John Cusack will be playing Edgar Allan Poe in this movie which retells one of the most amazing parts of Poe's life. A lot of Poe's poems and stories are dark and involve murders and deaths that range from a plague spreading in a ballroom to a man being buried alive behind a brick wall. The movie focuses on a series of murders that occured in the 1800's. These murders were exact copies of the ones that Poe wrote about. This led the police to at first suspect Poe, but eventually Poe had to join forces to help the police catch this copycat killer.
It sounds interesting, but there is just one problem. None of that ever happened! There were no such murders and Poe was never involved in an investigation about a copy cat killer. Aside from using a real historical person as the main character, this movie is almost entirely fiction.
Ultimately, these stories and twists on the past don't impact us much. However, there have also been some very interesting and very dangerous historical revisions in our culture lately. The television show Ancient Aliens on the History Channel consistently rewrites our history to include the existence of aliens. It was aliens who instructed us to build the pyramids, taught the Aztecs to study the stars, and posed as the Greek gods. Being on the History Channel and including professionals with more degrees than Fahrenheit makes it all seem true. I know many people buying into this revising of history. But what does that do to the Bible's account of history and our faith in God? These seemingly innocent revisions can be quite dangerous.
The Da Vinci Code similarly sought to rewrite the history surrounding Christ. Though it is based on a book in which the author admits this is fiction, many people left the theater questioning the Bible, Jesus, and their faith. I've heard people deny the fact that Jesus ever even existed despite the giant amount of historical evidence that He did. I've seen people argue that the Founding Fathers of our nation were not Christians and were in fact atheists. I've seen people assert that Einstein, Ben Franklin, Abe Lincoln, and other giants like them were atheists. And most people believe them, even though we have quotes from the men themselves that show their faith! I've even seen people deny that the Holocaust ever happened. It can be quite dangerous when we start revising history. It can be even more dangerous when we don't have the discernment to know what is fact and what is fiction.
There is one other act of historical revision that springs to mind. In Genesis 3, the devil attempts to revise history for Adam and Eve. He starts with the words, "Did God really say...?" Eve, did God really say you can't eat from any tree. Did God really say you would die if you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Surely, you won't die. He calls God's Words and God's story into question.
Its interesting that Satan goes to Eve isn't it? Eve wasn't around when God gave the command to stay away from the tree. God gave that command to Adam and then later God created Eve. To Adam, the command from God was a real and personal memory. To Eve, the command from God was history that had been taught to her by Adam. She wasn't there and the Devil tries twisting her understanding of the past. Did God really say?
So Eve questions God's Words as told to her by Adam. Well, the snake seems to think we've got it wrong! And all of our problems today, sin, death, diseases, war, famine, greed, and all of sin's other effects sprang forth from Adam and Eve's actions as they listened to the snakes revisions to history. Interesting. Scary.
One of the most frequent commands in Deuteronomy is "Remember." In Deuteronomy we are commanded to remember God's works and words over 16 times and commanded not to forget at least 7 times. Because when we forget, when we don't keep the story straight, others can come in and twist it. If they can rewrite the past in our minds, they can deeply influence our thoughts and actions.
In the case of The Raven, Transformers, and X-Men, revising history a bit can be fun and entertaining. But be on your guard, because our culture is revising history in many more serious ways. I don't doubt the the devil and his demons have had a hand in these revisions. From claims of aliens in our past to claims that Jesus was not who the Bible says, we Christians need to be careful not to believe everything we hear.
When Paul writes to Timothy, a young preacher and pastor, he warns him over and over to be careful what teaching he listens to and to be discerning so that he clings to the truth and God's Word. I'll leave you with that encouragement as well. Don't just listen to any wacky claim you hear or see, no matter how high budget the movie or show is. Investigate it yourself, compare it to God's Word, and do not be deceived.
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons... - 1 Timothy 4:1
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1 Timothy 4:16
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. - 1 Timothy 6:3-5
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. - 2 Timothy 4:3-5