Even if you just casually watch the news, especially the entertainment news, you have probably heard about the movie “The Golden Compass.” It made the news recently, not because it’s a sci-fi adventure with lots of great computer effects, but because it is supposed to be written by an atheist who want to lead kids away from God. In his series of books, the author has God killed in order for people to have their freedom.

I have not read the books nor seen the movie. My interest in bringing it up has to do with the general public’s perceptions of entertainment, the symbolism that is used in movies, and the intent of the original source for the movie, whether it be a book, a play, or just an original idea from a screenwriter.

What spawned this was a headline from FoxNews.com that reads “‘The Golden Compass’ is a whopping success — and not anti-Christian.” I thought, “Well, I hope this person knows what they are talking about. If it really isn’t anti-Christian, I’d like to go see it.” Then I read the article. The writer opens with,

“The Golden Compass” is here. After being treated to tantalizing bits and pieces, I’ve seen the whole movie, a sumptuous two-hour adventure that has as much to do with being anti-Christian or Catholic as “Flipper.” So much for that.”

OK. So far just statements, no evidence. I wonder what they are going to say? I wonder what kind of discernment this person has? I knew as soon as I read this.

“Kidman, in particular, is back to business, slithering around, having a grand time as Mrs. Coulter, the nominal villain in little Lyra’s bizarre world where everyone has a “daemon” or talking animal by their side that represents their personality.

Lyra’s daemon is a wildcat that can become a lion, while Kidman’s is a sleek, dangerous monkey, and Craig’s is a snow leopard. Yes, the animals all talk and are wise and wily and a lot of fun as they morph from one to another.”

A daemon. A wise talking animal that represents a personality. Can you say, “Demon?!” Can you say, “Spirit guide?” Wow! You can’t get much more anti-Christian than that. Well you can, if you really try. And if the stories do include killing God, then you’ve pretty much gotten there.

“”The Golden Compass” is a fable, and it can only be viewed as such. Like “The Lord of the Rings,” it’s about an object everyone wants — in this case, the compass — which has mystical powers and promise of salvation.”

While it may be a fable or work of fiction, if the article had done any research on the author of the books he would know that there is an intent behind it. It is a stark contrast between “The Lord of the Rings” where Tolkien specifically wrote that it is purely fantasy, there is no allegory or point or parallel intended.

“Like “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Compass” is meant to entertain and disturb children of all ages”

This guy really has not done his homework. If he knew anything about Lewis he would know that Lewis also had an intent behind “Narnia” and it was the opposite of “Compass.” Lewis was trying to draw people toward God. While that may not have been the intent of the producers of the movie or various TV adaptations, it was the intent of the source. The same thing must be taken into consideration concerning “Compass.” There is an intentional message behind it the writing, even if that intentions isn’t shared by the movie makers. Ironically, the article ends with this.

“More importantly, “The Golden Compass” is a large-scale thoughtful fantasy, something to get lost in during a holiday film season when there’s a lot more realistic doom and gloom to contemplate.”

The idea of people getting lost is exactly the intent of the author of the books. And using the Christmas season of all things to communicate an anti-God message is tragic. It only leads to more doom and gloom.

When considering entertainment for yourself and your family, consider the intent of the source of the work. Consider the message that is being communicated. Consider the characters/tools /methods used to communicate that message. When things are reviewed as “harmless fun” one’s radar should go off. Take care put on your armor as you go about your Christmas business. It’s a prime opportunity for wolves in sheep’s clothing.