We watched the new animated movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs last night.   This is actually not a movie review, but I am sure some of the more uber-religious are going to ‘have at me’  for watching worldly films.  Someone called me a “phony not a pastor” a couple of weeks ago because I watch Hollywood movies.  Always keep in mind that those who protest the loudest are often the ones with the most skeletons in the closet.  This is as tame a family film as you will find anywhere.  It is a lot of fun, completely zany and surprisingly original for a change.  It has a great father/son relationship message and although I’m not certain if there is any deliberately intended social commentary, of course… I see one.

The story takes place in a little sardine fishing village called Swallow Falls on an island in the Atlantic. Because their only industry is sardines and nobody really likes sardines, they have to eat them all themselves and life is a very boring culinary existence.   A young nerdy inventor named Flint Lockwood desperately wants to make a name for himself and builds a machine that can turn water into food.  The machine ends up being trapped in the atmosphere over the island and it begins raining food on the delighted townspeople.  Predictably, things start to go horribly wrong as the food begins to mutate and becomes bigger and bigger.  I will stop here and avoid the spoiler alert.

Now I am not sure if the movie is making a statement on genetically modified food (GMO) or not, but I couldn’t help but see one.  Bio-genetic engineering is quietly going on behind the scenes at an astonishing pace.  There are already many foods that you eat everyday that are genetically modified and you don’t even know it.  For example; you cannot buy margarine that is not made out of Canola.  Check the label, even if the lid says olive oil it is probably mostly made from Canola oil .  Canola was originally developed from rapeseed (an industrial oil seed) using traditional plant breeding technology to reduce inedible erucic acid.  Whether we got a healthier oil out of it or not is a matter of debate.  In 1997 however agri-biz giant Monsanto took it a step further.  They trans-genetically modified (cross species breeding) Canola in order to make it resistant to their Round-up herbicide.  To be specific they inserted the gene of the enzyme 5-enolypyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase  from the CP4 strain of Agrobacterium tumefaciens as well as the glyphosate oxidase gene.  Say what?  I won’t even get into the fact that Monsanto owns the patent on the GMO Canola variety and will sue farmers for trying to plant their own seed that they have grown from it.  Of bigger concern is the fact that scientists do not know if the forced insertion of one gene from one species into another gene of another destabilizes the organism, encourages mutations or produces abnormalities.  Likewise, no one knows if or how eating mutated food could affect people’s own DNA.  Neither Canada nor the US require labeling of GMO foods.  Virtually all of the Canola that goes into making your table margarine has been genetically modified.  You are eating it every day.   

There are hundreds of different foods that are now genetically modified.  One bio-tech company engineered a soybean with a gene from a Brazil nut, to aid in pest resilience.  Brazil nuts are not prone to bug infestation.  Many people are allergic to Brazil nuts, some to life-threatening levels.  If someone with a severe allergy to Brazil nuts were to eat this specific GMO soy in tofu, they could have an outbreak. Fortunately in this case, a laboratory test picked up on the allergen and the soy never made it to our supermarkets.  The argument justifying all of this is the need to feed an increasing global population.  The concept of giant over-sized fruits and vegetables is not science fiction anymore.  A frost resistant tomato was developed by adding a gene from the fish Flounder.   That’s just kind of creepy.  

Bio-genetic engineering gets even scarier when it comes to humans and animals.  We all marvelled in 1997 when scientists is Scotland cloned the first sheep.  Her name was Dolly.  What many don’t know is that Dolly died of old age at 6 years old, about half of the normal 11 or12.  Australia’s first cloned sheep didn’t make it to 3 years old.  The animals were full of diseases typically found ony in much older sheep.  Human cloning is now entirely possible.  I am quite certain it is not being considered because we don’t have enough poeple on the planet.  The real agenda is therauputic cloning.  In other words, cloning for the purpose of harvesting spare body parts.  One day wealthy movie stars will be able to have spare parts cloned so as they age and become unemployably ugly they can go in for a full upgrade.  I wonder if Donald Trump’s clone will be bred with the same hideous hair?  The ethical considerations in all of this are frightening, but the spiritual ones are even worse.   Man is starting to play God.  We are creating new life forms that God never originally intended. 


The original sin of Adam and Eve is sometimes missed as being about eating fruit.  The temptation was really to become like God.  The serpent said to them,  “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  Gen 3:5.  The disobedience was one thing, but the level of human ambition to be like God was a serious act of high treason.  Cloning and genetic engineering is the latest demonstration of man elevating himself to the level of God.  It may just be the ultimate example of human arrogance.  Maybe we can’t stop it, but one day God will, and I don’t want to be party to it.  He will not share His glory with any man.

