Monday, August 15, 2011


Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines disenchant as "to free from illusion".
Well, I'm here to state that though I have never been fully enchanted by the popular culture today, I am disenchanted by it in almost all aspects.
What we need today is a true disenchantment with Hollywood, the "music" industry, and even the world of politics. The latter is not something I will rant about today.

My true disenchantment with Hollywood became complete when a few of my favorite wholesome books were realized in the utterly wrong way onscreen. After viewing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I felt nothing but disappointment, ire, and sadness. The filmmakers took a wonderful Christian story and turned it into New Age spiritual nonsense about defeating the darkness inside yourself. Instead of being a beautiful journey to the End of the World and Aslan's Table, it became a completely me-centered adventure. The themes of sacrifice and redemption were almost nonexistent. To be brutally honest, I was appalled. Why did Hollywood have to change the story at all?

As far as the last installment of Harry Potter goes, I don't actually want to get into that. But I will say one thing: for the entire series, I was upset because Hollywood changed things and left huge gaps in the story. Yet when it came to Deathly Hallows Part Two, I was shocked at how empty it felt. Again, the underlying themes which are so obvious in J.K. Rowling's books were just not there. Why?

Well, Hollywood, it's because you don't even know what sacrifice, redemption, and true love look like.
I pray for celebrities as a whole, but it's hard to allow a smidgen of hope for most of the actors and singers and talent-less socialites that make up Beverly Hills and more.
You know why I sometimes wish for old Hollywood?
For the actors and actresses that played parts in black and white films?
Because at least they didn't flaunt their perverted and screwed up lives.
It wasn't "okay to be gay" and even though some of those men were, they didn't make it obvious.
It wasn't okay to be promiscuous and have children out of wedlock, so things were kept under wraps.
I'm certainly not trying to say that old Hollywood had better morals than today; in reality they were no different.
They just kept things clean on the outside, for the most part.
Films didn't need an R rating, or heaven forbid, an NC-17.
Television wasn't so graphic that all you see is body parts and buckets of blood.
Nudity wasn't acceptable onscreen.
Profanity was kept to a minimum.
Yeah, okay, everyone smoked and drank, but I think that's minor compared to other things.

What has happened to America? To the world? I do not find it acceptable when I go to a movie theater and the teenagers in the row in front of me are talking in such a way that their entire conversation should be bleeped out. On Sunday my pastor talked about going to sporting events and feeling like he should be wearing headphones, or even sitting in a coffee shop and feeling the same way. I know exactly how he feels.

I know I mentioned the "music" industry at the beginning of this post, but I'll save that for another day.
What I will say is that when we have people like Lady Gaga and her horrible song called "Judas", rock groups and rappers that scream strings of profanities and glorify drugs and pre-marital sex and same-sex relationships, I actually am half-okay with someone like Justin Bieber. At least he is still clean, for the most part. I just pray he doesn't go the way of Miley Cyrus and the rest of them.

My prayer and hope is that one day soon America will grow disenchanted with its own popular culture. The comments I read on YouTube videos and internet news stories show that this isn't going to happen to the general public anytime soon. I will place blame partially on education, because so many of the people that spend their time commenting online clearly don't know what they're talking about.

But now I charge my fellow Christians with something. Please, please, please stop trying to make yourself, your church, your music, and God "culturally relevant". That's not the point. Peter writes the following:

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belong to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9).

Two verses later, he charges Christians with this:

"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." (1 Peter 2:11-12).

Always remember that we are set apart from the world because of Christ's sacrifice for us. This sacrifice and our subsequent salvation gives us cause to live good lives and do good deeds. Christ gave His all that we might stand before God in heaven and be washed clean. Why do we not remember this more and show it during our lives here on earth?

I may be disenchanted with popular culture in general, but I think the time has come to allow an even greater disenchantment: Christians need to step away from being culturally relevant and hold the Gospel high. We need to show Hollywood and the rest of the world that we are different. If all we do is try to fit in, then that's all we ever will be: conformists.

And we shouldn't be.
Let the world be disenchanted by bubblegum Christianity.
Let the harshness of the Law be brought to light that the power of the Gospel may shine all the more.
I, for one, will gladly proclaim my Savior's grace and mercy everywhere I go.