Over Christmas our family really enjoyed watching Kung Fu Panda – its a heart-warming story about a Panda called Po who becomes a martial arts warrior. His master Shifu teaches him how to use his abilities through Taoism and the ying and yang of opposing forces. His enemies laugh at him because he is big, soft and cuddly, but he uses his size to defeat them, by sitting on them or bouncing them off his rather large stomach. I used the film as a children’s talk last Sunday by playing guess the film character (slides available here).
There are some strong messages throughout the film – I’ve listed three of them here:
- “The days of my life were all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139.16 (The Message)
- “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5.6 (ESV)
- “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5.1 (NIV)
We maybe think that films like Kung Fu Panda have nothing to say about Christianity, but these films have strong messages, along with the books we read, TV programs we watch and music we listen to. We need to listen out for their messages and ask whether they are really true.
We should use these films as an opportunity to ask ourselves and our parents – what does the bible say about these things? We need to question the messages contained and how they present the truth. I’ve learnt that while there is a real need to protect our children from inappropriate influences, on the whole, it’s not what you watch but how you watch, its not what you read, but how you read that determines the influence. So next time you watch Kung Fu Panda, may it remind you that each of us is loved, special and can find inner peace only through the love of God in Jesus Christ.