Just saw “Avatar.” Lots of fun, great special effects, very imaginative – sort of “Dances with Wolves” on LSD. It seemed to me to carry a lot of messages: the military is bad; America is bad; capitalism is bad; technology is bad; in fact, modern civilization is bad; green is good; primitive is good. Kind of simplistic, but there are some good points to be made there. What came through most strongly to me was a promotion of the “New Paganism” – worshipping nature, Mother Earth and all that, as the ultimate good and ultimate power.
In the movie, the planet Pandora is a kind of physical divinity whose nerve system is the interlocking tree roots. These all feed into the “brain” or soul-tree which is the head of it all, and which also seems to house the souls of all the people’s dead ancestors. Because the people live in harmony with this planet/goddess, they prosper and are at peace.
But I believe that worship of nature is really worship of self. Everything in nature, including the planet itself, was created and is not inherently divine. The Creator exists outside nature, in a separate reality inaccessible to us. To worship a created thing, then, comes down to making a god in our own image, because it means projecting the human reason and will onto it.
In a way, then, nature-worship and scientism are basically the same: both are attempts to nullify or transcend God’s laws and replace Him with ourselves as lawgiver. Since humans are flawed, such “religion” quickly begins to reflect the darker, as well as the better, side of our nature. Such gods as Moloch, who demanded child sacrifice, attest to this – as well as the current dogma that the unborn may be sacrificed for the convenience of its mother. That is why *The Forest* is very clear about the One, who rules from an abode beyond mortal reach.
Only God is perfect love – perfect in mercy, perfect in justice. The only way to a perfect society is to be in union with him as our head. This is accomplished, not by us but by him, gradually as we accept his authority and his Spirit transforms us, in preparation for the fulfillment of his Kingdom on earth.
I think many, if not most, Christians think very little about the promise of a “new heavens and new earth” which he will create after the present world is destroyed, or destroys itself, by the many-hued folly of trying to replace God’s way with our own. But the promise is that not only will a new heavens and new earth be created and we resurrected to inhabit it, but it will also be united to his “abode” in love so that God is “all in all.” For me, this is ‘way preferable to Pandora.