Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
A service to parents and grandparents
Dogma (1999), (R)
Analysis of a Full Viewing
CAP Score: 6
CAP Influence Density: 5.94
Now by MC, Amex, Visa and more!
Your donations are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
The foul language eliminator
Tell them CAP sent you
Switch to LifeLine
long distance service
The Family Friendly
Christian Media News
Your One Stop
For Everything Christian
Free Email Ministry
Christian Banner eXchange
For FREE text-only versions of our media analysis reports as they are calculated, open this email then click "send." If your browser does not handle this URL format properly, send us a request to add you.
NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
DOGMA (R). Previously we did an analysis of a partial viewing. This is the analysis of a full viewing -- to make a point.
These things and many more like things were said about He who spent three days in Hell for you and I so we won't have to spend one moment there. And that is supposed to be "entertainment?"
Above are but a few of the things I missed by previously doing an analysis only of the first 38 minutes of the 120-minute Dogma. This full viewing analysis of Dogma is to honor the often less than polite requests (spelled d-e-m-a-n-d-s) of the many, many antagonistic emailers arguing that analysis of a partial viewing is inaccurate and unfair who, of course, know everything there is to know about the CAP analysis model without ever having used it. This full viewing analysis is also addressed to all you who expected or hoped for me to "cross over" if I watched the whole show; to those who demanded I "give it [Dogma] a chance" using argumentative rationale such as
and many other matters of being victimized by the seductive powers of all the smooth talk in it. Now that analysis of the full viewing is complete, the sinful human in me keeps whispering "I told you so ... but you wouldn't listen!"
I will inform the antagonists only once more about the accuracy of the CAP analysis model for partial viewings. ONCE more. The CAP analysis model is as accurate and fair for any portion viewed for that portion as it is for the entire show! We could watch one minute of a flick and the analysis of *that one minute* could not be any more accurate or fair for that one-minute segment if we watched two minutes, or twenty, or the whole show. The unseen portion of a show cannot affect the findings made from the viewed portion or the scoring earned by it. And if the viewed portion is vile and unfit, who cares about the rest of the show?
After a few hundred diatribes and tirades, it started to become obvious that many if not most of the antagonistic emailers were not actually after assurance of accuracy and fairness but rather that I might become proselytized to accept the strange teachings in Dogma if I watched the whole show. It does not matter whether I "accept" a movie or not. The CAP analysis model (the Findings/Scoring section below) could not possibly care less about my personal opinions or about any trumped-up "messages" to excuse aberrant behavior or imagery, for manufacturing of justification for them, or for camouflaging of them with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme or plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. Using the teachings and expectations of Jesus as investigation standards, the CAP analysis model tells parents and grandparents the truth about the content so THEY may make an informed decision whether a movie is or is not fit for their kids or themselves. And we are NOT a movie review service. We do NOT analyze or quantify any "entertainment value" or "artistic value" of a movie. Assessment of "entertainment" or "artistic" values of a movie is up to the viewers.
Now back to the analysis of the full viewing of Dogma. Fasten your seatbelts.
The whole of Dogma was chucked FULL of smooth-sounding arguments and slick talk implying, e.g., God may not be right about everything; that He may not know everything after all. The movie presented slick talk that the Bible may not be true after all; that it may be just enough the product of mortal perspective to permit us to question everything about it and become even more confused, bewildered and lost. Cast-out angels were presented as not only condemned to eternity on earth (Wisconsin) instead of Hell but also able to become mortal, become forgiven through plenary indulgence, then get back into Heaven. Dogma even presented that mere mortals may see God even though He said that no mortal shall see Him. And that a cast-out angel could murder with impunity because "God wanted it."
Much verbal energy was spent to falsely claim how we, as a people, have matured beyond the abusive limitations of subservience to His expectations of us: to mislead us into believing that His expectations of us are unfairly stifling and suffocating to the free will: to lead us astry into believing His Word is incredibly inhibitive to free expression -- that free expresison should allow sin. Full sequences of dialogue were intellectually presented which encourage thoughts of humans being able to manipulate the will of God and to present false justification for ignoring His expectations of us. Sinful behavior was encouraged as an emotional release, as a catharsis. Sin was suggested as being relative, e.g., behavior that was sinful for our fathers and their father's fathers is not necessarily sinful for us since we have matured so much as a people since the days of the Bible. Another encouragement to ignore the Bible came in "folks who build faith on that message (the Gospel) are color-blind" with emphasis on that as if there is another message to the Gospel.
