“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.
On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” ~2nd Corinthians 10:4
The popular fiction book, “The Hunger Games” has been made into a movie and will be released in theaters on March 23, 2012. It is the first movie of a trilogy. The other two movies to follow are, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay”. Before we proceed, let’s review (what I call) a “red flag word/phrase.” The name of the second movie is what? Catching Fire?! Does that bring any imagery or thoughts of Hell to mind? We must be very sensitive to these “red flag” words and/or phrases.
In The Hunger Games, we find there are two major themes – rebellion and murder. The storyline is that the post-Apocalyptic Capitol (formerly North America) holds an annual televised event called “The Hunger Games.” Each district must draw the names of a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18. There were originally 13 districts before the Capitol destroyed one, leaving 12. Biblically, the number 13 represents rebellion; so we find the theme of rebellion still being evoked ever-so subtly. Altogether, there are 24 youths chosen to become contestants (called “tributes”). They must fight to the death in a vast arena. The lone survivor returns home to wealth and fame.
Let’s stop for a moment and review some significant “red flag” symbolism and counterfeit “spin-offs” from scripture. First off, we find that the 13 districts (13 representing rebellion) dwindled down to 12. Is there any significance in the number 12? In scripture, we find there are 12 tribes of Israel (God’s chosen) and 12 disciples of Jesus who were chosen by Jesus. It appears these 12 boys and 12 girls are the “chosen ones” much like a disciple would be chosen by Jesus; only these 12 boys and 12 girls are chosen for evil – to kill others for wealth, and fame. The number 12 also represents government – so the subtle symbolism is there, since it is the government (Capitol) who have The Hunger Games. It is not coincidence that these references match up; this often happens when something is counterfeit for the truth. The devil is sly and clever; so he will make the counterfeit look genuine. He will make something horribly bad look good and noble. Many admire the character Katniss for taking her sister’s place. “How sweet,” the movie-watchers will say, “She’s so good.” Once they see her as “good” then they can be introduced to other evils and accept them easily. As we continue, we find there are 24 “tributes” chosen for the games. Let’s review the number 24… is that number of any significance? In scripture, the number 24 represents a higher form of Heavenly government and worship. Think of the 24 elders in Heaven who worship God. Revelation 4:4 declares, “Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.” There is also other symbolism present in the movie such as the mockingjay pin worn by Katniss. It is said to be a hybrid bird that represents rebellion.
The author, Suzanne Collins, admits that the books were partly inspired by the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Anytime you read about Greek mythology, you will find it is inundated with false gods, goddesses, evil, and idol worship. So, for this to be her inspiration seems to further validate the point that it is not written to glorify God. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I [the Lord God] am holy’” 1st Peter 1:16. Also, 1st Corinthians 10:31 states, “… do all to the glory of God.”
Authors Stephen King and Stephanie Meyer are among many that sing the praises for The Hunger Games trilogy. However, it’s like the old saying goes, “Consider the source.” King as well as Meyer are known for writing dark novels. Other reviewers are noting that the trilogy is dark, mad, and twisted; yet, they still give it 4-star reviews! Remember, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The influence of evil will always confuse bad for good. Romans 1:25 says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…”
In the storyline, the fictional President Snow defends the games by saying, “Freedom has a cost,” and that its winners are reminders of the government’s “victory and forgiveness.” He makes it clear he believes that “a little hope is effective; a lot of hope is dangerous.” Now, wait a minute. The cost of freedom is children being sacrificed to death for the government’s “victory and forgiveness”?! Are you kidding me?! Jesus is the only One who was worthy to purchase our freedom, victory, and forgiveness. Although The Hunger Games is fictional, it has some very sacrilegious statements. Also, the President Snow states that “a lot of hope is dangerous” – reminds me of how false this statement is. We have amazing hope in Christ and it isn’t the least bit dangerous. In fact, hope is all that keeps us going many times! Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Why would we want to watch a movie that teaches “hope is dangerous”?
Near the end of the movie, there are only 2 “tributes” (contestants) left – Peeta and his crush, Katniss. At the last moment, a voice announces that the rules have changed and only one of them can survive. Only one contestant can win, meaning the tributes (friends, Peeta and Katniss) must fight each other to the death. Peeta and Katniss threaten to eat poisonous berries simultaneously and die together. The Gamemakers, knowing a double suicide will be an unsatisfying conclusion for the audience, quickly uphold their earlier ruling. Suicide as a solution is being taught in this movie. With cutting, self-harm, drug/alcohol abuse, and depression at an all-time high, how is it okay to show suicide as a solution? These subliminal messages go into the hearts and minds, and are directly inspired by Satan. We find in Matthew 4 that Satan tempted Jesus with suicide when he tempted him to jump off the highest point of the temple; however, Jesus resisted Satan. But, will weaker ones have the strength to resist Satan when he constantly and falsely puts suicide in front of them as a solution to a problem?
There are many other evil symbols, themes, counterfeits, and influences contained in The Hunger Games trilogy which we have not covered – such as Katniss calling the woods her “savior” and devoting her Sundays to hunting in them; or the hauntingly close parallel to the Capitol arena mimicking the Roman Coliseum where many Christians endured cruel deaths. But, suffice it to say that this movie is hardly suitable for Christians to watch (or anybody else, for that matter).
A review of the movie by editor Douglas Wilson says: “Suppose the Capitol bad guys had decided to set up a different required sin in their games. Suppose it were the Rape Games instead. Suppose that the person who made it through the games without being raped was the feted winner. Anybody here think that this series would be the bestselling phenomenon that this one is? In short, when you have the privilege of setting up all the circumstances artificially, in order to give your protagonist no real choice about whether to sin or not, it is a pretty safe bet that a whole lot of people in a relativistic country, including the Christians in it unfortunately, won’t notice.”
In closing, I like what one mom wrote. She said, “Allowing a child to feed on something like this is just downright irresponsible! Parents don’t think for a moment that you will draw your child closer to Christ when they have been enveloped by the madness of books like this.”