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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials.

Questions to Ask While Watching “The Son of God”

jesus SOGOn opening day of the new Son of God movie produced by Roma Downey and husband Mark Burnett, we are sharing an article by Dr. Randy White, one of our radio guests on Stand Up For The Truth. As Dr. White and as we view this film, we are going to have this conversation on our program in the days ahead. That said, we should all be asking key questions as we consume (or choose not to consume), this film.

Questions to Ask While Watching “The Son of God”

Dr. Randy White   (Reprinted here with permission) 

I have not seen “The Son of God,” Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s sure-to-be-blockbuster movie. I am sure I will see it, and want to prepare my mind to critique the movie fully. This article contains the list of some of the questions I’ll be asking as I watch the movie.

First, I want to share some thoughts on the promotion given to the movie by the church community, and then some of the things I expect I’ll find in the movie.

Why Is The Church Promoting This Movie?

If a New Age Catholic wrote a book about Jesus, would we be buying cases of the book to distribute to our church members and their friends? I doubt it. As the dad of a young man who is preparing for a career in movie script-writing, I am keenly aware that movies are based on the written word—the script. Even if such a book was an adequate presentation of Jesus, would the church be concerned with the identity of the author of the book? Of course it would!

What’s good for books is good for movies. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have written a script and produced a movie, and it is the Pastor’s job to approach such a work critically. One of the things I’ve learned to do over the years is to choose my books based on the author. Does the author have a track record? Does the author have credentials? Does the author know what they are talking about? Even the first-time author has some kind of track record—it is what is printed on the back cover of the book!

Roma Downey has a spiritual track record. Her Master’s degree is from the University of Santa Monica, for which she earned a Masters in Spiritual Psychology.  Don’t go into her movie without knowing that the degree she has will have influence on the work she does.  From the University of Santa Monica’s own website, here are the “Benefits of USM’s M.A. Program in Spiritual Psychology”

  • Experiencing enhanced spiritual awareness through knowing yourself as a Divine Being having a human experience.
  • Manifesting greater success and fulfillment personally and professionally.
  • Transforming your consciousness and your life by integrating the Principles and Practices of Spiritual Psychology.
  • Mastering powerful Soul-Centered Basic Skills—tools for spiritual evolution.
  • Resolving (healing) your own issues (anything that disturbs your peace).
  • Aligning with your Soul’s purpose.
  • Fulfilling your deepest aspirations through discovering effective and joy-filled ways of making a meaningful contribution in the world.
  • Participating with a community of like-hearted individuals.
  • Discovering your own answers to these essential questions:
    1) Who Am I?
    2) What Is My Purpose?
    3) How Can I Make a Meaningful Contribution?[i]

Can I ask bluntly:  Why are we letting this woman have even the slightest degree of influence in our churches? Why do we invite her to the most influential places of Christian ministry without bringing up her New Age beliefs, calling for her to reject these beliefs?   I can’t even imagine any sane pastor, even those of a strong church-growth mindset, making a presentation like this—

Fellow Church members, Roma Downey has written a book called “The Son of God.” Roma was educated in how to know yourself as “a Divine Being having a human experience.” She has a degree that enables her to know how to use “Soul-Centered Basic Skills” for your own “spiritual evolution.”She can help us “resolve anything that disturbs our peace.” I heartily recommend her book.

Can I be so bold as to say that the pastor would be shown the door?

If you want to know more about Roma Downey’s education, click here.  Learn how she learned “the process of Self-Counseling, to connect with your Inner Counselor, a source of Wisdom, Unconditional loving, and Compassion that resides at the level of the Authentic Self,” and other garbage.

What I Expect to See

Because of the background of the author and the nature of the movie industry, I expect “the feel-good movie of the year.” Thus, I might add, I expect to be criticized for this article. “This movie will do a lot of good, you should praise it instead of criticize it.” We love to feel good!

Specifically, however, I suspect to see the following—

  • A politically correct Jesus – He will look like we want him to look, talk like we want him to talk, and act like we want him to act.
  • A Jesus free from the Old Testament – He will be free from the Law and free from Israel.
  • An anti-Semitic Jesus – He will make us hate those Jews who did this to our Jesus.
  • A Jesus loved by the masses but hated by the people we hate – or, in other words, a socialist/Marxist Jesus, a “people’s Jesus” who enables the people to rise above their dictators.
  • A Jesus whose death was a pity and makes us feel bad – rather than one who willingly laid down His life.

I hope I am wrong on each of these (and I will gladly say I was wrong).

