Brother Jay recently wrote about the movie, Blade Runner 2049. It’s been garnering a lot of attention due to it’s attempt to raise questions about reality and what it means to be human. I’m not likely to see the movie unless someone offers me a copy on DVD.
It’s not that I hate movies and videos; I hate the way Westerners use the medium. Most videos bleed out the utterly pointless and hopeless Western outlook on reality. Even the happy movies exude a totally false image of what is good and right. Nobody makes movies that portray God’s truth. What makes that dangerous is the well establish fact of the hypnotic effect of the medium. These awful lies are burned into our thinking by TV and video, and our human moral defenses are so very easily overwhelmed in this one medium.
We don’t need another poisonous celebration of human depravity. No, I didn’t watch that film; I just picked it as a random sample. If just once, someone approached the whole question of what and how to make a movie from a heart-led perspective, it would change everything. I’m not the guy to do that; I have no talent or significant interest in messing with that form of art. Still, what would it be like if we could just once see the product of a group of cinema artists approaching the question of what should be on the screen by building faith instead of depraving by entertainment.
Do I have to explain here how most “Christian” movies are still utterly Western in their approach, and thus not significantly better? I haven’t changed my tune: If you aren’t a heart-led mystic, you aren’t really a follower of Christ. When it comes to movies, a debate between secular entertainment values versus Western Christian values is a silly argument over insignificant intellectual details. That has nothing to do with how much we might enjoy films or other forms of entertainment, but it does show how utterly alone we are in this world. We are building something new in the sense that the world has not seen it in a very long time. Yet, it’s not really building, but digging up what has been there from the beginning.
The heart-led approach to shaping a human existence came under attack in the Ancient Near East when Alexander the Great moved eastward in conquest. Actually, it’s not that simple, but that’s a well known historical marker. The genuine biblical world view actually faded and wore thin during the rise of Assyria as an imperial power. From that point forward, the Hebrew people increasingly compromised, so that Alexander’s Hellenism was the death blow. For a single century of New Testament churches, this ancient heart-led outlook was revived. The Apostle John seems to have been the last stalwart to see the danger of creeping Hellenism, because all the Early Church Fathers exhibit a slow slide into the swamp of intellectual debate. Not merely the Gnostics, it was the broader gnosticism (with a small “g”) as a trend in how humans approached ultimate questions.
So our current renewal of the heart-led way of Christian faith is not merely a renaissance, but a restoration of God’s ideal for fallen mankind. What makes it different is how we are entirely self-conscious about it. It’s not the first and only time since the end of the First Century, so let’s not get too worked up with a false enthusiasm. Let’s not make of this something it is not by seeing ourselves as somehow specially gifted and chosen. There have been flashes of glory throughout Church History, so it could happen any time and any where. But my research thus far indicates that this is the first time the heart-led way has been so completely self-conscious. For reasons God alone knows, we have been granted a thorough understanding of the real-world dynamics, along with a wide-open opportunity to pursue it.
I find it painfully obvious that God is sponsoring this, simply because we don’t have to walk through an apocalypse to see it develop. We aren’t specially protected, but we also don’t face a wide-ranging oppression. Our biggest threat is the overwhelming cultural burden that we so consciously oppose. That alone is tribulation enough, brothers and sisters. While previous movements of the Spirit like this were hijacked, I think we have a unique opportunity. Part of my conviction stands on my belief that God bumped reality over onto a different track recently. You may have your own experiential reasons for it, but I pray your convictions are at least as powerful as mine. Let’s not miss this opportunity.
I have a vision; we have only just begun. Most of us are still working through the immediate implications of the heart-led way individually. Somewhere down the line, I pray that some us will begin to reexamine the whole approach to life itself. I pray that some us can stir up a conscious effort to redeem, repair and restore everything to its proper role in serving God’s glory. It doesn’t require acceptance by the rest of the world; they can continue to ignore us or even oppose us. This thing can’t be evaluated on any lesser grounds than the heart itself. But if we don’t rebuild our own approach to life and reality, this thing will fritter away and disappear from the earth as this community of faith passes on to our final rewards.
Such an end strikes me as an unbearable tragedy. We cannot let this die with us. Keeping it alive includes a genuine effort to see how it changes everything humans do. This is not me outlining future glories for you to construct; this is you and me discovering what God designed us for in the first place.