Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Christian Hunger Games

Everyone is buzzing about the new movie The Hunger Games, based on the three-part series of bestselling novels by Suzanne Collins.  The basic premise of book one is an evil government, seeking to keep its people oppressed, forces every community to send one teenage boy and one teenage girl(Tributes)  into the Hunger Games, a brutal fight to the death, where only one can emerge as victor.  Friends and allies are forced to kill one another in order to be the one victor.  

Sadly, what comes to mind is the current state of Christianity in many circles.  The latest victim in these Hunger Games is Kirk Cameron.  For the past several years, Kirk has stood alongside of Ray Comfort in rallying the Church around the world, especially in America, to return to a Biblical Gospel and to increase our boldness in proclaiming that Gospel to a lost and dying world.  But some of the other "Tributes" have now taken their arm at him in response to his new film, Monumental.  Even his eschatology has come under fire, not that he made any definitive End Times stances in the film.  He has even been called to give public repentance.

In The Hunger Games, some of the Tributes are downright nasty.  You can understand when they are taken out.  But when allies begin turning on each other, you are left pained.  There has been a movement among Christians to begin bringing awareness of the bad theology being promoted by certain American "preachers."  But that no longer seems to be enough.  It would seem the "game" has turned to a point of attacking allies.

Where will it stop?  There was a time when two Christians could disagree on speaking in tongues and still fellowship in unity.  They could hold different views on the End Times and peacefully stand together.  Not any more.  It would seem they must now be taken out.  Now we must label them a heretic or call their salvation into question.

I, for one, have never met two Christians who perfectly agreed on every single last point of theology.  I fear, with that being true, there can only be one victor.  All others must then be heretics and unsaved.  Maybe only one living Christian will be in heaven.

Without being Mr. Spoiler, the lesson of The Hunger Games is nobody truly wins.  There are some battles that need fighting, but The Hunger Games is not one of them.  Some theological battles need to be fought.  But we have made everything into a fight.  And nobody really wins.  

No matter where you fall on the issue of Calvinism, someone is waiting to pounce on you.

No matter where you fall on the issue of speaking in tongues, someone is waiting to pounce on you.

No matter where you fall on the issue of End Times, someone is waiting to pounce on you.

No matter what Bible translation you use, someone is waiting to pounce on you.

No matter how you share the Gospel, someone is waiting to pounce on you.

And we don't understand why non-Christians claim that all Christians do is fight among each other.  Where could they possibly have come up with that?  In The Hunger Games, the whole nation watches on TV.  In the Christian Hunger Games, our culture is also watching.  Before you take your next aim, stop and think carefully about whether you should proceed.    

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