Archive | April 2014

The Gospel according to Frozen

She was born with it.

She couldn’t control it.

It grew more and more powerful.

She tried to master it. She tried to conceal it.

She lived her life trying not to sin. She struggled against it. She isolated herself in hopes of not exposing who she was.

She was powerful, but she was dangerous. Her entire life revolved around her trying to keep her sin under wraps.

The wise troll-sage told her that her life would be a constant fight against fear.

The only answer that was given to her was to try harder. And yet, fear grew.

Isolation grew.

Despair grew.

She was wasting her life trying to not sin. She could accomplish nothing as this insurmountable task consumed her attention.

One day, she snapped. She couldn’t handle it anymore.

Her isolation climaxed.

She embraced her sin. “The cold never bothered me anyway.” She dove deep into the chasms of loneliness and magic.

And yet, her sin continued to hurt those she loved.

Then someone came to her driven by love and a hope to restore what was lost.

The curse fell on the very one coming to save her. It enveloped her. The saving-one was consumed by the cursed-one’s sin, slowly dying a frozen death.

In the moment of ultimate crisis, the saving-one had to decide whether to seek her own salvation and freedom from the curse, or sacrifice her life for the sake of the one she loved. She died saving the cursed-one’s. The one who had killed her.

But no, fear and sin did not win. Love was the answer. Selfless, sacrificial love broke the curse. She came back to life, restored by the deeper magic.

Then the cursed one saw for the first time that love was the opposite of fear. Where self-righteousness had failed, love succeeded.

 

What they got right:

  • Trying not to sin is a waste of a life. Living for righteousness is much different than simply trying not to sin. Many people try to become okay by not sinning. This is self-righteousness, but it often masquerades as self-control.
  • We are born powerful. Many people and religions have tried to suppress the fact that we were created amazing, powerful and able to live life successfully. Worm theology tells us that we are worth nothing but to sit in the mud and wait until the rapture. How many dark ages have there been in our lives and our history where religiously minded folk have told us that expressing ourselves is sinful and wrong?
  • Like her, we are not able to save ourselves from the curse. Although God has created us with the ability to live life, we don’t have the capacity to remove that which we were born under.
  • We often react to the stifling nature of religion and controlling parents by embracing the thing that will kill us. We rebel. We turn against authority and God. We isolate. We become our own masters. Our own gods. And yet, we hurt those we love and settle for a meager existence.
  • Neither fighting against nor embracing sin is the answer to sin.
  • There was one who came to save us. Who became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God. Who fully embraced the curse that was isolating and killing us. We killed the saving one. He chose our life over his own.
  • Self-sacrificial love is the only power greater than that of sin.
  • Romantic story-book love will not solve your problems. I so appreciate that Disney finally wrote a new story instead of the continuous lie, “Find a boy/girl and your world will be perfect. Your being okay depends on finding the One.”
  • Changing from living to not sin into living out of love and for righteousness does, in fact, change everything.

 

What was off:

  • In God’s story, sin was destroyed not modified to be “good magic.” If the Frozen curse represents sin, then it should have been completely broken and removed at the moment of self-sacrificial love.

 

In light of all the positives and the fact that it’s a secular movie, I can let this one misrepresentation slide. Portraying magic as being good as long as it is used for good things is a very popular stance in our society. I think it is very destructive to our concept of the true supernatural world and Christian parents need to have good conversations about these topics with their kids.

There are probably many other inaccuracies between the movie and the Redemption story (like: snowmen aren’t “Biblical”).

I doubt anyone at Disney was actively trying to tell the story of Jesus, but they did. Is it a coincidence that this movie is so crazy popular? This always has been and always will be the most beautiful love story.

Honestly, this movie illustrates (pun intended) the story of redemption better than many “Christian” movies out there. I was absolutely amazed, surprised and overjoyed by the message that this movie displayed.

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Supporting a work of God

Tomorrow, we leave.

25 hours of travel time expected over the next two days.

15 month toddler and one on the way.

This is going to fun!