It seems the entire movie was programming to endanger the viewer regarding Is. 5:20. And the attempts of one who claimed to be the 13th apostle (Rufus - Chris Rock) to get the "last remaining true descendent" of Jesus (Bethany - Linda Fiorentino) to rewrite the Bible to include him in the New Testament was in direct violation of Rev. 22:18-19.
Many Scripture verses warn us of the seduction, trickery and treachery of such strange teachings as in Dogma that can cause people to question themselves right out of faith and obedience, cause others to stray from faith and yet others to fail to understand the assurance He promised to the faithful. Examples of these verses include:
All the little pieces and parts to the seduction by Dogma combine to build a very intricate and conniving rape of the Scriptures in the name of comedy and an assault on faith and even the Word of God, feeding the very thing of man that is best able to draw him away from God -- that of placing man in an independent, "free-thinking", "open minded", "enlightened" and superior position to which all other things, including God, must measure up. One example of this was found in "The church [man] said it's so. God must adhere."
A few emailers said Dogma "...brought me closer to God." Well, duh! Of course it did. Dogma brought man closer to God not as much by magnifying man but by bringing God down. It belittled God and brought His personage down to human status -- to a level of no more than "one of the guys" or "good ole boy" -- a small and frail entity who needed to be protected that man's machines, angels' maneuvers and church rules could control. It fed man's desire to not be subordinate to any authority using God's authority as the target of countrefeiting. Dogma encouraged thinking of Him as fallible; that He can be tricked. Dogma presents a very long list of Scriptural corruptions and counterfeitings. Apparently s o-o-o-o many have taken the bait. Hook, line and sinker.
The movie started out with feeding the self and attempts to excuse what was to come. In the opening text screens we were fed "To insist that any of what follows is incendiary or inflammatory is to miss our intention and pass undue judgment and passing judgment is reserved for God and God alone." Wrong!
Check your seatbelt.
Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
This is the verse so many use to try to shame others for discerning poor behavior, ethics, morals, and values. Using ONLY Matt 7:1 is entirely incomplete. This verse is NOT speaking to not judging -- it is speaking to not judging harshly, unfair, or any other cheap and selfish way. Read the REST OF THE STORY ...
Matt 7:2-5 "For in the same way you judge others [there is the authority to judge], you will be judged [if you judge poorly, you will be judged poorly; if you judge well, you will be judged well], and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you [if you use extremes to manipulate the outcome, extremes will be used on you; but if you judge fair, you will be judged fairly]. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye [observe his sins - "minor" in Jesus' example here] and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye [your own sins, even and especially those you will not see, magnified by your selective blindness]? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' [tell him of his "minor" sins] when all the time there is a plank in your own eye [that there are greater or the same sins in your own life which you do nothing about]? You hypocrite [speaking/accusing others of sins thinking you are above sin, even the same sin], first take the plank out of your own eye [sincerely ask the Lord for forgiveness and learn AND live the Truth and Light by His Word], and then you will see clearly [be in a righteous position] to remove the speck from your brother's eye [to judge and to help him out of his bondage to sin]." At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healings to beseech them to not become like the pharisees and hypocrites who think they are above sin.
As a FEW examples of His desire for us to judge:
Matt 7:1 seems to support the allusion that we are not to judge at all IF we use small-vision tactics by narrow-mindedly selecting only that SMALL piece of the total of what Jesus was saying. Matt 7:1 DOES NOT tell us not to judge at all -- it tells us to not judge with unfairness or superficiality: to not use our own understanding to judge (Prov. 3:5). Look at John 7:24. There, Jesus TELLS you to judge, but to do so righteously. Righteously means to use the Truth of the Word. Judge we must else we could never tell good from bad, proper from improper, righteousness from evil ........
And to continue, Matt 7:6 says. "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." How are we going to know who are the "dogs" and the "pigs" if we do not judge.
