Black Panther has become the shocking hit of 2018. Many though it would do well but nobody expected it to be the second highest grossing film in history during it first four days.
Made up of a largely black cast some says it provides an overview of America’s current racial and political climate with the intent of finding a middle ground in a country that is splitting apart over the issue.
One of the breakout stars in the movie is British actress Letitia Wright, 24, who plays, Shuri, the younger sister of the King T’Challa. People are raving about her performance around the world with Vanity Fair titling its article about her sudden rise as Black Panther Star Letitia Wright Might Be the Next Leonardo DiCaprio
But for God, it may not have happened. In an interview on Feb.9, 2018 with This Morning, a British talk show, Letitia explains what happened:
“I was going through a lot, a very difficult time in my life and I just needed to take a break from acting because I really idolized it. So I came off from it and went on a journey to discover God and I became a christian.”
The difficult time was depression, and her journey to Christ was through a Bible study being held for London actors. Because she was turning acting into an idol, she started the process of getting a grip on it, and not having acting control her.
This led her to turn down a role in The Beguiled, that would have seen her acting along such Hollywood stars as Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Wright felt that God told her to “give up the job,” saying that He could give her other acting roles, but that God needed her heart now.
Turning down the role was Letitia’s way of offering acting up as a sacrifice to God. But because she did that, when a role in Black Panther became available she was ready to take it.
There is a passage in Ezekiel where God talks about idols in an unusual way:
“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity…” (Ezekiel 14: 3 NASV)
The twist is the reference to “idols in their heart.” The real problem was not physical idols made of stone or wood, but that we can set up idols in our hearts.
In Jewish thought, the heart encompasses our emotions, will and intellect. And the heart is able to develop religious-like attachments to objects that are as real as any religious devotion.
At least this was what Alex Riley and Adam Boome concluded. They were struck by the long line- ups outside Apple stores when releasing its newest and greatest product. In their 2011 documentary called the Secrets of the Superbrands, the two decided to have a neuroscientist scan the brain of Apple devotee with an MRI as he was using his new Apple cell phone.
The discovered that the part of his brain that was being activated as he played with his phone, was the same part of the brain that fired up when people of faith viewed religious imagery.
Riley and Boome said:
“The results suggested that Apple was actually stimulating the same part of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith.”
These “idols in their heart” are real and according to the Bible they can have a negative impact on a person.
God called these heart idols “stumbling blocks” in verses 3 and 4, and then in verse 5 says they lead to estrangement:
5 in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols.” (Ezekiel 14:5, NASV)
Idols of the heart cause people to distance themselves from the true God. And these idols could be as simple as acting or a cell phone.
Famed Christian writer A.W. Tozer said we should never own anything. Not in the sense, that we should never have possessions, but in the that we control it and can give it up at anytime. He wrote:
“I do not mean by this that you cannot have things. I mean that you ought to get delivered from the sense of possessing. This sense of possessing is what hinders us. All babies are born with their fists clenched and its seems to me it means, “This is mine!?” One of the first things they say when they begin to speak is “mine” in an angry voice. “This is mine” is a very injurious thing to the spirit. If you can get rid of it, so that you have no feeling of possessing anything, there will come a greater sense of freedom and liberty in your life”
- Meet the ‘Black Panther’ Star who Gave up Everything for Christ, Only to Land the Biggest Role of her Career: Faith it
- The Holy Apple? Fanboys treat gadget like god: Study by Dakshana Bascaramurty (The Globe and Mail)
- ‘Black Panther,’ Diversity and Serving others: Christian Post