[This was going to be published sooner, but the site started giving me editing trouble, so sorry for the long absence, peeps.]
I enjoy The Prince of Egypt, the Nativity Movie, many smaller portrayals of Jesus in film, and Veggie Tales, which is not words for word.
Back with another post about the Chosen.
Sine my last one–which didn’t get a great response, but oh well– there’s been two more episodes, and I was hoping the problems I had with it would get better.
But they got worse.
I honestly don’t want to dislike this show, so I tried to keep an open mind, but episodes 6 and 7 of season 2 were just too much.
Ep 6 was fluff, pretty much. A couple interesting things, but mostly just made up stuff that’s not based on Scripture.
Ep 7 has gone way, way off the charts for what I think is outright heresy.
But let me explain:
I don’t throw the word heresy around. I’m the kind of Christian who other, more conservative Christians think is too lax. I watch anime, Disney, and read books with magic in them.
I once had a lady tell me that Disney was evil, and writing stories (as I do) with magic in them was wrong.
This homeschooled, sheltered, raised on C. S. Lewis kid thought she was nuts. Though I appreciative high standards, I do not think Disney is evil.
But hey, if you don’t want to watch it, and that’s your conviction, I have no issue with that.
And I generally take the same attitude to things other Christians I know enjoy. I know some fellow homeschooled girls who like Queen though they feel the church would frown on it because the band is gay.
I don’t really like gay artists for the most part, if I know the song is about that, but I don’t avoid all art by LGBTQ people. I watch Sanders Sides, and plenty of anime fan art is done by people in that category. I don’t think turning something down and denying its quality because you dislike the person’s life style is something you should do. It’ s like saying no good can ever come out of sinful people.
What good can come out of any of us, then?
Plus, if I truly applied that rule, I’d not be able to live in this world. The laptop I’m using is probably made by companies exploiting other people. We all know it.
But the world is built on that, we shouldn’t practice hose things ourselves, but Paul wrote to us
“I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
A lot of Christians fall back on the commandment not to judge, ignoring this passage where Paul clearly says, we are to judge people in the church if they do things Christians are not supposed to do.
But we are not to judge the world, we can’t get away form it, he’s realistic about that. This is just plain hard common sense.
So, no, I don’t avoid worldly things all simply because they are of the world. I can’t.
But I hold Christian things up to a higher standard.
A person outside the Faith can portray our faith badly, and I won’t like it, but, I will shrug it off, the world will do what the world does. I can’t change that.
But someone in the Faith, who portrays it falsely, we are told no to even eat with such people. That’s pretty stiff. It’s the cultural equivalent now of blocking their number, blocking them on social media, and avoiding them in person. Cut them off completely.
It’s saddening to me to watch the comments under the Chosen whenever anyone brings up a Scriptural or Doctrinal concern with what is being shown, and people rush to say “Hey don’t judge.”
We are supposed to be judging.
The Bible says also to test every spirit, and not to belie anyone, whether it be a teacher you’ve known for years, or an angel from heaven, if they preach any gospel to you other than the one you’ve heard.
That’s very heavy. Changing the Gospel is one of the worst crimes we can do… but many, many people do it. That’s why we’re are all supposed to study and know it by heart, we are told to “be careful lest any man deceive you.”
What many people don’t understand is that when Paul and Peter wrote that to the young church, they were in a similar situation to us where information was concerned. Many of them didn’t meet Jesus. And like us, didn’t have access to the Gospels yet. Those were all written after the Apostles letters.
So like us now, people mostly just had the testimony of those who had seen Jesus, and their own experience of him.
We could have the Bible, but as many of us do not read it, or do not read it carefully, we might as well be without it.
So it is even more important to have parameters to judge by. You’d better know your actual doctrine if you refuse to read about it.
The Bible gives us a few criteria.
One things is if anyone adds to or takes away from Jesus words. (Revelation)
Another is if any spirit (or person) does not confess (proclaim) that Jesus came in the flesh and was the Son of God.
