Mark Driscoll Loves Avatar

If it wasn’t Mark Driscoll, I would have thought it was a joke.  I feel like I’m back in my old church being told that Harry Potter was evil, Lord of the Rings was satanic and don’t get them started on the genie from Aladin or Pokemon. Really Mark, really? Is all Avatar was to you an attempt by Satan to make you believe lies about nature and connecting with God? This is an amateur statement Driscoll.

Some of my favourite quotes from this clip.

“The whole thing is new age satanic demonic paganism. And people are just stunned by the visuals. The visuals are amazing because Satan wants you to emotionally connect with the lie.”

“I have two home theaters, and three tivos”

“we are a creative church, we just don’t like satan, we love the arts, we just don’t like satan” (applause)

12 Comments

  • Who left Avatar saying “That was really enlightening”?

    As a Christian, here’s what I said, “Wow, James Cameron put a lot of work into that movie. The acting mostly sucked and the script was terrible.”

  • Mark Driscoll is a joke.

  • What is amateur about that statement?
    I have not seen Avatar, but how he explained it is classic paganism; or at very least pantheistic. Why cannot he take a stand against something he deems dangerous? It is better than him not standing for anything!

  • It’s not so much him taking a stand on something. I’m ok with that. It’s a few other things.

    1. He’s just a dick so he’s fun to take digs at.
    2. He is unable to see anything good in the movie at all and the whole movie is Satan’s attempt to emotionally content with the lie of becoming one with nature? C’mon
    3. His rant about all the film and media equipment he yet still unable to connect with the brilliant art (story aside) that was done in Avatar.
    4. It’s amateur because he doesn’t really help anyone discern for themselves, he simply ridiculed christians that watched it and didn’t think the way he did about it

  • 1- That is the dumbest thing I have heard in while, because he is a dick! Where is the love, your blog so often demands, in that statement?
    3- Is it brilliant art, says who? you? some critics? Are you not just ridiculing someone for watching it and not thinking the same way as you did about it? Calling it art is not a devoid of a value judgment.
    Finally what he said about the pantheistic/paganistic worldview and the impact it is having on the western world is true, in my opinion.
    If Mclaren, says something is wrong, like fundamentalism (in A New Kind of Xianity)everyone falls along; if Driscoll says something is wrong, he is a dick and an amateur!

  • 1. I’m kidding around here. It’s just fun to tease him because he’s so strong about his opinions. The same way Brooks teases Dan and his strong opinions. People who are extreme get prodded, and it’s not out of unlove, it’s just fun. Also, he’s not a dick because he’s says something wrong, he’s a dick because of everything else that he says without thinking, constantly belittling everyone around him, calling men wusses, putting women in their place and making uncalled remarks towards other thinkers that he disagrees with. Have you been reading the stuff about McLaren lately? I haven’t read a single good thing about his new book. People are generally calling it like they see it.

    2. i consider technological advancement to be a form of art. the visual affects were stunning. whether we agree with the message in the story or not, it’s still a message, and it’s still art. I just don’t see the message of that film being that we need to all be one with nature and we aren’t in need of a saviour. Why can’t it be a bit simpler to start appreciating God’s creation on a different level? Or encouraging getting to know “the other.” There is just as much great theology in this film as bad.

  • Weirdly enough the last time I heard Driscoll denounce a film so strongly from the pulpit was the Rob Schneider film The Animal. It might be fair to ask, per Driscoll’s own rhetorical flourishes, if a person has remotely trustworthy taste in cinema if they even see a Rob Schneider film.

    It sometimes seems as though he exhibits a trait I saw in Pentecostals while I was growing up–if you like something it has “the annointing” and if you don’t like something it either “doesn’t have the annointing” or is demonic.

    What’s more I noticed that a Mars Hill hosted blog (Cinemagogue) had quite a few positive things to say about Cameron’s filmss as a whole and how Christians can find things that fit within a biblical narrative even in Avatar. I recently heard that one of the Mars Hill campuses is screening District 9 this month, a film I’m not sure Driscoll has seen or will see. Driscoll’s extreme rhetoric seems even more unfortunate knowing there are people at the church who have less public a voice and know how to be more nuanced.

    Sometimes I think Driscoll just has a tin ear for poetry, the poetic, and if he can see Fight Club, Braveheart, and The Matrix as spiritually deep films but hates Avatar it may be a function of spiritualizing his own taste as prescriptive rather than really analyzing how he thinks about film as an art form.

  • NICE COMMENT!
    Well put WenatcheeTheHatchet

  • I object to being compared to Mark Driscoll in any way, shape, or form.

    Also, Brooks is just acting-up because we got drunk and made-out once in college and I never called him afterwards.

  • I like Marky-Mark so my gut instinct is to defend him. That being said, he’s being inconsistent here. In ‘Radical Reformission’ Driscoll argues against the garbage in/garbage out view where non-Christian media ‘pollutes us’. He calls this a myth and debunks it. Besides the fact that this is just plain wrong (cf. 1 Cor. 15:33) Driscoll is inconsistently applying the standard. So Avatar is bad but AC/DC is good? Say what?

    I did like his analysis of the movie, I just don’t think that means we shouldn’t go see it. As for the views in the movie being dangerous I work with students all day and I can tell you that the worldview of Avatar is much more common than we’d like to believe. It’s very difficult to get kids to think in Christian worldview categories. Ironically, two weeks ago I participated in a bible study where the leader unknowingly expressed a pagan pantheism that would have made James Cameron proud. If theology does matter then it is something to worry about … even if you’re all not a fan of Marky Mark. :)

    Oh and as for Dan’s comment, what made it worse was that he lured me in with reading Josh Harris’ “I Kissed Dating Good-Bye.” I never saw it coming.

    Cheers

  • Another bit of potentially pertinent information, Mars Hill has done screenings of the following films: Akira (yes, really, THAT Akira); Spirited Away; and The Matrix, all films that promote a variety of non-Western religious views pretty close to front and center. Dracula 2000 is not quite so clear cut but I saw that shown at Mars Hill, too, along with The Exorcist. So for Mark to go off on Avatar as promoting “paganism” perhaps needs to be seen (or corrected?) in the context of other pastors discussing very openly discussing how pantheism has and hasn’t permeated Western culture and how Christians can interact with it. Most Christian parents are more likely to first encounter pantheism in My Neighbor Totoro than in Avatar where their children are concerned. If he’s responding to pantheism in mainstream film he’s surprisingly late to the game even by the measure of what has happened in Mars Hill. Brooks is right, the problem is that Driscoll’s not being consistent with his belief that garbage-in/garbage-out is too simplistic (he even told me that over dinner years ago). Maybe he’s changed his mind about the validity of that premise?

  • Mars Hill approvingly screened The Matrix?! AHAHAHA! That’s just Plato’s cave with wire-fighting. Plato’s cave is of course the sort of thing that underpins your typical gnostic worldview. Maybe Driscoll is just getting old (he’s turning 40 soon, isn’t he?) and therefore is now no longer the “bad boy” of the Reformed world, but rather its grumpy old man, complaining about “kids and their movies these days.” I await a sermon where he preaches on the value of keeping off his lawn and turning that radio down.

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