<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />America at the Tipping Point<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The Wizardry World of Harry Potter Theme Park is being built in Orlando, Florida by Universal Resorts. It will be open in 2009, complete with Hogswart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Welcome to the virtual reality world of entertainment which has captured the youth of America. Millions of people each year will be taught at this theme park how to become witches, cast spells, conjure up spirits, and ride brooms.
For many of the readers of this Journal who are biblically trained, the worldview of the Harry Potter phenomenon is disturbing. The Scripture emphatically forbids witchcraft (Ex. 22:18), wizardry (Deut. 18:10-11), enchantments (Is. 47:9-12), and divination (Ezek. 21:21). And in the New Testament, we see a total denunciation of sorcery (the use of fraudulent tricks to counterfeit God's power) when Paul faces off with Elymas, the sorcerer who was trying to turn people away from the faith. Paul addressed the sorcerer: "You who are full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?" (Acts 13:10).
These Scriptural admonitions should not be seen as a blanket condemnation of creativity, imagination or novels. But they do warn us against searching for supernatural power outside of the one true God, as Harry Potter does. Wizards are imposters. They lead us away from God into fatal error.
My good friend, Ted Baehr, writes about the deception of wizardry as seen in the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. He says "...the people believe that the Wizard is omnipresent and omnipotent. But when Toto pulls back the curtain, he turns out to be nothing but a little ole man whom Dorothy chides for bullying and scaring everyone." Now 60 years later, movies on witchcraft, demons, vampires and wizards are the standard fare of the entertainment field. But there are few Dorothys out there, exposing wizards as frauds. The imaginary super heroes of the 21st Century fill the walls and toy boxes of children, but without a Biblical worldview of the real heroes, they often cannot discern reality.
In a recent study, famed researcher and pollster, George Barna, explained why occult religions have crept into prominence in our nation: "Christians have increasingly been adopting spiritual views that come from Islam, Wicca, Secular Humanism, the Eastern Religions and other sources." He says that we have slid into syncretism, blindly combining beliefs from different faiths. Why? "The church has lost it," said E. Stanley Jones, the great statesman and missionary to India. He was commenting on the cowardice and loss of a vigorous, victorious vision in the 20th Century American church.
In the outstanding book The Culture Wise Family, Dr. Ted Baehr and Pat Boone say "The average child in the United States only gets about 21 minutes a day of primary attention with their parents, but, according to the Motion Picture Association, spends up to 10.25 hours per day with the Internet and TV." No wonder parents are having very little influence in how their children view the occult or anything else.
Less than 100 people, most of them from a handful of families, control 98% of the media empire and most of the content that is thrust upon our children. They have become the primary teachers and caregivers of America's youth, flooding them with pornography, the occult, socialism and multiculturalism. They leave their passive audience illiterate, immobile and prepared for tyranny to come.
All of history proves that the kingdom of God has led civilization for 2000 years to the highest forms of science, business, law, civil government, art, music, education and even entertainment. A full-orbed biblical Christianity is far superior to any of its competing worldviews. Ignorance of this great truth breeds compromise and destruction.
The weakness and compromise of the contemporary church has opened the door for a small group of secular progressive media moguls to dominate all communications industries, from movies, to TV, to music, to news organizations. They have filled the void of culture once led by believers, and now, by default, control the thinking of an entire generation of youth.
What hope is there? The foundations of a grass roots, against-all-odds reformation have been laid. The Christian School movement that started from scratch in the 1960's now teaches millions of youth. The home school movement, which is even younger, is turning out principled, courageous leaders who will persevere until our nation once again is voluntarily turning to God. And the national prayer and repentance movement, begun by the late Dr. Bill Bright, is still calling down the power of God.
Now we have been given an incredible opportunity to transform our nation and the world. The new technology of the internet, tied to inexpensive movie-making equipment and the growing access to every individual through their iPod or MP3 player is eliminating the movie mogul's monopoly on communications. Now for the first time in history the consumers are becoming the new production directors as they are starting to download programming directly from the internet. All they need is good programming. Christians should take advantage of this opportunity, and invest not only millions, but billions, of dollars in competitive media and other institutions.
Let us step boldly into the future, driving God's liberating message right into the center of culture. It is not too late, but we must prevail if liberty is to survive. America is at the tipping point.
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