Shedding the World

Sometimes you have to give up the things you love to protect your mind. This post details me coming to the conclusion that a franchise I used to love (X-Men) is not something God wants me relishing in.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?Mark 8:36 KJV

Introduction

The Bible is constantly telling us that we are to be separate from the world. The stronger our relationship with God, the more this principle begins to manifest in our lives. From what we listen to or what activities we participate in, we start to notice how anti-God the world really is. Once you see it, you have to make a decision. Watching a movie was one of those times I realized, I had made the wrong decision.

Last night, a group of friends and I went to see X-Men: Apocalypse. I hadn't watched the trailer, but I'd seen the movie posters and I knew it was coming out. I know a little about the comics, but I never read them, and I liked the other movies in the X-Men series so I assumed I'd like this one too. When my friends expressed interested in going to see it, I didn't even think about watching the trailer, I just assumed it would be action packed with great CGI. Well, it was definitely action packed and it definitely had a lot of CGI, but from the opening scene until the end I got the feeling I shouldn't have been there.

Movies are supposed to be harmless fun. You and I (and the whole world) know that the X-Men series is fantasy—none of these people exist and none of this can happen. Under that line of thinking, most us watch TV shows and movies without the slightest inkling of the subconscious thoughts the content of the movie may trigger. If movies are, in fact, "harmless fun," why do you think so many minorities are fighting to have credible roles in mainstream movies? Why was it such a big deal for Disney to have a Black princess in it's line up? Why are body issues found more often in people who aren't portrayed on TV? Because consistently watching a few hours of "harmless fun," actually shapes how we see the world, how we see ourselves, and sometimes even how we think.

Now, there are some pastors who say we should forgo all movies (yes, I've actually seen/heard pastors say this), but that's not what I'm trying to say in this post. I'm saying that we have to be extra conscious as we watch movies and learn to make good decisions on which movies are actually "harmless" and worth supporting verses movies that are leading our subconscious away from God. Some shows and movies are clearly promoting ungodly lifestyles and behaviors, but it's the seemingly harmless, good fun we really have to be mindful of.
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X-Men

I've always been a fan of the X-Men franchise. Out of all of Marvel's comics, X-Men is probably my favorite. While there are lots of positives about the series, there are also controversies that came well before the latest installment. One thing that probably draws someone like me in to the story is the fact that the primary characters Professor X/Charles Xavier and Magneto/Eric Lensherr are not so much enemies as they are opposites sides of the same coin. Professor X is often likened to Martin Luther King, Jr. He desires a peaceful solution to the conflict between mutants and humans, and is seen as the leader within the mutant community. Magneto, also seen as a leader, is more rebellious in nature and prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect his own people, more like Malcolm X.[1] I find this relationship to add a nice layer of complexity to the storyline; it makes Magneto the perfect villain because, honestly, sometimes you hope he wins.
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X-Men & Homosexuality

X-Men has been criticized by many conservatives for "supporting the gay agenda."[2] The parallels and allegories as the X-Men as members of the LGBT community are pretty obvious if you think about it. Especially, Bobby's coming out scene as a mutant in X2: X-Men United. There's also a reference to "don't ask don't tell" in X-Men: First Class (which not coincidentally involves a closeted mutant working for the government). Sir Ian McKellen, the actor who plays Magneto, is an openly gay, LGBT activist who rips pages out of the Bible.[6] The director of the movies, Brian Singer, is also openly gay—rather he identifies as bisexual with a preference toward men.[3] He was accused of raping a child actor, however the actor plead guilty to fraud (concerning his money, not the accusation), which lead to him dropping the case.[4] The screenwriter of X-Men: First Class has even confirmed that there is a "gay subtext" in the movies, on purpose.[5]. Basically, there is no doubt that X-Men promotes and supports homosexuality.

