Another Christian controversy
On the heels of the controversy over Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast movie featuring an “exclusively gay moment,” I have seen Christians reacting in a few different ways. One is to call for a boycott of Disney and the film. The other is to encourage Christians not to freak out and fully accept the film and its agenda. And then there’s a third group of people who feel its important to wait and see what the film actually presents before making any judgments.
I fall into the third category. While I would be disappointed to see Disney promote and normalize a gay relationship in a kids’ film, I also understand they are not a Christian company. They don’t follow the same rulebook as me, so why would they care about the same moral issues as me? (Anyone remember the whole Starbucks debacle?) I think it’s completely appropriate for Christians to refuse to take their children to see a movie that undermines their core values, but I’m not sure that boycotting and petitions are the way to get the company to listen.
Now let me remind you that we don’t know yet exactly what is depicted in the film, since it hasn’t even been released yet. As far as we know, the director could have easily exaggerated things in order to gain free press for his movie. After all, bad press is still press, and in the end, all that free exposure they’re getting will most likely benefit them.
We do not live in a Christian nation.
Our founders may have been godly men who loved the Lord, but our culture has clearly shown that it holds no loyalty to the morals and values of the Christian faith. If anything, it has shown that it despises God’s laws, and sees Christians as hateful, closed-minded, dangerous people.
Friends, we shouldn’t be distressed by what the world thinks of us. We shouldn’t feel the pressure to bow to cultural norms that contradict God’s word. We shouldn’t apologize for using the Bible as our compass or for believing that God’s law is in place because it is in our best interest. We know that God put rules in place in order to protect us. He knows better than us. After all, he is God.
Can we not look at our culture and see a world of hurting people, broken marriages, dissolving relationships, mental anguish, physical deterioration, and see that by following our rules instead of God’s law, we are destroying ourselves??
He was hated first
Let’s not forget, Jesus himself said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first.” We are called to be set apart, holy, different from the world. It’s not going to be comfortable to be different. As a matter of fact, it will most likely be very uncomfortable. But in those moments of discouragement, let’s remember that the world hated the most perfect, most Godly, most gentle man to walk the face of the earth. And if they hated him, they will hate us if we are following Him.
So when it comes to Beauty and the Beast, I say let’s wait until it’s released before we jump to conclusions. And if we discover that the movie sends messages we are not comfortable with, we are free to write letters of disappointment. We’re free to lovingly speak out about why we don’t support it. But angrily pointing fingers and yelling for boycotts will most likely do nothing but confirm our culture’s opinion of us.
Let’s be cautious and considerate as we engage with our culture. Titus 3:2 tells us, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Let’s try our best to exemplify the love of Jesus to our hurting world, while still standing firmly in our convictions.