I started this journey back in December while I was in Beijing chatting with my dad. I had just spent three weeks helping hurting ones become healed ones and we were already talking about a return trip.

I did some sessions with a few men from a Chinese worship school in Beijing. They are now back in session and I plan on doing more sessions with them this time around.

Doing 3-hour prayer sessions dealing with the deepest, most painful parts of people’s lives is difficult. Doing that through a translator is something altogether different!

Holy Spirit dependency.

I also worked with a few english-speaking folk. I am hoping to finish the life of one woman with whom I did about 5 sessions last time.

This is a ground-breaking trip for me. I have a dream of a Prayer Resolution special forces squad that is highly trained, highly experienced and highly mobile who can deploy all over the world helping burned out missionaries, fallen pastors and other hurting ones (trafficked women, those escaping cults, etc).

This trip is the first step toward that dream.

Five of us will be doing sessions over the course of five weeks. Michelle (my wife), Amy, Bob, Ted and myself will be helping the existing and thriving work that is already happening in China. Their biggest need is to work with Chinese men and English speakers.

Almost all of those in China who have been trained in Prayer Resolution are Chinese women.

We aren’t going there to bring them God.

God is already there.

Active. Present. Powerful.

We’re going to support and help a healthy work of God.

To learn more about our trip Click Here.

I am only as valuable as what I do

She always excelled at everything she put her hand to, be it school, sports or work. Everything that she started, she wanted to complete with a high level of excellence. She had been praised and affirmed for her success in academics her entire life and had demonstrated that she had a very strong work ethic.

On the outside, everything looked great. But, deep down the enemy had been working in a very subtle, damaging lie that was trying to subvert everything good in her.

The lie that had infected her strong work ethic was that she is only as valuable as her contribution.

“I am only as valuable as what I do.”

As we brought this before her Heavenly Father, He revealed that this lie had been establish, in part by people very close to her who had a pattern of comparing her against others. Even though she almost always was on the “better” side of the comparison, she was being taught that these actions were what made her more valuable than others. She was standing taller than others on a platform of her own performance, but such a structure is unstable at best. With one failure to attain excellence, the platform could collapse, sending her down into the pits of worthlessness.

She lived her life in a constant state of vigilance, careful to maintain her value through what she did.

God’s rest is available for all who put their trust in Jesus, but this lie was not allowing her to enter into that rest. She had to get stuff done in order to be worthwhile.

All of us have a deep-seeded craving to feel worthwhile.

Hungry people will eat.

She didn’t feel valuable just because, so she tried to earn her value. She was feeding her need for value with a lie, but it always left her hungry for more.

She accused some people in her family, before God, of adding strength to this lie. She chose to forgive, asking her heavenly Father to do justice on her behalf.

She confessed her own sin. She confessed that she believed such a damaging, subverting lie and had lived her life as if it was true. She also confessed that she had judged others as less valuable if they were not capable of the same level of excellence. This was a very difficult confession, one that hit home as she realized how bad it was.

She asked God to forgive her. He did.

She rejected the lie, making it clear before God where she stood. She was able to recognize it as a destructive belief and did not want it in her life any more. Then she asked God to do His part. She asked Him to break the power that the lie had in her life. Then she asked her heavenly Father to replace the lie with a Truth.

She waited for God’s response. There was no tangible response, only sense of comfort, like she could keep listening and waiting on Him for a very long time… but nothing ever came. She was disappointed. She felt like she had done something wrong. Wasn’t she supposed to hear something from God?

We talked about what God could be trying to tell her through this “lack of response.” Suddenly, it became clear that she had accomplished “nothing” but she still had deep peace with God. She had neither heard nor seen the “right” thing. She had not “performed correctly.” She felt like she was supposed to get something from God, and she had not. And still, God’s peace was there.

Through our discussion, it became clear that God was indeed communicating something.

I am okay to just be me.

She was no longer dependent on doing something to earn her value. God had accepted her and confirmed her value before Him when she was accomplishing nothing.

Her value is now tied to her existence, not her performance.

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