Today, on Christian Musicians Corner, I would like to share what I call, ‘The Ant Man Strategy’. The first time I wrote this article, it was for publication in the maiden edition of Jogama Magazine, 4 years ago. But I think the message is still relevant for us today.
I am a lover of science fiction and super hero movies. One of my favourites is ‘The Avengers series’. The Avengers are a group of people; some with supernatural powers, some with scientifically modified bodies, some others with highly sophisticated battle suits while others just have unique skills used in battle. They all have one thing in common; they fight to defend the people from external or internal threats to human existence. Now, one of the Avengers that particularly interest me is called Ant Man. He has a special suit that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant. This makes him almost invisible to his opponent, while still retaining the strength of a full grown man. This unique ability allows him to enter a well guarded enemy territory and carry out operations that would have been impossible for others to carry out.
The war we are in
Now, as Christians we are at war (both spiritually and physically) with the devil and the world system. The devil and the world system have been consistently fighting to win the hearts of believers over to their side. And now, they have the same ability as the Ant Man; that means we don’t see them coming at us. The strategy they are using now in this war is the media. Just like Ant Man, the media penetrates our homes and does great havoc to our spiritual lives without us noticing. Our kids are being influenced away from the godly principles and values that we are trying to teach them. Yes, we still have morning devotions with them at home, and yes, we still being teach them in church, but right now, the majority of what an average teenager/ young adult believes strongly are things he/ she learnt from movies and music. Our territories have been invaded by the enemy like Ant Man.
Let me give practical examples
Over the years, just like Ant Man who enters without being noticed, the media have continuously projected an idea to the mind of young people that without money, life is worth nothing. Music artists portray this message in their music videos and the movies pass the same message too. The resultant effect is that greed has become the order of the day. The average young person now has this idea that whatever a person does is justified as long as it yields material gain at the end of the day. And so, they are willing to do anything, I mean ANYTHING at all, even if it is morally unthinkable, as long as they would get money. It is therefore not surprising, the rise in the cases of ritual killings and fraud by young people. Another example is the consistent degrading of the female gender and their portrayal as mere sex objects. This has made our young girls lose their sense of human dignity and so can condescend to any level. Check the kind of videos we see on social media today about our girls and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. But I think, we already got the point.
Now, how do we fight this war?
The solution is obviously not to ban the use of Television or the internet in our various homes. That would be like attempting to stop a moving car with your bare hands (except you are superman). In warfare, one of the best ways to defend yourself against the enemy is to attack the enemy. We need to use the same Ant Man Strategy to attack.
- Yes, we ought to keep praying for our youth and teaching them at home and in church ( which by the way is VERY IMPORTANT). But in addition to that, we also need to start invading the media and bombarding it with QUALITY godly content. If we are truly going to engage young people, we need to throw away that ‘mediocre’ mindset. We need to start providing media content that could compete with every other one out there, in terms of quality. Let’s include expertise in our productions; whether we have to spend years getting it or we spend money to hire it. We need to get into the mainstream entertainment industry, like Ant Man, but with our Christian message. By all means, let the content we put out be of great quality and be able to meet up to industry standards. And we don’t have to compromise our message to achieve this.
- We also need to break down those mighty walls of ‘the secular vs the sacred’ in music genres and entertainment generally. By this, I do not mean that we should start compromising our Christian values in our productions, but let’s reduce the categorization. We should just have rock songs (not secular rock and Christian rock) or rap songs (not Christian rap and secular rap) or movies (not Christian movies and secular movies). Let the audience do the categorization themselves.
- Another thing is that we don’t have to sound ‘preachy’ all the time in our songs and movies (although sometimes, we need to sound ‘preachy’ and be firm in our message). But what we need to do more is ‘gently’ (without compromise though) re-introduce godly principles, standards and values to the younger generation. In 2Timothy 2:25, the Bible says, “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth…” Did you notice the word ‘gently’? I could almost replace that word with the phrase, ‘like Ant Man…’ That’s how God expects us to fight this war. A quick example of what I’m talking about is the movie ‘The Chronicles Of Narnia’ by C.S. Lewis. Another example is the movie, ‘The Lost Medallion’ written by Bill Muir. At face value, you would not tag any of these movies as ‘Christian movies’. But when you watch them, you’ll find that they pass strong Christian messages without compromise.
This has been a long article, but it is worth it. If I had broken it into two, the message wouldn’t have been complete. I hope you gained a lot from it though. Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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