“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen”
I’d say most of you have heard of the movie “The Ten Commandments?” I’m speaking of the version released in 1956 starring Charlton Heston as Moses, and Yul Brenner as Pharaoh. Sidebar: Goodness, do you think the real guys were that handsome? As a child I was enthralled by this movie. Imagine my surprise when I later realized that a lot of the movie’s dialog and content was totally made up. Filler stuff. Not in the Good Book. I was so sure the whole tale was fact. I remember being disappointed when I found no Scriptural evidence that Moses and Nefretiri, real as she was, had a fling. I could go on but you get the idea. This disturbed me. Since then lot’s of films dubbed spiritual have been released and I grow more disturbed.
Don’t get me wrong…I love a good clean movie as much as the next person. I love movies about Christian families and their struggles like the recent film “War Room.” I also love to read Christian fiction. But when authors, screen writers or producers pull events from the Sacred Pages and alter them to…make it better? That’s another story. Add to that the sensationalizing of them with fanciful, million dollar effects, and drop dead gorgeous actors and actresses then yes, I have issues with it. I can’t help but feel like some of these films diminish the Word of God. It’s like those bigger than life occurrences get all the attention rather than the One who thought them into being. The glory of God get’s swallowed up and masked by the distractions of noise, and the surreal chaos of technology. Point being that I’ve never, ever needed silver screen theatrics to enhance the Bible. I’ve never had a problem conjuring up fantastically awesome images when I read the Scriptures. Part of me actually thinks, how dare someone think they can take Biblical events and use them in such a way?
Then there’s the proverbial fence.
On the greener side, we have audiences who’re hearing about the Bible and Jesus, maybe even for the first time. Perhaps they attend because they’re curious about Christianity, and that’s good! On the other side, the dollar green side, we have writers writing, and producers producing material I’m not sure they understand or believe in. The reality is that a lot of these big screen endeavors are not evangelically oriented. They’re box office oriented. Scripture is exploited. Those who know Scripture can dig out the nuggets of truth while totally enjoying the imagery. They know the actual account. But for the un-churched, I fear they see the ancient Word as total mythology. A lot of those unfamiliar with the Way the Truth and the Life see the Bible as just that. Mythical. Unreal. A collection of really cool stories. In my opinion some of these movies are another bucket of water in the dilute the Gospel of Christ pool. It leaves me wondering about some of the creators of such films. They obviously have to read the Bible to get those nuggets of truth, yet they’ll weave non-existent, fact distorting stories as they go. Dangerous. Bible commentator Warren W. Wiersbe wrote:
“In the ministry of the church today, spiritual leadership must constantly ask, “For what does the Scripture say?” (Rom. 4:3 NIV). God hasn’t left us in the dark as to what His church is, how it’s to be led, and what it’s supposed to do, but if we substitute people’s ideas for God’s Word, we will be in the dark (Isaiah 8:20)! Religious novelties and fads abound, creating celebrities and increasing crowds but not always honoring the Lord or building the church. We need leaders, like Moses, who will spend time “on the mount” and find out from the Word what God wants His people to do.”
I’ve seen the previews to a couple of inspirational movies playing now and I’m concerned. I will close with this…if you have questions about God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, do not go to the movies seeking answers. Please. Go get the real story. Read the Bible. Go to church or find a Bible study group. Go to someone you know and trust to steer you correctly. If you already know Jesus, then use these movies to test your biblical knowledge. Search out the nuggets of truth. It’s actually educating and entertaining, it will prepare you to share the true truth with others…should the topic land on your fence.
To my knowledge “The Ten Commandments” has been aired every year during the Easter season, I think it will be early April this year. I know the real story but will enjoy watching this classic work.
Did I mention biceps…?