Angus Buchan at Ein Gedi, Debunked


Maybe you’ve watched a YouTube video of Angus Buchan, at Ein Gedi, which claims to show a miracle of Acts 2 importance? It is a Hollywood fabrication. This is footage of the night with comments and notations.

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God and Hollywood; Never the twain shall meet


Entertainment David de Bruyn Christianity South Africa

Does how we spend our time, our pleasure, our energy and our money affect our relationship with God? If so, then how should we spend our time, our pleasure, our energy and our money? Click image to link to source.

On Tuesday evenings my wife and I trek through to Pretoria to attend a Bible study group. Amongst the gathered saints is a young man who’s on fire for the Lord, truly zeal-filled. We’re alike in almost every aspect of doctrine and practice but there’s one thing we’re constantly butting heads on. Call it “a Christian approach to entertainment”. It looks like this, I’d say, “I enjoyed the movie Avatar”, he thinks it’s a sin to have watched it. I comment that, “The cinimatics in Angels and Deamons were awesome”, he’d feel uncomfortable talking about it. I’d… you get the picture.

Some of the folk I work think I’m a bit Amish. Some of the people I worship with are worried that I’m a Libertine. Out of a fear for the Lord I’ve been reading a number of articles on the subject. Enter David de Bruyn. He tucks into the debate in a fresh way on his blog Conservative Christianity. I like reading David, his writing is measured, cerebral and scripturally rich. Consider the following quotes from this article,

“…within the reading I did complete, I was being confronted for the first time with more than just the issue of the content of enacted drama, but a consideration of the medium of enacted drama itself.

“I can’t claim that my views or practices are entirely settled. It’s not as if I’ve had a big DVD-bonfire. It’s tough leaving your culture.

“Why did the Christian culture of nearly two thousand years exist with a sometimes unarticulated and assumed objection to theatre, while our generation hardly even raises the question?

This discussion finds relevance within the pages of Scripture in a host of places. Romans 12 is as good as any-a-place to start,

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Want to hear the verse in context? Romans 12
What is this about?

At this stage of the game I lean toward entertainment being a category of leisure in which discerning saints may, and should, excercize, Christian Liberty. I’d encourage you to read David’s article and enter the debate with me.

David de Bruyn

David de Bruyn was born and raised in Johannesburg, and came to faith in Christ at the age of 9 at a small, independent Baptist church in the inner-city. He received his undergraduate training in South Africa, and did graduate work in the States. He also trained in media and radio broadcasting, and began presenting a weekly Bible-teaching program on Radio Pulpit in 1999. He began assisting in the pastorate in 2003, and became senior pastor of New Covenant Baptist Church (www.ncbc.co.za) in 2005. He identifies himself as a Christian, a conservative, a Baptist and a moderate dispensationalist.

Want to read a movie review? Click any banner.

On Avatar, connectedness and worldviews (Part 3)


<— Click here for Part 2
the Tree of Souls Eywa TGIF Thank God it's Friday Avatar Environmentalism Christian worldview

Mo’at is clan’s spiritual leader, more acurately a shaman. She’s the lead character, Neytiri’s, mother and she’s the consort to the clans leader, Eytucan. Click image to link to the movie’s official webpage.

“What’s Pantheism anyway?”

Pantheism is a construct or worldview (let’s call it a belief system) which clings to the notion that the universe (nature) and god are identical.

“Um, ok, but what does it look like and how’s it connected to the movie Avatar?”

Well the fluffy stuff would include an all encompassing feeling of reverence and belonging towards nature and the wider universe as well as a deep concern for the rights of humans and all living beings. Sounds good doesn’t it? Here’s the key though, because god is made up of everything there’s an emphasis on everything being connected, equal, part of the divine. See the link? You don’t have to hold a doctorate in Theology to discern that the ‘connectedness’ to others and nature which is the major theme running through the movie Avatar is derived directly from a Pantheistic worldview.

“So what? Who cares? doesn’t the world need more tree huggers anyway?”

‘Tree hugging’ is a symptom but the root of Pantheism concerns the person of god and how we worship him/she/it/whatever?

