How do you get people to disbelieve the story of Jesus Christ? By getting them to accept that it’s okay to disbelieve similar stories. If you surround a real flower with real-looking artificial ones, you’ll dismiss the whole bouquet as fake….including the true flower. Mimicry has a way of diverting our ability to see the truth clearly.
Enter the 2014 movie Hercules.
I watched Hercules some time ago, and I found the movie very intriguing…not for the effects, but for the message it presented. Whether or not it was intended…it was the message that came out. If you only watched this for “entertainment value”, think again. There’s an underlying message woven within the main themes of the movie.
Try this on for size
Here’s a boy-child, born of a mortal woman and a god…so that makes him the son of a god, half-mortal, half-divine. The movie doesn’t focus on a lot of his childhood but moves forward towards his adulthood and his accomplishments.
As an adult, he accomplishes many great things…miracles in the eyes of the people…things that no normal mortal/human can conceivably do. He is regarded as a god by many, yet he doesn’t want any of the glory for himself. He is regarded as a savior, a deliverer, able to rally mere men against a great enemy.
But he also has his devoted followers, picked from obscurity, regarded for skills particular to their professions. One is even a great storyteller. They are loyal to this man perceived as a god by the people because of his goodness to them, but they also know the truth of the stories being spread and have decided to just play along. The storyteller uses highly exaggerated stories to convince many people of the greatness and godliness of this son of a god. Even Hercules downplays the stories when a child excitedly recounts his greatness through them. But that doesn’t stop stories from spreading.
In the end, this son of a god is betrayed by someone who knows him well, is captured, tortured, and even faces death while his friends watch aside helplessly. However, because he is the son of a god, he beats death, topples a kingdom through a miraculous feat, and becomes the savior of a people.
If you’re a Christian, the main themes of this story….minus all the associated violence and war…pretty much matches the general themes in the account of Jesus Christ.
Now here’s the message
The story of Hercules is a myth. He never existed. He’s just a story. There’s no such thing as anyone being born of a mortal and a god. The stories are exaggerated. There’s no such thing as miraculous feats…no miracles. Those who follow him are loyal…to the stories that make him. Such a person would be too fantastic, too unreal…to be real.
Any other stories that are like this are also myths, made up, or just highly exaggerated stories. All you need is a well-known personality, some devoted followers, and a great storyteller (the PR guy) to hype it up. To believe such stories is to believe in myths….and the characters of myths are not real, never existed, and are not to be believed.
Including the story of Jesus Christ. Especially the story of Jesus Christ. There is no son of God.
What’s ironic about this mentality?
We spread stories like Rise of the Guardians to our children…and tell them that it’s okay to believe in these mythological characters instead. We tell our kids that, in order for these mythological characters to continue to exist, we must believe in them.
We spread stories like the Avengers and Hunger Games saying that you, the common man, cannot save yourselves or your families or your nation. You need a savior, yes, but that savior will be found in only the most exceptional of the most exceptional among you. They are the smartest, the strongest, the most gifted, the elite of the elite…and only your government knows who they are. But you, the common man, are nothing, and will avail to nothing…so depend on your government to find those who are the best from among you to save you.
We spread the idea that we can be gods…and better than our Creator…through stories like Iron Man (man creates tech miracles), Transformers 4 (“To our Creators, whoever you are: Leave Earth alone. We’re coming for you!”), Jurrasic Park/World (man creates life, his way), Her (man creates intelligence…artificially), and Chappie (man creates life in his image). These stories promote the idea that we can create life greater than ourselves…even simulated, virtual life; we can create (artificial) intelligence; and that we can replace our Creator with ourselves as creator instead. So, disregard our arrogance, and put on the mantle of defiance, as we depose our Creator God from his seat and declare ourselves as Creator instead.
Nature Abhors a Vacuum
You can’t create a hole in this world. You either fill it with something, or that hole will eventually be filled with something….even if it is just hot air. And such is the purpose of these Hollywood-fabricated stories. Once you’ve willingly removed the idea of Christ from your life, once they’ve convinced you that Christ isn’t what you thought he was…that he’s just a myth,…well, you’ve got to replace it with something else. You’ve got to replace your need of a savior, your hunger for faith and miracles. You fill it with spirit-numbing myths of over-caffeinated storylines and CGI saviors instead. Entertaining, yes…but never really filling, never satisfying. You end up as hungry as you came in, addicted to entertainment, and more lost than ever.
If you believe in Christ…will your belief stand the test of scorn and ridicule? Is that faith anchored in truth, bolstered by hope, based on your own witness and experience of the fulfillment of your faith? Or is your faith based only on other people’s beliefs and wishful thinking? When people say that Christ isn’t real…do you know that He is, or do you only think that He is…and that, maybe, just maybe, his miracles might actually be real as well?
Spiritual storms and spiritual wars are seen by spiritual eyes…when our normal eyes see nothing more than entertainment or ‘just another show’. That war has escalated…to the point of causing many to disbelieve God…and to believe in the stories that man created instead….willingly, while paying money for it. Every great movie has a Director, Producer, Writer. Every great book, an author. Every technological marvel, an inventor. Every message, a source. Yet, these people will claim that our Universe has no Architect, that Man has no Creator, and that this world is just happenstance. Pure. Arrogance.
Let them be.
Those who claim to believe in God and Jesus Christ must do so with firm reliance on Him now. Know what you believe. Know why you believe it. Know why you continue to believe it. And it will be tested…proven…to see if it will stand the storm of scorn.
For those who do not believe in a Christ…how long will that last? Eventually, you will come to a point where you will desire a Savior, where you will reach for an unshakeable hope rather than wishful thinking, where the idea of life’s ending and your non-existence will be your greatest fear. Eventually, that which you believe in will really not satisfy your innermost hungers, that you just spoiled your spiritual appetites with earthly means instead. What, then?
Anchor yourself in the truth. Test your faith, and prove it…or it will be proven for you.
This, I know: Jesus Christ is real. No myth. He is the Son of God, our Savior, our Deliverer, and it is only in Him and through Him that we may have hope in this world, and in the world to come.
That…you must discover for yourself…or pray that your unbelief is sufficient to save you with your myths.