Quite honestly, the unaware parent might be surprised by the darkness and magic that accompanies the Disney tradition. Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Escape to Witch Mountain, and the Black Cauldron are less recognized entertainment within this franchise. More popular movies that employ magic include Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the Little Mermaid. Yes, all princess movies.
There is a subtle danger that lurks in the shadow of this entertainment we ingest throughout the year. This danger is less subversive at Halloween. Christian parents become more sensitized to it.
Wherever and whenever Christian ethics or the Christian world view are debated, this treatment comes along with it. It’s not at all surprising when it happens in discussions between Christians and non-Christians, since the latter don’t have any reason or basis for a doctrine of sin. But sadly we also find it within the church, couched in very biblical language. Primarily, it happens when our talk of the abundant love of God overwhelms our talk of other aspects of God’s revealed character, pushing away the notion of sin, anger, and judgement—that’s when we start having problems. Ultimately, the cross is stripped of its meaning and power.
In the gospel resurgence of our times, many of us are seeing with new clarity how Christ is our substitute. We are learning to read the Bible not primarily to define how we must obey but primarily to see how Christ obeyed for us. This is wonderful.
But let’s not turn a biblical both/and into our own either/or.
Today you can get God is the Gospel by John Piper for only $5 in today’s $5 Friday sale at Ligonier.org. Other items on sale:
- Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel Beeke (ePub)
- Sammy and His Shepherd by Susan Hunt (audio CD)
- The Prayer of the Lord by R.C. Sproul (hardcover)
$5 Friday ends tonight at 11:59:59 PM Eastern.
What does it mean to say that you’re “called” to pastoral ministry?
It might mean that you like the idea of getting paid to study and teach the Bible. It might mean you think going into ministry is what mature Christians do, and you want to be a mature Christian, so you want to go into ministry.
I think the common language of “calling” to ministry is slippery and possibly misleading. I don’t think it’s necessarily sinful or unbiblical. But I do think it can obscure some important issues that men aspiring to ministry, and the churches that encourage and assess them, should pay more attention to.