Questions I will be asking—

  • Is Jesus presented as pre-existent?
    • Is there any indication that Jesus is the eternal Son of God?
    • Does it appear that Jesus “began” in Bethlehem?
    • Is Jesus the Creator, through whom all things were made?
    • Is Jesus presented as the Jewish Messiah coming to establish the Kingdom of God?
      • Is there any concept that Jesus is the fulfillment of ancient prophecy?
      • Are we shown that Jesus was sent to receive “the throne of His Father David” and that He would “reign over the house of Jacob?”
      • Is there any indication that Jesus would restore creation and fulfill that at which Adam failed?
      • Is Jesus presented as the only option for salvation?
        • He will likely be presented as “the way, the truth, and the life,” but will we be informed that “no man comes to the Father but by Me?”
        • Will the uninformed be inspired that Jesus was a good man and a great spiritual Being, or will they be informed that Jesus is their only spiritual option?
        • Is Jesus’ death presented as an essential act of propitiation, or is it an act of love which motivates our obedience?
          • Will the work of Christ on the cross be presented at that which motivates us to be our spiritual best, or that which fully paid the price of sin and made salvation and the forgiveness of sins possible?
          • Is there any indication that Jesus is the returning judge and King?
            • Without a picture of a returning Judge and King, we simply have a motivational story. If Jesus is coming back to “judge the living and the dead,” then we need to commit our lives to Him alone.

I realize that no movie can cover it all adequately (just as no sermon can).  Because of time constraints, I will be forgiving of some of these being left out. But, my sad prediction is that I will come out of the movie feeling good about Jesus, and—if the movie was my only source of information—not knowing that Jesus is the eternal Son of God sent as Jewish Messiah in fulfillment of every Hebrew prophecy and is my only hope for salvation, the only One who has paid the price, or can, for my sin and the sin of the world, the One whose return I must prepare for by accepting the gift of salvation given by grace, through faith.

Hoping again that I am wrong.

Dr. Randy White is pastor of First Baptist Church of Katy, TX and ministers online at www.randywhiteministries.org



 

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29 Responses to “Questions to Ask While Watching “The Son of God””

  1. Josh #

    is it your job just to attack everything that comes out? Are you the only source of the answer. I thought that was Jesus. And if it opens up conversation about Jesus why are you on the constant attack as if you are some kind of a thority on Jesus? do us a favor and go before the Lord and actually get to know him before you go ranting and raving about something that you probably learned something in marry

    February 28, 2014 at 10:32 AM Reply
    • Apologetix #

      Do you actually read the Bible? Do you understand that there will be deception in the last days? Do you understand that the anti-christ will come as a saviour to the world from this new age system claiming to be "god"? Do you understand that the Jesus of today within the catholic, charismatic, emergent, seeker sensative and new age churches in not the same Jesus of the Bible?The Jesus they preach is an anti-biblical Jesus an anti-christian Jesus, eveything the anti-christ is is the Jesus they preach. A hero, a saviour, a peace maker, accepting of everyone. So many who call themselves christian are being decieved into following this feel good Jesus who in actuality is the anti-christ. It's truly sad that there is a lack of discernment in the churches today.

      February 28, 2014 at 12:21 PM Reply
      • Terry Swicegood #

        THIS^^^^^^^^ The Bible says multiple times warning us DO NOT BE DECEIVED!! Do not rely on mans teachings and false doctrines…..The bible says Study to show ourselves approved.

        March 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM Reply
    • Agree with you josh. Seems like the accuser of the brethren has a lot of help. Confirms the bible that says even the elect will be deceived. Jesus had a lot of judgement for the religious leaders. It seems things have not changed. I have read the bible many times and in different translations. I have persoally met Jesus of the bible. He is just like the Jesus in Mark. healing calling, forgiving, feeding people, defending his disciples, eating, preaching and warning about the self righteous. The above is very harmful and hurts the kingdom of God and breaks His heart. . Of coarse as the Bible says they think they are doing the right thing. Too bad

      .

      March 2, 2014 at 11:57 AM Reply
  2. lyn #

    Josh,

    IF you would consider the religious beliefs of both Downey and her husband, you'd understand the need to exercise discernment concerning this movie. Being gullible will cause many to stumble.

    If you desire to know more about Christ, you do not need a movie, you only need a Bible. Christ did not come so movies could be made about Him as a means of entertainment; Satan will use every means possible to deceive….Hollywood is riddled with Satanic influences. A right understanding of the new age beliefs will benefit you greatly. For example, Downey listens to teachings from Eckart Tolle; are you familiar with him? If you are not familiar with Eckart Tolle, he is a New Age teacher who twists the Bible and adds it to his Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Shintoist philosophy. She also has a degree in spiritual psychology from Santa Monica, it promotes new age beliefs and ideas. Downey claims she spoke with her dead mother through psychic John Edwards. If you are interested, I can and will provide links and sources for you to follow up on.

