Archive for December, 2017

Last night some friends and I did a crazy, spontaneous thing by going to watch the 11pm screening of the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi.

I really enjoyed the movie, in spite of watching it in 3D (which I despise!). The cinematography and special effects made for a satisfying experience, and the way they were able to superimpose Carrie-Ann Fischer’s face onto the new actress, was absolutely flawless.

I was struck by a few very noticeable elements in the movie which came across quite boldly. There were definitely some agendas being pushed by this artwork. Using the word, “agenda”, sounds so sinister and conspiratorial. That is not my intention, but I have to recognize and acknowledge the reality that film is a very powerful medium. It is highly influential and widely disseminated, and while there may or may not be deliberate intentions for influencing the culture on the part of the movie-makers, they most certainly do set trends, and they also (wanting to please the masses and thereby make more money) will be quick to bow to current social pressures.

So what were these ‘agendas’, exactly?

Feminism. A strong feminist bent was about as subtle as one of those Kangaroo-dog-camels, rampaging through the casino. Females were cast for the majority of the leadership roles (not to mention the main character is a female). Interestingly, the makers did not try to portray the female leaders in a butch way, as if they were trying to live up to a male stereotype. Instead they made many of them very ‘girly’ but still wanted us to believe that they were highly effective, accomplished and war-hardened military heroes – something I found particularly unbelievable. In a day and age of gender fluidity and lack of definition, I saw the clearly lady-like women (albeit in very unladylike roles), very interesting.

Bunny-hugging. Or birdie-hugging, in this case. Clearly, the makers wanted to send a pro-animal message – they made some very cute, and cuddly looking creatures, and then put them in scenes where they were being cruelly-treated. That is all good and well – as a Christian, I am told to care for the life of my beasts. What I found disturbing, was how cruelty and immorality was being portrayed.

At one point Chewbacca was about to eat a roast bird, when a bunch of other cute, cuddly birds with big sorry-for-me-eyes came and watched him. He tried to scare them away, but in the end he didn’t eat the bird, and clearly felt ashamed for having killed it in the first place.

At another point we see some alien whipping a racing Kangaroo-dog-camel, and clearly the implication is that this is wrong. Of course, whipping an animal can easily be cruel, and there were stripes left on these creatures which support the idea that the whipping was excessive. However, using animals for racing and disciplining them corporally is not in-itself wrong. In fact, animals were made to be used and to serve man. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the implications of Darwinian evolution. If an evolutionist wishes to hold on to morality, he or she must not distinguish between humans and other less-evolved life-forms. If you say that animals are not worthy of the same rights as humans, then you must answer the question, “Why?” This is unanswerable from and evolutionary standpoint.

Crossing ethnic and racial divides. This comes across strongly, and clearly the makers want to show that ultimately we are all the same regardless of external factors, and we can work together for the greater good. I applaud this particular message, which just goes to show, that its not the fact that there are agenda’s and messages being sent in art which is the problem. It is who’s messages and agenda’s they are. Are they Satan’s or are they God’s?

My last observation for the purposes of this article is that they tried very hard to stick as closely as possible to the original trilogy (episode IV, V and VI) décor and themes – this is most noticeable in the form of Master Yoda, who appears toward the end of the film, looking and sounding far more like the original Yoda than the (in my opinion) better, more polished Yoda of Episodes I, II and III.

P.S. Whatever happened to training Jedi? So the oldschool Jedi had to train for years. Heck, they almost didn’t accept Anakin, because he was too old. But recently, it seems like Jedi can do it on their own, purely on natural talent, and without much more than a crash course, they can beat formidable dark opponents.

P.P.S. I did actually enjoy this movie, in spite of what may sound like a negative rant


A Consolation in Affliction

Posted: 3 December, 2017 in Uncategorized
The below is taken from The Great Gain of Godliness by Thomas Watson:
  1. When the Lord afflicts the saints yet he deals well with them because he is their God.
  2. When it goes badly with the godly, yet God deals well with them because, while he is inflicting evil upon them he is doing them good. ‘It is good for me that I have been afflicted’ (Psalm 119:71)
               The godly grow wiser
               Affliction promotes holiness
  1. When God puts his children to the school of the cross, yet he deals well with them because he does not leave them without a promise: ‘God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.’ (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  2. God deal swell with his people when he afflicts because afflictions are preventative.
               They prevent sin
               They prevent hell
  1. When God corrects he deals well with his people because all he does is in love. ‘As many as I love, I rebuke.’ (Revelation 3:19)
  2. God deals well with his people when he afflicts them because he moderates his stroke; ‘I will correct thee in measure.’ (Jeremiah 30:11; 46:28)
  3. When God afflicts his children he deals well with them because he keeps them from sinning in affliction; ‘I pray… that thou shouldest keep them from evil.’ (John 17:15)
               The godly are kept from impatience.
               The godly dare not use any dishonest means to extricate themselves out of trouble.
  1. God deals well with his children in affliction because though he correct them, he does not forsake them. ‘For the Lord will not cast off for ever.’ (Lamentations 3:31)
  2. God deals well with his children in affliction because though their condition should be sad, yet it is not so bad as others. 
  3. God in affliction deals well with his children because, if he takes away one comfort, he leaves more behind. 
  4. When God afflicts, he deals well with his people because he takes away nothing from them but he gives them that which is better. 
  5. When God afflicts his children he deals well with them because he affords them his divine presence: ‘I will be with him in trouble.’ (Psalm 91:15)
  6. God in afflicting deals well with his children because he gives them that which makes amends for their afflictions; he drops in the oil of gladness; he makes them gather grapes of thorns: ‘Your sorrow shall be turned into joy’ (John 16:20)
  7. When God corrects his children he deals well with them because these paroxysms or hot trials do not last long. After the clouds, the sun. ‘I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever’ (1 Kings 11:39)
  8. When God puts his children to the school of the cross he deals well with them . ‘Our light affliction… worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory’ (2 Corinthians 4:17)