Originally published Friday, 09 March 2018.
Did you happen to read Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” in grade-school? I don’t remember too many details of the book, but I do remember it impacting my little heart now decades ago. That's why me (and other millennials like me) have been greatly anticipating the release of Disney's adaptation of the this best-selling science-fantasy novel. The re-telling of this classic story is said to take audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light, good versus evil and, ultimately, the triumph of love.
I was able to catch a press screening of the film earlier this week, and it has taken me a couple days to really collect my thoughts about the movie.
The stellar cast (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling to name a few), awe-inspring special effects, and vividly colorful costumes and make-up definitely drew me in right away.
But what impressed me the most was the young, up and coming actress, Storm Reid, who plays the main character Meg Murry. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Miss Reid will become a role model for young girls all over the world. She portrayed the awkward, middle-school heroine with such beauty, wit, vulnerability and strength. The desire to find and rescue her father who has traveled through time and space and is trapped by a darkness called "The It," and restore her family drives her to risk everything, including her life.
[caption id="attachment_1139" align="aligncenter" width="765"] Storm Reid is Meg Murry and Levi Miller is Calvin O'Keefe in Disney's A WRINKLE IN TIME, an epic adventure based on Madeleine L'Engle's timless classic directed by Ava DuVernay.[/caption]
That act of selfless love is nothing short of beautiful to me- a love that I know has been shown to us through Jesus Christ.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13, ESV).
Although the book is not considered a Christian piece, L’Engle, who actually used to teach Sunday school at her church and wrote a devotional on grace later on in her life, wove Christian truths throughout the book. There are actually many scriptures quoted throughout the novel as well as mention of Jesus being a “great warrior of light.” Ultimately, this book is about the powerful force of good over evil and love triumphing in the end, a message believers proclaim and live by.
“What if we are here for a reason? What if we are apart of something truly divine?” is echoed in the movie by Dr. Murry, Meg's father, as he tries to explain his theory of time travel to colleagues at NASA at the beginning of the movie. He wanted to bend time with his mind and shake the Universe's hand.
The "divine" and the "hand" that is mentioned should be God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth..the Creator of the entire universe...
...but sadly, Disney's "Wrinkle in Time" paints another picture about the Creator of the Universe. Sadly, but not surprisingly, they remain silent about God.
Where Miss L'Engle highlighted Christian truths and even mentions Jesus Christ in her book, sadly, Disney erases them completely.
But they were not silent on new age and eastern religion culture.
Meg, along with her younger brother Charles Wallace and friend Calvin, have all been chosen by messengers of the Universe ("the Mrs's") because they saw light and hope in them. They were being called on to be warriors for the Universe. Lines such as you must "become one with the Universe" and "have faith in yourself" echo loudly in the film, which brings a false message of hope, light, and love. Yoga and highlighting the Hindu "third eye chakra" exercise were also a part of the film, expressing the idea that you have the power within yourself to see into the future, perhaps, becoming your own savior with no need of anyone's help, including God.
[caption id="attachment_1145" align="aligncenter" width="740"] Photo courtesy: Still from Film Trailer[/caption][caption id="attachment_1144" align="aligncenter" width="745"] Photo courtesy: Still from Film Trailer[/caption]
I understand that this story is fantasy, and that it is not particularly a Christian work, but subjecting children to these other spiritual exercises that people actually practice is dangerous in my opinion. And yes, it is my opinion, but my faith in God had to filter a lot while viewing this film. To me, if the film-makers and screenplay writer were going to ignore the mention of God or any form of Christian themes that the author put in the book, don't highlight other faiths or spiritual exercises.
If you are a Christian and plan on going to see this movie, just know that the message of light vs. darkness, hope and love, good vs. evil are not our definition of those things. None of those things exist a part from God.
God is light. God is hope. God is good. God is love.
We are not our own savior. We are not our own answer. We cannot "become the Light" and defeat darkness (another line from the film) without the light of Christ.
If you plan on taking your children to see this movie, I pray you take the time to explain Biblical truths about our Christian definitions of light vs. darkness, hope and love, good vs. evil . This film will definitely spark that conversation.
I can appreciate this film for the sake of the art and creativity and for the fact that it shows the importance of family and the strength of selfless love. Yet, I pray people that watch it remember that it is just fantasy and it's message of hope, light, and love pale in comparison to real hope, light, and love found in Christ alone.
A Wrinkle in Time, in theaters now.