Avatar, Eli, and hope for the world

Two movies currently in theaters offer a theme of hope in the face of evil and destruction – a theme we can use in the face of the devastation in Haiti. The two movies are Avatar and Book of Eli. (I don’t think I need a spoiler alert, but if you’re afraid I’ll spoil the movie, don’t read this until you see them.)

Avatar offers a story of a beautiful, pristine world inhabited by the Na’vi that is overrun by self-serving, greedy human begins who will destroy the beauty of a world just to get what they want for their capitalistic endeavors. Peace and hope are shown in the life of the Na’vi who are one with the creation. The humans who find salvation find it in the way of life promoted by the Na’vi. Basically the message is – we make our own hope and it comes as we look to being one with creation.

The Book of Eli offers another perspective – and in my opinion as a Christian, a better perspective. Eli is the better movie in regard to its underlying message (though I am not endorsing the movie due to its moments of graphic violence). Eli shows a similar truth about humanity – that we are prone to evil and destruction. James Cameron was not off the mark in Avatar when he showed the selfishness if humanity.

The difference comes in the possibility of hope for the future. Where Cameron and Avatar look to creation, Eli seems to promote a hope that comes from the creator – a hope not within but a hope from above. (Fear not – I’m not spoiling the movie, this “hope from above” theme is an underlying one not the main thread of the movie.)

I guess I wanted to write this because we must not allow these subtle messages from Hollywood and the media to frame and form our beliefs. The hope of the world is not found in creation, it is found in the creator. And even in the movies where that theme is promoted, they still don’t proclaim the full truth – that the hope of the world comes through Jesus Christ – the one through whom all creation came to be.

It’s the words of Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

The hope for us, the hope for the people of Haiti, is found in the creator not the creation. May we look to God as our help and hope, and may we let God use us to show others the truth that He is their hope as well.

Holy high five to you, Mike

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3 responses to “Avatar, Eli, and hope for the world

  1. Your comments bring my thoughts to the book of Revelation. God’s ultimate goal is to show us we can trust Him and rely on His judgment.

    In looking at the flags in the sanctuary yesterday, my thoughts turned to Peter and the rough seas. As long as he was fully anchored on what Jesus had told him, he was fine. As soon as his thoughts drifted, he sank. The same holds true for us, Jesus should serve as an anchor for our faith.

  2. I have found the main focus of the study on Revelation has been that God is in control of whatever might happen. That is not to say that He is the cause but that He is the ultimate hope.

  3. Shirley Calhoun

    I appreciate your thought and direction. It is hard with “Hollywood” to keep our thoughts in line with the truth and not the “effects”. I have reached a point in my life where I have so many choices on TVthat I rarely cloud my thoughts and judgment with movies, unless it’s a chic flick. Those I enjoy, if nothing more thatn for the lightheartedness of most of them. Thanks , Pastor Mike, for your guidance and insight to what is really important. Shirley

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