It's trending. It's everywhere.
The topic of Beauty and the Beast's gay scene is an issue that most Christians are talking about. And, quite honestly, I've been a bit confused.
Just why shouldn't Beauty and the Best have a gay scene?
I have nothing to lose by throwing my two cents (okay, dollars) in. Those of you who know and love me know my heart. So you'll know that I do love people I disagree with. You'll know that I love people and don't hate anyone. You'll know that I want to help the hurting, reach the lost, and speak the truth in love. You'll know that I don't believe in legalism or pharisaism.
Before I launch my thoughts, let me define two very important words.
- Legalism is the act of trying to earn God's favor by works of righteousness.
- Pharisaism (or phariseeism) is the hypocritical observance of the letter of the law without regard for the spirit. It's the act of building protective walls, so to speak, around God's law and adding to God's commands by making that protective wall into a law in of itself. Building a protective wall around God's law is fine. It's okay to set boundaries so that we don't break a law. But it becomes phariseeism when we act as if that boundary is a law in of itself. It becomes phariseeism when we insist that everybody else follow our boundary and look upon people who don't see the need for our boundaries as being "in sin."
In the Bible, there are certain commands that are not up for debate. And then there are Biblical principles wherein God gives us liberty to follow individual Holy Spirit leading and make our own decisions.
Here are a couple commands that are not up for debate. Period.
- Witchcraft, sorcerery, and wizardry are abominations.
"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee." - Deuteronomy 18:10-12
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." - Galatians 5:19-21
God is against wizardry, enchantment, and all powers that stem from the devil and exalt themselves against His Holy name.
There is not an allowance made for "Disney Magic."
With that in mind, let's talk about the enchantress of Beauty and the Beast.
At this point, I know everybody is going: "Hey! It's BAD magic. We tell our kids it's BAD. The enchantress is supposed to be evil!"
Interestingly enough, whether or not she is a good or a bad witch (although there is no such thing and it really shouldn't matter) is actually up for debate. The following (in quotes) is copied from Disney Wiki. This is what they have to say about their own character.
"The Enchantress is the one who placed the spell on the Prince and everyone inside the castle for the Prince's cruel ways. She is cunning, taking on the disguise of an old, helpless woman seeking shelter to test the Prince's heart. How kind or good she actually is, however, is up for debate, particularly because of the debate over the Beast's age when he was cursed, and how she cursed everyone in the castle rather than just the guilty party (including Chip Potts, who was undebatably a child at the time), as well as being implied to have cursed the entire forest surrounding the castle to become too dangerous for anyone to attempt to go nearby.
It seems to be the mission of the Enchantress is to punish the selfish and guilty.
It seems to be the mission of the Enchantress is to punish the selfish and guilty.
The Enchantress possesses tremendous magical powers:
Shapeshifting/Glamouring: The Enchantress has the power to either change her physical form or shape into another, or to change her appearance to look like another person, as seen by how she concealed her true form with the disguise of an old woman.
Empathy: The Enchantress has the power to feel and understand other people's feelings, emotions, and desires. Through this, she was able to sense that the Prince had a cold heart devoid of love and true beauty.
Teleportation (possibly): As seen in The Enchanted Christmas, the Enchantress might have the power to transport herself from one place to another instantaneously - she appeared before the Prince in all her magical glory after he closed the door on her. However, it was never specifically confirmed as to whether she really possessed this ability.
Spell Casting/Cursing: The Enchantress has the ability to cast magical spells or powerful curses designed to cause negative effects to occur - she transformed the Prince into a beast to match his cold, unloving heart, his servants into objects, his entire castle into a bleak fortress, and presumably even the entire forest surrounding the castle into a foreboding place, etc.
Enchanting: The Enchantress has the ability to bestow magical powers or attributes onto an object - the rose she offered was enchanted to bloom and serve as a reminder to the Beast of how much time he had to break the spell as well as what got him into his predicament to begin with. Presumably, she also created the Enchanted Mirror that served as the Beast's only window to the outside world."
The enchantress is not portrayed as necessarily bad.
She is not necessarily shown as evil. In a way she is, yet, in another, she really isn't. She disguised herself as a evil old woman, but her intent was to test the prince. She wants to teach him a lesson and uses her powers to punish him.
What if she IS bad?
