If you’ve been under a rock and unaware of the Marvel Studios’ pillage of the blockbuster tentpole movies over the past decade, then you can check out their latest trailer below. But before you do, I’ll note that I was pleased when they had Anthony Hopkins’ Odin from the Thor movies declare, “We are not gods!” In those movies, the myths of the Norse gods is explained as aliens who have technologies that mystify us, which we call ‘magic.’
Well, watch this trailer for Doctor Strange:
A few things stand out: First of all, Marvel has not shied away from the “mystic arts.” The story of Doctor Strange is that he’s a brilliant neurosurgeon whose hands are damaged in an auto accident. While recovering, he is taught about the mystic arts and becomes a warlock, having access to power of which most of us mortals remain unaware. And, he has the name ‘Strange’ because … coincidence.
The narrator, who I guess is his teacher, says a few interesting things. She says she’ll show our hero “how the world works,” and that “our reality is one of many…” The mystic arts allow people to “harness engergy and shape reality.”
A tagline in the trailer is CHANGE YOUR DESTINY.
If there was some hesitancy to dive head first into paganism with Thor, Odin and Loki, it’s gone with this movie.
I’ve recently been reading a book called Ancient Paganism. The author, Ken Johnson, outlines the common roots of paganism and traces it back to Satan and the other fallen angels.
Ancient Paganism by Ken Johnson
He cites various sources, including the book of Jasher, which actually has been lost to history, according to credible sources. The only two alleged books have both been shown to be either complete fabrications, or an ancient rabbinical text that wouldn’t date back before the time of the first few centuries (at best). The latter was endorsed by Joseph Smith, of Mormon fame, which certainly doesn’t add any credibility.
Now that I’ve noted a glarring issue with one of the man’s sources (others include the book of Jubilees and the Talmud) I’ll get on with the interesting part.
He notes that all paganism traces itself back to the earliest days where humans rejected God in favor of their own worship. Satan, Dr. Johnson theorizes, introduced the idea of emanations, a doctrine that supposes that God emptied Himself into Creation, thus depleting His power, and possibly even dying.
Because of this, pagan worship includes ancestor worship, because the ancestors don’t die, they just get reincarnated into the energy that is the universe, or the multi-verse, and thus still exist. We are all connected with the Force … etc.
Magic is knowing how to tap into the god-energy that is all around us in the universe and bending it to our purposes. Sometimes this will involve fallen angels or demons, but more often, it is simply control of natural power (as it seems to be with Doctor Strange).
This ties in to the multiple realities that has become accepted because of the scraps we hear from the quantum physics research. If you’re not a nerd, you might not have heard much about this. Basically, quantum physics is … way over most people’s heads. But it invols the concept of multiple realities, particles existing simultaneously in two places, and on and on.
Personally, I believe that quantum physics will demonstrate that there are multiple realms, for sure. They may mirror our world, but are not the same. In other words, they are the spiritual realm inhabited by the fallen angels.
Pagans believe we can come close to those realities on certain nights of the year. For instnance, the Winter Solstice has been thought to be a magical time, not because of colorful wrapping paper, tinsel and lights, but because our reality and other realities were overlapping (this was a premise in Thor: The Dark World).
According to Ken Johnson, Norse mythology held that people might see a white-bearded Odin riding across the sky (at Christmas!) riding an eight-legged horse. Now, we have the myth of St. Nick riding across the Winter Solstice night riding in a sleigh with eight raindeer. Tomato, Tomahto.
The idea of changing destiny is interesting … essentially, Marvel’s story seems to suggest that God is not in command of our ultimate destiny … we are.
I’m not going to delve into the free will vs. divine selection here. Humans certainly have responsibility for their actions … but that’s not what’s going on here.
We have the magic circles, the incantations (or WiFi passwords? Okay, that was funny), and the idea that our thoughts can shape reality (thoughtforms).
This is clear paganism. Is it an innocent story? I suppose we can read fiction about witches and princes who transform from frogs, and so on. We can watch movies about “The Force” and see the heroes journey.
But are we just swimming with the current? Are Christians adopting the mystic arts and paganism without realizing it? Do we see prayer as a sort of incantation that bends reality to our thoughts? Or are we recognizing that the only prayer that “works” is the one that submits to God’s good will?
In the trailer Doctor Strange is asked, “how did you become a doctor?” His answer, “study and practice, years of it…”
Interestingly, it looks like the magic arts are a bit easier to come by than years of study and practice! Basically, it’s a fast-track to being a god (or Jedi).
Christians need to be careful we remain separate from the world, including the pagan ideology that appeals to those who have rejected the truth in favor of worshiping the creation and its supposed ‘energy.’