American Beauty, while creating a strong reaction among moviegoers, has also successfully swept the 72nd annual Oscar Awards and the 57th annual Golden Globe Awards in the main categories. The Academy Awards bestowed American Beauty with Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor, with three additional nominations going unawarded including Annette Bening for Best Actress. American Beauty received Best Screenplay, Director and Picture awards at The Golden Globes. Such an overwhelming landslide of merit have many taking a second look at this movie, and while many are familiar with its milestone achievements, few are aware of the supernatural element that was the impetus for its very existence.
Through the theater, stories have been entertaining mankind for thousands of years. Men of all cultures have a fascination with stories acted out through a visual medium. To adequately understand this, it is important to get a heavenly perspective based on the Scriptures. When God communicated with men, He knew what would move on their hearts and on their minds. God has placed within mankind an ability to learn through visions, pictures and stories. For example, the book of Revelation is filled with prophetic conclusions for this present world government and was given in the form of a vision. There are also pictures or types of Christ’s sacrifice and purpose for humanity strewn throughout the Old Testament. When He was on the earth, Matthew 13:34 tells us that "…Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without using a parable." He did this because it contained a supernatural truth that he was trying to relay or get across. The word parable means to ‘cast or throw alongside’. Parables or stories are ultimately teaching vehicles used to throw out a message.
Satan, a real being who is called ‘the father of lies’, is a master counterfeiter who is unable to improve on God’s perfection and has, therefore, taken the same route of teaching his perverse lies through stories (Isaiah 14:14b). It is quite easy to see that the issues in the story American Beauty are not from a Holy God. The glorification of lust, fornication, adultery, homosexuality and murder are all attributed to qualities Satan seeks to propagate and has propagated since the beginning. Beside the fact that all these actions are condemned in the Bible, there is no glory in any of these things; in real life they all lead to demolished families, mental breakdowns, suicides, and further perverse lifestyles that destroy people. The Scriptures state that Satan works through the ‘sons of disobedience’ and those who reject the truth to pursue wickedness. However, Satan attempts to make evil look as enticing as possible, leading some to believe that they will gain permanent and ultimate gratification, and as such his fingerprints blanket this movie.
In the occult, information is given through what is called ‘channeling’ or ‘automatic writing’. When this occurs, the recipient goes into a trance-like state and information from the spirit world flows through that person — they themselves not knowing or understanding what they are writing until the communication is complete. A common practice in New Age circles as well, the term ‘channel’ is just a euphemism for mediumship or spirit possession. God’s word warns against such practices:
"There shall not be found anyone among you who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord" –Deuteronomy 18:9-12
God hates these powers because they are diametrically opposed to Him under the dominion of Satan. Their intent is to work through man to get him to trust them, that they might lead him astray from the truth. So, because a primary way of learning is through the God given avenue of storytelling, it becomes obvious that Satan would utilize this for his own purposes, thus increasing mankind’s rebellion against God. A reliable litmus test of Satan’s desensitization of society is in the amount of success and acceptance his works have with men.Alan Ball
Alan Ball is the originator and screenplay writer of American Beauty. Ball thus far has won:
- Showwest Screenwriter of the Year
- Southeastern Film Critics Best Screenplay
- Broadcast Film Critics Best Screenplay
- Golden Globe Best Screenplay
- Academy Award Best Original Screenplay
How is it that an unknown writer suddenly lands the jackpot of recognition that had before so eluded him? The answer lies in the fact that Alan Ball was little more than a vessel through which the spirit world poured forth its contents. In an interview with Ball, the interviewer states:
“I was reading some interview with you where you had talked about the experience of writing as being like channeling, which is the best time for any writer. And when that happens to everyone else, to have Annette Bening channeling, and everyone else so in concert with”
Ball: “It felt like that. Every element came together in a way that couldn’t have been better.”
It is fascinating that the movie seems to break every taboo, is a great success, and yet was written originally by the spirit world for mankind to gobble up. At this point, Ball is nothing more than a puppet that Satan is using to spread and teach his message.
Elsewhere Ball states:
“I just got in the zone, and it seemed to have its own life and the characters seemed so real, and it was like channeling.”
“Once I started writing it as a screenplay, I just sort of fell into inspiration land and it poured out of me.”
