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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Do Not See Golden Compass!

I am writing this post out of my normal routine of blog because I have been made aware of something that I need to bring to the attention of all who read.

First I have a confession to make. I was making some changes to my layout (got bored of the old one... hope you like it) and in checking to see how my changes were coming out I accidently became the 1000th viewer. So congratulations to the 1000th viewer... ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now onto my main goal today. Those of you who usually read my blog know that I have a few themes, I like to have fun, I like to give you Biblical truths, I like to poke fun at Mr. Bartlett. But today I have to use my platform to speak out against something that is damaging to the gospel of Jesus and all of the truths that this very country was founded on.

There is a movie coming out on December 7th called The Golden Compass and it should not be viewed by any person with any moral fiber. I usually wouldn't speak out against anything like this, but usually movie makers aren't trying to trick people like they are in this one. For instance, if a movie is coming out with a lot of violence and/or sex and it is not good for children it is pretty obvious by the previews. The reason I am speaking out against this movie is because they make it seem like a fun, adventerous ride for the whole family. But the moral implications of this movie have been hidden from everyone

It looks on the preview like a movie that anyone who likes Chronicles of Narnia would enjoy, but it was made in direct opposition to Chronicles of Narnia. Listen to what the author of the book Philip Pullman says about C.S. Lewis' masterpiece "I hate the Narnia books, and I hate them with a deep and bitter passion," he told one interviewer, "with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling-away."

Not only does he hate C.S. Lewis, but he is not that fond of Christians in general. He told the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph about his religious viewpoints, "Atheism suggests a degree of certainty that I'm not quite willing to accede. I suppose technically, you'd have to put me down as an agnostic. But if there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against. As you look back over the history of the Christian church, it's a record of terrible infamy and cruelty and persecution and tyranny. How they have the bloody nerve to go on Thought for the Day and tell us all to be good when, given the slightest chance, they'd be hanging the rest of us and flogging the homosexuals and persecuting the witches."

The Golden Compass begins with a precocious 12-year-old girl named Lyra (similar to Lucy) clambering into a wardrobe to avoid detection ... a choice that unwittingly launches her into a universe-altering adventure. (Sound familiar?) Lurking in the wardrobe, she hears her uncle, an iconoclastic explorer named Lord Asriel, describe a mysterious substance called Dust to a group of scholars.

Several events then occur almost simultaneously: Lyra is given a truth-telling device called an alethiometer (the golden compass) and told to keep it secret; she begins to hear rumors of children disappearing without a trace; and she's whisked into the care of a glamorous but ruthless agent of the church named Mrs. Coulter. Lyra soon discovers that the church is also desperate to learn about Dust—a substance they believe is somehow connected to original sin—and that Mrs. Coulter is spearheading chilling experiments on children in her pursuit of "truth." Specifically, she's separating children from their dæmons (pronounced demon), animal spirits that physically embody each person's soul and accompany them throughout life.

Listen to a quote from one of the witches in the movie "There are churches there, believe me, that cut their children too, as the people of Bolvangar did—not in the same way, but just as horribly. They cut their sexual organs, yes, both boys and girls; they cut them with knives so that they shan't feel. That is what the church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling." Without exception, Pullman characterizes churches and anyone connected to them as agents of wickedness, oppression, torture, murder and malevolence.

It's a fair question for those curious about this story to ask what it is teaching. At the most basic level, His Dark Materials (The trilogy of which Golden Compass is the first book) is an attempted refutation of the Christian faith: "The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all," says an influential character named Mary Malone, who then goes on to relate her own "testimony" of why she abandoned her calling as a nun.

As to what his books are about, the author himself said, "My books are about killing God." But despite a great deal of publicity on this subject, the series never addresses the issue of God's existence with any real certainty. There is a character who masquerades as God, known as the Authority. But we discover he was simply the first being to evolve—and there's definitely a heavy emphasis on evolution in this story—out of Dust into conscious existence.

As to whether or not a real Creator is responsible for everything, however, another character says simply, "There may have been a creator, or there may not: We don't know." Ultimately, then, the story remains agnostic about God's existence. And with regard to death and the afterlife, Pullman first imagines a dark underworld where all the dead go, regardless of their actions or beliefs. The dead are then released by Lyra, and their molecules are dispersed throughout the world.

To end this post Beliefnet's Rod Dreher writes that he intends to protect his children from Pullman's poisonous influence. "One expects that religious parents will keep their children away from the [Golden Compass] film. 'But why?' the question arises from liberals. 'What are you afraid of?' My children losing God, especially before they have a firm hold on Him, that's what. At some point they will question the existence of God. I did. It's normal to do so. I want more than anything else I want for my children, even their own happiness in this life, for them to believe in God, who is their salvation. If you believe in God, and that the loss of God is the worst thing that can happen to a person, then you would sooner give your child a rattlesnake to play with than expose him or her at an early age to the work of a man who openly says he wishes to destroy God in the minds of his audience."

Let's remember that and openly tell anyone who will listen not to see The Golden Compass.

