Is it Art?
Fifty years ago, Batman was a good hero who defended Gotham City from a list of infamous villains. But in today’s movie versions, Batman is a psychotic and tortured man who commits seemingly necessary evils with ultimately questionable intention. Many of the popular movie producers today take great pride in their abilities to spin “right and wrong”, and “good and evil” around in a way that makes it seem as if there really is no such thing as righteousness. My question to you is, to what end are they doing this? What do people have to gain from their abilities to blur the line between good and evil?
Is it really just an artistic thing?
I have spoken with people who respect a writer who can influence a reader’s sense of right and wrong so strongly that the reader (or movie goer) begins to have doubts and second thoughts after being morally chewed up and spit out. I think the reason the producers or authors take pride in this ability to blur the line is because there is a general belief that says “anything that stimulates deeper thought is a good thing.”
But is it truly a good thing when the writers continue to return to these same worn out modern themes, revealing hidden evil wherever a person would normally see good? Is that the only “deeper thought” these writers are capable of stimulating?
When we are clobbered daily with this same inverted morality (where everything that is good must secretly conceal great evil and everything that appears evil is really just misunderstood righteousness), the collective message of this “artistic” era is certainly not a “stimulation of deeper thoughts.” Don’t fool yourself. Deeper thoughts are stimulated through the change of perspective. But when the perspective remains unchanged for ten or twenty years, the capacity for intellectual stimulation is lost. We are far beyond being stimulated by inverted morality. I think we reached the point of saturation many years ago. So no, this is not about stimulating deeper thoughts.
What If It Isn’t Just Art?
Here is something stimulating for you to ponder. What if this process of blurring the line between good and evil is not just a form artistic expression. If someone wanted YOU to be influenced by these kinds of movies and books, who would that person be and what would his or her objectives be?
Do you think this person would be doing this to help you, to lift you up, to make your life better?
Or would this person be trying to persuade you to think, say or do things that you wouldn’t otherwise do if you knew in your heart that they were wrong?
First, let’s take it out of the movies for a minute and imagine that the person who wants to blur the line between good and evil in your life is just a friend of yours. What reason would he or she have for trying to convince you to blur that line? Do you think the intentions are for your benefit?
The most common motivation friends have had for wanting to obscure the line between good and evil has been for their own benefit. If you don’t smoke pot, if you don’t drink, it makes them feel condemned if they smoke and drink. It makes them feel like you are judging their choices and don’t want them to have a good time. If they can twist things around and convince you to think that smoking pot and drinking alcohol are good things, then maybe you will join in with them and make them feel better about themselves.
Then there are those who are not friends, but people we see (on the streets so to speak) in our daily lives. How would they benefit from blurring that line?
Do you know that many cons use your own immoral desires to lasso you into their scheme? A con on the streets who is able to convince you to do something immoral or illegal, something you would be ashamed of, that person knows he or she can control you and manipulate you afterwards, after you’ve done that thing. Of course, they will never approach you saying, “Hey, I want you to do this immoral thing for me.” No, of course not. What they will do is work on your sense of morality in an attempt to change it, alter it, in hopes that you will think, at the time, that you are doing a good thing. You will know deep down that what you are doing is wrong, but if successful, the con will convince you to see it as a good thing “in this context.” Unfortunately, when that moment has passed and you have done the dirty deed, you have become a tool for evil and manipulation.
On a Larger Scale
Now let’s go back and look at the movies and the books. What do those people have to gain by blurring the line between good and evil?
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no difference between the movies and the man on the streets. The ONLY reason for blurring the line is to motivate you to turn your back on righteousness, and to motivate you to sin. The only difference is the scale of the effort. Books and movies can be morality traps for hundreds of thousands of people.
This is how large scale sociopolitical movements are fueled. This is how large groups of people are conned into joining activist movements and destructive deviant subcultures. This is how millions of people will buy and use products that are bad for them.
There is a passage from the Bible that has been very revealing in my life lately. I’ve quoted it in my blog several times already mainly because I believe it offers us a very important message in today’s modern society. Haggai 2:11-14 says that evil is contagious and righteousness is not. Sometimes the biggest reason for evil to obscure the line between good and evil is simply to increase its own numbers….to spread the disease so to speak.
In an evil society, evil deeds thrive unchecked. The more widespread the immorality, the more freedom evil has to grow.
No, to me, there’s nothing artistic about blurring the line between good and evil.
All of that said, do not misconstrue what I am saying to mean that producers and authors are evil and they control the masses through their cons and manipulation. I am a BIG believer in personal responsibility and accountability. Jesus told us to be as “sly as snakes” (Matthew 10:16) while we live in this world. None of these people have any power over us for as long as we submit to the will of God. While we cling to righteousness, we cannot be swayed by their manipulations.
So I am not trying to blame the evils of this world on authors and movie producers. The truth is, none of them would have any success if not for the low morality of the people they influence.
No, I am writing about this so YOU can see the blurred line as a threat and do something about it in your own life. We live in a unique time when people are protected from everything, even ourselves. We are protected from the people who sell things to us. We are protected from the fast food industry. We are protected from banks. What civilization in history has ever been so well protected? So we live in a time and place when we feel as if we don’t really NEED to be “sly as snakes.” Uncle Sam is watching over us to make sure nothing bad happens to us, right? Our government has even put laws in the books that protect us from ourselves. Why should we ever need to be “sly as a snake?”
But the government cannot possibly protect you from every bad thing that might come your way. The government cannot protect you from your friends and your family members. The government cannot protect you from your own stupidity or ignorance. It is YOUR responsibility to seek wisdom and live your life according to God’s will. It is ultimately YOUR responsibility to be able to recognize evil when you see it. In the end, even if the Government fails to protect you from evil people, and you have Uncle Sam to blame for your plight, what good is it? Wouldn’t you be better off taking responsibility for your own well being? In the end, it really just comes down to you and the choices you make. Come judgement day, you won’t get a free pass for having someone to blame it on.