German church celebrates 'Star Wars' at a Sunday service
The force is strong in Berlin. A church in the German capital invited "Star Wars" fans to attend a special service Sunday themed on the sci-fi blockbuster in an attempt to attract more young people into the pews.About 500 people heeded the call and attended the service, some carrying light saber props or wearing Darth Vader masks. It was more than twice as many as usually come to Zion Church on a Sunday.
"We were very happy to see so many people in the church today," said Protestant pastor Lucas Ludewig said after the service. "It's great that there are subjects that people are interested in. They trust us to make them part of the church service without making it too Christian or too Star Wars, but to find a good compromise."With the film's theme song — played on the church's organ — still echoing around the rafters, the 30-year-old said he came up with the idea of the "Star Wars" service while talking with fellow pastor Ulrike Garve, 29, about how much they were looking forward to the seventh instalment in the franchise "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which opened Friday.
"'Star Wars' picks up religious images, including Christian images and maybe some from other religions," said Ludewig. "In doing so, it shows that the Bible and the Church are part of our culture that keeps being reworked and reinterpreted.
Churchgoer Jonathan Wonneberger, dressed as a Jawa trader, described the service as a welcome change from tradition. "You don't have to take everything that's religious too seriously. Of course you have to treat it with respect, but when there's a global event like Star Wars, it's ok to jump on the bandwagon," he said.
Scott McGuire, sporting a Chewbacca costume, said he planned to go see the movie later. "I think the whole question of God is very interesting, but getting up early on a Sunday is one of those things. But for something like this, I'll go," he said.
(Jordans, "German church celebrates 'Star Wars' at a Sunday service," AP, Dec. 20, 2015).
[TBC: Way back in November, 1998, Dave Hunt commented, "I remember when the film Star Wars first appeared. Rabi Maharaj (the ex-guru whose story is told in Death of a Guru ) and I went to check it out together. We sat there poking one another in astonishment as evidence piled upon evidence that this was pure witchcraft and Eastern mysticism and that its creator, George Lucas, knew exactly what he was doing.
"The Force is obviously the 'god' of Star Wars . One thought remained after the action had faded from the screen: 'May the Force be with you.' We saw that on T-shirts and bumper stickers. A whole generation began to believe in this impersonal Force that can be used to empower one to do magic feats but holds no one accountable, as does the personal God of the Bible.
"This is the Force of witchcraft with a dark and light side: black magic and white magic. Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi were the followers of 'the old religion,' as one of Vader’s soldiers reminded him. The 'old religion,' of course, is 'wicca,' or witchcraft. The Force with its Dark and Light side is amoral. There is no right or wrong, just alternative sides of the Force."]