Let’s face it: Many of the world’s favorite fads are toxic, and they are becoming increasingly so as our society descends further in its spiritual death-spiral. It’s like a radioactive toxicity, so while those who immerse themselves in it might not notice its effects instantly, they nevertheless cannot escape the inevitable, soul-destroying contamination. And woe to those who become comfortable with the sinful fads of secular society. The final verse of Romans 1 expressly condemns those who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Even when you marry such worldliness with good systematic theology and a vigorous defense of substitutionary atonement, the soundness of the theoretical doctrine doesn’t sanctify the wickedness of the practical lifestyle. The opposite happens. Solid biblical doctrine is trivialized and mocked if we’re not doers of the Word as well as teachers of it.I agreed, but I said he was inconsistent. I brought up the trailer for the Resolved youth conference marketed on his website, a gathering at which he would speak. Someone asked me to say what was wrong with it. Well, here’s my review. I want to know where I am wrong on this. You let me know. Here goes.
Cake is more than its individual parts—salt, baking soda, flour, etc.—but a mixture of many parts that make up a whole. One could start breaking the trailer into pieces and conclude nothing wrong—guitars are OK, darkness is OK, casual dress is OK, spotlights are OK, etc. That is not how anyone evaluates anything. It would be like looking at a Maplethorpe exhibit and saying, "Sculptures are OK. Dung is OK. Urine is OK. Etc." Do you understand? People are not arguing honestly when they do it that way. If I did a restaurant review and said—"Cold is OK. Food is OK. Sadness is OK. Dirt is OK."—and then concluded that a stinky pit of a restaurant was good when evaluating its individual components, you wouldn’t consider that a good review. If the medium does not affect the message, then the famous Salvador Dali painting of the crucifixion is fine. I don’t think you would agree on Dali. When I critique this trailer, I believe it is an honest evaluation. I don’t want to argue with dishonest takes on the trailer.
The look of the entire trailer is dark, dim, nightclub-like lighting. The first picture of a youth is a young man with a trendy stocking cap on his head indoors, part of the stereotypical American hip-hop fashion of baggy jeans and a stocking cap. The sound is a rock concert-like bass reverb characteristic of the beginning of so many rock songs that directly target the flesh. The youth culture is obviously being catered to with the casual dress on the teens, but also with the speakers. After the initial speech comes a strong bass guitar rift, then a sensual African drum beat. There is nothing wrong with guitars, but the fuzzy, deco zoom onto an electric guitar says: "You will be hearing rock music here, count on it." It also has nothing to do with what is being said unless God’s sovereign grace tends toward being in darkly lit rooms where rock music is going to be played with a sensual, dominating beat. The fuzzy, deco graphics with the Hollywood-apropos appearing and disappearing letters (ala Da Vinci Code), that say—"Go Deep"—are followed by a long look at a rock trap set, as if the key to going deep for God is to involve in rock music. We get more and more dimly lit rooms, dark rooms, theater-like—message: "You’re going to be entertained, count on it." We get a long look at an usher that looks again just like a theater usher opening the door up to a theater. The stage with the transecting spotlights, looks like a rock concert again. We get a man in a long-sleeve t-shirt with his eyes closed and hands out, nothing wrong specifically, except that this is what one sees at a Charismatic meeting, making spirituality this sort of existential, feeling-oriented, get-on-the-right-frequency experience. We see a boy rifting like Eric Clapton on an electric guitar, rock beat, and then a girl swaying rhythmically right after—choreographed sensuality posing as spirituality. We get a rock beat on rock drums with John MacArthur saying "the blazing glory of God," associating the two. We get a unisex-dressed girl playing a violin in a rock style, using it again as a rhythmic instrument rather than melodic, again with the dim lights, spotlights, and screens—theater, entertainment, and rock music. The boy playing the drums has on the trendy hip-hop konga hat. Then comes a fuzzy, psychedelic, drug-trip type of screen fading in and out. The names toward the end use a very worldly technique reminiscent of a modern horror movie, that kids into slasher movies will definitely associate with. At the finish is a curious, monastic chant sound, somehow attempting to make the thing, I believe, "religious."
IS THE TRAILER WORLDLY? DOES IT BLASPHEME GOD? DOES IT DEPEND ON FLESHLY MEANS TO ACCOMPLISH SOME SUPPOSED GODLY TASK? DOES IT DISTORT THE GOSPEL BY MIXING WORLDLY FLESHLY COMPONENTS WITH A SCRIPTURAL MESSAGE? DOES IT HARM OR DULL BIBLICAL DISCERNMENT? DOES IT CONTAMINATE GODLY WORSHIP? IS THIS CARNAL WEAPONRY?
The top picture above is actually from the Resolved Conference. The picture below it is an actual nightclub and the bottom picture is an actual rock concert. I give these three for comparison for the imagination impaired.