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Summary: A compass is defined as, “a device used to determine geographic direction; as by means of a freely rotating magnetized needle that indicates magnetic north.” Based on that definition, there is nothing ‘golden’ about this compass.

NOTHING GOLDEN ABOUT THIS COMPASS: A CRITICAL RESPONSE

(By Pastor Chris Jordan – November 2007)

HARRY WHO?

For over 10 years, I served as the Youth Pastor and Christian Education Director at Bible Fellowship Church in Surrey, BC. During that time, I had the privilege of partnering with parents in helping them to fulfill their God-given call to train up their children in the way that they should go – in the paths of righteousness. Part of my job included helping parents to navigate their children through the landmines of the modern media. However, I am embarrassed to admit that when a parent first approached me in 1999 and asked me what I thought about Harry Potter, my first response was, “Harry who?” Needless to say, I had some catching up to do, and started informing myself about this series of books and movies. One of the things I discovered through this process was that – although there was a wealth of information about this topic on the Internet – much of it was incorrect, incomplete, or contradictory. The Christian bookstore wasn’t that much better. I picked up two books on different sides of the debate. “What’s a Christian to do with Harry Potter?” by Connie Neal, who praised the books and encouraged believers to read them, and “Harry Potter and the Bible” by Richard Abanes, who encouraged Christians to stay away from these books that were filled with witchcraft. And so, I had to embark on my own personal journey of discovery to see what the books were really about. I wanted to be able to give an informed and accurate response to parents and their children.

THE DA VINCI DECEPTION:

A little over a year ago, I heard rumblings of a movie that was coming to the theatres based on a book by Dan Brown called, ‘The Da Vinci Code.” Once again, I dove into this book and picked it apart, and put together a critical response entitled, “Exposing the Top 10 Lies of the Da Vinci Deception.” We had people in our church who took these brochures out on opening night of the movie, and put them on the windshields of cars in the parking lot of the theatre. I was blessed to receive an e-mail from an unbeliever later that week, thanking me for the research I had done on the paper, and that even though he didn’t agree with my position, appreciated how fairly and accurately I had treated the topic. Which brings us to October of 2007.

THE GOLDEN COMPASS:

The first e-mail that I read about The Golden Compass said this: “There will be a new children’s movie out in December called The Golden Compass. It is written by Phillip Pullman, a proud atheist… He hates C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and has written a trilogy to show the other side. The movie has been dumbed down to fool kids and their parents in the hope that they will buy his trilogy where in the end the children kill God and can do as they please.1 As I started digging into this issue, I discovered that the Catholic League has condemned The Golden Compass as a deadly effort to indoctrinate children into anti-Christian beliefs, saying, “The film is being sold as an innocent children’s fantasy, but in reality there is nothing innocent about it: the movie based on a book that was written to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity.”2 Having read the book for myself, I have come to the conclusion that The Golden Compass is ten times more dangerous, deadly and destructive than Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code put together.

What follows is a critical response to these books, designed to inform the reader of the actual content of the books themselves, as well as giving some suggestions as to how we should respond.

WHO IS PHILIP PULLMAN?

Before looking at the content of the actual books, let’s take a look at the author himself. “Pullman is a supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. New Yorker journalist Laura Miller has described Pullman as one of England’s most outspoken atheists.”3 Here are some quotes from the author, to help give you an idea of his agenda…

· “I am all for the death of God.”4

· “My books are about killing God.”5

· “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”6

In short, his books are a, “deliberate attempt to foist his viciously anti-God beliefs upon his audience… Pullman represents the polar opposite of CS Lewis (the author of the Christian allegorical series The Chronicles of Narnia). Pullman has repeatedly—and with apparent glee—lashed out at both Lewis and the faith he represents. "I hate the Narnia books, and I hate them with a deep and bitter passion," he told one interviewer.”7 It’s interesting to note also that, “It was Lewis’ Christianity, and the success he had in conveying his love for his religion to children, that convinced Pullman to write the anti-Narnia series.”8

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