And other, is to simply test it. Get a feel for it.
Another is if they change the Gospel.
These are our four parameters.
But I’m not trying to be too legalistic. I don’t think every rendition of Jesus or the Bible that changes a few details is necessarily blasphemous.
I enjoy The Prince of Egypt, the Nativity Movie, many smaller portrayals of Jesus in film, and Veggie Tales, which is not words for word.
But the reason I don’t count those is that nothing essential is added or removed from the Bible in those stories.
A few framing details are changed in the retelling. Certain events may be changed or combined, but, what we are seeing either actually happened, like the slaughter of the innocents in the Nativity movie, or the visit of the three kings–or it wasn’t important. Imagining what Mary was like as a person, while not useful to our theology, makes for a better movie, and is not blasphemous. We’re not claiming it’s beat for beat scripture.
The words she uses are taken from the Bible in the scenes that are based on the Bible, and there is no change of Mary’s faith, philosophy, or lifestyle that suggest anything not in scripture to be true.
In Veggie Tales, the story is retold for kids, so a direct quote isn’t necessary, but they always bring it back to Scripture at the end and these stories are not supposed to be portraying it as it was. Kids know that. But, again, essential doctrine is not changed. Josh and The Great Wall doesn’t become a story about building cities. Dave and the Giant Pickle isn’t a story about Social Justice.
It’s still about what it’s originally about.
I hope you are starting to catch my drift.
I don’t think it is adding to Scripture to retell it in a new way. Jesus told many different parables about the same point.
But, I do think the Chosen has gone too far.
They have kept saying that it is not replacing the bible, but to use that as in excuse to make crap up, when you are allegedly telling a story about the Bible…
Well, let me put it this way. I write Fan fiction that I set in Japan, because that is where the show takes place. (Other times I set in in fictional countries but other people’s ideas of them) Suppose I write in the fic that in Japan, it is normal to cut off the limbs of your child if they misbehave.
It has been appropriate to do that in the past, with thieves, so you could say, I was basing it off actual culture, whether of Japan or some other Asian or Middle Eastern country, it might be hard to say. I just took it a step further.
Is that, or is that no, misrepresent Japan in an irresponsible way?
I’m sure the SJWs would jump all over me if I did that for disrespecting their culture, blah blah blah, and I’d have to agree with them in this case. I’m told everyone in other countries thinks all Americans are gun waving extremists…yeah they don’t really teach respect for other cultures in most places around the world.
The point is, I’d never get away with that in today’s political climate.
But misrepresenting Japan, a country is arguably less bad than misrepresenting the story of our Lord and Savior, as in the end it’s just country. It won’t probably ruin someone’s life in the hereafter to not understand it right, but, it could if they do not understand our lord.
And so, any misrepresentation of Jesus is to be taken seriously.
What is and is not misrepresentation?
Opinions will vary on it, but in my estimation, there are just two main schools of thought on it.
1: Jesus must be shown exactly as he is in Scripture, but, how you enact that is up to you. If you think Jesus is harsh, then you tend to lean more into the preachy, judgement personal of him in your portrayal.
2. Jesus can be shown doing other things, as long as they do not contradict Scripture. Like, we can show him eating with his disciples, we know that happened, even if every singly meal is not recorded for us. We can add miracles that are not on record, because the Gospels tell us he did many, many more than they could write about, so adding some is not unbiblical, as long as it’s nothing too off the wall that would have changed the events of the bible, like defeating a whole army in one word. That would not make any sense to add because Jesus could never have been treated the way he was then. But healing a man we don’t have on record? Sure. It’s not unbiblical.
I’m in the second camp, but in the first, there’s still a lot of room for interpretation. Some people show Jesus as kind, gentle, and meek. Too meek most of us think. Others show him as far too harsh.
However, what’s important about either view is that neither is unsupported by scripture. Jesus being outspoken is biblical, Jesus being kind and gentle is biblical. We shouldn’t leave out one or the other, but no one nails both perfectly, and there’s some margin for error. I don’t think God expects us to be able to know exactly how Jesus said everything, but to do our best to look at all of what he said and not leave stuff out.
