Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spiritual Implications of Movies

Movies are full of spiritual implications. I believe this is because we are spiritual beings, and people are searching for answers. You have your overtly spiritual movies like Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ”, you somewhat subtle spiritual movies like “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, as well as your controversial ones like “The Da Vinci Code”. But the movies that have intrigued me the most are the Star Wars movies.

In the Star Wars movies they talk about ‘the dark side,’ and ‘the force.’ The whole concept of the force is that it is the spiritual guide for their lives. The main character of the original Star Wars movies is Luke Skywalker. Luke is trained by a Jedi Master name Obi Wan Kenobi. Obi Wan helps Luke to feel the force and use the force for his benefit. He tells Luke that he can listen to the force for direction and guidance. The force empowers him, especially when he learns how to channel it.

The dark side is really the evil side of life, the evil side of the force. The main character on the Dark Side is Darth Vader. Darth Vader is turned to the dark side by his anger and hate. Darth Vader also uses the force for evil, not for good. Darth Vader finds out that Luke Skywalker is his son, and tries to turn Luke to the dark side. Luke is conflicted by the fact that the force on the Dark Side is so powerful.

It is interesting how people are willing to talk about the force and Darth Vader and Sith Lords, and yet they are not as willing to talk about God, Satan, and sin. When I talk about people being lured to "the dark side," it is not just about the sin that is in people’s lives, though sin is certainly central to "the dark side." Rather, it is also the issue of what causes good people, even godly people, to turn away from God, not just in momentary actions, but in a pattern of living. Why does someone who once walked with God end up living in an ungodly manner? What has changed this person's heart and lifestyle?

In the end of Star Wars, Luke realizes that the Dark Side is full of evil, and anger, and hatred, and that the force is not meant to be used in this way. Luke is able to stand strong in being good, and even is able to pull his father (Darth Vader) back to the good side. Even though this leads to Darth Vader’s death, there is an air of joy knowing that it is better to die on the good side, than live on the Dark Side.

What is best about the Star Wars movies is the implication that the force is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and the Dark Side is sin. While we may be pulled toward the dark side by our tendency to sin, the Holy Sprit is there to help us overcome our sinful desires. Even more, when we stumble down the dark side in our sin, Jesus is there to forgive us and cleanse us from this sin. We are then brought into God’s presence. What a difference it is to be in the presence of God, as opposed to the presence of sin, and evil, and darkness!

Thanks be to God for giving us the life force we have; the very breath of life; His Spirit. May we let movies lead us to search the Bible to help us understand all the more. I encourage you to look for spiritual implications in the movies, and find a way to turn them into Biblical truths. Blessings.