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Lowell Brueckner

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A New Movie Called, "The Son of God"


When I was a teenager, my older brother told me about something he had seen concerning advertisers, who would display their product for less than a split second and a person would not be conscious that he had seen anything. Yet, an impression was made on his subconscious mind that effected him positively towards the product. 
Movies that are well-produced, with a good story, appealing background music, good writing, good acting, etc., creates a powerful impression through the eye-gate (as John Bunyan termed it) into the human soul. While you are taken in by this creation, some even overwhelmed by it, you are positively impressed by the main character. 
All of this is fine, if we are talking about secular entertainment, but when we are taking into account a movie, such as the recent production, titled "The Son of God", then we must be very careful of characteristics that are subtilely introduced into the story, to leave you with something less than the biblical revelation of the main person in the film, namely Christ, especially when it concerns his divinity... i.e. the Son of God. In that case, a misinterpretation can mean blasphemy.
Someone directed me to a critical review of the film, written by Sunny Shell.  Before I took her review into account, I went to her website and was very impressed with her doctrinal statement and also the presentation of salvation, which was offered. It was better than most. Sunny Shell is an Asian-American, a professional writer and editor. Early in her review, she stated:  "Last year I was contacted by a media group for The History Channel. They emailed me, requesting my help in promoting their upcoming 10-episode mini-series called 'The Bible'." She wrote a review after watching the entire series and they never contacted her again. I was impressed by that kind of personal conviction.

As to her critique of the professional quality of 'The Son of God', she wrote: "As a movie, it was gripping, emotionally engaging, well-performed and the cinematography was good. I'm not an emotional person, but even I found myself tearing up when Matthew was called away from his tax collecting table to follow Jesus."
Now, her main complaint is that the authority of the Son of God is minimized, and He is portrayed as something far less than absolute Lord and Master. She explained: "I won't go point by point on all the biblical errors in this movie because honestly, there's just not enough room in one review, nor time in one day to cover the ineptness of the writers and producers of this film. I will only cover some of the topics and scenes that are fundamental to God's holy precepts and His loving relationship with His people which include God's authority, righteousness and love."
Just to give you some of her critical points in her own words:
1. In this movie, Jesus is never shown humbling himself and serving the disciples as one of the lowliest servants in a household. But he doesn't have to since throughout the film the Lord is depicted as more of our buddy than our glorious Master and King. So here, the Lord is shown laughing and enjoying this meal with his disciples when suddenly he has a vision of being betrayed by Judas. Then 'pretend Jesus' has a look of surprise and defeated sadness as he tells the disciples, for the first time, that he is going to be betrayed, suffer and die. Though in Scripture the Lord foretold His suffering and death three times prior. (my note: He also said that one of them was a thief and would betray him, long before it happened. You see, He is being portrayed as something less than absolute Master in this situation.)
2. After Jesus has this surprising and upsetting vision of Judas betraying him, he turns to Judas and convinces Judas to betray him. With tears, Judas adamantly refuses. But Jesus endearingly holds Judas' face, then gently and lovingly insists that Judas do it, and do it quickly. Reluctantly, Judas does as Jesus says. In this false adaptation, the other disciples are aware of Judas' betrayal and Peter tries to stop him, but Jesus tells Peter to let him go. (my note: all of this, totally false and unbiblical)
3. In the real Bible, Jesus commands Peter and Andrew to follow Him and they immediately leave their boat and nets and obey Jesus' command. He didn't tell anyone that He came to "change the world" nor did He ask for their help to do so.(In the movie) rather than call Peter and Andrew from their boat while they were fishing, Jesus pleads, "Peter, just give me an hour and I'll give you a whole new life." After sassing Jesus, Peter takes him fishing where Jesus works a miracle and provides him with an abundance of fish. When Peter asks what they are going to do, Jesus says, "Change the world." . Christ came into the world to save sinners from the righteous wrath of God, which is the just penalty for our sins. He never said He came to change the world. He said He came to transform people by giving them new hearts and new minds through repentance and faith in Christ alone
4.  The 13 Disciples Yes, you read that right. I know in Scripture there are only 12 disciples...all men (Peter, Andrew, James and John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot). But in the film, there are 13 disciples, and the thirteenth disciple is a woman named Mary. Not only is she always with them, but she's with them in the boat during the storm when Jesus walks on water; she's with them when they travel privately, though in the Scriptures, Jesus pulled aside and taught only The Mary is also very outspoken and often reproves the male disciples to have more faith as it is very apparent her faith is stronger.  (my note: not bad, coming from a woman... a Christian professional woman, a wife and mother, who rejects the world's doctrine of feminism.)
5. In Scripture Jesus purposefully delays from going to see Lazarus when he was ill, allowing him to die. Then He purposefully goes to see Lazarus after he's been dead four days.When Martha says that Lazarus has died, Jesus is surprised (which he often is throughout this film) and asks to be taken to the tomb. Once Jesus arrives at the tomb, he actually goes in...with Martha! Then he touches Lazarus (who's face is not wrapped), gently cradles his head, weeps, kisses the back of Lazarus' head, quotes some Scripture and gently suggests that Lazarus rise; and he does. The three of them emerge from the tomb as the crowd cheers. (My note: If she is truly depicting this scene, I'm enraged! How dare they tamper with Christ's omniscience and subject him to circumstances, which the Bible shows that He absolutely controlled! It's nothing short of blasphemy!! Who gives anyone license to present Christ according to their imagination, whims or personal concepts? )
There was more, but I already copied more than enough.
After the article, one person offered the comment, which included three Bible portions, which I so often state to people, who want to fool with holy Scripture: "The producers, theologians, & pastors who worked on this film have all professed to be believers. As professing believers, have they forgotten or overlooked Deut 4:2: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you”, or maybe Rev. 22: 18-19: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Then there is Proverbs 30:5-6: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Anytime we add to the words of Scripture we create a false gospel. This movie introduced people to a false Jesus."
Paul says (2 Co.11:4 NAS), "If one comes and preaches another Jesus... you bear this beautifully" (other versions say tolerate). I won't tolerate it and I won't be quiet about it. As to the last verse, to which that person above referred, it is impossible to relegate it to just a single section of Scripture, such as the Law given by Moses (as in Dt.) or the Prophecy of the Apostle John (as in Rev.). It refers to the whole canon of the Old and New Testament. 


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