A few years ago a series about the Bible came on the scene called “The Chosen” and quickly became extremely popular. They even had a Christmas special this past year that many Christians enjoyed. My oldest daughter, Jess, watched it but became more than a little concerned when she noticed the ecumenism (a coming together of faiths) during the special.
She decided to do some research on the show. I believe you will be thankful that she did. What she found is important information for anyone who is truly dedicated to God and His Word. How important that we value truth and biblical accuracy over being entertained.
So today we will have a guest post by Jess, explaining what she found and why she has decided this show is definitely not biblical and should be eliminated from our list of entertainment options. I might add that I whole-heartedly agree with her conclusion. (You can find out more about Jess at the end of this post.) So here is why both she and I will not be watching The Chosen—
The Chosen TV series has recently taken the Christian world by storm. Do a quick google search and you’ll be hard pressed to find any criticism of the show. Instead, raving reviews come from those both inside and outside of the church. So I am aware that my own critique of this show will not be a very popular one. I believe, however, that it is a necessary one and I’m going to propose to you three reasons why I think it’s best that we avoid watching and endorsing The Chosen.
My first concern is the subtle (or not-so-subtle) Scriptural inconsistencies. The most blatant one is the way the show pushes a feminist agenda. We first glimpse this when Jesus asks Mary Magdalene to lead in prayer and Scripture reading before a sabbath dinner. This is a historically impossible scenario and totally inconsistent with first century Jewish culture. Mary Magdalene is also seen throughout the show as “the 13th disciple” and travels around with Jesus and His disciples. It would have been both culturally and morally inappropriate for a single woman to travel around with a bunch of men. And if she had, her virtue and the intentions of Jesus and the disciples would have been called into question. And finally, in episode 6, we see Tamar and Mary Magdalene carry the paralytic man through the crowd. This is in direct contradiction to the story in Luke 5 where it clearly states “some men” carried the paralytic man (see verse 18). The writers are clearly trying to appease the feminist American culture even at the expense of changing the words of Scripture.
Another error is found when Jesus is conversing with Nicodemus and asks him, “what does your heart say?” I can tell you– beyond a shadow of a doubt–Jesus never would have said that (Jeremiah 17:9). They also portray Matthew as having Asperger’s Syndrome. You can’t find any proof for this scripturally and, again, it feels as though they’re simply pandering to the current American culture.
My second concern is that this show will affect the way people approach Scripture. The writers obviously take a lot of liberties with the story of Jesus, the disciples, and other biblical characters to create a multi-season series. You might think it’s not a big deal; that it’s just entertainment. But this show adds details, attributes, and circumstances that aren’t in the Bible to Bible characters and Bible stories. Don’t you think that those things might paint an inaccurate picture that will affect the way you read God’s Word?
Quotes like “I came to know Jesus better through this show” and “I feel like I’ve been reading my Bible in black and white all these years and now it’s in color” have been circulating on social media by both the creators and fans of the show. The creator says he’s “trying to tell God’s stories in a fresh way” and “enhancing Scripture”. Those are all incredibly dangerous statements. Do you need something other than God’s Word to know Jesus? No. In fact, God’s Word is the only way we can know Jesus. Do we need anything to enhance God’s stories or tell them in a fresh way? Absolutely not. Only the Bible is the inspired Word of God and it needs no enhancing or modern re-telling by fallible men.
My final concern is with the creator of the show himself, Dallas Jenkins. Before I share my own thoughts, I think it might be best to allow his own statement, in an interview on a LDS (Church of the Latter Day Saints or Mormon) radio show, to speak for itself:
“So I can honestly say, it’s been one of the top three most fascinating and beautiful things about this project – it’s been my growing brother and sisterhood with people of the LDS community that I never would’ve known otherwise and I learned so much about your faith tradition and realizing, gosh, for all the stuff that maybe we don’t see eye to eye on…that all happened, that’s all based on stuff that happened after Jesus was here. The stories of Jesus we do agree on, and we love the same Jesus. That’s not something you often hear…sometimes it’s like, oh they believe in a different Jesus than we do. No, it’s the same, I mean I’ll sink or swim on that statement. I know that’s controversial and I don’t mind getting criticized at all for the show, and I don’t mind being called a blasphemer, I don’t like it when my friends are. I made it very clear that if I go down, I’m going down protecting my friends and my brothers and sisters and so I don’t deny we have a lot of theological differences but we love the same Jesus.”
This is one of many examples of him stating that Mormonism, Catholicism, and Christianity simply have minor theological differences. He calls them “different perspectives” that are “exciting to explore, not dangerous”. He consults a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and an evangelical christian after writing each episode to make sure they are “biblically accurate”. You can find him saying many times that we all believe in or that we all love the same Jesus.
But do we? Both the church of LDS and Catholics believe in a combination of works and faith. Mormons believe that God attained His supreme status by righteous works and that Jesus is a created being and not equal to God. I could go into more details behind the errors of the Mormon and Catholic faiths and what makes them false religions, but I’ll save that for another day. However, the differences between the true Christian faith and the Mormon and Catholic faiths are essential, gospel issues and not simply theological differences we can brush over. And the bottom line is this: If Dallas Jenkins believes what he’s saying then he doesn’t understand the true Gospel. The Gospel that says there’s only one way. The Gospel that says we are forgiven on the merit of Christ alone and not of anything we can do. The one and only Gospel that is founded on the belief that Jesus is God incarnate.
And do we really want to watch a show about Jesus and the Gospel that is created by a man who doesn’t even understand the Gospel? I’ll let you make that decision, but I, for one, cannot.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jess is a wife to one of my favorite son-in-laws and mom to three boys. She loves the Lord and values truth. When she’s not busy being a mom, she enjoys researching things as she compares them to God’s Word. She has recently decided to start a Facebook page and Instagram account dedicated to running popular philosophies, movements, entertainment, authors, and teachers through the grid of the Bible. You can find her Facebook page here. Her Instagram is @anchor.for.the.soul.
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