The God of the Bible stands distinct from His creation. Consider the following 3 verses from Psalm 102,

25 “Of old You founded the earth,
And the heavens are the work of Your hands.
26 “Even they will perish, but You endure;
And all of them will wear out like a garment;
Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed.
27 “But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.

Want to hear the verse in context? Psalm 102
What is this about?

Get it? If not watch this space for the next installment. Basically Avatar presents a completely different worldview to that which the Bible propositions as the truth.

“So what?”

Ah, there in lies the rub, doesn’t it? Chris Woolley, Jonathan Klimek and Lauren Brown have seeded a real uncomfortable feeling in my cognitive lobe due to Paul’s exhortation to the Christians in Rome this is what I’m thinking about at the moment,

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Want to hear the verse in context? Romans 12
What is this about?

<— Click here for Part 2

In what other ways was this concept of ‘earth is god/god is earth’ portrayed in the movie? What do you think the implications of tacit approval of this system are?

On Avatar, environmentalism and worldviews (Part 2)


<— Click here for Part 1 Click here for Part 3 —>
the Tree of Souls Eywa TGIF Thank God it's Friday Avatar Environmentalism Christian worldview

Seedlings from the Tree of Souls act as ‘magic markers’ showing the will of the mother goddess Eywa. It’s all so transparently New Age you’d have to be practically spiritually dead to miss it. Click image to link to the movie’s official webpage.

So, by now, you’ve probably watched Avatar? And yes, like me, the movie’s special effects and visual eye candy blew your mind away didn’t it? Anyone can see 15 Oscar nominations coming from a mile away.

My wife and I went on a ‘date night’ last Saturday after I had heard a review by Pastor Neil Oosthuizen at TGIF that Friday. Bottom line, he was resoundingly positive about the film and its central messages and encouraged the audience to go and watch it. One major theme that he cited was environmentalism and the movie portrays the subject in the following ways (in no particular order and certainly not exhaustive):

  1. No longer can the greens on your plate be considered dumb veggies. The trees on Pandora form a massive interconnected network like the synapses of a huge brain. There’s intelligence out there folks.
  2. You better start taking out funeral policies on your pets. On Pandora, if you kill Fido, be expecting to give it the same loving farewell you would your mother or father.
  3. Sit, Ubu, Sit. Good dog. No longer are you teaching tricks like roll over or play dead, now you uplink to animals directly like an interactive Wii device.
  4. Not only is the fauna intelligent but it’s also deeply spiritual. At the centre of the story is a special tree called the Tree of Souls.
  5. The bad guys have chain saws and the good guys live in hammocks. Say no more.
  6. We’re part of the environment so it’s natural that when we die we just return back to the environment.
Hometree TGIF Thank God it's Friday Avatar Environmentalism Christian worldview

The environmentalist’s answer to townhouse living is very very very big trees. Click image to link to the movie’s official webpage.

Well it all fits together quite well and I found the story captivating. I really enjoyed the way it gelled different storylines from many other sources together. In the review on Friday and again while watching the film on Saturday a question continually gnawed at the back of my head, “How did the concepts, ‘the environment’ or ‘connectedness’ or ‘real love’ stack up to the way that the Bible presents them?” Well, on environmentalism the Bible portrays some interesting differences:

  1. Propensity for intellect in the movie is equated to ‘being’. The Bible however elevates man above the rest of the created universe. In him alone God rests His image. Listen to Genesis 1,
    26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    Want to hear the verse in context? Genesis 1 – 7
    What is this about?

  2. Um, no comment.
  3. God views men and beast as distinct. Listen to the covenant He made with man in Genesis 9,
    1 …”Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as {I gave} the green plant.

    Want to hear the verse in context? Genesis 8 – 15
    What is this about?

  4. Pious plants. There’s a clip in the movie when the Na’vi race are sitting in a pagan chant around this sacred tree and it’s communing with them. Now God does wish us to worship folks, but appropriately. It’s not His intention that we get caught up with creation but rather with the creator,
    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    Want to hear the verse in context? Romans 1
    What is this about?

