From time to time there are certain movies that circulate in even the most conservative churches, regardless of the surface reasons to not to watch the films. The Hunger games is one such series. It has caught fire in a world wide blaze… and it’s not just teenage fans are obsessed with the books and movies. It has eared lead actress Jennifer Lawence the number one spot for highest earning actress.. Grossing a whopping 52 million dollars in 2015. Many churches are jumping on the band wagon and using the popular “savior” plot lines in their sermons to parallel the war between Christ and Satan. For example one methodist church states “In response to growing popularity of “The Hunger Games” and the upcoming release of the book’s corresponding movies, the Rev. Andy Langford and his daughter, the Rev. Ann Duncan, have written a study for pastors and church members called “The Gospel According to The Hunger Games Trilogy.” But is it safe to use such dark imagery to try to explain salvation? Is it okay for Christians to expose themselves to these movies?
For starters, the writer Suzanne Collins was inspired to write these stories from Greek myth Theseus and the Minotaur. The Bible warns us of a time when many will turn away from the truth and will be influenced by fables.
In 2 Timothy 4:3-5 the Paul writes, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
The true danger in listening to fables and myths is that it plants seeds of error into your mind and wets the appetite for fallacious tales. There is a good reason why the word of God says in
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,” key emphasis on the word TRUE, “whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
The classical myths are full of dark and terrible stories that have little to no redeeming qualities that edify the soul. If the stories do not point us to our need of a Savior to save us from our sins (not from some oppressive power) than chances are it does not speak according to the light of God’s Word. The Bible is quite clear that.
Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Nonetheless here’s the plot. The post-Apocalyptic Capitol (formerly North America) holds an annual televised event called “The Hunger Games.” Each district must draw the names of a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18 who will battle each other to the death in front of a blood thirsty aristocratic society. These movies have two major themes, rebellion and murder. Now, the fact that our current society would praise any films that center around children murdering each other is disturbing in and of itself… but lets move on. The villain is the leader of the totalitarian society named President Snow. The savior of the film is Katniss. Her name comes from the edible aquatic plant Katniss of the genus Sagittaria. The reason she is an archer is because of Sagittarius, one of the 12 zodiacs. Its worth noting the Hunger games: Catching fire, Mocking Jay Part 1 and Part 2 are all released on November 20-22, the first day of the zodiac sign Sagittarius. Sagittarius is pictured as a man/centaur with a bow. Katniss is pictured with a bow. Sagittarius is a fire sign. Katniss is called “The Girl on Fire”. There are 12 signs in the zodiac (13 if you count Ophiuchus). There are 12 districts in the Hunger Games (13 if you count District 13). Sagittarius symbolizes freedom and revolution.
Freedom and revolution are central themes in The Hunger Games. The former champion of District 12 (Haymitch), is a drunk and serves as a mentor. Chiron, the ancient avatar of Sagittarius in Greek myth, was a mentor to heroes and a centaur (centaurs were almost always drunks). Although these are interesting side notes, let’s analyze this using the Word of God and see the spiritual parallels through the lens of the great controversy (the war between Christ and Satan).
In the first film Katniss willingly offers herself in place of her chosen sister. At first glance you might think “well that’s a “Christ-like” act. But when you listen to the biblical language used in film… a sinister deception is taking place. Many Biblical references are imbedded into the dialog and even music for the films. For example,
In the soundtrack for the hunger games movie there is a song titled “Lover is Child-like” in which the lyrics say, “My lover ain’t Christ like- But my lover is childlike”. Other songs titles from the official movie soundtrack have Biblical themes such as “Kingdom Come” and “Abraham’s daughter”, which was nominated at the 2013 grammy’s for best song for visual media. The song has some pretty twisted lyrics…
Song by Arcade Fire
Abraham took Isaac’s hand and led him to the lonesome hill.
While his daughter hid and watched,
She dare not breathe. She was so still.
Just as an angel cried for the slaughter,
Abraham’s daughter raised her voice.
Then the angel asked her what her name was,
She said, “I have none.”
Then he asked, “How can this be? “
“My father never gave me one.”
And with his sword up, raised for the slaughter,
Abraham’s daughter raised her bow.
How darest you, child, defy your father?
You better let young Isaac go.
There is certainly a “twisted spiritual” undertone in the movie’s soundtracks as well as the story itself.
