You’ve probably seen the TV ads touting the release of the new movie Alice in Wonderland, scheduled to open across the country this weekend. It looks a little strange, which is pretty much what you would expect from something written by Lewis Carroll, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
I saw that it was rated PG “for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar.” I’ll have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smoking caterpillar before. I doubt I’ll see the movie anytime soon–at least not until it arrives at the $1 theater–but I have always been fascinated by Carroll’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
I don’t know that I actually ever read the book, but I remember as a child hearing about it and was always struck by its characters. What was most appealing about the story of Alice was that it was so crazy. Masterfully crazy. The cast of zany and twisted characters tries to make Alice believe nonsense is actually good sense. The Mad Hatter. The Cheshire Cat. The Caterpillar. And my personal favorites, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the original Dumb and Dumber.
Today we live in a culture that reminds me more and more of Wonderland. And I’m Alice, looking around and seeing nonsense called reason, wrong called right, evil called good, and lies called truth. The issues are endless, from both a moral and cultural standpoint, where truth and good sense are daily turned on their head. And we as the church are expected to sit quietly while the Dumb-and-Dumbers of the world tell us what to believe, however non-sensical it may be.
Author George Orwell was more than just a writer of science fiction novels (remember the “futurist” 1984?). He was also an outspoken thinker, who knew that as truth was removed from our society we would be gullible enough to believe just about anything. When observing the world in which he lived, he once responded that “sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.” If we as the church are truly going to be “intelligent” in our world of Wonderland, we need to do just that.
The moral of today’s story? Don’t buy the lies. Absorb yourselves in truth, the absolute truth of God’s word, and be willing to “state the obvious” to a culture groping in darkness. Do not believe them when they tell you up is down and down is up, or when they say your Biblical morality is open to change and every wind that blows. Ground yourself solidly on a foundation of truth, and stand firm against the nonsense that is passed across daily as the “wisdom” of our world, even if you’re in the minority. Sometimes–perhaps even all the time in Wonderland–you just have to go against the flow.
Here’s hoping and praying that you and yoru family stand up and stand out for the God of truth this week, that you may truly be salt and light in a world gone crazy. May God bless your obedience and faithfulness.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday.