The Bible miniseries on the History Channel is one we cannot endorse. Many have said, “What’s the big deal? It’s getting unchurched people interested in the Bible, isn’t it?” The problem with this is that the complete Gospel – the only message by which the Bible says we can be regenerated to life by the Holy Spirit – is missing! No sin, to repentance. And there’s something else you need to know. Something huge.
Open your Bible to the Last Supper and then watch this:
If you didn’t catch it, hover your mouse pointer over this verse, John 14:6.
I found that video embedded in a blog post by Christian author Sunny Shell, who was one of many producers Roma Downey and Mark Bennett contacted to help promote this series before its release. But when she saw what these two had done to the real breathed-out Word of God, she flatly refused. Read her story. It is excellent – especially the Q & A interview at the end. Then share this with your friends and family who still think this miniseries is perfectly fine:
About a week ago, I was contacted by the History Channel’s media group asking me to help promote “The Bible”, a new mini-series that was created and produced by Roma Downey, (Touched By An Angel) with her husband Mark Burnett (producer: The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice).
After prayerfully reviewing the materials and consulting with my wise husband, I stated that I am unable to participate in promoting this endeavor due to its highly unbiblical content, as well as their portrayal of championing the virility of man while palliating the glory, righteousness and holiness of God. God our Father revealed Himself through His holy word (the real Bible) to proclaim:
- God’s righteousness;
- Man’s depravity;
- Humanity’s desperate need for a Savior—the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
From the words of the creators and producers of not-“The Bible” mini-series, their purpose is to portray God:
- As an angry God who punishes the “bad” people and curses the “good” people who disobey;
- As a really cool deity who still blesses all the “good” people no matter what they do;
- Whose ultimate desire is to “change the world”, make people nicer and happier through social reform and show all humanity the “good” we all have within ourselves.
Beloved saints of the Lord Jesus Christ, I share this review out of my abiding love and devotion to our heavenly Father, my great love and compassion for God’s elect, and those who are still lost. Please, be careful what you teach and what you condone.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea…It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.”
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” ~Matthew 6:9
Opening: Noah quotes Genesis while he’s on the ark with his family (though only Moses knew this and was commissioned by God to write the Pentateuch). During this nice little family story time, Noah tells his family that God caused the flood because Cain killed Abel and not because God saw that the people of Noah’s time were consumed with evil (Gen 6:5-8). Noah’s monologue continues with Noah saying, “God has seen too much evil in people’s hearts…wrong choices, wrong decisions”, though it is written in God’s word that there is nothing but evil in all our hearts; we are dead in our trespasses, born sinners and enslaved to the sinful passions of our flesh until we are born again as new creations in Christ Jesus the Lord (Rom 3:10-12, 2 Cor 5:17, Eph 4:20-24) .
First attack on the Gospel: Right after Noah’s monologue, the voice-over narrator states, “After the flood waters engulfed the world, there is a new beginning for Noah’s descendants, and a chance [for them] to restore the relationship between God and humanity.” This statement completely negates the Gospel of Jesus Christ while it denies the depravity of man, the holiness of God, and humanity’s desperate need for a Savior.
God visits Abraham: Never does Abraham demonstrate reverent fear of the Lord, rather he speaks to Lord as if He were a man. While this is happening, the two angels sent into the city are attacked by the people of the city and come to Lot’s door, breathless and begging for Lot’s help. The angels who earlier feared the people, now reveal they are wearing armor under their cloaks and have swords which is how they fight and kill their way out of the city. God destroys the city as the angels run away bleeding and injured; barely escaping with Lot and his family (Gen 19:1-22), as opposed to the accurate biblical telling of the angels appropriating their God-given, supernatural power from the moment they entered the city to the way they left.
Sacrifice of Isaac: Though Scripture depicts Abraham as one who quickly and faithfully obeys God’s call to sacrifice Isaac (Gen 22:1-3), in this mini-series we find Abraham arguing and irreverently talking back to God, “What? No! Haven’t I shown you enough faith?”
After Abraham lifts his knife to strike the boy, biblically, the angel of the Lord tells Abraham not to touch Isaac. Abraham then looks up and sees a ram with its horns caught in a thicket which he understands to be God’s substitutionary sacrifice; foreshadowing Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world. But in the mini-series, Abraham asks Isaac for his forgiveness, the angel only calls Abraham’s name and there is a cute little lamb just standing there, not caught in anything (Gen 9-13). The ram with it’s horn caught in a thicket is a very important thing to change. The ram and it’s horns symbolize strength while the thicket represents the crown of thorns our Savior wears as He’s being mocked by Pilate’s men. In Scripture, Abraham has no idea exactly where he is going (Gen 22:1-4) only that God will lead him to a mountain in the region of Moriah. But in the mini-series Sarah knows exactly where they are, and meets them at the foot of the mountain, hoping to stop Abraham. She cries out to Isaac who shows resentment towards Abraham for almost sacrificing him. Isaac runs and embraces his mother and Sarah glares at Abraham. The scene ends with Abraham rejected and standing alone.
Moses: God never tells Moses that he’s standing on holy ground so Moses keeps his sandals on (another clear omission of God’s holiness [Exodus 3:5]). Moses speaks to Pharaoh himself (rather than Aaron speaking to Pharaoh) and Moses doesn’t argue with God when He first calls him to this task (Exodus 3:10-4:17), instead, Moses is full of courage throughout the mini-series.
Second attack on the Gospel: After the crossing of the Red Sea (which in Downey and Burnett depicts as happening on wet and muddy land rather than the miracle of dry land) Moses confidently declares, “We’re going to fulfill Abraham’s covenant with God.” What? This was a one-way covenant that God initiated while Abram (Gen 15:12-21) was asleep. The hope in this covenant is that God promises to this great and awesome thing for Abram and his descendants without any assistance or participation from Abram or any man. God established the covenant and He alone will, and can fulfill it, just as He promised. The correlation between this covenant and the new covenant that Christ establishes (through His shed blood) is once again, an unbreakable covenant because it’s initiated and fulfilled only by God Himself: for those He calls, He grants them the gift of repentance that leads to salvation found only in His Son (John 6:44, Rom 8:29-30, 2 Cor 7:10).
John the Baptist: In Scripture, John the Baptist is the one who is commissioned by God the Father to “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” (Matt 3:1-3). But in the mini-series, when John sees Jesus as he’s baptizing people, rather than proclaim who Christ is and how unworthy he is to even untie Jesus’ sandals (Luke 3:16), John merely says, “Lord, you need to baptize me.” To which Jesus replies, “John, what you are doing is right.” Again, the mini-series neglects to reveal Christ’s deity, His greatness and that His desire is to fulfill all righteousness (Matt 3:13-15).
Third attack on the Gospel: Prior to being beheaded John exclaims “He [Jesus] will bring a new age of righteousness and justice. His [Jesus’] power will draw all men to a new world.” This entire statement is very new-age and doctrinally unsound. Jesus is not interested in social reform. He’s interested in reconciling utterly sinful human beings to a holy, righteous and good God through: His substitutionary death for sinful man, His resurrection of new life for those who’ve repented and trusted in Him, and a glorious eternal life spent in the presence of the Almighty once we’ve completed our sojourn here on earth. Jesus did not come to earth, die, be resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Father so we could have a “better life” here on earth.
Jesus’ calling of Peter: Jesus sees Peter rolling up his nets and asks him if he needs any help. Peter is tired and angry and rudely declines Jesus’ offer. So Jesus just smiles understandably and starts walking in the water toward Peter’s boat. When Jesus gets waist deep, he asks for Peter’s help into the boat. Peter reluctantly helps Jesus. Jesus suggests they go fishing, Peter angrily says “No”. Jesus then smiles and pleads, “Peter, just give me an hour, and I will give you a whole new life.” To which Peter retorts, “Who says I want one?” No majesty, no power and no reverence for Christ is depicted here; only humanity’s vivacious spirit and the God of the universe trying to convince people to follow Him.
Fourth attack on the Gospel: While Jesus and Peter are fishing, Jesus tells Peter He needs Peter to help Him “change the world.” Downey, Burnett and their theological advisers continue to portray the Almighty much like the false pagan gods who something from their subjects in order to do anything. Nowhere in Scripture does God state that He is trying to change the world or needs our assistance with anything; rather our Lord clearly states, without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Also in the Scriptures, our LORD declares He is going to do something magnificent—He’s going to give us new hearts and new minds and conform us into the image of His Son, Christ the Lord. God certainly has no interest in merely making this world a nicer place to live.
Last Supper and Fifth attack on the Gospel: While the actor who portrays Jesus says the bread is the body of Christ and the wine is Jesus’ blood, he never says the most important thing: it is for the forgiveness of sins (Matt 26:28). Though all of Scripture points to the Gospel, in this mini-series, there is no Gospel message; only a message of man’s power to have enough “faith” to see himself through and lead others to a “better place”.
