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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Are You Aware of the Religious Content in Children's Movies?

Going back as far as The Lion King, there are some disturbing trends in children’s movies. At first, as in The Lion King, they were fairly subtle. Most people hardly would have noticed the African traditional religion in it. I believe it only surfaced in one song and in a scene with a witch doctor. Of course, the whole idea of the “circle of life” leaves God out of nature, and one little character referred to homosexuality as he danced.

I saw a few minutes of Madagascar and was shocked at all of the religious content—curses, a kooky “witch doctor,” traditional religious dances, music, etc. It was a thread throughout the snatches I saw. The theme song, “I Like to Move It” adds some non-essential innuendo. A character says, “Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanza” in one breath. (As a Christian, I find that offensive, since the birth of Jesus is about my Savior coming to earth, and it puts it in the same basket with unbelief.)

I watched Kung Fu Panda 3 with my grandchildren. I was amazed at all the “spiritual” content. Incredible! Yin and yang, Zen, Chi, spiritual exercises, prayers, purifications, shrines, symbols, offerings . . . and the philosophy of the movie is almost purely Taoist. It’s spelled out in the script like a Taoist propaganda piece!

Even more troubling is the goat-headed Beast in the new Beauty and the Beast movie. It looks exactly like the Satanic figure, Baphomet. Why did they choose that image? Why are the producers  introducing it to today's children? The human falls in love with a satanic image . . . . The directors are all excited about an "exclusively gay" moment, as well (something about Le Fou and Gaston). Do we really want to take our kids?

I once watched Frozen on an overseas flight and was surprised about its lies and hiding the truth. It makes lying look okay. I was also surprised that when Elsa decides to “Let It Go,” she gets sleazy and lets go of her sweetness as well. But, these offenses were not actually teaching false doctrine to children!

What’s going on?

When the setting is Africa, the movie producer wants it to look and sound African. When you have a panda who does martial arts, you’ll have some Asian culture in there, too. I don’t have any issues with those.

But, when a child sees a movie more than once, and it’s actually narrating false religious philosophy into his mind and feeding him visual symbols pertaining to another religion, I think Christian parents need to be aware.

Now, I don’t think the average five-year-old would understand any of this in one sitting. The real danger comes from the “indoctrination” that he would get from repeated viewings.

What can Christian parents do?
  1. Read reviews before you decide to watch a movie. Most will tell you if there are religious overtones. I read several secular reviews that pointed out the Taoist themes in Kung Fu Panda 3, for example.
  2. Watch movies along with your children. If something unbiblical, untrue, vulgar, crude, or false teaching happens, you are there to correct, comment, or even turn it off.
  3. Make sure you know the Truth. You cannot be discerning about philosophies that are anti-God and biblically wrong if you don’t know your Bible. Make sure you know what sound teaching looks like. Then, when you hear or see contrary doctrine, you’ll know it’s wrong. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (1 John 5:20).
  4. Pick old movies. My husband and I usually look at the date. As a general rule, if a movie was made before 1970, the language is okay, and it will be free of innuendo and graphic violence. It doesn’t always work, but usually, it does. Look for classic movies for children: Swiss Family Robinson, The Parent Trap, The Apple Dumpling Gang, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Treasure Island, etc. You can also look for good, old TV shows: Leave It to Beaver, Andy of Mayberry, Gomer Pyle, etc. Our six-year-old grandson loves those!
  5. Teach your children the Bible at home, so that they’ll have discernment in the future. They need to understand that Jesus is the only Way to salvation: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). They need to understand God's moral law as well (The Ten Commandments, love for God and others, obedience, etc.)
We want our children to grow up to love God and people. We want them to be sweet and respectful. We want them to value home and family. Be careful that your entertainment choices encourage them to grow up with these values. Protect them from false doctrines.

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were
spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
How that they told you there should be mockers
in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
 (Jude 1:17-21)

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