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Did Beijing use a bit of Disney magic in Olympic bid?

Ryan Denison is the Senior Fellow for Theology at Denison Forum, where he contributes writing and research to many of the ministry’s productions.

He is in the final stages of earning his PhD in church history at BH Carroll Theological Institute after having earned his MDiv at Truett Seminary. Ryan has also taught at BH Carroll and Dallas Baptist University.

He and his wife, Candice, live in East Texas and have two children.

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Chinese Olympic fans take selfies to celebrate after Beijing was selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, July 31, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/ImagineChina/Bian Qing)

Reports have circulated recently that Beijing may have used a bit of Disney magic in its successful bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Their song “The Snow and Ice Dance,” one of 10 official songs submitted as part of their bid, is suspiciously similar to the hit song “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen. As long as you don’t live in China where YouTube is banned, you’re free to listen and decide for yourself (after you finish reading this of course), but it’s pretty clear that the songs have a lot in common.
 
As Caijing Online, a prominent Chinese business magazine, found when they took a closer look at the two songs, from the instrumentation and tempo to the prelude chords and eight beat introductions, the similarities are unmistakable. While all of that could theoretically be a coincidence, the odds that the Chinese officials were not trying to profit from the popularity of Disney’s hit song seem longer than a city with no snow hosting the Winter Olympics…ok, bad example.

If what they say is true and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Idina Menzel and the rest of the team from Frozen must be blushing quite a bit, though I suspect there are some at Disney who are a bit red-faced from a different emotion. Ultimately, popular opinion already seems to have decided that Beijing’s originality runs about as deep as its winter snow. At this point, there is little they can do besides simply wait for this whole thing to blow over. After all, it’s not like the IOC is going to take the games away from them or that they’re likely to suffer any real consequences beyond a bit of public embarrassment. Their imitation of “Let it Go” served its purpose quite well.

As Christians, we have a similar calling. However, far from violating international copyright laws, God’s word commands us to imitate him and to follow his example. As Paul told the church in Ephesus, the key to walking the Christian life and living out God’s will for us is to “be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Jesus’s life and death have provided us with the perfect example of what it means to follow God’s will. His Spirit, which has been given to every believer, equips us to follow that example in every decision we make, every word we speak, and every thought that goes through our minds. While there will be times that we fall short of that standard, such failure is never an inevitability for us no matter how much it may seem like it at times. Perhaps that is part of why our sin grieves the God so much (Eph. 4:30). He paid a high price to set us free from that life and I cannot imagine what it must be like for him when we voluntarily go back to it.

So the next time you’re tempted to imitate your old self rather than the one who died to give you new life, remember that cost and choose to live according to God’s higher standard. There will never be a moment in your day that you are incapable of being perfect as your heavenly father is perfect (Matt. 5:48). Live like it.

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