God Rest Ye Merry

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Below is a very kind Facebook post that Kirk Cameron put up. After that are a few more comments from me about the furor his movie Saving Christmas appears to be causing. This was apparently a rumpus we needed to have.

Okay, some backstory. Kirk has a movie coming out called Saving Christmas. I have a short preliminary review here. As part of promoting the movie, Kirk and I had a brief conversation about Thor and Jesus that you can read here. And the book we are talking about, and the book that Kirk references in the Facebook post above can be found here.

Now I think I mentioned in my short review that the movie was not directly about saving Christmas from the Forces of Secularism (although that is related, at least indirectly). No, the movie is about saving Christmas from the forces of overly-precise Christians, who couldn’t find Christmas in their Bible search software, and who think we shouldn’t have anything to do with it. Now while this might seem kind of extra-Christiany, this is actually falling for one of the basic lies that the enemy is trying to tell us.

And from the comment thread on Kirk’s Facebook post where we are talking about Jesus and Thor, it is manifest that Kirk’s movie is absolutely the right thing at the right time. D.L. Moody once said that if you throw a rock into a pack of stray dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit. This message of saving Christmas from Christians is generating a lot of yelps.

In my time with Kirk, I cited a verse from somewhere in Hosea. Here it is: “For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.” (Hosea 2:17, ESV).

It is not the path of discernment to judge things by what they used to be. Wedding rings were a pagan custom — the Romans thought that a vein ran from your ring finger to your heart, and the way you bound your heart was by putting a ring on that finger. They used the right hand, and we use the left, but that is why we do that. Thor’s day is Thursday, but not anymore. I use that example because Thor’s name is not quite forgotten. Woden’s name is a little more distant (Wednesday), and Tuesday and Friday are almost clean out of the picture (Tiw or Tyr, the god of single combat, and Frigg, the Old English Venus). And the reason you make a wish before you blow out your birthday candles is because back in the day a soothsayer would then come ambling up to the table and tell your fortune from the patterns that the smoke made. When was the last time you made a little smoke for the soothsayer at your birthday? Well, you made the smoke but it wasn’t for the soothsayer, because you’re a Christian and you don’t believe in soothsayers. No capnomancy for you.

Instead of being ashamed of the superstition, you ought to thank God that the increase of His Son’s government will have no end, and then memorize Hos. 2:17. That, and you should take the scroogiest Christian friend you can persuade to go see Saving Christmas.

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timothy
timothy
8 years ago

What wonderful ideas.

I do not know that they are true (meaning that I have not weighed them against competing claims) , but they have the ring of Joy and Truth to them.

Btw, I was saying a prayer of thanks for you and that Ninja book; A rich, interesting , Christian popular culture is one I want to live in and have been praying for. You are doing good work there and this seems to be a continuation of it.

thx.

Thank you.

rob howard
rob howard
8 years ago

So I did see the trailer for this awhile back, and if Kirk Cameron were to do a documentary on the topic and refrain from smirking for the entire duration, I might be able to stomach it. As it is, the slapstick idiocy of the trailer and the decidedly unfunny spectacle of Mr. Doane humiliating himself for what I can only assume is a bid for an acting career turn me off entirely. On top of that, I saw Mercy Rule for 3 reasons: Nate’s involvement, Doane’s involvement, and your recommendation, and think I’d have to call that project a… Read more »

Doane
Doane
8 years ago

Rob,

Thankfully I turned you off in the trailer. Had I turned you on that would be weird.

Doane

rob howard
rob howard
8 years ago

Not as weird as this conversation just became. Seriously, I hope you’re able to see my thoughts above not as criticism of you personally, but of a couple of the choices you’ve made. I feel like I’ve seen enough of your work by now to suspect that of late you’re probably compromising some things that shouldn’t be compromised. I’m clearly at a great distance from the decisions you face, and probably don’t really know enough about your options to have what anyone might call an informed opinion, but I can’t help but suspect that you’re better than some of this.… Read more »

Darren Doane
Darren Doane
8 years ago

Hey Rob,

Quick question. Are you same Rob Howard who directed the Hedtripdrama music video?

http://vimeo.com/63969573

Thanks for the feedback.

Doane

rob howard
rob howard
8 years ago

oh, man.

yes I am, and your point is well made, if that’s what you had in mind.
in my defense: it was my first, and I did it for free.

Darren Doane
Darren Doane
8 years ago

Hey Rob,

Its always good to see a filmmaker cranking out lots of work. I’m always inspired by people actually doing it and you clearly are. Keep up the grind.

Doane

rob howard
rob howard
8 years ago

I appreciate the encouragement.

See if you can talk Kirk into remaking Left Behind from a post-mill perspective.
Or is that the secret tucked inside Mercy Rule?

Mario-Rene Katins
Mario-Rene Katins
8 years ago

Guess what? The Old Gods are not forgotten, nor ever will they be! To me you are nothing but a bigotted idiot. While I doubt you will this post allow to remain, I still have a rest of hope that you leave it be.
HEATHEN AND PROUD!!!

1redthread
8 years ago

I’ve kind of been keeping up with the crazy comments on Facebook in response to Kirk’s movie. Just two things. 1) I think it would be good if the Jehovah’s Witnesses would self – identify and 2) being shrill and insulting, questioning if people are True Christians, and spouting off King James Version scripture does not help your cause. I’m not speaking of Kirk, but his detractors. That being said, I have always had a problem with Christmas not because of it’s “pagan origins”, but what it actually is today, an orgy of consumerism and lust for things. Being in… Read more »

Wesley Sims
8 years ago

It’s good to see that the “HEATHEN AND PROUD” are sending out their best and brightest to fume and fury against this Bigot Ted idiot. I don’t know who he is, but he sounds like a real jerk.

Thank you Pastor. I’ve benefited greatly from your writings and am edified much by your post-mill views, so much so, that I consider myself to be of those jolly Christians, as Chesterton somewhere said.

scm
scm
8 years ago

My family watched Mercy Rule the other night. My oldest boy loves Leepike Ridge and said, “Hey, Dad, did you see that?” as ND Wilson came on the screen as the writer. I thought the film was beautifully done, visually and cinematically, and I enjoyed the storyline and acting (Kirk Cameron is a very good actor whether you like him or not, and I happen to like him). But more than just enjoying it, I was quite moved by the spirit of the thing. I loved the defiance and willingness to fight for what is right, even if you don’t… Read more »