Mark Driscoll on Avatar: Satanic

Status
Not open for further replies.

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Here is something interesting I ran across in the local (and now defunct, except for the online version) paper. Mark Driscoll preaches against the pagan philosophy of the movie "Avatar."

The world tempts you to sin, to use people, to disobey God, to live for your own glory instead of his own, to be a consumer instead of generous, that's the world system.
And if you don't believe me, go see Avatar, the most demonic, satanic film I've ever seen. That any Christian could watch that without seeing the overt demonism is beyond me. I logged on to christianitytoday.com and the review was reflective of Christianity today, very disappointing. See, in that movie, it is a completely false ideology, it's a sermon preached. It's the most popular movie ever made, and it tells you that the creation mandate, the cultural mandate is bad, that we shouldn't, we shouldn't develop culture, that's a bad thing.
Primitive is good and advanced is bad and that we're not sinners, we're just disconnected from the divine life force, just classic, classic, classic paganism, that human beings are to connect, literally, with trees and animals and beasts and birds and that there's this spiritual connection that we're all a part of, that we're all a part of the divine.
It presents a false mediator with a witch. It presents false worship of created things rather than Creator God in absolute antithesis to Romans 1:25, which gives that as the essence of paganism. It has a false incarnation where a man comes in to be among a people group and to assume their identity. It's a false Jesus. We have a false resurrection. We have a false savior. We have a false heaven. The whole thing is new age, satanic, demonic paganism, and people are just stunned by the visuals. Well, the visuals are amazing because Satan wants you to emotionally connect with a lie.

'Avatar' is the most satanic film Mark Driscoll has ever seen

I haven't seen the movie, and I won't, but as much as I've read about it, I think he is right.

Please don't make this a "Mark Driscoll is of the debil" thread. I'm only interested in whether you think he is right in this observation.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
His observations about what the movie presents are correct (false mediator, false resurrection, etc...) the worldview of the movie IS pagan.

But to call it "the most demonic, satanic film" he's ever seen... well, I'd wager he was being hyperbolic.
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The movie is overtly pagan, but I wouldn't say it is the most demonic movie of all time. There have been plenty of movies that have a story line filled with demon possession, worshipping Satan, and everything else associated with the demonic.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I definitely think he's exaggerating. Yes, there are major pagan elements in Avatar's fictional world, but I don't think it's "satanic".

Perhaps I've got it all wrong. Perhaps it's sinful to watch (and enjoy - GASP!) movies like Star Wars and Avatar. But I doubt it.

I thought Avatar was great, and I'd encourage all of you to see it.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I definitely think he's exaggerating. Yes, there are major pagan elements in Avatar's fictional world, but I don't think it's "satanic".

Perhaps I've got it all wrong. Perhaps it's sinful to watch (and enjoy - GASP!) movies like Star Wars and Avatar. But I doubt it.

I thought Avatar was great, and I'd encourage all of you to see it.

Daniel, I think you zeroed in on the real question. If something celebrates paganism, is it not Satanic?

I agree that Driscoll is hyperbolic (or maybe he doesn't see many movies), but my attitude is that it is refreshing for someone to call out the operation of the "Prince of the power of Air."

As with so many things, I'm not judging the seeing of such movies as sinful, but I do think we need to be mindful of what we are seeing.
 

dudley

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
His observations about what the movie presents are correct (false mediator, false resurrection, etc...) the worldview of the movie IS pagan.

But to call it "the most demonic, satanic film" he's ever seen... well, I'd wager he was being hyperbolic.

I agree with Ben, the movie has pagan symbolism but Satanic is perhaps strectching the issue.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
If something celebrates paganism, is it not Satanic?

We could probably debate for a while what it means to celebrate paganism. I don't think Avatar does that.


As with so many things, I'm not judging the seeing of such movies as sinful, but I do think we need to be mindful of what we are seeing.

Absolutely. We need to be mindful. When I watch Star Wars, I am completely mindful that it is dripping with Eastern ideologies, but the fictional world that Lucas created is a showcase of the creativity that God bestows upon even the unbelievers. It's the same with Cameron's Avatar.
 

