James Cameron’s “Avatar” is set to shatter every box office record and is one of the biggest PR pieces for Earth Worship to come in some time. Fight The Good Fight Ministries (one of my personal favorites) has an excellent, excellent article on Avatar and the Coming One World religion. I highly recommend reading it. It is time for Christians to take a serious look at this movie which has become a global phenomenon and is a serious spiritual danger.
In the movie, the Na’Vi (very lean, blue-skinned giants who almost bring Genesis 6 to mind), who live on the planet Pandora, and worship in a fully pantheistic religion. They believe their god is in every living creature on the planet in addition to being in the planet itself and that all beings share this divine connection. This is precisely what much of the New Age and pantheism teaches today. Rather than God being the All-Powerful Creator of the universe who above all of His creation, he is more of a “force” (yes, like Star Wars) that inhabits all things and can be tapped into when needed. Because naturally, if god is everything, then everything (including you and I) is potentially god. This is the original lie of Satan in the Garden of Eden – the promise of godhood.
And that is just where Avatar leads its viewers, but before we can get to that, we must define some terms.
Pandora – In Greek mythology, Pandora was “the first woman.” She was created as a punishment after Prometheus (who is often linked with Satan) stole fire and gave it to mortals. Many have heard of the term Pandora’s Box, which is a reference to the mythical box that Pandora opened which released all of the misery, ills and evils into the mortal world. So we can see as Cameron has made his movie’s Pandora planet an equivalent of the “Mother Earth”/earth goddess, the possible meanings behind the name choice become apparent.
Avatar — The term avatar itself has its roots in Hinduism and means the incarnation of a deity and is literally translated as “cross over.” The Theosophical Dictionary defines avatar as: one who has a combination of three elements in his being: an inspiring divinity; a highly evolved intermediate nature or soul, which is loaned to him and is the channel of that inspiring divinity; and a pure, clean, physical body. Basically the gods coming down to the level and form of mortal beings.
And there can be no mistaking that in the movie Jake Sully, the marine who becomes the main Avatar leader, is a messianic figure. He is a divinely appointed Savior who the Na’Vi actually proclaim to be the reincarnated form of a Na’Vi warrior of time’s past. When his love interest intially spots Sully and wants to shoot him with an arrow, mystical butterfly-like creatures hover around Jake Sully, indicating that he has been chosen by the god/planet for a special purpose. He then goes on his quest to save the Na’Vi from the evil, greedy Americans and liberate the planet. And in his last great act, Jake’s dead human body is taken to the main spiritual tree of the Na’Vi where he is resurrected inside of his Avatar body for good. The movie is basically screaming for Jake Sully to be seen as a godlike messianic figure. The last shot of the movie is the resurrected Jake Scully opening his eyes in his new permanent Na’Vi body. He has fully crossed over in a manner that seems straight out of the book of Genesis. As alluded to earlier, when Satan deceived Eve into eating from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, one of the things he promised would happen if she just ate would be “then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5).
What is not as well known about the term avatar is that it’s also used in the New Age for the coming “World Teacher” or Messianic figure who they are expecting. Benjamin Creme of Share International, has long promoted this coming world teacher who will be the expected messiah of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and every other major religion rolled into one. He will of course promote a New World Religion that seeks to show the commonality among all current religions, thus allowing them to blend into one (just as the book of Revelation predicts one religion for the world at the end time).
This “Ascended Master”, called Maitreya, is in Creme’s words, an avatar, who has existed throughout time in different people. Whether it was Buddha, Confucius or even Jesus (according to Creme) the avatar basically is a body that receives the “Christ Consciousness.” Just as Jake Sully was able to put his spirit into the synthetic, lab-made Na’Vi body, so does the Christ Consciousness inhabit great spiritual leaders throughout history. And of course, New Age leaders and Theosophists say their Messiah, the Maitreya will save the world from war, poverty and all our problems. This is where the deception comes to fruition. Not to say that Maitreya (if he ever appears) is the antichrist, but he certainly is an example of how people can be deceived into following him.
If this seems out there, just know that Share International’s website is sponsored by the United Nations. So they are not a fringe organization with no recognition. They even ran a commercial on CNN which you can view below:
So what sayeth the Scriptures on these issues? We get a very clear answer:
Romans1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
We are not to worship God’s creation. We are to worship God! But Satan has repeatedly provided a system in the world to lure people into worsiping the sun, moon, water, trees, animals and everything but God. We should not abuse the Earth, but the Earth is not God. Or a goddess. We are to seek a relationship with God The Creator through his Son Jesus Christ, not with the Earth. But look at what people in the Avatar Forums are saying. Here is one fan’s comment on the feeling after seeing the film:
“So I watched Avatar and really can’t bring myself to watch it again. In fact talking about it has become a bit painful as well. I’ve never really reacted to a movie this way and really didn’t expect to react at all. I didn’t even want to see Avatar at first because I thought it would be more pretty Hollywood drivel. To be honest the parts of the movie, like story line and such weren’t spectacular in and of themselves but have some how become more than the sum of their parts. I felt so unsettled afterwards, I couldn’t speak. I came home and just cried, and I didn’t even know what was wrong. I don’t get emotional much, so this was very strange for me. After some introspection I realized I am mourning the fact that there is no connection existant in this world as strong as the one experienced by the Na’vi. There is no close bond of experience for us and the closest we ever came to really experiencing the natural world has already gone the way of the Dodo, before I was even born. It’s not as if I have a chance to live that way even if I wanted to. You always give up something for every gain, for our creature comforts we lose the dependance on our “tribe” and the necessity to make a place for ourselves. Now, so many just wander through life, lost and apathetic because we have no reason to be more than that. It makes my heart ache, but it is somewhat comforting to know I’m not just insane and there are other people that had a similar reaction.”
What a sad commentary. I feel for this person. They are truly hurting. And there are many, many Avatar fans expressing the same grief. Thinking that a character in a movie has more purpose in life than you do. So much of what is there reminds me of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes:
1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? 4One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. 5The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
Solomon’s point was that life, absent God, is utterly pointless. The Avatar fan who wrote that heartfelt plea wants to feel a deep spiritual connection to something. That person is searching for a personal God, but looking to James Cameron’s movie instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus said “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus wants us to have a fulfilling life and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8: 9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness… 13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
What greater connection can we have to God than to be His children and receive His Holy Spirit! This is what salvation brings. Once we stop living for our sinful flesh and follow our reborn Spirit, we can have a real connection with God. A God who wants to know all our thoughts, hopes, pains and heartaches. A God who wants us to lean on Him for every issue. A God who is our Father and will guide us and refine us in righteousness.
For all of the harmony of the Na’Vi there was very little moral accountability. Jake Sully was immediately discriminated against and hated by many because he was an outsider. The Na’Vi also have certain animals and creatures they’re willing to kill without any mention of the moral wrong of that. Jake Sully has no regrets about turning his back on the company who hired him and blasting his fellow humans with an assault rifle at point blank range. Why did he not try to negotiate with the humans? Why didn’t he ever show any remorse for anything? Because the false religion of Avatar does not address the sinful heart. Jesus Christ does. There is a deeper existence. There is spiritual connection. There is real meaning to life. But until we become aware of our sin problem and know that we cannot fix outside of salvation in Jesus Christ, we walk in darkness and can fall prey to even the allure of a Hollywood movie’s fabricated religion.