Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. – Jude 3
You may note that some major “Christian” movies are coming out over the next months. At the close of February “Son of God” was released (from the same people who made “The Bible” on the History Channel last year). “Noah” is also coming out at the end of March. There is also talk of a film version of the book “Heaven is for Real”, a movie called “Exodus”, and one called “Mary, the Mother of Christ”. All of these will come with all of the advertisements and marketing required to make a profit from Christian viewers.
But just because something says it comes from the Bible doesn’t mean that it is from the Bible or is purely from the Bible (even of a greater concern). Often directors and producers looking to put their fingerprint on projects want to add a little more into the story to fill it out, or to put their spin on it (even possibly putting their own beliefs over the top of the text). This can be very dangerous. As a general rule, I advise people to STAY AWAY from such things because of gross misuse of the Scriptures that often accompanies these projects. This includes programming on cable television about the Bible and so forth as well. The aim and goal of these projects is not faithfulness to Scripture, nor the glory going to Jesus, nor the conversion of the unbelieving – the aim of these projects is to make money, pure and simple.
Sometimes people believe that these things can still expose others to Christ, but here we must remember the Second Commandment and the Lord’s Prayer about hallowing God’s Name. Even teaching something just a little bit erroneous about Jesus is false teaching and profanes God’s Name. Could God use such a thing? Yes -BUT, it is more likely that the Old Adam, the sinful nature in each viewer will more than happily grab onto the false teaching and leave it at that. By nature, unbelievers do not want more truth about God, they want the lies and evil, more than anything they want it their own way – a God or a Jesus which suits their desires. This is not the Jesus that is revealed to us in the Scriptures. This is also not the Law and Gospel preaching that Scripture gives examples of and that churches ought to have as a focus. It is important to remember that far more Christians will be marketed to for these films and probably a vast majority of the viewers will be Christians, who could very well be led into thinking and believing some very strange and dangerous things.
Think of it this way, if you had a friend give you a cake that they made for you, but also told you that some poison made it into the batter as they were mixing it, would you eat it? Of course you wouldn’t risk eating poison. The same holds true for false teachings in movies and media about Jesus. Where do we go for pure teaching? We go right to the Scriptures themselves. Read the book, it is better than the movies any way you put it. For “Son of God” I would suggest reading one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) instead. For “Noah” consider reading Genesis chapters 6-9 instead (for an even fuller picture, read chapters 1-11). Your pastor is always there to answer questions you may have, please ask and study the Scriptures together.
There is nothing better than the Word of God. No movie can do it justice. Take the time this Lent to reread that Bible, for those many pages point to Christ Jesus and reveal exactly what our Triune God would have us to know and believe about Him.