by Mike Ratliff
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NASB)
Back on February 14th my wife and I went to see a movie at a local theater. It was Lincoln, which I have wanted to see for some time since I have been reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals upon which the movie is partially based. The book is history written based upon actual letters and diaries and records written by the people Goodwin wrote about in her book, however, in the movie, artistic license was obviously taken in order to dramatize certain things. Certain facts were made up and others were left out or changed in order “to fit the movie story line” and tell the story that Stephen Spielberg wanted to tell. We got to the theater early enough so that we had to sit through nearly 30 minutes of previews and specials before our movie actually started. One of those specials that were previewed was the upcoming History Channel’s miniseries “The Bible.”
It was obvious from the action scenes they showed that the focus of all that was not to display what God’s Word had to say about what was going on through, let’s say, Noah and his family being on the Ark as the world was flooded, but instead, upon their ordeal and what they did to overcome it. I already conceived in my mind as I watched those scenes that whoever had put those things together had a particular agenda and they were going to take God’s Truth, His Word, and use it like modeling clay or silly putty to form it into something else, to edit it, to make it into a tool that they could use for their own purposes.
The scene that sealed this for me was in Peter’s boat after Jesus had him catch all those fish after he had fished all night and caught nothing. The stuff that went on in that scene is found nowhere in Scripture. Instead of Peter saying, “Depart from me Lord for I am a sinful man!” he asked Jesus what he is going to do if he follows him. Jesus replied, “Change the world!” Here is the actual passage from Luke 5.
1Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” (Luke 5:1-10 NASB)
My wife and I looked at each other after the movie version and both us just shuddered. At that time I still did not know who was behind this, but this week some friends sent me the names of the producers and “theologians” responsible for this farce. The following is from their own website:
Is The Bible miniseries on the History Channel theologically accurate/correct/factual and based on biblical scripture?
- The Bible is a docu-drama based on the stories in The Bible. As with any dramatization, some stories and timelines were altered to create a moving story that fit the 10 hour time frame.
- Mark Burnett and Roma Downey did consult a team of advisers while writing and filming the miniseries. This team includes: Rick Warren – Pastor, Saddleback, Joel Osteen – Pastor, Lakewood Church, Erwin McManus – Pastor, Mosaic, Jim Daly – Focus on the Family, Sam Rodriguez – National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Paul Eshleman – Campus Crusade for Christ, Bobby Gruenewald – YouVersion Bible, Brad Lomenick – Catalyst, Leith Anderson – National Association of Evangelicals, Frank Wright – National Religious Broadcasters, Tom Peterson – Catholics Come Home, Geoff Tunnicliffe – World Evangelical Alliance, Gabe Lyons – Q, Luis Palau, George Wood – Assemblies of God, Craig Groeschel – Life Church, Denny Rydberg – Young Life, Andrew Benton – Pepperdine University
The Bible miniseries is based on the (NIV) New International Version and the (NRS) New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
Roma Downey was formerly on the television series Touched by an Angel. She is Roman Catholic. I have written several times on this blog about the questionable theology of Erwin McManus. We know about Rick Warren and Joel Osteen and how they mishandle Scripture for their own purposes.
My brethren, as this miniseries takes off you are going to hear a lot of good things about it from professing Christians who you would think should know better. What we should be concerned about are those who really do know better who say nothing.
Soli Deo Gloria!