YOU HEAR IT IN CONVERSATIONS: “Have you seen all six movies?” “Are you into it, or are you INTO IT?” “Whaddaya mean you don’t know if you’re going to see it???” Or the polarizing: “It’s not my thing, don’t judge. It’s whatevers.”
NEVER, IN THE HISTORY OF MOVIES, has there been a franchise that simultaneously spans/appeals to five separate generations (Builders, Boomers, X-er’s, Millenials, Gen-Z) like Star Wars. For many this December, it’ll inspire religious devotion on par with…Christmas itself!
Star Wars. It’s fun. It’s history. It’s family. It’s a religion for some (j/k for a lot!). It’s a five decades long-Joseph Campbell-Zen Buddhist-New Age-101 theories of Kylo Ren/Rey/Finn/Poe/Luke- storytelling/moviemaking machine at its finest (we think). Whether we see it on opening night or find ourselves just having to bear the geek/nerd-a-thon, well, everywhere, the movie isn’t just about entertainment. It also raises an important issue of spirituality for followers of Jesus Christ.
It’s clear that the spirituality of Star Wars is deeply rooted in eastern mysticism. The story is make believe, but the spirituality of Star Wars is from this world. It’s important to recognize, even if it’s just a movie. The overarching animating power of the Star Wars saga is the “Force”. The Force has a good and bad side (Taoism). It’s used to propel people and objects through hand movements (Chi Energy). It binds everything together and is in everything (pantheism) where people become one with it as we are awakened to its power (New Age). It’s accessed through inner yoga-like mediation taking you to a higher spiritual plane (Buddhism). In truth, these themes are counter to the bible’s teaching on the character of God, the work of Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit and the nature and salvation of man.
Seeing a movie like Star Wars poses a balance for followers of Jesus Christ between if we can enjoy the movie for what it is – a fantasy saga about good vs. evil – without it subtly swaying us towards parallel worldviews available to us today in this galaxy. While we can marvel at the special effects, we should also discern biblical truths from any falsehoods that get communicated to us. “Test all things,” wrote the Apostle Paul, “hold hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” [1 Thessalonians 5:21,22].
I (Pastor Chris) have my ticket. If you decide to join the masses at the pilgrimage on Dec. 18th or thereafter, then let’s go in with popcorn in one hand and biblical discernment in the other when the lights go down and the familiar theme music starts.
May the Lord be with you. ? ?