  5. I also like the idea of trees and I’d love to have a hammock. The Bible exhorts us to be good stewards of the earth and all that’s in it,
    28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

    Want to hear the verse in context? Genesis 1 – 7
    What is this about?

  6. There’s no way that we’re going to become ‘one’ with the environment according to God’s Word of Truth. What the future holds for us is being raised, judged and eternity to follow; some in heaven; more in hell,
    46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Is the point made? If not watch this space for the next two installments. Basically Avatar presents a completely different worldview to that which the Bible propositions as the truth. So what? Good question and I’m trying to decide where this series is going. Where do I stand on things like entertainment? My indecision aside, what I do know is this, many of the questions that our world has on their minds right now are shaped by the themes and concepts found in this movie and other media. Be prepared to give a defense for the hope that you have in Him because the questions are out there.

<— Click here for Part 1 Click here for Part 3 —>

Interested in other movie reviews like Angels and Demons? Find them in the sidebar under Topics \ Reviews \ Movies.

God’s terrifing agenda playing out soon near you


USS John F. Kennedy the White House 2012 Apocalypse

Beautiful still of the USS John F. Kennedy crashing into what I think is the White House. Click image to enlarge.

Yesterday I watched the fast paced, action packed, end times flick 2012. I was at a corporate function hosted at Monte Casino which was capped off with a premier viewing of the movie. It was… ok… I guess. I might be slowly slipping beyond Hollywood’s targeted demographic. I’d give it a 5 out of 10, Although some of the scenes like LA slipping into the ocean, Hawaii bubbling over in molten lava and the humongous tidal wave crashing through the Himalayas were visually spectacular.

Tectonic plates 2012 Apocalypse LA Los Angeles

Tectonic plates on steroids? Click image to enlarge.

Isn’t it predictable how Hollywood loves Biblical imagery but despises the God it testifies to? 2012 is peppered with Apocalyptic scenes and ideas and a few Genesis moments. This genre of movies, fueled by advances in CGI, get more expressive with each release in their graphic description of the coming cosmic cataclysm. Seems everyone knows it’s on the way they just refuse to acknowledge the cause.

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Hollywood, all fired up. Click image to enlarge.

I’m a Bible kinda guy so there were a whole host of things I could have blogged on relating to the movie such as the misuse of the word rapture, the amusing references to the Ark or Hollywood’s fascination with syncretism that is seriously starting to frustrate me. Instead here’s God’s description of what’s going to happen in the near future; and God’s Word is clear, when this goes down you don’t want to be around.

The coming turmoil is split into 3 cycles. The first cycle is called the seven seals and are prophesied in Revelation 6:1-17 and 8:1-5. The second cycle is called the seven trumpets and are relayed in Revelation 8:6-21 and 11:15-19. Finally the seven bowl judgments are described in Revelation 16:1-21. These judgments get progressively worse and more intense as the world hurtles towards its finally climatic crescendo.

Here are the bowl judgments,

2 So the first {angel} went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image. 3 The second {angel} poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like {that} of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. 4 Then the third {angel} poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.

8 The fourth {angel} poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. 10 Then the fifth {angel} poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. 12 The sixth {angel} poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up…

17 Then the seventh {angel} poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake {was it, and} so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe.

Want to hear the verse in context? Revelation 16
What is this about?

Got more questions? Click here. Wanna know the Good News? Click here. Got any movies that should be on my holiday calendar? I’m looking forward to Avatar? I’d like to watch one good movie this year at least.

The Voyage That Shook the World (Notice for the Chapel and other interested parties)


The Voyage That Shook the World The Voyage That Shook the World

Darwin had a ridiculous beard but a brilliant mind. Was he right? Was he wrong? Come join us on the 28th November between 4 and 5 pm to watch a fascinating documentary on The Voyage That Shook the World. Click any image to link to the source.

The greatest story ever told kicks off with the line,

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…

Want to hear the verse in context? Genesis 1 – 7
What is this about?

