St. Patrick’s Day has come and brought with it the live-action release of my all-time favorite Disney movie. It’s something I’ve looked forward to for roughly two years, since the first time I heard it was coming “soon” to a theater near me. I kept up with who was cast for which part, and though I wasn’t thrilled with the creepy way Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip were made over, I was still excited. I shared every update and trailer on Facebook, and though those introductory notes accompanied slightly darker scenery than what I was used to, they still raised the hairs on my arms. I still counted down the days ‘til March 17th, 2017.
And now it’s here. And I’m sad to say that I’ll be sitting this one out.
When I first caught wind of the fact that the remade version of a beloved piece of my childhood, that this “tale as old as time” was now “new and a bit alarming,” I was disappointed. But I still fully planned on braving the crowds and smuggling snacks (something else to judge me for) to see my favorite Disney princess on the big screen. But after a lot of thought and prayer and a few sleepless nights, I’ve decided to stop fighting the Holy Spirit and just not. “’Just not’ what?” you ask? “Just not feed my flesh,” I answer.
You might be thinking, “But Mel, it’s JUST a movie.” And you’re right. It IS just a movie. And in the scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how much I love Belle and that she and I both call our dads “Papa.” It doesn’t matter that I identified with her when I was an outcast in my hometown who could escape into the world of books. It doesn’t matter that the “gay moment” is “barely noticeable.” What matters is the blatant intention behind it all.
It would be one thing if LeFou were a new character in a completely new movie dreamed up by somebody who hides behind Walt Disney’s brand. It would be different if everything about the subtley homosexual new LeFou were just speculation. I admit that I watch a number of shows and movies that include homosexual characters (it’s nearly impossible to find anything on television these days that doesn’t represent that three percent of the population). I don't support the homosexual lifestyle, but I also don’t hide in my house at night, terrified that homosexuals are hiding in my closet waiting to “get” me the second I close my eyes (side note: “homophobic” is such a ridiculous term). I don’t have to excuse myself to throw up when I see two people of the same gender holding hands or even kissing. I know the reality is a number of people in the world struggle with and give into the fleshly desires that accompany homosexuality. Isn’t that a definition of what sin is? Feeding the flesh rather than the Spirit?
The thing is, if I went to see this movie, that is exactly what I would be doing – ignoring the Spirit and giving into the desire of my flesh. I could dress it up and just call it nostalgia, but really, it’s just my flesh. I’m NOT saying anyone who chooses to see this movie is going to spend eternity in Hell because of it; I’m just saying that I know how heavily I’ve been convicted about it, and I just can’t shake it, so I’ll be sitting this one out.
You won't find me parading through the streets with a torch in hand singing, “Kill the (new Beauty and the) Beast.” I don’t want the director’s head “mounted on my wall.” There are a lot of movies that I choose not to watch for a number of reasons, and sometimes that reason is “I just don’t want to.” But that begs the question of why I do anything that I do. Why do I listen to the music I listen to? Why do I watch the things I watch? Why do I read the books I read? Why do I eat what I eat or drink what I drink? I’ve decided that if the answer is ever “because I like it, and I want to,” then that’s not a good enough reason to do it. That is feeding the flesh. If you’re a believer, then you should be feeding the Spirit. If you are what you eat, then you’re either full of a bunch of worldy garbage, or you're full of the fruits of the Spirit.
I’m not saying that I always make the right choice. But I am saying that the Holy Spirit is there for a reason. And if you’re allowing Him to sanctify you daily, then you’re going to be convicted about a lot of things that you like and do. And if you’re wise, you’ll listen to and give into those convictions; you’ll feed the Spirit.
And at the end of the day, when there are so many things to spend money on and so many things to do, I think it’s pretty easy to save a few coins and not do something. If only all my callings in life were this easy....