Monthly Archives: March 2015

Willy Wonka and the Bible

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Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul….

My daughter just discovered the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 version). As I watched the movie with her I could not help but think how different the movie is from the book. The movie leaves out entire chapters, recreates figures that are entirely different from the book, and neglects a myriad of subtle details that make the reading experience immeasurably more satisfying than the movie. (Tragically, the movie leaves out one of my favorite parts: the entire description of life in Loompaland.) While the movie was mildly entertaining, I could not help but think, “The book blows the movie away!” The film substituted cheap movie props, inadequate summaries, smudged face paint, and terrible special effects to recreate what was so perfectly written. Now I know that it is hard for producers to include every detail and shortcuts have to be made in order to condense a book into a ninety-minute event. But in making shortcuts we often miss out on what makes a book so great. We miss the author’s original intent.

As I was watching this movie and thinking about the shortcuts the producers made in order to make the movie more palatable for the average viewer, I could not help but think that we do the same with the Book that God wrote. We cut, we slash, we skim, reinvent and reduce it to three-minute sound bites. Consequently, we miss so much of the original intent, the creativity of God, and the wonder of it all for our lives. In this re-editing of the Book, we are forced to create cheap replicas of life that remain distant from God’s original intent. The Bible was given for our pleasure so that we could live life to the fullest. When we revise or edit parts out because they are too long or complicated to implement we miss out on important details of life that God wants to give us. People who follow only parts of the Bible may partially benefit from doing so. But, if we want the fullest experience that God has for us, we need to love the entire book and as the Psalmist describes, “meditate on it day and night.” The Bible is perfect and refreshing! We simply need to stay committed to closely following the original script.


Twitter, Trolls and Taming the Tongue

This week, former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling made headlines when he stood up for his daughter and her honor while trying to share a proud moment on Twitter about her being accepted into college. Some disgusting characters took the opportunity to make vile comments about this 17 year old girl. Schilling had enough and tracked down a couple of the guys who made some of the horrible comments. He exposed them online and one of them was punished by his employer and while the other was suspended from the community college he attended.

These online bullies hid behind the supposed anonymity of their computer screens and thought they could say whatever came to their twisted minds, tearing down someone they didn’t even know. These guys almost perfectly fit the description for Gentiles (unbelievers) found in Ephesians 4:18-19, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” Their actions on Twitter revealed their true nature.

Our society continues to spiral downward. Lewd conduct is celebrated. Disgusting language seems to have become the norm. In many areas, our society lacks self-control, civility, and decency. 1 John 2:15-17 warns us not to love the world or anything in the world. Even in secret or behind the illusion of safety behind our computer screens and smartphones, we must reject the desires of the world and turn our desires to God and chase after His will in our lives.

As we consider that we are to live our lives among those who would pervert everything that is pure, we must remain separate in our attitudes and actions. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” We may not “troll” people on Twitter. We may not shame people on Facebook. But if you are tearing people down (even those you don’t know), you are not edifying others. You are further enabling those around you to engage in verbal attacks.

Let us be known for our kind spirit, loving heart, and a willingness to always encourage others. Let us be seen as the light of the world. Let us be seen as children of the Living God.