    In short, Downey and her husband's 'jesus' is NOT the same Jesus of the bible!

    February 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM Reply
  3. Therese #

    We are to be Bereans and sorry to say
    You did not read this whole article or you wouldn't
    Be so blind
    And even more importantly you do not know Scripture!

    Very sad:)

    February 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM Reply
  4. Anastazia #

    These are excellent questions, & a very well-written, discerning article! I will NOT support their new age catholic lies, will not give them my money, will not allow this to influence my walk or spirit in ANY way by opening up to it! When I see all the 'christian' movies, I always think about the verse that says Jesus said to Thomas, "YOU believe BECAUSE you see…but BLESSED are those who believe WITHOUT seeing!"
    If you need a movie to feed & grow your faith, you're already in trouble….
    ….we need the Word of God! THAT is how faith comes!

    Please, people, ASK GOD if He wants you to go! & LISTEN…& OBEY!

    We do NOT need to be entertained…we need to walk in HOLINESS, set apart from this corrupt world!
    Roma & her husband are also hard-core catholics.
    I will not support the lies this movie is sure to contain!
    I pray you won't, either!

    February 28, 2014 at 2:12 PM Reply
  5. Cyndi #

    So I have to wonder, will they have the "Young James Brolin look-alike" finish the words of Jesus this time? "I am the way the truth and the life, NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME". They left off the last half of that most important proclamation from the Savior in their Bible series. "….no one comes to the father but by me" is the most important statement in the history of humanity….the destiny of mankind depends on it….and they left it off. Won't be watching this one.

    February 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM Reply
    • Charles Gotcher #

      So very true Cyndi. And yes it will be left out as 'Son of God' is just a re-editing of 'The Bible' mini series with some extended scenes added. And satan has been removed from it. I guess the temptation of Christ is no longer considered of any importance.

      March 3, 2014 at 7:22 PM Reply
  6. Denise Mountenay #

    I just saw the SON of GOD Movie…and it was excellent!! THE FULL GOSPEL is in there…Jesus doing miracles, LOVING people, telling the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, healing the sick, born of Mary, SUFFERED and DIED on the CROSS as the Passover LAMB…was RAISED from the DEAD, and is ALIVE…oh, and the Pharisees are in this movie too…just as they are here today…putting doubt in peoples minds, and not believing that HE is the SON OF GOD…hypocrites…vipers and snakes…he called those "religious" people who did not recognize or support HIM, but condemned HIM…just like some are condemning this movie…by the way, Roma plays Mary, mother of Jesus in this movie, and she does an excellent JOB!!! Oh, yes, and Jesus (Yeshua) also says…"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" GREAT MOVIE…bring your family and friends!!! They might get saved…or rededicate their lives to Christ!

    February 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM Reply
    • Charles Gotcher #

      I hope not to offend or be considered rude but I honestly want to know if any of your family or friends were saved by or rededicated their lives due to this movie or the preceding mini series. I ask because this is a question that I had too and I found research after the 'Passion of the Christ' movie that showed that a very small percentage of viewers had any change to their spiritual situation due to seeing this movie. Most of the ones who said that they did were already believers active in church.

      March 3, 2014 at 7:32 PM Reply
  7. JTH #

    Ezekiel14:13-14.

    February 28, 2014 at 9:13 PM Reply
  8. cindy #

    I am at a loss as to all of the critiquing done after stating, "I haven't seen the movie yet."

    March 1, 2014 at 7:32 AM Reply
    • Charles Gotcher #

      The 'Son of God' movie is just a cut down re-edited version of 'The Bible' mini series with a few extended scenes added so anyone who saw the mini series has by default seen the content of this movie. But the bigger point the author is making is that, and I fully agree and practice the same, we should be very careful when we view any material outside of the Word without first considering the source and their core beliefs and practices. When you research the beliefs of the producers of this series you will find intensive New Age Western Spirituality more than Christian Biblical foundation. I am amazed at the numbers of believers who even come to me about some 'truth' they found on a website and when I query them as to who provides the site and what are there core beliefs, the have no idea. Most spiritual sites have a 'Statement of Faith' or "What We Believe' section. The author of this article has one called "Doctrinal Distinctives' and I did not even read his article here until I had read it and listened to the video on that page. The Word of our Lord implores us to be innocent as doves and shrewd as snakes.

      March 3, 2014 at 7:48 PM Reply
  9. lyn #

    here are some early reviews that have trickled in…

    "This movie changes biblical fact in every scene: Joseph & Mary being run out of Nazareth, the wiseman being run out of Herod's palace, no Father or Holy Spirit at Jesus baptism, a female disciple always with the 12, Jesus tells Peter, "We're going to change the world", Jesus going into Lazarous tomb to raise him…etc., etc. If this was a Bible it would be proclaimed heretical!"

