Avatar

by Helen van Huyssteen-Bosman

James Cameron, director of the previous "most successful movie in history" (Titanic), brings us a titanic religious deception in his latest box office hit, Avatar.  Yes, in the natural, Avatar is a visual treasure: a technological milestone.  Stunning---mesmerizing – an amazing piece of theatrics! But it is also a blatantly subversive education in theology and politics as also was his latest documentary on Jesus, which had no other purpose but to discredit scripture (The Lost tomb of Jesus)

Movies often 'teach' theology.  Some movies, therefore, greatly influenced our last two generations about the character and qualities of God, as did the Star Wars series, which prompted the supreme deity as an impersonal, amoral energy "Force" that could be tapped into and used for one's own end through mental techniques.  These implications distort and demean the character of God, and by science fiction, Eastern mysticism like Hinduism and sorcery, are propelled into minds of Western youth.

Avatar does the same and provides a spectacular platform for preaching shamanism.  The moon planet Pandora, hampered by a tribe of humanoids, the Na'vi and their worship of Eywa, a goddess akin to the Greek Gaia or Mother Earth sets the perfect scene for the impersonal, godlike force of Eywa to maintaining the balance of all life.

Director and screen writer James Cameron makes his theological and ecological bent quite clear in nearly every frame of the film.  The movie's title and image of the Na'vi are derived from the Hindu god Krishna, a blue-skinned incarnated avatar of the god Vishnu.  The huge Home tree depicts the universal communication medium known in Shamanism for such cultures to connect with deceased shamans, ancestors, and the spirits themselves.

In the past, the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of Christian nations were significantly eroded by the non-personal teaching of God as a "force", e.g. Hinduism.  Add to these movies like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. and you will be stunned to realise that there is a general lack of discernment among modern Christians.  Avatar is blatant sermon about earth worship, shamanism and spiritism.  It is no mystery that generations of secular Christians who are nominally educated in Scripture, flock to these movies and tend to embrace many of these ideas as spiritual guidelines for a better life!  This situation inevitably poses a spiritually treacherous climate for the upcoming generation of believers-among them our precious children and grandchildren!

Scripture, however, teaches that only a personal relationship with God through the propitiatory sacrifice of God the Son - Jesus Christ - is the ultimate way to truth and life. The extreme maddening part of this is when Christians attempt to read underlying Christian themes into popular movies that are totally antichrist in nature.

Magazines like Christianity Today, for example, often lead the way in condoning and anointing the world’s popular delusions as ' Christian'.   Many Christians today, in a futile and un-Biblical way, attempt to find "common ground”, often declaring some of these characters and depictions in the said movies, as representative of Biblical concepts and persons. 

Coupled with the decreasing amount of Biblical teaching in churches, we are also fed on a spiritual junk food diet, of the "social “gospel of success, incorporating various "spiritual" ideas gleaned from these movies, into our daily spiritual diet.  In this way more than one Christian generation have been increasingly desensitized by aberrant religious teachings in modern movies aiding relentless efforts to muddy the spiritual waters especially over the last thirty years.

On the other hand, those Christians that venture to criticise movies like Avatar, are blatantly accused of being "religious extremists “who are judgemental and "intolerant" and out of sync with the trends of today.

The eco-paganism of Avatar which declares that people were not made in God's image, as Genesis declares -- but that they are outgrowths of nature -- collides headlong with the original account of Scripture, and the authority of the Creator who by the power of His Word spoke the creation into existence, and formed man from the dust of the earth!  This blatant push for a recognition of the neo-pagan animism/pantheism in Avatar, is a component of the 'new religion' of our revolutionised times where man is seen as an offspring of nature, and not the creation of God.

Sadly, the facts are that many thousands of teenagers have been enamoured with the theology and shamanic gospel of Avatar and it is apparent from the box office successes that this false gospel is finding fertile soil worldwide as it introduces "another gospel" spoken of by the messenger of God in the book of Galatians, where Paul admonishes the congregation of believers:

"I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ into another gospel;  but ,though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed"( Gal.1:6-8)