- Second Coming: They have the actor who portrays Jesus to say that he’s coming again, with a smile and in a comforting, reassuring tone; as if Christ’s Second Coming will be a happy day for all…which it won’t be. As it is written, our Lord’s awesome Second Coming will be a time of great rejoicing and relief for believers, and a dread beyond words for unbelievers (2 Thess 1:5-9, Revelations 3:10-11, 22:12).
(by their own merits) to continuously receive blessings regardless of any ungodly behavior.
Q. “Even though there’s a lot of error in this movie, still, don’t you think it’s a great way to show people who God really is, I mean, can’t God use anything to save someone?
A. No, I don’t think this movie is a great way to reveal the truth about God since it’s filled with lies about God. And yes, I realize God can use anything to save someone, but He only chose to use the message of the true Gospel to save all men (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Nowhere in Scripture does God command or allow His children to use the work of Satan to proclaim His truth. And God is clear, anyone who denies Him and defiles His holy character or word, works for the devil, not for God. Since the beginning of time, the devil has attempted to minimize and blaspheme God’s holy character by lulling us to disregard His holiness, justice and righteousness. God has never called His children of light to partner with the works of darkness (2 Cor 6:15-16). As God’s children, we are commanded to pursue holiness, rather than try to find a way to compromise the glory of Christ in order to ‘reach more people’.
Q. “Sunny, don’t you think you’re taking this a bit too seriously? I mean, when’s the last time you saw “the Bible” trending at #1 in social media? Don’t you think this is great!?”
A. Jesus said, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God…Now when He [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs that He was doing. But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He Himself knew what was in man…The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? ‘I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’ ” ~Luke 16:15, John 2:23-25, Jer 17:9-10
Q. “Sunny, this is Roma Downey and her husband’s movie. Don’t you think they have the right to leave out or add into the film whatever they want?”
A. While I agree that this mini-series belongs to Roma Downey and her husband, the story they’re telling doesn’t. The Bible and everything in it belongs to God and no one else. God clearly states in His word, that He has given no one “creative liberties” with His word or His immutable character (Is 46:5-11, James 1:16-18).
Q. “I know they left things out in the mini-series Sunny, but did you really expect them to fit the entire Bible into 10 hours?”
A. No, I didn’t expect them to include every detail of God’s word in that short time span. However, when I said they left much out and added much in, I didn’t mean biblical content, I meant biblical truths were left out and lies were added in. Downey and Burnett tried to re-write the word of God to fit their idea and the public’s idea of who God should be; someone more approachable, easy to get along with, someone who makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. And this depiction of God is false. It is the world’s idol of who they want their god to be. Their god who has no power, no authority and no salvation.
Q. “Don’t you think it’s useful for all Christians to have this great springboard to talk to people who normally wouldn’t be interested in God or the Bible (i.e., people at work, school, etc.)?”
A. Let me ask you a question. Do you believe Romans 1:16-17, that the Gospel of Christ alone has the power to save and reveal the righteousness of God? If you do, why would you need anything else to talk to people about the Lord? If you’re sincerely desiring to learn ways to reach more people for Christ, go to www.livingwaters.com to find out how you can biblically and effectively share the Gospel in every area of your life. Trust me, God’s word was sufficient for Christ and all His faithful witnesses of old and I assure you, God’s word is still sufficient to do the job today. God doesn’t need the spectacle of Hollywood to make Himself more presentable to the world.
Q. “Okay, I agree with everything you just mentioned, but don’t you think the more mature Christian could use this as a teaching tool so we’re better equipped to defend our faith and help those weak in faith to distinguish between the errors and truth?”
A. In law enforcement, when they’re training officers to quickly discern counterfeit money, do you know what they do? They tell them to study the authentic bill so well, that it’ll be easy to spot a counterfeit. Just the same, God commands His children, children of the light, children of truth, to be students of His word so that we are not tossed by the waves of false teaching and false doctrine (Matt 7:15-20, 16:12, Eph 4:11-14).
Q. “Well, don’t you think it’s still a ‘good’ movie? I thought it was well made and quite entertaining.”
A. Remember what Jesus said, only God is good (Mk 10:18); therefore if whatever anyone does is not of God, then it of no good. Besides, God never created us, nor revealed Himself to us, for our entertainment, He did it to make us a holy people—set apart for Him.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
Read (below) other biblical reviews that honor God rather than entertain the masses and please help me spread God’s truth and warn the other saints of these wolves in sheep’s clothing. Then faithfully share the true Gospel to a dying and depraved world (2 Tim 2:15, Heb 4:11-13).