the god of Hollywood, and yet supporting Hollywood for making a movie with a so-called “Christian” message! For his magazine, Christianity Magazine, ran a cover story on how churches could link into Narnia’s release to promote a “Christian” message! Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). By Buckeridge’s own admission, Hollywood serves Mammon. It cannot, then, be serving God. And yet he is recommending that churches make use of Narnia! “This could be as successful as The Passion of the Christ in triggering dialogue. There is a Christian parable in there,” he said.