So news broke that the much anticipated Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, is going to briefly feature a Lesbian couple. At least that’s what the rumor is. Now, as a rule of thumb Christian evangelicals, of late, seem to either care too much about one thing and care too little about others. In this instance, I have the hunch we will boycott the movie and express outrage over the normalization/glorification of an unbiblical lifestyle; and then fail to do anything productive about it in the long run.
The main issue with what Disney/Pixar is doing here is that by presenting a lesbian couple as normative, they are presenting something which God reckons as evil, and endeavoring to normalize it. Furthermore, although the homosexual couple doesn’t seem to have a key plot role, the problem is that they don’t have a key plot role! There’s nothing sinful in story-telling about portraying sin in order to show it as sin. There is something wrong with presenting sin as not sin. We’re told to flee immorality, not doll it up. I take this to be the real problem if indeed Pixar is trying to pander to the GQ BLT crowd.
However, though this cultural drift towards normalizing unbiblical behavior should concern us as Christians, what should concern us more is our decades-long complacency in producing great art and our mindless consumption of Babylon’s art. We’ve failed to be producers and settled for being consumers, so it shouldn’t surprise us that a godless culture is producing godless art & media. God made man to be a creator not a taker. However, consumerist mentality has led Christians to forsake laboring–for the glory of God–to produce the best art around.
The problem here is not that Disney is presenting evil as good (though that’s bad), but that we are just now noticing; and will we simply notice and then continue to feed upon Egypt’s fare, or will we repent of being takers instead of makers? Is it just now that we’ve noticed that Hollywood is packaging sin as normal? Is it just now that we’ve become outraged that virtue is mocked and vice is praised? Is it just now that we are concerned about sinful attitudes, behaviors, and actions in our media? Is it just now that we’re worried that our culture believes that the end justifies the means, and that the morality in their stories (in music, TV, & movies) is based on that principle?
Again, it isn’t that we, as Christians, should tell stories that are based only on Thomas Kinkade paintings, with no sin and only gentle sunshine in them. Rather we should tell stories where the sin is shown as having consequences, and that the ends don’t justify the means. After all, Jesus told a story about a guy getting beat up and robbed, and left to die by racist hypocrites; all to make the point that we are to love our neighbor (Luke 10:25-37). The sin is present in the story, but it is not glorified in the story. The prophets tell stories about sexual immorality (Ez. 16 for instance), but never glorifying it. Telling a story where the characters sin, is not a sin; but causing your listeners/watchers to sin IS a sin…and if they are little ones, you’d be best served by finding a large rock and go looking for Dory yourself (Mark 9:42).
We’ve been tolerating worldliness for quite a while now, and the issue isn’t that the world is acting like itself, it’s that Christians are not acting like Christ. We should be the ones making the best stories, movies, music, and art; and refusing to settle for the poison laced dainties of secularism. We’ve been overlooking Hollywood’s “minor” offenses of foul language, senseless violence, and voyeuristic sexuality for a while now.
A personal story: I recently watched a children’s show with my daughter, and realized that the heroes of the story stole something from the bad guy, and were never chastised nor faced any consequences for their theft. It was presented as ok, because the character from whom they stole was unlikeable anyway. It’s that sort of storytelling that we’ve apathetically imbibed, because we have been persuaded that Christ has no place in the arts.
If we believe that He is Lord, then we ought to start living like He is in every arena! If we don’t tell the “old, old story”, we shouldn’t be surprised when Babylon starts telling its grim story of sin, darkness, and fatalistic despair. By the way, we’ve got a better story than they do, with better plot-lines, more vibrant characters, and an eucatastrophic resurrection to boot. They’ve only got the dank cellar of Darwinistic narcism which leaves them with the empty void of their bland and baseless morality.
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