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  1. Tammy says:

    i look forward to your blogs Pastor Mark. As a farmer, GMO is both scary and a help. Scary at what we are doing to our food, and to our health since we really do not know what is happening to our bodies. As well, there are the questions, are we really building a better product to grow? And what are we giving up in disease resistance, pest resistance and longevity? The help is the immediate results we see. Short term help within current conditions. I guess it plays to our need of instant gratification. In the long run though, playing god is what we are doing. Especially when it comes to humans. One has to wonder, since cloning bodies is a reality, is it our human way of trying to avoid death, and ultimately avoid the outcome when we die. The truth in which we lived our lives. Did we believe in a Saviour who died for us, or did we ignore the tug on our hearts. Playing god is really nothing new. It’s just gotten scientifically easier. However we will never stack up to the real thing, the real God. In the end we will just be building another tower of Babel, waiting for God to strike it down. Funny thing is, He does strike our towers down, we just do not realize that it is God who is trying to wake us up and get our attention before it is to late.

  2. Lisa says:

    Great Blog Pastor Mark!

  3. Helena BK says:

    I enjoy reading your blogs PASTOR Mark;) great stuff:)

  4. Isaac says:

    I’ve noticing more and more how food plays really quite a large role in the Bible. It’s obviously important to our Father, and He wants what’s best for us. So this food manipulation must not be pleasing to Him.

  5. Pastor Mark you are the best, great movie lots of fun… check out our wild forest picked foods will have you for dinner next time you are here in Vancouver.
    p/s still have the boat on dry land in Sointula..

  6. Kendra says:

    I would love to buy all organic and I will once our family has more of a cash flow. I just don’t understand why people are protesting more about all the chemicals in our food etc. Ignorance is bliss I guess?

  7. Victoria says:

    Just wait until all of us feel the effects of the oil spill in the States. The quailty of the fish in the ocean are going to be tainted and saturated.We should not eat the seafood from certain places;canned salmon,caviar,tuna,swordfish, sushi ect. Maybe this was GODs plan to capture our attention to how we are poisening our earth, and need to take better care of it…?
    I love to cook and I am definately thinking about these things….
    My family depends on it.

  8. cc says:

    your still a phony and i have no skeletons in my closet..sorry to disappoint you. im not perfect but i havent done anything that bad, im more of a goody goody, so what, jealous a bit are we? lol
    anyway, your a false teacher. talk about some more movie reviews why dont ya. your really leading your flock to be soooo holy. NOT

  9. cc says:

    ive had a change of heart and need to ask forgiveness. i am sorry for the things i said that may be hurtful. please forgive me.
    i dont agree with you but should never have said anything. please forgive me and i wont be back here again.

  10. TK says:

    Thanks Mark for discussing such great topics and this topic definitely interests me!
    I’m not exactly sure how to describe by internal conundrum, but here goes my attempt. On one hand I think that our constant need to create helps prove the whole creationist ideology…that we were created in His image. God created heaven and earth, so He is a creator and if He created us in His image then we too would be creators (and we are). I look at the advancement in technology and even with all the technology that we have and how advanced we feel we are, we are sooooo far away from even being close to fully understanding how our brain works, yet we are trying to build super-computers with artificial intelligence to be more like us. So my conundrum is, wouldn’t a natural cycle of a creator creating a being in His image, be a being trying to create something in his image? And if this is a natural cycle, why would it be a bad thing?

  11. Jasmine says:


    Of course it’s natural for us to want to create something in our own image, and we’ve done it since the time of Adam and Eve–it’s called “children”. And the method used to create these beings has been designed and approved of by God in His infinite wisdom and knowledge. And we all know what happens when we start deviating from God’s original design, thinking that the methods we devise in our own limited wisdom and knowledge could even measure up. The danger is in our own limited understanding of the repercussions of our actions.

  12. Mark Hughes says:

    Yeah… what Jasmine said. We need to stick with God’s plan and not try to go beyond His intentions. Be creative, Yes, but He said, “Every seed shall produce after its kind”. We have no right to deviate for it.

  13. TK says:

    Jasmine and Mark, thank you for your responses…it’s actually starting to make sense to me now. : )

  14. Christie Braun says:

    I am not afraid. The food I eat is blessed first.

  15. Betty says:

    This is an interesting movie.
    We enjoy our food very much [and the work that comes with it] and it is deliciuos, since we have our own vegetable gardens and fruit like apples and strawberries and we preserve alot of our food, so we know what we eat and the rest, we try to buy healthy food.

  16. Steve says:

    If we trust God then we will obey God and not try to become God. It’s the same temptation Satan did with Adam and Eve. You could be like God. It never works and we end up more deprived and depraved than before. Our best bet is to listen to God in all areas of our lives.
    People are trying to save the environment but at the same time they are shutting their eyes and ears to God. Now we have oil spewing into the ocean like never before despite all the talk about saving the environment.
    Cloning people and all that is just another attempt by people to live life without trusting their Creator and it will backfire horrendously like everything else we try to do without God.We’re always trying to figure out how to do things without God but simple trust in what He commands us and faith in Him no matter what it looks like is what God really desires from His people.