Yes, we as humans do have the right and the authority to judge the behavior of others as long as we do it in accordance with the Word. That God is the only one who can judge is speaking to judging whether someone is or is not saved. Neither you nor I nor anyone else who breathes has the authority to say whether another has or has not been saved. Only God can make that judgment since only He can give Salvation. The Bible provides quite enough knowledge and understanding to make you a righteous judge if you r-e-a-d it and not just look at the words AND use the TOTAL of what He says, not just the pieces that seem to fit an agenda.
I have been told Mr. Kevin Smith, the one responsible for Dogma, is a Christian. He may very well be and probably is -- I do not have the authority to say he is or is not. But I do know that it takes more than saying one is a Christian to be a Christian. Though Jesus certainly wants us to be humble and compassionate, being Christian has absolutely nothing to do with being all nice-nice. Being nice-nice is being like Christ but does not mean "Christian." Our behavior, good or bad (our "works"), will not get us Salvation nor will it keep Salvation from us. Being Christian means believing on faith that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Resurrected Savior. Period. One of His desires of us as Christians is to love His Word as we love Him [John 14:15]. Dogma is in direct violation of it. Dogma may be a fantasy, but a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly.
Whether intentional, Smith's map and path of mixing worldly strange teachings with the Truth which confuse and counterfeit it was genius. The entire show is built on portraying that angels can trick God: that they can manipulate Him and prove Him fallible. That a "loophole" in the church's doctrines (or dogma) can put God Himself in a compromising position. Two cast out angels, Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon) -- the quintessential counterfeiters of the Scriptures -- decide they deserve better and sought to reenter Heaven through a ceremonial plenary indulgence.
Dogma also claims that God has a sense of humor and at times presents Him as a joker of sorts, thus again lowering Him to human level. While I am certain God has a "sense of humor" since He gave it to us, I find it most difficult to believe He finds humor in sin since He will cast the unforgiven sinner into the lake of fire for eternity. Not very funny at all.
One of the more common email comments was, e.g., "...the movie in many ways strengthened my faith, by forcing me to reevaluate it and look at it from different angles." But that is just it! The movie DID cause some, by their own admission, to reevaluate their faith, as if faith in God and the Gospel wasn't good enough from the start. What about those who reevaluate their faith and end up in the wrong place because of that movie? What about the impressionable who have not yet developed a faith let alone an understanding of God's ways? An "R" rating does not keep the impressionable out. All that you came away with from that movie was a wild hodgepodge of the whims and fancies of the filmmakers and writers targeting their work very acutely at human weaknesses, self importance, and self sufficiency. When God's Word was mentioned, it was typically counterfeited, situationally redefined, or conditionally applied. Or at best, when accurate, His Word was intermixed with speculation and new age selfishness and anything else that might reduce His credibility and magnify man.
Since the release of Dogma in 1999 it has apparently served well the appetites of the unbelievers and of the situational and conditional Christians -- those who are Christian only when and where it suits them. By deeper inspection of the letters of the many who claim to be Christian have told me they found "deeper insight" and "spiritual fulfillment" in Dogma, they each have only been apparently duped into questioning and doubting not only God's Word but God Himself: into thinking it is good to question everything. What a dilemma! While it is good to question most worldly things to avoid being deceived, one must assume deception is the goal. God has no plan or goal to deceive us in any way. Thus, the promotion of free-thinking by Dogma targeted at the Gospel and His Word cheapens for the gullible and uninformed their perception of God AND His Word.
I have presented only a fraction of the ignominies in Dogma and have taken seven typewritten pages to do it. I will not belabor any further a point that has been made and made well for those who are strong enough and open minded enough to see through such entertainment and to believe in the Gospel and in His love for us. I will leave the remainder of the issues of Spiritual dangers in Dogma to the Findings/Scoring section (nearly three of the seven typewritten pages).
I pray many of us can soon open our minds enough to see precisely what many movies, whether intentional, are truly doing to us. Many movies hturT us in ways we may not understand. And, yes, "hturT" is correct. It is reversed Truth, twisted and counterfeited beyond recognition and shows the hidden and sometimes invisible hurt in doing so.
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):