Initially I didn't think it mattered. I didn't really notice the gay undertones at first, perhaps because of my age at the time. When I did realize the subtle promotion of homosexuality, I didn't really think it mattered because I knew where I stood on the issue. I knew that God condemned that lifestyle, so I assumed that watching such a movie known to subliminally support the LGBT lifestyle wouldn't effect my thinking on the matter. Considering I've watched all of the X-Men movies to date and I haven't left behind my belief in the Word of God, including the passages that condemn homosexuality, it is probably true that these movies didn't change me. Whether it was because my relationship with God was always too strong for the media to brainwash me, or because I didn't watch them obsessively, or because it was too subtle, I'm not really sure. However, what I realized last night, was that each ticket to the movie theater I bought and each time I purchased the DVD or Blu Ray, I supported the movie, the message, the studio, and the actors with my money. Indirectly, I'm saying I agree and rubber-stamping their message, the way one does when they donate to a politician's campaign. I don't think Jesus would want me supporting a movie franchise that is purposefully trying to promote the LGBT community.
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X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men:Apocalypse Movie Poster
So, what was it about this movie that finally made me realize that something wasn't right? I give a lot of credit to the fact that I've been actively reading through God's Word this past year and as a result, formed a closer relationship with God. Each day I understand more and more about what God expects of us, and I think this addition to the franchise fell in the zone where I'm more aware than the previous movies. Below I want to talk about specific points in this latest movie that stood out to me—spoiler warning for those who haven't seen the movie. Remember, we're talking about subtle messages the movie sends our subconscious.
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Violence

A few people have expressed dissatisfaction with the movie allowing the villain to strangle Mystique. One of the friends said she didn't know why people were so unhappy with the movie or why they found that particular scene offensive. In the scene, the villain has Mystique by the neck, dangling in the air, basically about to die, which is definitely violent. However, it's no more violent than Wolverine slaughtering all the people in the lab, complete with blood. It's no more sexist that Beast and Psylocke fighting (she's also female and while Beast never has her at the break point, he gets some hits in). It's an action movie, we expect to fighting, so of all the scenes in the movie, this wasn't one that stood out to me for complaining. Though, I will agree that the movie may have been too violent for some people's taste and I do think normalization and acceptance of such violence could be bad for our subconscious.
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A Little Clue

It was the very first scene in the movie that while I didn't necessarily find it offensive, gave off a major clue of the direction the movie was going to take. It played heavily into the idea that the pharaohs of the ancient Egypt were gods (or in this case mutants who thought they were gods). Naturally, the pyramids possess magical power that aids the mutants, particularly the missing gold capstone of the pyramid. An immensely powerful mutant, who is obviously going to be the villain, is being protected by other mutants and a few Egyptians. Like most Hollywood movies, these Egyptians aren't Arab or Black, they're White (and in the background you'll see that they have Black slaves/workers)—ironically when we flash forward to 1980's Egypt (which is significantly less powerful than ancient Egypt) suddenly the Egyptian characters become darker. I wasn't sure if it was the overflowance of pagan themes or the continued narrative that only Whites built powerful civilizations that was rubbing me the wrong way, but I knew that I was suddenly not as excited to see the movie as I had been.
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Pedophilia?

The next scene to make me cringe had a creepy, pedophile feel to it. In this particular scene, we are being re-introduced to young Storm, who is in 1980's Egypt dressed as though she's in 1990's America, and Storm is meeting the villain for the first time. I'll remind you that the villain is a grown man even at the time of his "slumber" or "pause from the world." By the movie timeline we have a 5,000 year old man and a girl who looks like she could anywhere from 14-16. The scene of them together, while not necessarily meant to be sexual, definitely came off as creepy. It seemed as though he was trying to seduce her. It didn't help that he kept calling her (and all the other mutants) "my child."
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Blasphemy

If you didn't see it coming from the "my child" references, the villain goes on to proclaim that he is god. He says that he's been known by the names of Ra (Egyptian sun-god), Krishna (Hindu god), and Elohim (one of the Hebrew names for God in the Bible). In the theatre I was appalled that this character would claim to be the one true God, down to one of God's names, followed by the assertion that he was there at the beginning of humanity, as though he was the creator of everything. Had I seen the trailer I would have known this was coming; not only would I have known it was coming, but I would have never gone to see the movie because in the trailer the character calls himself YHWH—talk about taking the Lord's name in vain. That's too much blasphemy for me to handle. You can see the trailer here