So let’s analyze the villain President Snow. In the first film he states that “Freedom has a cost” and that its winners are reminders of the government’s “victory and forgiveness”. The cost of freedom that God paid in giving the world His only begotten son to die on the cross (John 3:16) was indeed “infinite”. He linked Himself to the mankind to forever identify as a human with the human race. Jesus’ death on the cross was the greatest demonstration of victory and forgiveness for a sinful race. Snow also states that “Hope” is stronger than fear. Essentially saying that he is using “hope and fear” to control the masses. The Bible says in Psalms 33:18 “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy.” The filmmakers use the imagery of him President Snow “living in the sky” in one of the trailers. Katniss is hunting in the forest with Snow watching her on his all-seeing television. The voice you hear is that of Snow and it appears to be coming from the sky. Katniss aims her bow at the clouds and then the camera cuts to Snow watching her on his video screen. Snow has the ability to see “everything that happens” in the arena. The Bible tells us in
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
President Snow is shaping up like a twisted depiction of the God of Heaven.
There is a scene in which Katniss is supposed to get married but the wedding is cancelled. President snow gives her a wedding dress to wear when she appears on the game show. What’s interesting about this scene is when she comes out onto the stage she is wearing a white wedding dress. Then the game show host tells her to spin around so everyone can see the dress and then when she does, the dress burns off and turns into a black gown with devil like wings. The spiritual significance of a wedding dress is worth noting. In Isaiah 61:10 the Bible tells us the wedding dress is a symbol of. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
The reason she calls herself the “Mocking Jay” is because it is a symbol of rebellion. The Capital created a hybrid bird, which came to be known as a “Jabber Jay” that would spy on the districts and report back to the Capital. Then the districts figured it out and would feed the birds misinformation. When the Capital figured out what was happening, they abandoned the project. The birds then mutated and became the mocking jays. Katniss used the bird as a symbol of rebellion.
Katniss leads the “rebellion” into war against the capital. In a scene where President Snow is trying to force Katniss’ love interest Peeta into helping him he states that he [president Snow] is a “symbol of power and formality… just like the seal on the door”. The dictionary defines formality as “the rigid observance of rules”. A reference that can only be attributed to God. After all, wasn’t the whole reason the war started in heaven because Satan did not want to follow the rules?
Snow makes multiple statements that he only wants “peace” but yet wants to see people burn. An interesting parallel in light of Revelation chapter 20 in which the Bible tells us that fire will come down from the hand of God and devour the wicked.
It is later said in a scene between Katniss and Snow that she “enjoyed starting the war”. Snow even makes the comment that “she doesn’t know what honesty is anymore”.
The bible tells us clearly who is the very epitome of dishonesty.
John 8:44 says, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
A trailer was released for the final installment of the series that shows President snow sitting on a throne. The room is completely white. Everyones clothing is pure white. Even the throne itself is white. It’s no coincidence that the young man Peeta is standing on his right side. The words displayed on the screen are “UNITY, PROSPERITY, and SACRIFICE. Clearly these words have biblical implications. Daniel’s vision of God on His throne is extremely similar to President Snow. Daniel 7:9 says, “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool.”
Another trailer was released in which Snow is addressing the people in similar fashion. Again and we hear language that talks about “unity” and “peace” until the rebellion transmits a pirate signal to let everyone know that the “Mocking Jay” lives.
The culmination of this series is about bringing the war to God’s front door. Attacking Him on His territory. In an interview actor Donald Sutherland says “it [The Hunger Games movie] is a call to war… and the war is against me.”
The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 movie poster for is of a broken down white statue of President Snow, a symbol of power, and the mocking jay emblem is painted in place of it. As if to say the rebellion will win the war. Yet in different poster for the same movie we see an a woman in red sitting upon the white throne. It reminds me of the imagery of a woman clothed in red in the book of Revelation. The Bible describes the her as the ultimate depiction of rebellion. The prophet Isaiah God gives us a description of purity
“Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool” Isaiah 1:18.
You see, the film maker’s want you to identify with the rebellious savior katniss. But character of Jesus is exactly the opposite of the spirit of rebellion. Jesus taught that our war is not against an authority (like a caesar or some dictatorship) but that it is a war against self. The Hunger Game series excites the passions of revenge and distracts you from building a character like Jesus. This imagery also leaves you with a subtle impression that the authority that sits on a pure white throne is actually the villain. It paints a horrible picture of God and influences you to think He is only a totalitarian ruler who wants to see people murder each other and burn. Don’t let Hollywood plant the seed of rebellion into your heart. Remember, Jesus said “love your enemy, do good the those who hate you”. May God’s love burn within your heart and may His spirit catch fire in your life.