About 7,000 years later (no guesses for where I stand) Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. His Theory of Evolution profoundly rocked the way that the human world perceives its place in the universe. Now, 150 years later, with the benefit of hindsight and scientific insight, a one-hour HD documentary, The Voyage That Shook the World, traces Darwin’s journey to the Galápagos Islands and investigates some of the ramifications and foundations that his works rests on.

So, if you’re a member, a regular visitor or just interested to find out what Darwin actually said and where we stand as a church on evolution, creation and everything in between please come and join us on Saturday, 28th November between 4 and 5 pm.

The Voyage That Shook the World The Voyage That Shook the World
The Voyage That Shook the World The Voyage That Shook the World

The spender and beauty of the Galápagos Islands is brought to life in High Definition in this one-hour documentary billed by Dr Ted Baehr from movieguide.org as “Fascinating and profound insights… one of the best produced documentaries ever made.” Click any image to link to the source.

The documentary will be shown at Midrand Chapel, 151 Pitzer Road, Glen Austin, 1685 on Saturday, 28th November between 4 and 5 pm. Wanna find it:

Watched the movie yet? What did you think? Want more information? Go and check out http://thevoyage.tv/trailer.aspx.

The spirit of this age: Deception for the intellectually challenged or easily swayed


Zeitgeist, Movie, Christianity, Christian Living, church, Scripture, Because He Lives

1Thessalonians 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”

I had a chat with a guy at the office a few weeks ago about a movie called Zeitgeist which went a bit like this:

“So, what’s it all about?” I asked.

“mmm, Christianity and politics and stuff,” came the reply.

“Any good?” I half wondered but said out loud.

“Just download it and watch it,” he replied. “It pretty much debunks everything you believe.”

Well, now I’ve watched it and I really don’t get it. I’m fairly sure that the spirit of this age must be deception geared for the intelectually destitute because surely no one else will fall for this baloney?

For the last while I’ve noticed that the South African blogsphere was atwitter with the word Zeitgeist. Seems everyone who’s anyone has watched it and is chating about it. Very exciting, something new. Everyone, that is, except me. I guess you could say that I’m trend thwarted, fashion forlorned, “in-thing” impeded. Basically I stopped being cool in the 70’s.

Enter my brother-in-law. He’s a whole lot more synced and savvy than I am. It’s like he sits on the sharp edge of the fad sword, always having a hand in what’s new and interesting. I visit twice a year on holiday and we have long chats that go way into the wee hours of the morning while he exposes me to stuff. Twice a year means I’m always about six months behind any passing craze. Last night we did Zeitgeist.

Zeitgeist, Movie, Christianity, Christian Living, church, Scripture, Because He Lives

Genesis 1:16 – 18, 16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; {He made} the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.”

To be honest if the movie wasn’t portrayed as nonfiction I wouldn’t even bother blogging about it but this trash was put forward as gospel truth. There’s this David Attenborough sounding narrator who monologues through pseudo school book history making everything sound as factual as evolution [sic]. After the first twenty minutes I thought maybe this was satire dressed up in irony, mimicking a slap stick comedy but it wasn’t, this guy was serious. Let me give you an example of what I perceived as fictitious fact:

The monotonous narration goes to great pains to draw a parallel between the English word sun and son. So, “God’s sun” is directly equated to “the Son of God”. After that there’s this whole Zodiac thing going on. Now it doesn’t take a first year Greek student to think, “mmm, maybe in the original language these two words aren’t so closely linked?” And they’re not! The Greek word for sun is ἥλιος (hēlios, which is where I presume we drive the word helium from?… I love being right. Click here.) and the word for son is υἱός (uihos).

I could go on and on but I think there’s copious amounts of information online shooting proverbial holes through the major tenets of the film. Thing is though I’m wondering why is this movie so widely watched? I can understand people being drawn to false teaching but teaching that is so clearly inaccurate? Weird!

I know this is going to sound a bit contrieved but I can’t help thinking of Romans 1:21 – 22:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Well, what about you? What did you think of it? Good, great, eye opening, unsettling, shocking, awesome, poor, poppycock, drivel, tripe?