Modern American Society:
An “Age of Stupidity?”
By Daniel K Greg, Contributing Writer
Is America facing an “Age of Stupidity?” On page 6 of Movieguide’s yearly Entertainment Industry Report, Dr. Ted Baehr brings up the Buzzwords “Age of Stupidity.” He defines this as the force brought upon American society by the Zeitgeist of “Communism, atheism, sexual promiscuity,” and the like. This opinion is based off of both scientific and mathematical in-depth analysis from Movieguide as well as from Dr. Baehr’s personal lived experience.
It is easy for today’s media to dismiss movies with overt Christian values and themes as ‘not with the times’ or ‘offensive in an interfaith world.’ However, as Movieguide’s analysis shows, something very popular with people from atheist or materialist worldviews, films with Christian values and themes sell better than non-Christian themed films and other entertainment. In fact, all of 2014’s top 10 movies had pleasant, Christian morals and themes (Baehr, 10). This only goes to show that Christ’s truth marches on, even in a sinful and fallen world. God has never left us, even thousands of years after Christ’s earthly ministry. He “keeps his covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9, NIV). Therefore, he is with those that he has called and possibly, in his divine ways, may be using 2014’s top 10 list of films to call out to lost souls!
On a personal and spiritual level, Christian themes have the potential to have a lasting effect on our society. When one is in the cinema, the raw emotion and message of the film is barely separated from the viewer’s heart and mind by a mere screen. Even after it is finished and the credits are rolling, the viewer incorporates what he or she has watched into his or her moral character. If ‘little Johnny’ sees Kristoph in FROZEN decide to help Anna instead of leaving her out in the cold, Christ’s love has spread to that child just like when he told his followers the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Some might say, “Disney didn’t write FROZEN to be an instrument of God’s grace,” but I’d beg to differ. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians, “It is true that some preach Christ’s message out of envy, rivalry. . . selfish ambition, or not sincerely. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice” (Philippians 1:15-18, NIV). Therefore, Christ uses even those who use his teachings and truths with impure intentions, such as only wanting to make money, for good. Just as Joseph tells his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, saving many lives” (Genesis 50:20, NIV).
When one is exposed to media, he or she absorbs it into their mind and heart as said before. Because of this, the Apostle Paul also encourages us that, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, NIV). When one only views violent, promiscuous, and atheist media he or she may become discouraged, negative, and cynical in their everyday and real life. Paul only wants us to be built up and grounded in Christ, the “solid rock” (Matthew 7:24, NIV), and his message. On that ground, we can only be happy, even in suffering. “All other ground is sinking sand” (Edward Mote, 1863).
In conclusion, this modern “Age of Stupidity” as Dr. Baehr mentions, can remind us all of perhaps Sodom and Gomorrah from the Old Testament. Sinful movies and TV, cynical media, and faithless education can make us feel like we’re stuck in that sinking sand. However, Jesus Christ wants us constantly remembering our baptisms and the promises that He made for us; giving us renewed hope daily not for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but rather the, “New Jerusalem, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2, NIV). When He comes again, there will be no more violence, promiscuity, or worry. Viewing positive movies and other programming can only help us peer into what Christ has prepared for us.
Baehr, T. (2015). The Big Lie. 2015 Movieguide Report to the Entertainment Industry.
Barker, K. (1995). The NIV study Bible (10th anniversary ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.
Mote, Edward. Orch. John Stainer. My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less. Edward Mote. 1863. CD.
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