What was most interesting in that exchange however, is that he didn't call himself Allah. The character could have referenced plenty of mythical gods—Thor or Zeus, perhaps. He could have used the generic word "god," but they came for the Christian God, the God of the Bible. Why? The interesting thing about this is that is reflects the far left's view of the world. I have noticed a number of my uber-left friends, family, and acquaintances make anti-Christian statements, but pro-Muslim statements. It's always been funny to me, because while they're so busy trying to point out hypocrisy in the Christian church they don't even see the hypocrisy in their own statements. They dislike Christians because we follow God's Word and state that homosexuality is wrong, but they like and support Islam, when Islamic countries still stone people to death for being gay.[7] Where else would the idea that it's ok to blaspheme the name of the God of the Bible but refraining from doing the same for second most popular religion in the world come from? Most movie goers won't even recognize the names of Ra and Krishna (perhaps not even Elohim). The girl I was with (who claims to be Christian) didn't even know Elohim was the Hebrew word for God. Clearly, they didn't insert this line for name recognition, it was meant to be subtle, like most deceptions are.

I thought for a second it might have been based on the time that the villain existed (~3000bc). One could argue that Hinduism was already in practice, and he was masquerading as Ra in Egypt. However, the Hebrews weren't captives in Egypt yet, and they didn't learn of God's name until Moses came to deliver them in approximately 1440bc. Is this why they changed the name of God from YHWH to Elohim? The Israelites would have likely referred to God as Elohim when they interacted with the Egyptians. It still seems out of place—would it not have been more effective for him to say "many nations have called me god?" Either way it doesn't excuse his inference that he was there at the beginning of time.

Add on top of that the use of the four horsemen found in Revelation as the villain's sidekicks and an exchange that suggests the Bible ripped off the idea from the mutant, and you know the movie is attempting to discredit the Bible. Not only are the four sidekicks not horsemen, they don't match the color scheme, and they don't fit the symbology. So they wanted to use four people to make a team of five, that's fine, but why relate them to the horsemen at all? Let alone demean the very real Word of God by suggesting it was copying the very fake life of a mutant? You may ignore it and claim the whole universe is fantasy, but the underlying message is not one you want floating in your head, for sure.
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Defining a Villain

Of course, in the end, it doesn't matter because the X-Men win. As always, humans stop the force that is trying to destroy them. Which made me rethink these type of apocalyptic movies all together. Movies such as Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The 5th Wave, and Prometheus, all feature a plot line where someone is attempting to destroy the world; this person is always the villain and they are always thwarted. So what is hollywood trying to teaching us? These movies are training us to think of God as the villain and ourselves as the hero that will defeat Him. That's definitely not what we should be training our brain to think!
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!Isaiah 5:20 KJV

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Conclusions

Had I watched this movie as a teenager, I probably would have loved it. As I believer, I could only think: "I just donated $8.50 to Satan's subliminal campaign." From now on I'm going to actually watch the trailers before I go to see the movie, at the very least. I advise you to be mindful of what you feed your brain. Regardless of where you draw the line for "too much," make sure that you are the one the programming your mind, no one else (not even the pastor). It is our responsibility to keep "viruses" and "bugs" out of the software that is our minds.
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References

  1. Hanks, Henry. "The secret to 'X-Men's' success". CNN. June 2011
  2. Good Fight Ministries. "The X-Men Movies and the Gay Agenda". YouTube.com; visited June 2016
  3. Lewis, Hilary. Bryan Singer Opens Up About His Sexuality. The Hollywood Reporter. May 2014
  4. "Brian Singer's Accuser Pleas Guilty to Fraud". TMZ. April 2015
  5. Polo, Susana. "X-Men: First Class Screenwriter Confirms LGBT Subtext as Totally Intentional. The Mary Sue. June 2011
  6. Miller, Leslie. "Why gay actor Ian McKellen rips pages out of Bibles". USA Today. November 2009
  7. Rupar, Terri. "Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death". Washington Post. February 2014

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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