One of the characters you will run across in Hollywood films quite frequently is the parent, or grandparent, who is more liberated than her child. The liberation is expressed in a vulgarity that might make the child blush, but not the wiser, more liberated parent (or, as I said, grandparent) has long ago embraced. And somehow in these films, the family gets along just fine.
I met this character—again—this Christmas season. This time, she was played by Diane Keaton in the movie The Family Stone. We met these parents last year in Meet the Fockers. And I’m sure we’ll “meet the parents” again, and again, and again. It’s Hollywood’s way of exercising free speech—bringing its entertained followers into its own bondage.
Now, I must confess my embarrassment as having even seen these films to begin with. In each case, the holiday spirit rushed me into a theater with too much trust and too little research. (Otherwise, I make it my habit to find out exactly what’s in a film before exposing myself to its contents.)
Having said that, I want to comment at how assaulted I feel after seeing such films. And it’s no wonder – Proverbs 4 tells me I have been assaulted!
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. (Proverbs 4:16-17)
But now the good news.
The other day I was treated to an excellent film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Although I don’t think a film is only worth seeing if its message is so explicitly Christian, this is such a movie. The part that charmed me most was seeing the four children, each unworthy in their own way, receive crowns. They were made kings and queens of Narnia in spite of themselves, and because of a victory obtained by someone else, namely, Aslan the Lion.
This film reminds me of the next verse in Proverbs 4:
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. (Proverbs 4:18)
Reading on in Proverbs 4, we see however that the greatest war we will fight is not with Hollywood (or any other outside agitator) but with ourselves:
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. (Proverbs 4:26-27)
This is possible only through the Lion. We will not going to be so vigilant, left to ourselves. May we humbly petition the Lord that we will be faithful, and that when we are not, he will rescue us!