By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher with Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor
Editor’s Note: The following is the second of many articles developed from my new book, THE SCREEN-WISE FAMILY, about protecting your children and grandchildren from Non-Christian worldviews in movies and television program. This article focuses on protecting families from positive portrayals of atheism and deism in entertainment.
Atheism is the disbelief or denial of the existence of God or a supreme intelligent being. Atheism is a ferocious system that leaves nothing above us to excite awe, nor around us to awaken tenderness.
Because the atheist rejects any belief in the supernatural, he must view man as an evolutionary creature with no objective basis of morality. Ethics can only be subjective and self-defined, leading to the survival of the “strong” and destruction of the weak.
Aborting babies in the womb, infanticide, euthanasia, and totalitarianism are common practices in an atheistic culture.
For example, in MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, the sequel to the famous 1987 movie WALL STREET starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen, the boyfriend of a rich capitalist’s estranged daughter goes to the woman’s father, played by Douglas, to help him get economic revenge on an investment banker who helped wreck the company for which the boyfriend worked.
Though well written, the movie has a very strong humanist worldview that posits men and women are greedy, selfish and dysfunctional because of evolution and can’t help themselves. To go along with this theme, the movie strongly suggests that people need big government to step in and protect them from themselves.
Other humanist movies, such as the Middle East spy thriller SYRIANA and leftist pundit Bill Maher’s documentary RELIGULOUS, depict Christianity as a false, failed belief system. None of these movies made much money at the international box office, showing that people all around the world don’t respond favorably to movies pushing a humanist, atheist agenda.
Deism is the belief or system of religious opinions of those who acknowledge the existence of a transcendent God, but deny revelation and the personal immanence of God. Deism is the belief in natural religion only, or in those truths in doctrine and practice that man is able to discover by the light of reason, independent and exclusive of any revelation from God. Hence, deism implies a disbelief in the Divine origin of the Scriptures.
While a deist would believe that there is a God who started things out, the deist would also contend that God is no longer intimately involved with creation or the lives of people. Therefore, there is no purpose in seeking God, or expecting Him to meet our daily needs.
Few movies overtly reflect a deistic worldview, but many movies might acknowledge God in one or two scenes, but deny His power to change people’s lives for the better. Thus, a movie might have a scene where someone acknowledges God or religion, or even Christianity, but the power of God, Jesus or religious belief doesn’t solve the person’s problems.
For instance, an occult horror movie might even include such examples where the characters are fighting some kind of supernatural, demonic force, but religion has no effect in stopping the demonic villain. In Universal’s 1999 reboot of THE MUMMY, for instance, the heroine’s brother is a missionary who’s apparently left his calling to pursue booze and ancient Egyptian treasures.
Later in the movie, a cowardly companion tries to use the Cross and the Star of David to stop the demonic villain, but they don’t work. In movies with strong, overt Christian worldviews, however, Christian faith, prayer and even actual miracles from God directly solve the plot problem or help the hero defeat the villain, overcome his inner demons or reconcile himself with estranged loved ones, relatives and friends.
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