Post written from article by Adam R. Holz on http://www.pluggedinonline.com/

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nothing is impossible with God!

Alright my friends well this is a great day in blogville. It is almost Thanksgiving, and everyone is in a good mood and there is a lot of leisure time coming for me and my wife. I hope you all are not getting bogged down with the stress of the holidays, but thanking God for each day that you have breath.
It is almost time for another milestone. It took us from August 3rd to September 28th to get to 500 and now it is time for our 1000th PAGE VIEW! So if you are the 1000th visitor to our site we want to know. Make sure you email me at jblewett@northridgehc.com if you the tracker at the top of the screen right now says 1000.
Also our contest winner from last week was none other than Debbie Schumacher. She figured out that the mistake on our website was that my picture was Matt Damon's and my colleagues was Ben Affleck. That is a mistake because obviously we are better looking than them. So congratulations to Debbie and in honor of her, our poll question is who is your favorite Debbie and make sure that you all vote for the incomparable Debbie Schumacher.

On to some more fun stuff. Last Friday night was our 6th to 10th Grade dance at NorthRidge Christian Academy. It was a sock hop and all of the students dressed up in their 50's outfits. The star of the show though was none other than our fearless leader and good friend of James' Blog Mr. Michael Bartlett.

He showed an enormous amount of dedication to his school and to his students when he dressed up as a nerd. He walked around in a hilarious impersonation of someone like Mr. McFly in the first Back to the Future. I could not let that go without sharing it with all of my faithful readers. So here it is...



This is priceless! After that he changed into an old man looking for his son. (His son was the nerd who was his previous personality) but then to top off the night The Bartman topped himself, and came out to an enormous ovation as... The King! He sang a couple of songs and looked incredible, here is the proof...



It was definitely one of the best events I have been to in a long, long time. A lot of people put a lot of hard work in and it paid off in an incredible way. And great job Elvis!

Onto the serious part of my post. We have recently watched Facing the Giants in youth group and if you haven't seen it then you must. But one of the main messages in the movie was that there is nothing impossible with God... NOTHING!

This past week I got the chance to go to Dundee Ridge Middle School (This is a public school) and I spoke at the Great American Teach In (Career Day) and I got to talk to 5 classes that totaled 300 7th graders and we had an amazing time. They learned about life as a youth pastor. They learned about why I am a youth pastor as God transformed the life of me and my family when I was at my lowest point. And they all left class knowing that God has a plan for their life, a purpose for their life and a promise on their life that He will never leave them or forsake them.

Public school!!! Public School!!! I ask you what is impossible with God... nothing!

I am so very grateful for the time that I got to spend at the school and I am eager to see what else God plans on doing through the teenagers of Haines City. Follow Him, dream big, and remember that nothing is impossible with God.

I am going to end with a video that I played to the kids as an ice breaker, and have since put it on youtube and godtube to advertise my website. Hope you enjoy it.

video

Friday, November 9, 2007

AAA

Well everyone it has been a long time since I have posted on my blog. I am very sorry for that, but I know that you are all in utter anticipation of this post.

I am currently sitting in 10th grade Bible class at NorthRidge Christian Academy and all the students are taking a quiz. It is mainly on the Beatitudes and it is so quiet that every stroke of my keyboard sounds incredibly loud. One kid keeps looking at me whenever I look up and it makes me think he is cheating... I hope he's not, but I will let you know at the end of this post if I caught him or not.

I have started another contest for all of my faithful bloggers. On our website, http://www.northridgehc.com/ I have made an obvious blunder. There is something that is obviously inaccurate on the site. You do not have to be an attender of NorthRidge to figure it out. Whoever is first to email me with the "mistake" I made will be enshrined into the James' Blog Hall of Fame in my next post... good luck and God speed.

I will let you know that the kid was not cheating. Judging by the answers on his quiz though, he probably should have :) Well I have looked at some of my old postings and they are really lacking if they do not have a picture on them, so here is a pic...




This picture has absolutely nothing to do with anything that I am writing about, I just think it's really funny.

So onto the serious portion. (By the way I got constructive criticism from one of my coworkers that my posts are too long so I am attempting to make it shorter.

I attended the annual Youth for Christ banquet last night (with Sharon and Seaton Hodges) and I learned a few things that I want to share with you. The Polk County branch of Youth for Christ is really big on reaching the less privileged.

They brought up a few students that were either from a detention center, a halfway house or just a neighborhood meeting for underprivileged. These students gave testimonies as to what God is doing in their lives. It is very amazing to hear stories of transformation and I am looking forward to partnering with Youth for Christ to see what amazing things God will do.

To keep this shorter than usual I must skip to my main point. One of the speakers got up to give a report of the past year. He gave us friendly reminder that when you see a sticker on someone's car that says AAA to remember to pray for them. To pray specifically for the Abused, the Abandoned and the Arrested. These are the people that Youth for Christ tries to reach and these are people that Jesus would have reached if He were here right now too.

So remember when you see the AAA stickers on the back of the car to pray for the Abused, the Abandoned, and the Arrested.