It was recently brought to my attention that the new movie, "The Golden Compass," is based on a book written by, Phillip Pullman. I've discovered that a lot has been written and discussed on this guy already so I won't get into that here. Feel free to Google it if you have the time. Apparently, Pullman's mission for his book series was to "kill God in the minds of children." It should come as no surprise that Christian parents across the nation are organizing a movement to keep kids from seeing this movie. If you haven't heard of this film yet, here is a preview.
After watching that trailer, I think taking my oldest son to see this film could be fun, entertaining, and allow me a great opportunity to lead into a discussion with my child about God and address any themes from the movie or questions it may bring up. As a Christian parent, I feel that it is not only our responsibility to God but vital to our children that we raise them to be free thinking, unique individuals who look God to know their true identity and desire to have a personal relationship with Him. I do not feel that the best way to accomplish that goal is by acting as a spiritual filter and trying to block or protect your children from opposing ideas or beliefs. Rather, I suggest that you embrace those questions and oppositions as wonderful opportunities to demonstrate to your kids on how to handle and reconcile them as they come up in your everyday walk of life.
“If you just say ‘no’ to your kids without engaging in a conversation, they’re going to see the movie anyway and all you’re teaching them is power, not really teaching your values,” Sister Rose Paccate, director of the Pauline Center of Media Studies in Culver City, Ca told MSNBC. “If we have faith, what are we afraid of?”
Unless our children have been properly equipped with the necessary tools and experience to deal with the notion that other people don't agree with them, they will one day "leave the nest" for college or work and be confronted with this other worldly view. They will likely feel conflicted, confused, and question their own beliefs. It is my hope for my own children that when this day comes for them, they will understand and appreciate the perspectives that are different from their own and will have been equipped to find what elements of truth do exist in them and be able to credit those truths to God and not just dismiss them out of ignorance that they ever existed in the first place.
A great book that discusses this concept and others in greater detail is, "Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith," by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Church. I strongly recommend anyone to read this book.