Notice in the earlier quote above that it is mentioned that Annette Bening was also channeling her character. This would explain her overwhelming success in her acting role resulting in a nomination for Best Actress. M. Night Shyamalan has also spoken of his work The Sixth Sense as something that flowed right out of him, which he equates to a Buddhist state of mind. He also believes that the picture was guided by supernatural means and that talking to the dead is ‘pretty natural’. And just like channelers who succumb to automatic writing, and are oblivious to their diction, Ball had no idea what the story of American Beauty was about. In fact, Ball was clueless as to what he was even writing.
“I didn’t think about what the purpose of it was, or that kind of thing. And now I find myself trying to second-guess what is symbolic of what, and what it means.”
In addition to Alan Ball channeling the film, Ball is also an outspoken homosexual. Ball joined forces with two other homosexual producers, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, who were also awarded the Oscar and Golden Globe for American Beauty as Best Picture. The Scriptures are clear in revealing Christ’s love and death of atonement to cover the sin of all men. This would include all who practice homosexuality. Nonetheless, God holds the practice of homosexuality as an abomination that flies in the face of His holiness, and He demands that men turn from their sin in repentance, demonstrating a true faith in Him. Romans 1 gives us insight to the heart of one who is given over to homosexuality.
Dan Jinks & Bruce Cohen
"For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to honor God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper…inventors of evil…and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. –Romans 1:26-28,30,32
Therefore, the Scripture discloses that homosexuals actually invent evil as a result of a hardened and depraved heart, contrary to society’s advocacy that homosexuals have some creative streak of gifted genius embedded within their nature. Thus, a heart that rejects truth is a perfect environment and breeding ground of reception for Satan’s perpetration and teachings.
Many within the homosexual community dream of a day when the Christian ethic will be so undermined that it will ultimately be destroyed. The poignant claims of those who are in Hollywood boast of these cunning plans: that by using movies to introduce the gay agenda as a subtext; instead of blatant or in your face, their dream can become a reality. This fits in with Satan’s end times plan to lead men into immorality that will not be repented of (Revelation 9:21).
This ‘creative’ streak that Ball channeled in American Beauty is also an insidious attempt to subtly overthrow the Biblical perspective of homosexuality, in hopes that it will become more accepted and mainstream. Bruce Cohen, one of the aforementioned producers in cahoots with Alan Ball, says:
“To me, the future of gay subject matter in mainstream film is in movies that have gay content but no one’s really talking about it-it’s not what the movie is about…I feel like that happened with American Beauty. The excitement about mainstream films is the chance to get these messages across subtly in films mainstream America is going to see. We have definitely hit a segment of the audience that is not used to seeing gay and lesbian characters.”
Cohen’s partner in the American Beauty endeavor, Dan Jinks, explains the portrayal of homosexuality in the film:
“The film’s gay content-a happy couple both named Jim and a dangerous closet case-has never been a stumbling block for DreamWorks or for audiences, say the producers. After seeing the movie people have said almost as an afterthought, ‘You know, I just realized that the only normal people in the movie are the gay couple.’ That was one of the first things we noticed when we read it…”
Ball states of the above:
“It is true that the two Jim’s are easily the most well-adjusted people in the movie-and therefore the most boring. And that was the whole point-to make them the least exotic, the most traditional. Their flip side is the Colonel, whose deep, deep denial of his own nature leads him to violence. The movie is in part about how homophobia is based on fear and repression and what fear and repression can do.”
Using their own twisted ideas of reality, homosexuals are substituting these ideas through film, decoying their efforts to dismantle and destroy the family as God intended it. One of the cornerstones of support and financial backing for American Beauty came from Steven Spielberg. Spielberg has been credited with producing films that primarily contain values and have a moral to the story. Bruce Cohen tells us the following:
“I had heard Steven talk on many occasions of his desire to make smaller movies, to make darker movies, to make the last movie you’d expect him to make. So that gave us great hope.”
So, if Spielberg does produce movies that contain a moral, what is the moral of a film? Whose decorum consists of subversive homosexuality, adultery, fornication and lust whereby a 42-year-old man attempts to bed a 16-year-old girl? Remember that the stories Satan tells and uses as teaching vehicles are just perverted cheap rip-offs of God’s idea of communication through stories found in the Scriptures. Further, not to mention the subject matter, is it wise to let your children or yourself watch films of anyone who says?
Spielberg: “I want people to love my movies, and I’ll be a whore to get them into the theaters.”
Of American Beauty‘s storyline, Ball states:
“A Puritan would look at his visions of Angela and go, ‘Oh, that’s disgusting, a middle-aged man lusting after a young girl like that… I look at that and go… "That’s not disgusting."’”