TrueConvert

Puritan Board Freshman
In Ephesians 2, the description of us before we were saved seems to indicate that as a result of us being unsaved, we were walking after the devil.
2:2,3 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Are unbelievers satanic, in that they are of their father, the devil? Are there only 2 lines? How does that work? Either in Christ or in Adam, and the celebration of any hope/trust apart from Christ is what? I mean, if not satanic? Is paganism not satanic? I'm seriously asking these questions for clarity. Thanks
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
It's not quite as hyperbolic in the context of the entire sermon that it came from. (But it's still hyperbolic.)
 

Roldan

Puritan Board Junior
LOL @ Driscoll.....If Avatar is "pagan" and we shouldn't watch those things then throw your Tv's away...lol...I watched the movie with my Kids and I asked them after what they got from it and they basically said what they learned is not to be prejudice and racist....Everything that is not Christian is pagan to be technical but "pagan" doesn't necessarily denote evil or satanic. Is baseball pagan? yup, it sure wasn't created for christians to worship God now was it? football? watching the show "friends" "everybody love Raymond" etc.....?

My point is lets not throw everything under the umbrella of Satanic....less we get legalistic
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
How can something be Pagan but not Satanic?

Is not Satan the Father of all lies? John 8:44?



I would say that there are many terrible things that spring from our fallen sin nature, and I don't know exactly how we can determine for sure when it goes beyond fallen human to satanic. But when there are satanic ( demonic, or higher level principalities) operating through people you get a whole new level of evil and perversion. Ritual murders, beastiality, ritual pedophilia. Or crimes on a vast scale like Hitler who was into the occult.

I think you can be a tree hugger without it being Satan possessing you and using you as a vessel. The ultimate lie comes from him and is in the culture and you are deceived by that lie, and every culture has its own set of lies that came from Satan originally, but you can believe the lies all by your fallen self with no help from demons at all.

I've been around people a couple times that I am sure had demons. It is a whole new level of feeling creeped out and you know exactly what sociopathic means. I have also been around people that believe the lies of our culture and they seem, well, just like normal fallen people but not Satanic.

(I didn't see the movie so can't comment on that. )
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
We all have our little pet hatreds. For some it's paganism. For me, nationalism is a zillion times greater threat to my people since we're so easily suckered into it. Most Bible believing Christians can see the paganism in Avatar, but I can think of 20 WW2 movies that feed the beast of nationalism more than Avatar encourages Christians to worship big trees.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Those are strong words from Mr. Driscoll. Piper only said it was boring:

[video=youtube;RYVF16C24yE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYVF16C24yE[/video]
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Why waste time and send money to people dead set on undoing the benefits of the Reformation and the Gospel from which it sprang?
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
Films dealing overtly with the occult (if that isn't too much of an oxymoron) seem on the face of it more obviously "satanic".
However Satan can transform himself into an angel of light.
The ones that are engaging and apparently harmless (low sex'n'violence score) may be more dangerous, because they will be able to draw in people who wouldn't consider viewing extreme horror films, draw them in to hear and accept and internalise the Godlessness gospel.
Everyone on the PB, if they go to see Avatar, will go armoured and ready to spot and withstand that message. The great majority of the audience won't
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Why feed Hollywood? Get the DVD's from your local library....your taxes already paid for it :moneywings:
This way we can relate to our culture, but not embrace it, sort of , ...DOH :doh:

BTW notice how tacking on Mark Driscoll seems to entice us to view the thread ???? hmmmmmmm

BTW I like Driscoll....I hope he matures a little more in the RPW arena, but he HAS PEOPLE LISTENING. :)
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Films dealing overtly with the occult (if that isn't too much of an oxymoron) seem on the face of it more obviously "satanic".
However Satan can transform himself into an angel of light.
The ones that are engaging and apparently harmless (low sex'n'violence score) may be more dangerous, because they will be able to draw in people who wouldn't consider viewing extreme horror films, draw them in to hear and accept and internalise the Godlessness gospel.
Everyone on the PB, if they go to see Avatar, will go armoured and ready to spot and withstand that message. The great majority of the audience won't

I think this is what Driscoll was getting at. I've been mulling this over and I recalled watching the movie version of "Phantom of the Opera."

