Beauty and the Beast the latest rendition came out this past week, and it was causing a stir before it released. That stir was because of a scene in which a character would demonstrate some pretty homosexual propensities. So, of course, the Christian social media world took up arms and called for a boycott.
A few days ago I was speaking to a co-worker about the movie. She told me she was going to watch it, and I simply laughed and said, “have fun.” She proceeded to ask me, “Why? Do you not like Beauty and the Beast?”
The truth is not that I won’t see the movie. It’s a good possibility that when it comes out on DVD or Blue-ray, we’ll either rent it or watch it some other way. Why so?
Truth be told I personally don’t feel convicted either way. I don’t need to watch it to “engage with the culture,” nor am I going to boycott it because “it promotes something as evil.” So if I see it or not will simply be because we had the time and desire to watch it for whatever host of reasons.
However, knowing the story line of the movie means I already know what I won’t like about the movie. And that is: the story line.
As a Christian I need to be aware of what art is all about. Many people think art is something to admire without thinking that art has a way of working it’s way into us and teaching us and shaping us. We are people who are made up of stories. We remember certain significant moments in our lives that have formed us. We have grooves in our inner-being that marks us from people and circumstances of the past. We eat thousands of meals throughout our lives, and we won’t remember most of them, but they help us grow.
I believe stories affect us the same way food does. We grow because of stories in our inner man, and we’re suppose to grow because of stories. God has made it that way. It is why He told the Israelites to remember, and to pass down the stories about Moses.
We also are made up and are fed by stories. And we may forget them, but parts of them stick to us and form us.
This is why I have a problem with Beauty and the Beast. I know the story and I hate it. It teaches opposite of reality, and it teaches against God’s word. The story itself is deeply effective in getting across it’s message, and it’s message is this: Love conquers all.
And this is simply false because it doesn’t teach what love is. I don’t expect it to know either. But there is something worse, so let me break down the plot for you.
Dad gets trapped by beast. Beast holds dad against his will. Daughter saves dad by trading her life for his. Beast accepts trade and holds girl against her will. Girl falls in love with her captor beast. Captor beast falls in love with girl. While the beast is a beast, she loves him more. Girls love changes beast to prince. They live happily ever after.
Anyone else see anything wrong with that? I mean, seriously? Does anyone else know this story in real life? I’ve known of many many girls who chose a beast thinking they’d change him. I know many many girls fall in love with a man not thinking about his character because they figured they could change him. I know many girls who shouldn’t be with the guys they are with.
What does this movie portray? True love changes the beast. And I’m sorry, but there isn’t anything Biblical about that.
In fact, Paul says not to be unequally yoked. So if he ain’t a Christian, then you shouldn’t even be with him. If you’re married, then remain with him if he desires to remain with you, as Paul says. But if your only dating or are engaged then run. Stop it. You don’t know if you can change him, and truly it’s only the gospel that will change him.
This is why, if I chose not to see the movie, I wouldn’t see the movie. The story is just plane old bad. It’s a false story.
Some Christian might argue, “But Jesus chose to love a beast, and he changed us!” To that I simply laugh. Yes, God can do that. He is God. I’m not. If you think your love can change someone then you don’t know the Bible. Look at Jesus. He did good to all and was crucified.
There you go. A picture of love. He feeds thousands and they turn on him. He commands the winds and the waves, and he cares for the blind. He heals lepers and they never thank him. Pontius Pilate finds nothing wrong with him, and instead of doing justice he decides to kill Jesus.
That’s where love gets you.
So the whole plot simply irks me. It’s not healthy to get into a relationship expecting the person to change. Nor is it healthy to fall in love with an abusive person. Nor is it healthy to fall in love with someone who cares more about themselves than anyone else. Nor is it right to stay in a relationship hoping they will change.
Honestly, the only act of love that can even come close to demonstrating what Jesus Christ did was Belle taking the place of her father. And I hesitate even saying that because the rest of the story is just plain bad.
But I’m sorry, you can’t change Satan honey, not in the least.