Yesterday I checked out the Avatar movie, and I want to share some of my thoughts with you on this one. I don’t want you to look at me as the “movie police”, but I just want to present some of my thoughts and reflections for you to consider if you’ve seen the movie or plan on seeing it. Talk with your parents about it too. That would be helpful to discuss their thoughts and get their helpful insights.
If you have seen the movie, I would be interested in your thoughts as well. I enjoy conversation with you about God and stuff related to how we relate to Him. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. You are always welcome.
First, from Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary…
- the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)
- a : an incarnation in human form b : an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy ) often in a person
- a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity
- an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user (as in a computer game
I’m not exactly sure how the movie title fits with this definition, because the link between Jake, Dr. Augustine and the other science people with the bio-engineered Na’vi models (replicas of the blue-skinned Pandora natives) is not exactly deity (god) crossing over (incarnating). It was actually people crossing over in a way to another form (humanoid). But the title of the movie is still interesting.
- a doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe
The movie presents many New Age, eastern religion, and nature worship concepts such as when Neytiri, the main female Na’vi, said to Jake Sully, “there is a flow of energy into which we tap. We borrow it and then return it when we die” (something close to that). I saw this as either pantheistic or as some other form of New Age or eastern religion.
I would like to talk about philosophies and views of the world presented in the movie compared to a biblical view of the world. Yes, “AVATAR” is fantasy, yet we need to be aware of the philosophies and views of the world presented in this movie and not allow them to combine with our biblical understanding of the world. God breathed life into Adam and Adam became a living being (Genesis 2:7). Adam did not tap into a flow of energy and borrow it while living on earth and return it when he died. His life was breathed into him by God. God is not energy. God is spirit (John 4:24) and personal, and He is living.
And I felt that the movie presented nature worship, not just respect for nature. Clearly, we worship God, the Creator, not His creation (Romans 1:25).
Ok, some complimentary things to say. I was awestruck by the technical effects. I have never in my life seen such mastery of graphic arts as displayed in the movie. Incredible! I was actually kind of dizzy from all the special effects. The movie was a testimony to the massive creative abilities of humans. After all, after God created us, the Bible says He saw that it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) as compared to “it was good” on the other days of creation. And the plot was really gripping. Wow! (I am not going to comment on the political commentary stuff. Would get way too much).
Back to some suspect things about the show…The movie also presented the idea of us communicating with animal life in such a way that blurs the clear and distinct boundaries between human kind and animal kind. For example, the native Na’vis and Jake ride the flying creatures with the locks of their hair interwoven or inserted into the tails of the flying creatures to feel and know one another’s thoughts and intentions. This was way more than a horse or dog lover having a special connection with a saddled up horse or companion dog.
The movie borders on near-nudity with the alien creatures of Pandora. Yes, they are blue-skinned and all, but their bodies resemble human bodies an awful lot, and don’t leave much to the imagination. We need to be careful about what is being presented through Hollywood, no doubt, in order to live pure and holy lives.
Check out the www.pluggedin.com review to get more info. This is a really good resource to understand messages in movies, both negative and positive. For example, a positive element in “AVATAR” is the value placed on protecting and conserving resources. It’s just that the movie seems to me to take conservation and environmental friendliness almost if not into the territory of idolatry.
Again, I would be totally cool with hearing your thoughts, including if you think I have been too hard on the movie and too much of a movie policeman. I can take it. Again, I’m not out to spoil your fun. I’m all about helping you have fun in a way which you can feel good about and God-honoring.