Thursday, December 4, 2014

Maleficent = Good?

 "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20, NASB)

Let me start with a couple of notes:
The first is a spoiler alert. If you have not yet seen the movie Maleficent just be warned that I will be addressing the main plot in this post.  Second, please take note that I am not saying anything negative about the movie in this post. I am simply making a point about a current trend in our culture. I actually found the movie very entertaining and it was clean. We did not have to use our ClearPlay filter at all.

There seems to be a trend in the media to take what once was considered bad or evil and call it good. There are many subtle ways this takes place, but one of the prominent ways has been through movies that are targeted primarily at a young audience. One example in which this is subtly done is the fairly recent release of OZ: The Great and Powerful. At Oz's first encounter with Theodora, she introduces herself as Theodora the Good. Soon after, the truth is revealed that she is inherently evil. However, her surrender to evil is the result of her sister's deceptions.  Evil is justified by unfair treatment of others.

The plot is very similar in Maleficent. Maleficent is simply a guardian of her people and is looking out for their welfare, protecting them from the insatiable appetites of mankind. She finally opens her heart to trust a boy only for him to grow up and give in to greed. Out of his greed to become king he betrays and physically and emotionally harms her. It is out of this betrayal that she speaks the curse upon his first born.  After attempts to hide the child have failed miserably, Maleficent is seen following the child all throughout her life always protecting her while hiding in the shadows. The conclusion is that Maleficent was simply misunderstood and abused by mankind, yet she redeems herself from her wicked intent in the end.

The message is disseminated time and again that "evil is not always evil. It is simply a matter of perspective and a relative standard." The truth is that since God created everything that is in existence, including mankind, He gets to set the standard. His standard is much higher than our standard:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts(Isaiah 55:7-9, NASB)
We must be careful to remember that God is the sovereign ruler over all creation and we are dust compared to His greatness and power. However, we must also know that God's love is just as great as He is mighty and beyond our imagination. Though evil will never be good, and though we can never do enough good to reverse the evil we have done, God has provided for our evil to be washed away so we can live in the presence of His goodness forever. That was accomplished on the cross through the sinless sacrifice of the blood and body of Jesus Christ. He not only gave His life to pay our fine, but He defeated His death and ours when He rose from the grave on the third day.  Will you accept His gift today and have the evil of your heart wiped away just like He did for me 34 years ago? He has made my heart grateful by His wonderful gift!
  1 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; 3 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; 5 Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. 6 The LORD performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer. 17 But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children... (Psalm 103:1-17, NASB)

For God's Glory,
Chris S. Sweet

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