I was recently pointed to a post discussing the Christian’s response to the upcoming move The Golden Compass (thanks lew). In short, this movie is an adaption of the children’s book entitled, Northern Lights by author Philip Pullman. Although the movie is still in production and not due to be released until December, it’s already serving up some controversy amongst Christians. Apparently, the author is a devout atheist and some are labeling the movie an attempt to introduce children to atheism. Therefore, groups like the The Catholic League is calling for a boycott of the film.
Is this a wise decision for Christians? I can think of at least two reason why it is not a wise decision for Christians to boycott the film:
- Atheism is not going away– Atheism is a worldview that’s been around longer than Christianity itself. As long as this world continues to exist, there will exist people like Philip Pullman, Richard Dawkins, and your next door neighbor that don’t believe in God. Furthermore, they will continue to impress their worldview on culture in the same manner that Christians do. Boycotting a film is not an appropriate to response to atheism. It’s an ineffective response to a single movie.
- Christians must understand and interact with atheism– This is the same approach that we supported concerning The Da Vinci Code. This is an excellent opportunity for you to either interact with the culture around you or explain the culture around you to your children and friends. Christians should not be afraid of opinions and worldviews that differ from theirs. Rather, they should seek to be diligent students of their culture. How can you dialog with your atheist friend about a movie you’ve never seen. To boycott anything that is anti-Christian is to take yourself out of the dialog. Furthermore, you can’t protect your children or your friends forever. Would it not be wiser to introduce your children to critical thinking rather than to shelter them from the inevitable?
I understand that Christians must separate themselves from things that don’t please God. At the same time, however, we must be a part of the world in which God has placed us. Embrace this opportunity to discuss the fallacies of atheism with your friends and your children. Furthermore, take the opportunity to enter dialog with your atheist neighbors. One last thing: If you do decide to avoid the movie, be wise about the accusations you make against it. An ignorant Christian is much more hurtful to Christ than one that interacts with the world around them.