  17. Anna says:

    Good point …. now what?
    I have not seen the movie but I agree that GMO food is bad. Yet, many talk about this problem but we all seem helpless to fight against these corporation giants and stop them… that “food’ is still in every store and we all just keep buying their poison. I a world of lies and information manipulation … can we be certain organic food is really as God created it and growing in the time frame set by God?
    And just how many of us can afford the organic fruit and vegetables… “healthy food” in general? I certainly can’t. Just how much more can we tighten our belts?

    I have been watching your sermons (TV and now online) for over 3 years now and they certainly helped me through some rather dark times.
    Thank you.

  18. todd says:

    I eliminated all packaged food (including the science project known as processed meats). I also became a diligent label reader and was alarmed at what the heck we’ve been eating for years. I don’t want to make this a testament for the commercial advertising/marketing sector but I suppose it is – they suckered me with their effective commercial advertising. How can it not be good for you – the way they sell it? I just trusted that our government regulators wouldn’t allow such dangerous food to exist let alone be sold as good in any way. The result was that I lost 50 lbs without any difficulty whatsoever. Indigestion? Gone. Constipation? Gone. Sick and moody? Gone. People are killing themselves with food and they don’t even know it. We now have a garden and eat natural, organic food . What is maddening to me now, is to know that we have many funded institutions studying all the symptomatic illnesses and “diseases” that are no doubt borne from the foreign makeup of our new-age diet. Type 2 Diabetes? It’s an “epidemic” that is completely cureable with proper diet. People need to get back to the land and away from the delusion of convenient living – which has been sold to us like a serpent. The healthcare system will be unsustainable otherwise. It already is.

  19. Sally says:

    I agree with you Todd we need to read the labels. I am appalled at how the food company’s are destroying us with all the added sugar in various form which is added to almost everything people are eating these days. Even Windsor salt adds sugar to its product and how many moms are feeding their kids Skippy peanut butter with its added icing sugar! No wonder the drug companys are happy. So many of us when we get to be in our 60 or 70’s are in such bad health we have to be on about 26 meds a day. On the average a person who is eating packaged products are 25lbs overweight. And now we have to contend with genetically modified foods.
    I see the day coming when we are controlled by the Monsantos of this world who will be telling us who can buy and who can sell….oh I think that may be happening already!

  20. todd says:

    Hi Sally. Kraft makes an all-natural peanut butter that is excellent. It took about 3 days to get used to the difference but now we can’t eat the “other stuff”. We had some at a hotel recently and couldn’t believe that we use to think that was what peanut butter was. My mother-in-law is actually on 26 differenct medications. I hope more people start awakening to what’s happening around us.

  21. Victoria says:

    Pastor Mark;
    I need to ask you a very important question….Is it ok for me to attend an anglican church that uses a female minister?
    My friend has shown me in a bible that men shall not be taught by women….or something. She thinks that I should go to a new church and I am planning a wedding with these people in a year!
    What are your thoughts on this, I need some advice….(besides the fact that I am living in sin….)

  22. Jordan says:

    “Man is starting to play God.”

    Interesting… Mark I think you should address the age old question of: “What is the nature of Men?” I’d be intrigued to argue that =)

  23. lisa says:

    Hey Pastor Mark:)
    My comment is actually where you state at the beginning that there may be the more ‘uber-relgious’ that have a problem with you going to movies. Let them. That is their choice. We go to movies (I loved Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs),but chose carefully which ones we go to.There are those who think we shouldn’t go, and I respect their opinion, as should you. We as Christians do not need to criticize, but up-lift one another. You know as well, that the profession you are in will always receive criticism. Christ said we would suffer for His sake. At times, it is comments/constructive criticism like that, that keep us on the straight and narrow as well. There are many Christians who do not go to movies, because they don’t want to be a stumbling block, and that should be the desire of each of us. Something we, including me, need to always be very aware of. At times unbelievers have said to me that they don’t see the difference between themselves and the ‘modern day Christian’, so whats the point in becoming one.That is sad because Christ said to separate ourselves from the things of this world, and unbelievers should be able to see that in us.
    That said…I really enjoy your sermon’s. Even if I don’t always agree, I always think. For that, I appreciate your words and your insight. God has blessed you with an opportunity to reach many, and I will continue to keep you and your ministry in my prayers.
    This past Sunday’s sermon on ‘The Fear Of God’ was great, you made many points that were real eye-openers for me. Thanks, and God bless:)

  24. Jesiah says:

    hey pastor mark, I finally got a chance to read your blogs. I’ve wanted to read one since MP3 when I heard about them but haven’t gotten around to it until tonight, really cool stuff. I also wanted to say that when you were talking about using clones for spare parts it reminds me of another movie that is really interesting called “The Island”, it’s basically all about that and it’s really actiony and a boat plays a major role in the story line so I figured you may have heard of it, if not seen it. Anyways, good blog, I’m gonna keep reading. see you Sunday

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