A Wrinkle in Time is opening nationwide in theaters tomorrow. Religious entrepreneurs intent on entertaining people into Heaven have already capitalized on the film to turn it into a Bible study to reach America’s pop-culture-saturated youth.
With only a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and reportedly an unlikely chance at opening in the #1 spot even on its opening weekend, the film stars Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kalling and Reese Witherspoon.
The film centers around the character, Meg Murry (Storm Reid), who is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who is desperate to fit in. She is the daughter of two famous physicists, is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), but she has low self-esteem. Complicating her life is the disappearance of Mr. Murry (Chris Pine), which bothers Meg terribly and has left her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) heartbroken. A friend introduces Meg to Calvin (Levi Miller) and to three celestial guides-Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling)-who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they set off on their journey. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space through magical methods, they are soon transported to various worlds to fight evil. To get back home, Meg must accept her flaws and embrace her strengths. In other words, self-esteem, bla bla bla.
Disney, working in partnership with ChurchResources.org, has produced a youth “Bible study” revolving around the film. It provides “video lesson film clips,” a three-part study, and free advertising posters, which you can find here.
Of course, Disney is not a Christian corporation, and – in fact – has internal corporate policies that are very hostile to Christianity and a Biblical worldview. They produce films approved by the LGBT sensitivity boards and have injected gay characters into their films, in movies like their recent Beauty and the Beast to (reportedly) the upcoming Frozen sequel. None of the directors or producers of the film are known to be professing Christians. Its chief draw – Oprah Winfrey – is clearly not a Christian. And finally, the film has nothing to do with Christianity whatsoever.
So why is Disney offering FREE resources to youth groups to turn the film into “Bible studies?” It’s very simple. It’s great marketing, and ensures busloads of youth groups are brought to the theaters to see the film.
It’s genius, really. At least, in a sinister sort of way.
[Editor’s Note: HT Jaimie Gladden]