Ok. So the polytheistic-riddled Moana isn’t exactly the film I’d pick to model the Christian faith. For that very reason, my wife was asked her thoughts on it by several mothers in her bible study that were wrestling over whether or not to show it to their kids. She was able to share with them the Christian movie reviewing resource that we consult from Focus on the Family whenever perusing new movies for the kiddos: www.pluggedin.com (letting my Dad flag fly a little here).

Maoana gets the thumbs up from pluggedin for a couple of reasons. Firstly, since it is loosely based on Polynesian mythology, the historical element can spark a terrific conversation with your children about the importance of spreading the truth of the gospel to the unreached. Secondly, it does a good job of broadcasting the positive message that “striving to do what’s good and right will result in a better world,”[1] And for a third (selfish) reason, it’s action packed with adventure that makes it way more enjoyable for Dad than all the girly singing in Frozen. For those reasons, Moana can make for a fantastic, family-friendly, popcorn-filled movie night.

Now that I’ve watched it about fifty times with my toddlers, I can’t help but reflect on a song that resonates with my faith. Without giving too much away, this occurs towards the end of the movie where Moana is singing a song to Te Ka (fiery, volcanic monster thing) as it scrambles screaming towards her. Lyrics as follows:

I have crossed the horizon to find you

I know your name

They have stolen the heart from inside you

But this does not define you

This is not who you are

You know who you are

 

Let’s break this down with biblical references.

I have crossed the horizon to find you

Immediately this brings to mind the fact that God will go anywhere and everywhere to relentlessly pursue and rescue His lost sheep.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” II Chronicles 16:9 NKJV

 

I know your name

Did you know that God has a unique name for each of his children? It blows my mind that the creator of the universe cares for us on such a deep, personal level.

“…To everyone who is victorious…I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.” Revelation 2:17 NLT

 

They have stolen the heart from inside you

Having sinned and fallen from the glory of God, love for the things of the world has stolen our heart away from our Creator.

“because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:21 NKJV

 

But this does not define you. This is not who you are. You know who you are.

In Christ, we are made new. No longer are we defined by our old, sinful past. Instead, we live each day covered by God’s grace. The Word and the Holy Spirit grant us this recognition in our lives.

“…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

 

Again, though the movie is grossly inaccurate theologically, it is a family friendly hit with a moment that served as an encouraging reminder that God loves me and that He would pursue me across the whole earth. Hope you enjoyed the read. Now excuse me as I go “Away, away!”*

 

– Nicolas C. Day

 

*This is a Moana joke. If you didn’t get this, then it’s time for you to watch the movie already.

[1] http://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/moana-2016/

 

Life in the 21st century is fast, full of distractions, and overloaded with a paralyzing abundance of difficult choices. There are several products and resources that I have found helpful in navigating the waters as a Christian and a parent. You can check these out on the Fervent Recommendations page.  

 

5 thoughts on “Relentless Pursuit: God and Moana 

  1. I never heard about Plugged.com in. I will definitely use this for me and my wife when we go to the movies which is literally almost weekly. I enjoyed reading your insights and I will watch this on Netflix ASAP.

    Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Menny! Glad I was able to share it with you – my wife and find it to be a huge help. On occasion, if a movie is not on pluggedin we’ll also refer to http://www.commonsensemedia.org. Although not Christian it is helpful to determine what is family friendly. The rating system is different though. The stars on commonsensemedia are actually whether or not the movie is enjoyable and then it has separate categories for violence, language, etc. – which you want to be low. Have fun watching!

      Like

  2. Plugged in is such a great tool for parenting! Nobody warns you about all of the little decisions you have to make as parents to guard our little ones’ hearts. And this tool is so helpful in saving time & protecting our kids! Also, moana is the best Disney movie ever and i would trade moana for frozen any day of the week!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Nicolas! I just wanted to share that I was totally surprised when I watched this movie. There was a spiritual component that goes beyond a child’s movie. We all need to seek the Heart of our Father to restore the decay around us. These words are more true than most realize.
    “I know your name
    They have stolen the heart from inside you
    But this does not define you
    This is not who you are
    You know who you are”

    God is calling us. He knows who we are. This world does not define us. And we really know who we are… we just need to remember that we are children of God and seek His plans and purposes for our lives.
    Thanks for sharing. God bless you and your family!

    Liked by 2 people

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