At the Movies

Part 2: Star Wars

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Throughout the course of Star Wars, there are two glaring themes that point us back to our faith: hope and apprenticeship. No matter where we are right now, there is always another step we can take towards Jesus because of the hope found in the cross. In addition, the time is always ripe to be discipled by someone and be a disciple to someone else. God calls us to be transformed by Him through others, and we are so excited to share these topics through the lens of Star Wars!

Life Imitates Art

“Art is a reflection of God's creativity, an evidence that we are made in the image of God.” 

Francis Schaeffer

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. — Romans 2:12

Have you ever been asked whether life imitates art, or art imitates life? It’s easy to make the case that we are influenced by the art (movies, music, books, and visual media) we experience. This happens on both an individual level and a community level.  

As Americans, our culture is shaped by the movies we most watch and the music we most play. These forces dictate what is widely viewed as acceptable, good, and true. What we set our minds and hearts on is what forms us into the people we are. If you’ve gazed into pop culture recently, you might find that last sentence alarming! 

Unfortunately, we can’t determine what media the world around us creates and consumes. You can kindly tell people that what they’re watching is inappropriate, but if you don’t have an example of something good as its replacement, it will be difficult for them to cut that entertainment out.

Better than simply revealing and speaking against the evil promoted by popular media is to display something good as an alternative. As the church, we have the responsibility to provide and support alternatives to worldly art and entertainment. Some of us do this as part of our jobs: we write books and articles which conform to the Gospel worldview. We make videos or movies that we’d be willing to show Jesus. 

Anytime we as Christians speak out against something, our statement is more powerful if we also speak honorably of a more Godly alternative. Instead of playing into the stereotype that Christians are negative people who don’t like to have fun and condemn everything in their wake, we can show people the light in contrast to the darkness. After all, if there were not an ultimate good, we could not call anything “bad.” It is our good God that gives us something better to aspire to. 

Every one of us has the opportunity to lead by example, choosing only to consume appropriate media, but also to use our God-given gifts to provide more wholesome ways for people to spend their time.

May the Spirit Be With You

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Corinthians 13:14

Your life probably doesn’t feel as epic as the life of a jedi knight. You’re not a warrior who controls an invisible force and wields a saber made of light. 

Or are you?

Okay, not really. But you might have more in common with these heroes of a galaxy far far away than you think. Just like Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are at war with evil forces: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

As a Christian you also believe in an omnipresent Creator (a force) who is invisible to your eyes, but whose presence you’ve experienced in your heart. He is called the Holy Spirit, and He empowers us to do what we cannot do alone (Acts 2:3-4; Mark 13:11; John 14:16). Just like the force is only available to some of the movie’s characters, so too is the Holy Spirit only in those who have accepted Christ (Romans 8:9). 

And before you say, I’m not a warrior and I’m not trained in combat, don’t forget Ephesians 6:13-17, which tells us to put on the full armor of God to prepare for battle against the evil one. And that’s not just defensive armor either; it includes the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. 

Pretty fascinating similarities, right? Maybe Star Wars is more like our true reality than we realize! It could be that the movie has resonated with generations of people because everyone has a sense that they are in a war right here on earth. Maybe we all innately desire to find an invisible force which provides meaning for ourselves and holds all things together. Even if secular people do not call this a “god,” they almost certainly believe in something fitting that criteria. 

But let’s remember, these comparisons are useful for introducing others to faith, but only the Word of God is our source of knowledge about our reality! When we engage culture, we must be careful not to stray from our source. For example, the Star Wars universe is resolved when balance is restored between the light and dark sides of the force. And this is where the analogy breaks down, as all analogies do when you stretch them too far. Many other religions and “gods” blur lines between good and evil. They say there’s a little bit of good in all the bad, and some bad in all the good. This notion of “balance” is a lie from the devil, who seeks to trivialize our sin and cause us to remove Yahweh as the sole God of our lives.


Media // Resources // RightNow Media

Engage // Part 2: Discipleship // Jacob Scrimpshire

Life on Purpose // Part 3: Brotherhood // Nic Allen

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