Then it should really concern folks that a bad character has the power to feel and understand other people's feelings, emotions, and desires. Through this, she was able to sense that the Prince had a cold heart devoid of love and true beauty. Only God can read the human heart. Only God knows all things. Characters--good or evil--should NEVER be given the attributes of God.
But suppose one has decided that the enchantress is evil and will see her magic that way.
Enchantment--good and bad--is still through the entire movie.
Some of the enchantment is portrayed as bad. Other enchantment is portrayed as good. Belle uses an enchanted mirror and ring. Her possessions given to her by the beast are magical, turning to rags when her sisters touch them and becoming beautiful again when used by her.
Honestly, we can make excuses all day. We can call it an allegory, we can call it good magic, we can say it's just a story and doesn't really matter, etc. But, the bottom line is, it's magic, it's enchantment, and it's not from God. Let's at least be honest about it. I've heard all the arguments about "Disney Magic" and, really, it's all the same as regular magic. There's no difference. This is not a Christian allegory meant to show the forces of good against the forces of evil. It's magic.
When God said that witchcraft, sorcery, and enchantment was wrong, He didn't make allowances for magic that revolves around romance, does good for people, is fun and lighthearted, or isn't dark. He simply said that it is wrong.
When we start watering down the truth of God's Word to say that a sin is not a sin if it doesn't hurt anybody or is all in the name of fun/love, we have just flaunted our opinion in the face of a holy God and become people that do what is right in our own eyes.
Why not explore other avenues of sin? As long as premarital sex doesn't hurt anybody, I can do it. It's all in the name of love, fun, and happiness, right?
Which is exactly why there should be a gay scene. And Christians should not be upset about it.
If Christians have already accepted the idea that sin is not sin as long as it's done in the name of love, fun, and lightheartness, we should have no problem with a gay scene.
If magic and enchantment (forbidden by God) is okay (provided it's just love, fun, and entertainment), there should not be one reason why sexual sin shouldn't be seen the same way.
We can't pick and choose which sins we get to condemn and which ones we get to gloss over. That's blatant hypocrisy.
So we're going to boycott Disney's Beauty and the Beast because of a gay scene? The magic and enchantment was okay, but the sexual sin never?! That's not logical. And it's certainly not Biblical.
If we make excuses for enchantment, we have to make the same ones for sexual sin.
If there is a single argument you've heard for accepting magic, try applying it to homosexuality or any sexual sin, for that matter.
Throw out the bad, leave the good?
That will be the approach many take to this movie, and I understand it.
But how much good is really left?
Some will say that the elements of love make the movie good. But please allow me to ask if it is really love. Is it, really, truly, Biblically LOVE?
Is what happens between Beauty and the Beast really love?
I won't answer that one definitely. This one is definitely up for debate, and I fully acknowledge that.
But I will say that I have my own reasons for refusing to teach a girl that if she just loves the Beast long enough, he'll turn into a prince. I have my own reasons for refusing to tell a girl that a guy who demands she live in his castle really does loves her (as long as he gives her nice things, of course.) I have my own reasons for believing that true love never forces its own way. I refuse to tell a woman that she can change a beast for the better simply by loving him.
You can't "love" someone into becoming a completely changed person. You can't nurture a tender heart buried somewhere deep within a beast.
The love of a woman for a beast can't completely change him.
In fact, the love of anyone for anyone can't change them. Only the pure, selfless love of Christ's sacrifice and the acceptance of that sacrifice can change someone from the inside out and make them 100% new. No earthly love can do that.
What message are we sending? What message are we absorbing?
There's no such thing as just a movie, as just entertainment. Everything we take in does have the power to shape our thinking, our reasoning, our world view.
Disney has done a pretty good job of convincing Christians to water down the no-enchantment, no-magic, no-witchcraft message of Scripture. They've done a great job of convincing us to just word the big bad MAGIC word a little differently, paint it in a different light, and make excuses for it.
Why not begin to have us do the same with sexual sin?
It just takes a little bit of leaven before we start to empathize with people who just "love" each other and aren't "hurting" anyone. Maybe that's the whole point. After all, if we've accepted magic, why shouldn't why we accept sexual sin?
And, since enchantment and sexual sins are both wrong, there's absolutely no reason why Beauty and the Beast should not have both. We as Christians can't raise Cain about one and not the other.
Thoughts? If anyone has a reason why Beauty and the Beast shouldn't have a gay scene, please convince me!