The point is, while people disagree about it, no one can say it’s not biblical.
The second view can be biblical if we know Jesus would have done those types of things, but not if we know for a fact he couldn’t or would have.
And that brings us up to S2 E7 of the Chosen.
I was shocked when I saw Jesus actually getting arrested about 2 and a half years too early…to be questioned.
The Romans ignored Jesus up until the end of his ministry, for the most part. Some of them even followed him. They would not have questioned him. If they had that early on, then what followed could only have led to his arrest much, much sooner than it happened.
The Pharisees didn’t like him from the start and tried to arrest him multiple times on record, but that was different, they lacked the power of Rome to enforce all that easily.
If Jesus was taken in for questioning so early, it would certainly have been mentioned by his disciples. This is not just filling it out to make it seem more natural, this is straight up adding something that makes no sense, and would have changed the trajectory of Jesus’ whole ministry.
The fear his disciples express later on in the Gospel would have been there sooner.
And my sister pointed out to me, if they are learning this early how to handle it, it makes them look even worse for abandoning him later like we know hey do.
And having Jesus speak about it to them, words he never said, and saying to the Romans words he never said…is adding to Jesus words.
I don’t take issue when they make Jesus talk to people naturally, as he would have done that. But when they create confrontations that never happened, they are setting up a precedent of a Christlike way to handle those that no tall Christians agree on, and that are not Divine guidance. We cannot imitate it.
And what scares me most of all, is how little anyone minds. People talk about how relatable the Disciples are. No one is saying “Wow, I want to be more like Jesus.”
Jesus is written too weirdly to really want to imitate time. I can’t get a read on him enough to do that.
The Gospel Jesus, I may not understand, but I see his pattern. Help the weak, heal the sick, confront hypocrisy, What pissed him off is what pisses me off, or it should.
But Jesus letting himself be arrested early? Why? It makes no sense. It adds nothing useful to the story, and…it’s lying.
I mean, people, at what point do we just call it what it is? Lying about Jesus.
Sure, tell people to check the Bible and see if it’s right. That’s like a professor telling you to check the textbook or a different textbook not in the course to make sure that what they say is correct.
I have had to do that, but I really shouldn’t, should I? If you are not professing what you know to be true, you should not be professing at all.
That Jesus cast out demons, healed the sick, and anger pharisee, we know to be true. We can profess it in different ways.
That he faced the Romans over his following, we do not know to be true. In fact, we know it to be false. So what, I ask, is the point of professing it.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The Chosen is fan fiction based off the Gospel, and the based off part is shrinking in every episode.
And for what reason? Padding? There are so many miracle and stories that are in the Gospels that they could have put in to fill that run time if they really insisted on leaving the sermon on the Mount for the end of Season 2.
As a writer, I can’t imagine why they left it for the end, since it’s one for the very first recorded things in the Gospels, and they’ve put other events out of order because they wanted to wait for it.
People will say, the order doesn’t matter. Those people are fools.
The order does matter. Jesus planned his ministry to be at the right time we know that from what he said to Mary, his mother.
He knew his allotted time to die. We know that.
He knew when to go to different cities.
The sheer arrogance of saying that the order of those events does not matter for the message and purpose of his ministry….it’s unbelievable.
For example, Jesus choosing to leave certain places because his following there was getting too big, that has been left out. That happened because of John’s ministry. After the Sermon on the mount. But now John’s been arrested too early, and none of that is going to happen.
They are purposely making the ministry small so they can accommodate focusing on a smaller cast, but that is simply no excuse to leave out what Jesus did, and then add in a bunch of stuff he didn’t do, that is lying about him.
I’ve never used the word Heresy so much about anything Christian made. That’s how shocked I am that this is even happening.
And that thousand of people are approving it, no less.
There are some who point out the problems, but they are being ignored and called judgmental.