I really liked the movie because I thought it portrayed the attractiveness and danger of evil. To me it clearly showed how the way of darkness, while exciting and attractive, was deadly.

But then I kept running into people who thought the heroine should have tossed aside the guy in white (who represented normalcy and decency) in favor of the exciting Phantom. The difference in perspective chilled me.

So it goes here. Most of us can view such things and identify the dark elements, leave them aside or ignore them. But many of the lost love such things. And when we say "no, that is of Satan," they shrug and run back for more.

BTW, although Seattle is considered (by the secular press even) one of the most pagan cities around, I am contantly amazed at the real thirst for the gospel I see around here. There is an institutionalized "tolerance" and politeness that causes many to seriously listen to someone speak about God. That cuts both ways, though. They are just as open to the Buddist on the next street corner.
 

jayce475

Puritan Board Freshman
We do tread these paths over and over again don't we? Pretty sure most here would have looked at these two threads and I suspect that the arguments are all pretty much the same. My apologies if it appears as if I am hijacking every thread touching on the issue of pop culture.

Separation from the world

Rock and roll and the Christian life

Everyone on the PB, if they go to see Avatar, will go armoured and ready to spot and withstand that message. The great majority of the audience won't

I think we at times overestimate ourselves a great deal. 1 Cor 10:12 "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." I don't know about others, but I often find my own faith wavering when I read Richard Dawkins or Wayne Grudem if order to understand their philosophies or theology, so I have to keep turning back to scriptures and pray when doing so. Eph 6:17 "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." How many Christians pray before, during and after watching Avatar? How many Christians turn to the scriptures as soon as they can after the movie?

Fellow youths from my church often contend that watching Avatar won't cause them to hug trees because they know better, so they have the liberty to enjoy it for all they want. This is reckless abandon. Many on our threads keep mentioning that simply enjoying pop culture for all that it is is merely appreciating the good things in life that God has given us, but then disregard the doctrine of biblical separation. John Piper got it really right when he called Avatar boring. Absolutely! We derive enough enjoyment out of reading God's word and fellowshipping with Him, so we do not need movies and secular songs to tickle our senses. If we are going to "check them out" to evaluate how horrible they are in using God-given creativity and artistic talents to produce produces which do not reflect God's glory, then we ought to be absolutely prayerful and discerning while at it. If we do not, we run the risk of undermining our faith. For us to simply "enjoy" movies and other facades of pop culture and think that nothing it will ever affect us just because we are generally more mature in the faith is so dangerous. Also, for those whom we know are simply not going to be prayerful and discerning while watching such movies, should we not do our part and dissuade them from doing so? The wisest man on earth fell because he got tangled up with the affairs of this world and simply enjoyed himself so much. And we are all too familiar with his stories, so why won't we take heed and be more careful?

I do realize that the OP is touching on whether the movie itself is satanic. It's just that some had started to brand biblical separation "legalistic" and called for everyone to watch this movie that I found the need to tread these paths again. Calling biblical separation legalistic is calling the bible legalistic. The God I know condemns even the slightest bits of covetousness and sexual lust that I have in me. As for the movie itself, I haven't actually watched it myself since I refuse to give the money that God has given me to a movie industry to churns out devilish products. Based on the plot that I have got out of movie reviews and wikipedia, there seems to be enough pagan concepts being introduced to call it satanic simply on the basis of Eph 2:2-3 "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." It's not as though the pagan concepts are being treated critically in the movie. They are there because the world likes them and it causes the movie to sell by the bucketloads.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
[Moderator]Jason, please edit your post. It's not necessary to quote 1 Thessalonians 1 more than once in the same post.[/Moderator]
 
Last edited:

jayce475

Puritan Board Freshman
[Moderator]Jason, please edit your post. It's not necessary to quote 1 Thessalonians 1 more than once in the same post.[/Moderator]

Sorry, wasn't actually quoting it at all. Was trying out the "bible" tags, but didn't use it right I suppose.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jandrusk

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think it is kind of ironic on his position given all of the excrement that comes out of his mouth.
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
Of which, he (pastor Driscoll) has repeatedly, publicly, and completely repented of.

So I must wonder what "excrement" he is refering to?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top