Reflections on Kung Fu Panda 3

First and Foremost, thank you students for participating in Mystery Night. I hope you had a great time just relaxing and spending time together. One of the activities during the night was attending AMC Concord Mills 24 theaters for the 5:40 P.M. showing of “Kung Fu Panda 3.” There were many good aspects to the movie, but one of the main ideas that ran throughout the movie that might have been new to you was the Chinese worldview of Chi. Reviewing this movie, “Plugged In Movie Reviews” describes Chi as “the energy that flows through every living thing.” The only way to control or direct your Chi is through mastering or knowing yourself.

 Now some of you may wonder how this concept has become so popular. A little over 20 years ago, according to William A. Young, a movement in China began to emphasize this belief in order to improve a person’s health, mind, and spirit (The World Religions 265). This movement now has over 100 million believers and can be found in more than 30 countries. However, the original idea comes from an Asian religion known as

Daoism, which dates back roughly 2500 years ago. Chi, also known as The Breath, creates the Yin/Yang dynamic, the opposite forces which are present in all things. Yin is dark and mysterious and Yang is bright and clear. When the forces become imbalance, it leads to death. So if balanced, some believe it is possible to live forever (The World Religions 117).

 I’m aware that some of this might be confusing if you’re not familiar with this Chinese tradition. That’s completely understandable. However, as Christians, we believe the Bible shows us a different picture.

  1. God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, not a universal energy or breath known as Chi.

According to Paul, Jesus Christ is over all creation and sustainer of all things: “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col 1:17).” The writer of Hebrews declares the same about Jesus Christ: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power… (Heb 1:3a).” In talking about idols and food offered to idols, Paul states: “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist (1 Cor 8:6).” As Christians, the one who gives energy or upholds the universe is not a force, but a personal God.

  1. Mastering or Knowing yourself does not lead to eternal life, but knowing who we are, i.e. sinners, and trusting in Jesus Christ gives us eternal life.
The idea that within all of us is two forces: light and darkness (
Yin/Yang), and that through balance of these forces brings eternal life, does not agree with the Bible. According to the Bible, though we were made in the image of God, due to the fall of man (Gen 3), we are all sinners, i.e. in darkness
, and do not seek after God (Rom 3:11). Only through the Holy Spirit revealing to us our sin can we turn to God and believe in Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19; 5:31). Jesus didn’t instruct those who heard him to find balance within themselves, but to repent (Matt 4:17). Only then does anyone obtain eternal life (John 3:16). It’s only through faith in the Son of God (1 John 5:13).

 Now the purpose for writing this blog is not to attack any one religion or to insult any persons’ belief. However, if we believe the Bible to be true and our faith to be true, we should talk to others about the truth of the Bible.  Being a Christian doesn’t mean we isolate ourselves from the world and all the different beliefs that different religions have, but engage them with the truth, knowing that only through Jesus Christ can one be saved and only through God’s Word and God’s Spirit can anyone know what is right and wrong. I hope to encourage you as students to love your neighbor and treat them with respect, even if they believe in a different religion than you. However, this doesn’t contradict the belief that as a Christian, you are called to talk about your faith with others in love, knowing that you believe in truth that will never end. I love all of you and thank you for being a part of this youth group. Blessings.

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