It Really Matters What You Believe
Inside Move: Fanatics laying it on the line --'Star Wars' fans stew in queue If a movie isn't playing at a theater, will its fans still line up outside? For "Star Wars" fans, the answer is a befuddling yes. Former Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne donned his Emperor Palpatine getup and joined 10 other diehard Star Wars fans outside Grauman's Chinese Theater. There was just one small problem: 20th Century Fox plans to open the film at the ArcLight theater a few blocks away. Okay, so it's not really Ozzy, but you have to admit there's a real resemblance. Anyway, on with the story... This simple truth did not deter the faithful wookies, droids and stormtroopers from observing their ritual outside Grauman's . The revelation (that they had camped out at the wrong location) failed to dampen their enthusiasm and, in fact, made them even more resolute in the rightness of their position -- that is, positioned in front of a theater to see a movie which will not be there! This comical situation provides some valuable insights into cultic thinking, which sometimes results when members of a committed band of devotees are confronted with information flatly contradicting their deeply held perception of reality. As I read this article in Variety magazine, I sensed an allegory coming on. I was struck by the unique way each individual dealt with the mental discomfort experienced when confronted by "anti-Star Wars" naysayers. Beyond that, I recognized some of the same thought patterns I had followed as a cult member and still do as a Christian, when my faith is challenged! Let's identify and label some of these faulty responses with actual quotes from the article. Denial "We've heard all this before," said Sarah Sprague, one of the designated spokesmen for the group. In 1999 and 2002, there were plenty of rumors (ultimately false) that the previous two pics weren't going to open at the Chinese... Fox and the ArcLight... say they expect "Revenge of the Sith" to play the ArcLight... And Sprague was adamant the line isn't moving to the ArcLight. "This is still the epicenter for 'Star Wars' fans. For the big iconic pictures of the 1970s, people lining up were here. They weren't at the Cinerama Dome." Cognitive dissonance, giving way to mental confusion, ending in nihilism "Even if it's not here, we'll just go see it somewhere else. We're not doing this just for the movie."... "What's the point of lining up at the ArcLight if someone is going to go online and get the best seat in the house?" But wouldn't that still make more sense than spending a month outside a theater that isn't playing the movie? "Lining up for anything, what part of that makes any sense?" she responded philosophically. Pragmatism in the face of contradictory and incontrovertible facts "The telling thing is -- for me, at least -- if the film is not playing at the Chinese ... I have zero desire to see it at all," a fan who calls himself Obi Geewhyen posted on the message board at Liningup.net. "I'm in it for the lineup only and don't give a darn about the conclusion of this lackluster, so-called 'Star Wars' series." True believers acknowledging the problem, while overestimating their ability to manipulate fate A media-savvy bunch, those waiting at the Chinese hope press interest in covering (and most likely mocking) them would persuade George Lucas and Fox to move the booking. Acknowledging the obvious, yet holding on to any sliver of hope After the last two "Star Wars" films, "We're all a little beaten down," she said. "But this one could be it!" The Christian exercises faith in historical, time and space events... what Francis Schaefer calls "true truth." If these events did not take place, then Paul tells us that we are more pitiful than the Star Wars crew out in front of Grauman's. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 1 Corinthians 15:14 - 19 If you or I shy away from uncomfortable facts or refuse to consider serious challenges to a cherished idea or worldview, there could be serious consequences. We can't say "I didn't know." And, we cannot shirk our responsibility to know what we believe and why we believe it. "I was deceived" is not a valid excuse for ignorance. Jesus put it this way: If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit. Matthew 15:14 Notice that both the follower and the leader end up in the same pit. You know, it really does matter what you believe and it if what you believe is "true truth." Jesus claimed to embody truth: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. John 14:6 That's a claim worth looking into.