May 25th holds a special place in my heart. And one of those reasons might be what you are thinking.
Yes, on May 25, 1977, the world was changed by the release of Star Wars, what would be soon known as Episode IV: A New Hope.
Yet, that is only one reason for me to celebrate today.
The real reason I celebrate today is because on this day, 20 years ago I married my own Princess.
Through these past 20 years of marriage, I have learned a lot about what it takes to love and be loved.
Christians need to be known more for our love for people than what we are against.
Jesus was very clear about this in John 13:34-35(ESV)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”(emphasis added).
The 800 Pound Gorilla In The Room
Christians are weird people. It’s ok to say that because I am one.
We want people to know Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior so that they can spend eternity in Heaven.
Yet, we often use words and stories that people are not familiar with- it’s “Christian-ize”.
My wife is self-employed as a math tutor. Years ago she was asked if she reported her income from doing the tutoring. She told the person “Yes, I was convicted to do so.”
The person was shocked and couldn’t believe my wife had been convicted of a crime. My wife laughed and said she was convicted by the Holy Spirit to do so, not in a court of law.
That’s a funny story but it shows how easily we Christians use terminology that non-Christians do not understand.
We need to be mindful that the world needs to hear the unadulterated Gospel but we might need to use stories that they understand and then bring Biblical stories and parables into the conversation.
Why I Use Star Wars
Star Wars has done more that $7.6 BILLION in just movie receipts. Click to the chart to the right.
People all around the world know this franchise. There was a reason Disney spent more than $4 BILLION buying it from George Lucas.
When it comes to Star Wars, Christians fall into one of three camps:
- Avoid watching the movies and bury your head in the sand, pretending that they don’t exist.
- Watch the movies as pure entertainment and don’t think much about them.
- Watch the movies with discernment and look for ways to use them to share the Gospel message.
Deciding To Avoid Them
If you bury your head in the sand, or put fingers in your ears and shout “La!La!La!La!La!” when people talk to you about Star Wars or any other movie, you are not going to be part of the conversation with the world.
You might say that according to 1 Peter 2:11 we are to live “as aliens and strangers [and] to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”
That is true. But if you are able, I urge you to live like the Apostle Paul did.
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. ~1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (ESV) (emphasis added).
Deciding To Enjoy Them As Entertainment
There some people that just enjoy a good movie and leave it at that.
That’s fine. Really.
We are to be mindful what we put into our mind, since Proverbs 23:7a (KJV) tells us”For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”.
Deciding To Watch & Use Them To Share The Gospel
It’s probably not hard to believe, but I fall into the last camp. The camp that says we can and should use Star Wars to reach a lost and dying world.
We need to be mindful that there are parts of the Star Wars universe that are contrary to the Word of God.
But if we acknowledge these areas, we can still use the story, scenes, or quotes, to connect with people that love the movie.
I’m passionate about this. Ask my friends (both Christian and non-Christian), and they will tell you that there is hardly a conversation where I don’t use some sort of Star Wars reference.
I recently polled the karate class I was teaching “Based on what you know about me, what do I love?”
Their answers were: bacon, Star Wars, karate, God, and my family. The were spot on. The order was a bit out of whack, but since most of the class had known me less than three months, I was a bit taken back.
How did they know this about me? They listened to what I talked about, what type of graphic t-shirts I wore, etc.
That day, I move into a Bible study from one of my books in the series “Using Star Wars To Share Your Faith.”
What Will You Pick?
Jesus used stories all the time to relate to His audience. You need to decide how you are going to communicate with those in your life.
You are communicating something by what you say or don’t say.
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. “Joshua 24:15 (ESV)