by Richard Mansel
The film, “The Golden Compass,” is an attack on Christianity that merits a reply. We must remain aware of the assaults on faith and Biblical authority in our world. Information coupled with resolve and an unyielding faith will blunt the fiery darts hurled at us (Ephesians 6:11). Critics counter that this is simply a movie and that we are being alarmists. However, an alarm needs to be ringing so God’s people can awaken to the threats around them.
“The Golden Compass” derives from the first in a three book series entitled, “His Dark Materials.” The first volume entitled “The Golden Compass” written by Philip Pullman, published in 1995 as “The Northern Lights,” deals with a young girl who embarks on an adventure to save kidnapped children from a terrible enemy. The evil in this book derives from God and the Church.
Anyone who discusses the books and films must remember Pullman’s own claims that he is promoting atheism with calculated zeal. Despite the feeble complaints of the director, stars, and studio that the film is not anti-God, the words of Pullman shout them down./1
While they may remove many of the controversial aspects from the first film, the message of the books will still be evident. A comparatively tame film nonetheless remains tethered to the books from where the true danger lurks. The director says, “Whereas ‘The Golden Compass’ had to be introduced to the public carefully, the religious themes in the second and third books can’t be minimized without destroying the spirit of these books.”/2 The third book, “The Amber Spyglass,” finds Lyra killing a senile, powerless God.
Pullman has been very open, until studio pressure fell on him, in his promotion of atheism in these books. He appears to have set out to write a series that would be the complete opposite of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books where Aslan, representing Christ, is the hero./3 He calls the Narnia books “‘one of the most ugly and poisonous things’ he’s ever read. ‘I hate [the ‘Narnia’ books] with a deep and bitter passion.'”/4
Here in his books, his lead character, Lyra, kills God. Pullman admits, “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief. Mr. Lewis would think I was doing the Devil’s work.”/5
Pullman admitted, “I’m a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the people — mainly from America’s Bible Belt — who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven’t got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I’ve been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God.”/6
Maliciously he says, “I wanted to reach everyone and the best way I could do that was to write for children.”/7
Pullman is typical of atheists who rail against a concept of God that is far removed from reality. They mock a god who is gleeful in his hatred, bigotry, sexism, racism, and who hates homosexuals and wishes to murder infidels. If this god existed, hatred of him would be justified. However, God is consummate love, goodness, and mercy (1 John 4:8,16; 2 Peter 3:9; Psalm 145:9; Lamentations 3:22,23; Titus 1:2; 1 John 3:5). Therefore, campaigning against a god that does not exist is an exercise in futility.
Moreover, the sinful deeds of Christians, whether real or pretended, should not be held against God. He condemns sin, not condones it. Homosexuality is a sin but God loves all souls, including that of those who practice homosexuality (Romans 1:26,27; Ezekiel 18:4). Finally, God allows man the choice of choosing their own path to heaven or hell (Ezekiel 18:19-23; Matthew 25:46).
Pullman’s charges ring hollow while his film/books scream of spiritual destruction (Luke 13:3-5; Revelation 20:11-15). Let us not be sucked into the maelstrom with him.
by Richard Mansel