Describing a people who called evil good and good evil, the Lord says:
“Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all. They do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen, they will be brought down when they are punished.”
The Scriptures speak of those who reject the grace and forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ as being brought down to hell, because all men have committed sin, all men everywhere deserve eternal separation from a Holy God in this place. Contrasted with heaven, it is a place of eternal torment, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and fire and brimstone, whereby those who occupy it have no rest day or night (Revelation 14). If one does not have his name written in the book of life, they will be cast into this lake of fire. Jesus has made a way of escape for all those who desire it, through His own payment for our sins. By humbly receiving Him into one’s life, turning from all sin or wrongdoing, and trusting in Him for salvation for eternal life, one can know that they are born again and have their name in the book of life. This is God’s will for every human being, including YOU!
In a war, the object is to demoralize, distract and confuse the troops so that they will not be able to fight at their optimum. This objective oftentimes sets the stage for the actual fighting and is in many ways more strategically important. Without a full consent of the troops to their commander during these efforts, all hopes of victory may be dashed. Through his skill and expertise, the commander knows how to protect and keep his men in the right frame of mind so as to guide them to victory.
Sadly, many Christians are disobeying their Commander, who has said not to set any unclean thing before their eyes (Psalm 101:3), thus forsaking the reality that we are in a war with the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places and, therefore, not fighting the good fight of the faith. Instead of guarding their hearts, they are allowing the unclean things of the world and the schemes of men to desensitize their hearts to the blinding effects of sin. These images and stories send messages which war against the spirit, thereby efficiently transporting the believer from the front lines of God’s will to the infirmary as a casualty of war.
Paul instructs us to think on those things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute (Philippians 4:8), and to cast down every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). In addition, we are to not let sin reign in our mortal body that we should obey its lusts, knowing that those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24). Not submitting ourselves to these requirements grieves the Lord. God refuses to partner up with sin and calls us to cleanse ourselves of all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1). If the church wants to be infused with the Holy Spirit, the first step is to stop grieving Him. Further, the Scriptures state that God will eventually war against those who continue to spurn His grace by purposefully engaging in those things that grieve Him (Isaiah 63:10, 1 Corinthians 10).
God’s call to the believer is not to see any ‘beauty’ in American Beauty, but rather to see the beauty of the Lord, His holiness. The Scriptures exhort us to understand that without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). As we become more in tune with God’s ways, His will for our lives through the Scriptures, prayer and fellowship, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds from glory to glory, partaking of His holiness. Instead of turning our ears from the truth and turning aside to myths, we will grow up into Him and be presented complete in Christ. Christians are to embrace the fact that the Scriptures contain all things pertaining to life and godliness, and that one of Satan’s schemes is to divert us from God’s Word.
Jesus said that He was The Way, The Truth and The Life (John 14:6). The Scriptures adamantly state that we are to love the truth of God, holding it above all else, for without it we will be lost. Jesus told those who were in opposition to the truth that they were of their father the devil, and that they wanted to do the desires of their father who does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him (John 8:44). Whenever Satan speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of lies. We are informed of the relevancy for the love of truth and the sobering doom awaiting those who reject it:
"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 –Thessalonians 2:9-11
The context of this verse is clear in demarcating those who love the truth from those who do not. Those who do not love the truth follow after Satan and are thus deceived. Satan has and will continue to teach more fervently that the truth is unimportant. Even as Alan Ball received this film from the spirit world, Satan’s fingerprints of deception continue to permeate this film. Alan Ball informs us of the purpose of the film:
“The movie is about how the truth is irrelevant!”
Hollywood’s primary message to a lost and dying world can be summated in the above quote. Anton LaVey, founder of The Church of Satan, says, "Many of you have already read my writings identifying TV as the new God. There is a little thing I neglected to mention up until now – television is the major mainstream infiltration of the New Satanic religion." Jesus said, "If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples." If your desire is to abide more with movies, then whose disciple are you? As Christians, let us build our houses on the rock, putting Jesus’ words into practice. Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord, yet do not do the things that I say?" (Luke 6:46). He also said, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).
If we are not for the Lord, then we are against Him. Let us comprehend our purpose to proclaim the excellencies of God, being obedient from the heart, picking up the armor of God to walk in righteousness. Let us redeem the time, and walk as the Lord wills, being imitators of Him, putting down the deeds of darkness and spending time in His Word that we might be taught of the Lord and grow strong in Him.