Ceremonies are not just for weddings, and rites of passages are more important than we think. You may be considering, “How can this Blog possibly connect those six words in the title?”
The movie Alien vs Predator is a blend of two particularly decent franchises –some of you may have wondered if they went on a little too long -but that’s beside the point. Despite the violence and occasional profanity, this movie is really about the story of young men’s (well… young Predator’s -which were an alien race of warriors) Rites of Passages into maturity.
Generally speaking, I get really, really, really irritated in these types of movies when human curiosity out weighs good practical judgement – especially when stupidity rules the day.
Do you find yourself shouting at the television, “Don’t go down there! Good heavens man! It’s a sacrificial chamber! Or… Cloning dinosaurs is just plain stupid!” (Jurassic Park reference)
In the movie Alien vs Predator (AVP), there is a discovery of an ancient underground pyramid thousands of feet under Antarctica ice, and of course a group of humans decide to go down there and unwittingly find themselves trapped between a conflict with warrior Predators and dangerous Alien creatures. (Spoiler alert: Many humans died during the filming of this movie…)
Guess what? The Predators – a long time ago in a galaxy not so far away– used humans to incubate these terrifyingly savage Alien creatures who were to be the objects of their sport hunting. No surprise, the Aliens got a little out of control. October 10th, 2004 the pyramid is powered up, the humans are lured down there, three candidate Predators wait for the Aliens to reproduce to begin their hunt which is their initiation into maturity…
AVP puts me in mind that young men need some kind of intentional process into maturity. Personally, I found the transition to manhood somewhat ambiguous. I woke up one day and I had a wife, kids and a mortgage… and I wondered to myself, “When did this all happen? How did I get here?” It’s like, as men, we get there with our eyes closed…
Now, this fictitious Predator race has some things to teach the human race – especially our Western culture that does not particular engage in rites of passages. Let’s examine some things that were said, and done in the movie…
1. Only the “chosen ones” would enter the temple, and the chosen ones went to die willingly and gave their lives so the hunt could begin.
2. They built an entire, elaborate, and incredible structure dedicated for this purpose of bringing their young to maturity.
3. There was a great deal of documentation in the pyramid structures. There were hieroglyphics that explained and highlighted the great story and process which would take place, and had taken place for thousand of years.
4. The Rite of Passage event was literally a life and death experience.
What am I getting at? There was great value in this rite of passage, so much so that people died for it to happen. (Spoiler alert). Predators could die while traversing this procedure. Reaching maturity was therefore an extremely important and integrated goal for their culture and society.
So how does this connect to the real world?
I have several more observations to make about the movie. Then I’ll tell you what the Genesis Man Men’s Ministry promotes in terms of ceremonies and rites of passages. (Don’t worry, no one ever dies.)