There is no power in this Gospel they are showing.
It bothers me that people are saying the feel the Holy Spirit in it, and they feel they are closer to God.
I’ve grown up in Church, I’ve heard that one too many times from people in the Charismatic movement. My dad would say it all the time, and two days later he was the same as he always was, if not sooner.
He got worse, if anything the longer he was in that church environment.
I listened to other people in my youth group say God has touched them so much…and then they acted the same.
Meanwhile, I, a person who hardly ever has emotional experiences while worshiping at Church, and has never gotten into he Camp spirit, and who did not go into those long speeches about how God touched my life–have seen myself change completely from who I was back then to who I am now.
Any observant person will tell you, it is not the people who feel closer to God and get the emotionally charged times with Him who are often the most holy.
In fact, may of those very people are the ones who were the biggest jerks to me in the church. And still are. I was treated very badly by one worship leader, and some pastors who were all up on those spiritual experiences.
While the quiet, unassuming , non-emotional people were the kindness and most compassionate and loyal to me in the long run. Sometimes the people who live in the most sin are even the most forgiving, oddly enough.
And Jesus… really doesn’t read as the kind of person who got emotional reactions of that nature from people a whole lot, and when he did, it is most often that they were mistaken.
Peter’s most emotional reactions to Jesus are usually right when he is wrong about something.
I won’t say emotional responses to God are bad. I’ve had them, in private usually. But the valuable ones are usually accompany with a clarity of mind that shows in a change of actions. I was different after I had those moments. kinder, strong, braver, wiser.
When I feel close to God is not always when I act the most like Him.
So, if the only argument for the Chosen is people are feeling like it’s helping them…I’m not convinced. Show me the proof.
This so going to sound terrible, but, just because you watch something, and you feel like God loves you, and you feel good about Him…doesn’t mean that it’s true.
I once a had a really unsettling experience with this, I can’t go into full detail, but, I was deceived by some one thing claiming to be speaking of God, and saying nice things to me, and it felt good. I remember, my heart lept up inside me–but hours later, I saw that what was being said contradicted the Bible, and The bible says even if it’s an angel of light who preaches to you, do no believe it if it contracts the Word.
I was only deceived for one day, though. Some people are deceived for years.
Mormons are supposed to know Mormonisms is true because they will feel a burning feeling while reading the scriptures, and many of them report having that.
But Mormonism is not true. There is no life in it. People leave it realizing that.
We tend to be so naive, like, you think the devil cannot fake a religious feeling?
Sure, when you do feel the real thing, it’s unmistakable. But, you can still mistake other things for it.
Like, if I take a bite out of vegan burger, I allegedly can not notice it’s not real meat. It can taste similar enough to fool me, even if it’s a little off, many the meat was just prepared a weird way.
But no one ever takes a bite out of a beef hamburger, and says “Wow this is totally vegan!”
It doesn’t happen.
In the same way, a fake Spiritual feeling can fool you, it can taste kind of like God, the texture may be similar, but then something is just a little off and you realize it.
But the Real God cannot be mistaken when He does show up.
It can seem unfair, because the real experience may not ever come to you if you don’t seek it, but the fake most certainly can, and will. But that is Life.
I’ve been fooled once, I don’t want to be fooled again.
Perhaps to the non Christians, who may be reading this, this all sounds a little weird.
I guess it is, Christians ourselves don’t really think of it as all that normal. But it is a part of life. Either you deny it or you don’t.
I dont expect the non-Christians to care if this show is accurate or not anyway.
But those are my reason for decrying it. And I think everyone who read the Bible should be doing so.
I may drop it. I’m getting tired of this. And if it’s not profiting me to watch it, then what’s the point. But on the other hand, I do wonder if I should keep pointing out it’s problems in the hopes that some might be convinced not to heed it.
I don’t know what I’ll decide.
If you have any thoughts about the show, feel free to comment, I usually reply to all my comments if they aren’t spam.
Utnil next time, stay honest–Natasha.