A friend of mine posted a pretty interesting video highlighting the special visual effects used in the 2013 film version of Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." As one who loves to watch the deleted scenes and the "making of" documentaries that are often on the "Extra Features" section on DVDs, this was worth the seven minutes of viewing.
As I watched this, I could not help but think of the many people in our culture, especially teenagers, who have traded reality for fantasy. Whether it be a video game or a television show, many people begin to connect more with imaginery characters and situations than the reality of life. Just take a look at the Twitter feeds of many teenagers. Fandom has reached a new high. Fictional characters are "followed" and the celebrity culture is worshipped. Imaginery situations garner more attention in some communities than actual incidents. In other words, that which doesn't matter, because it's not real, is more important to many than that which does matter, and is real.
When the truth is presented, it is often challenged or ignored.
Is this really a problem? It appears to be when young people break into schools or theaters with guns and explosive devices. Often the media is quick to point out the fantasy world created in the minds of the young people via violent video games and music.
But, what about the fantasy world that isn't violent, just fake? What about those who cry and lament the death of fictional characters in their favorite television shows to such an extent that they fall into depression? What about the stress that develops in a family when the DVR must have the desired show recorded or a family argument ensues? What about when the worldview of authors, song writers, producers and the like are so strongly presented by the celebrities and imaginary characters in film and entertainment that they are cemented in the minds of the listeners or viewers to such an extent that truth is ignored?
Does this happen?
I believe so.
There is always someone behind the curtain pulling the strings. Even Dorothy and her friends from Oz discovered that the Wizard wasn't much of a Wizard at all.
When that which is fake is so strongly presented that the truth is ignored or forgotten, the enemy wins a battle. He's behind the curtain. Make no mistake.
Now, this posting is not really about "The Great Gatsby" or any other film for that matter. I love films and I appreciate a good story. I enjoy watching fictional characters journey through fictional adventures on the screen. Just like anyone else, I like to be entertained with good writing and excellent acting.
However, I know where fiction ends and reality begins.
The Enemy desires to blur this line, and I believe he is doing a fine job of it.
Jesus wasn't exactly referring to movies, songs and stories, but his message here rings true in this case.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Matthew 8:31-32 (ESV)
Truth is always the key to freedom. Truth is knowable. Jesus is the Truth.
So, if you have the time, watch the clip below. It's pretty amazing and while I have not seen the movie (and really don't desire to) I am truly impressed with the special visual effects presented here. Remember as you watch it, that what you see on the screen is not always the full picture and often is not true.
Be discerning. Don't be caught living a fantasy. Reality is too vital to miss the Truth.