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Movie Review

America loves angels. We crown Christmas trees with them. We name baseball teams after them. We even refer to them when describing an adorable or well-behaved child. Michael has turned that fascination with angelic beings into box-office gold. But are the heavenly hosts portrayed in a holy light onscreen, or has Hollywood simply been touched by an angle—an industry eager to exploit a fresh trend?John Travolta plays the archangel as a celestial hedonist determined to gorge on worldly pleasures during his final trip to earth. His three companions for this unholy excursion are employed by a sleazy supermarket tabloid. Ironic. The tools of the pseudo-journalists' trade are lies and twisted exaggerations. Likewise, the film uses those same tools to defame one of eternity's most noble and venerable figures.

In his classic book, Angels: God's Secret Agents, Billy Graham describes the archangel Michael's very name as meaning "who is like unto the Lord." No one who sees Michael will leave the theater with that impression. This beer swilling, chain smoking, crotch scratching womanizer embodies the antithesis of godliness. Travolta's character uses crude language, and on several occasions casts an aphrodisiacal spell over young ladies in order to have sex with them (a practice disturbingly close to rape when one looks past the film's romantic-comedy veneer).

A company of angels won't rise up and charge Hollywood with slander. But they ought to. Even the advertising campaign for Michael proudly states, "He's an angel ... Not a saint."

Just as portrayals of the Holy Trinity, biblical theology and the church itself warrant scrutiny, families should beware of celestial characters with tilted halos. Since Hollywood's affection for angels has taken wing, this may be a good time to study the true nature and character of God's messengers with young people. (Suggested passages include: Psalm 103:20-21, Heb. 1:13-14, Matt. 22:29-30, Luke 15:10, 2 Sam. 14:17, Gen. 18:2-8, Rev. 12:7-17 & 20:1-3.)

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