Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Jumping off 'The Ledge'
Many Christians, especially Presbyterians and Baptists, have embraced and attempted to live by the teachings of the Westminster Confession since it was formulated by the Church of England in 1646. It attempts to answer a mystifying question that has dogged man for thousands of years. What is our purpose? Why were we born? Why are we here? The answer given by the Westminster Confession is simple and direct: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God.” We were created to praise the Creator. Unfortunately, most in our modern culture worships the creation rather than the creator. “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25)
The Westminster Confession reinforces the idea that men were created to worship: “Religious worship is to be given to God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and to him alone: not to angels, saints, or any other creature.” American society is becoming more and more pantheistic, substituting the worship of nature rather than worship the true God.
New Age guru, Shirley McClain, was given a five hour block by ABC to promote her mystic beliefs. McClain promoted the idea of God being a part of everything and everything being a part of God. She claimed to have some sort of Aquarian revelation while walking along the beach one day. She lifted her hands toward the heavens and said, “I am god.” She felt a bit sheepish at first but as she repeated it again and again she said she finally embraced her inner god nature.
A major contradiction in this belief that we are all threads in a god quilt is the failure to reconcile good and evil within our very nature. If God is holy, sinless and perfect in his purity, how can he then also be sinful and unspeakably wicked? Light and dark cannot simultaneously exist in the same space, nor can purity and sinfulness coexist in the same entity. Therefore, if man is sinful in his nature his claim that “I am god” is an absurdity. Christ died on the cross to bridge the great gap that separates us from the living God. We can experience reconciliation with God through repentance and forgiveness but we can never become god. It’s an age-old problem that goes all the way back to Eve’s desire to become God in the Garden of Eden. The same problem surfaced again at the Tower of Babel. It is still prevalent today.
Who is surprised that Hollywood and the modern media would give a platform for such tripe? A true Christian would not slough off his God-given responsibility to be a conscientious steward of the earth God has given. God created the earth and saw that it was good and was very pleased. The first responsibility of Adam was to tend to the garden in which he lived. We still have an obligation to care for and respect the creation.
But, many have gone beyond being good stewards. They have violated the chief purpose of God for man by glorifying nature rather than God. Hollywood and the media have given Al Gore and others an inordinate amount of time to use their studios as a bully pulpit to promote the worship of Gaia, the earth goddess.
Men were created to worship. Worship is an involuntary response like breathing or blinking our eyes. When we worship God, the Creator, we are able to maintain a proper perspective of God, his creation and our place in it. When we choose to worship others or other things our minds become more and more distorted. An apathetic failure to fulfill the chief purpose of man will bring major distortion but an aggressive determination to substitute God with a false idol will bring gross distortion and a dreadful response from a God who is terrible in his justice.
This brings us to another twisted Hollywood promotion. Matthew Chapman, who ironically happens to be the great-great grandson of Charles Darwin, has directed a movie called “The Ledge”. In a nutshell, the movie depicts a fundamentalist Christian husband whose wife yields to seductions of an atheist friend. Just as Hollywood used “Brokeback Mountain” to promote the acceptance of the sin of homosexuality, it now uses “The Ledge” to promote acceptance of the sin of unbelief.
The Christian is depicted as the evil one forcing another to commit suicide while the atheist is the classic victim. The non-believer is sexy and attractive to the leading female while the Christian husband is stiff, stodgy and overbearing. This is typical for Hollywood to trash the Christian and glorify one who declares there is no God.
If man’s chief end is to glorify God, is this not a perversion of the true purpose of man? Chapman says, “I hope atheists who are still in the closet will take heart from the film and think, I am not alone.” The intent of the film is to unite atheists and encourage the acceptance of the general public of their God-denying beliefs.
It borders on blasphemy. Chapman puts his viewers on the ledge and encourages them to jump off into an abyss of moral decay because we have failed to fulfill the primary purpose of man, to bring glory to the true and living God. Think of it, millions of people will shell out multi-millions of dollars to see this film and each of the dollars they spend will have written on it, “In God We Trust.”
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.