    "I'm not going to lie and say that the idea of the movie is not great, however, the Bible was clearly not directly followed… that speaks enough volumes for me. The last thing this world needs is just another "feel good" story. This world needs TRUTH. Biblical truth. And as a Christian, I'm not going to stand behind the "feel good"movement (after all, that is just another aspect of the "prosperity gospel"). If they are going to make a movie based on the Bible, then it needs to go BY THE BIBLE, and not the parts of it. Taking the whole aspect of Satan out of it totally denounces the reality of sin and that is the entire reason why Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us. " taken from http://www.christiancinema.com/catalog/article_in

    March 1, 2014 at 10:08 AM Reply
  10. Hannah K. #

    I understand the new age teachings that are prominent in their backgrounds but does that mean that these are their beliefs? Because someone has a catholic background does that mean that they don't know Christ as their savior? How can we know? do we know their hearts? No, only God knows there hearts and we can not judge them. This is not to say that we should not use desecration in watching this movie that is wise. It is to say that if these people know Christ or not is not our to say.
    Also Jesus did not come to be made into entertainment He came to give us life eternal with Him! But does that make it wrong for there to be made a movie of his life? If it causes people to ask questions and brings up conversation about Jesus is that bad? I don't think so I believe that God can still use this for good. As I said before to use discretion is wise and to ask is this biblical is needed. To say oh I won't see the movie and give my money towards their lies is not my conviction but if it is someone else's I will not judge their motive. I also don't think that one persons conviction should be forced on others but rather that personal convictions should be put to action because they come from God not because it is what is expected of you by the people around you.

    March 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM Reply
    • ivy #

      I agree totally…but what I would like to say is that Hollywood is ran by the Illuminati and they do not worship Jesus Christ, but Satan.So with that being said they will never promote ,speak,or teach the TRUE GOSPEL of our one and ONLY FATHER..THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.BUT it can,and will be use for good because everything that happens in life is the Plan of our GOD.

      March 1, 2014 at 10:32 PM Reply
    • lyn #

      Hannah,
      You need to understand the new age teachings do, in fact, shape the belief of Downey and her husband! God will not leave His true children in false religions because it would be deadly and dangerous to their spiritual life. For example, Christ commands us to come out, to touch no unclean thing. Too many have no understanding how deadly false religion is, so they compromise. They fail to see just how dangerous movies like 'Son of God' can be. For example, one reviewer that I quoted stated there was a female disciple. That is a lie. Another states that Satan is not included, if this is true, it is huge. Mankind NEEDS to be taught about sin and Satan, they need to be instructed on the 'whole counsel' as the Apostle Paul states in Acts 20:27.

      The Bible warns about adding to or taking from God's word, and rightly so {Deut. 4:2}. It would appear this Hollywood version has done just that by adding a female disciple and taking Satan out of the picture. To make light of the warning in the word of God is sin. It is to present a false understanding, it is deception. Who is the father of deception? Go back to the garden for the answer. Anytime you meddle with God's truth, you invite error and deception. There was a reason why men like Luther, Huss, Tyndale and many others so vehemently opposed error…they understood the danger. Sola Scriptura was the cry of the Reformation; sadly, in our day, compromise is the theme of the day.
      I mean no disrespect, but your comment reeks of compromise. Your misuse and misunderstanding of 'judge' is troubling as well. It isn't judgmental to warn others of spiritual dangers, it is our duty as Christians! "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. " Eph. 5:11
      Can we know their hearts? Well, examine the fruit! {do read Acts chapter 8 where Peter vehemently calls out Simon for his phoniness, and his sin} In this case, the fruit of Downey and her husband is not good. Their new age beliefs, mixed with Catholicism is both dangerous and deadly. Downey claims to have spoken to her dead mother through psychic John Edwards; the Bible commands against this "There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. " Deut. 18:10-12
      We need nothing more than the written word of God as a guide for truth. We also need to remember that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Christ warns " Take heed that no man lead you astray. " Matthew 24:4 We would all do well to heed this warning. It is no 'little thing' to remove one shred of biblical truth, or to add to it. It is shameful that so many see it as 'no big deal'.

      March 3, 2014 at 12:30 PM Reply
  11. pete #

    another movie about Jesus. Like this nation needs that? So every five or ten years america needs a movie to support their yellow page Bible faith? People go see it just to get warm fuzzy feeling? Typical American spiritual laodekian Christianity that is based on feelings.

    March 1, 2014 at 7:42 PM Reply
  12. Saw the movie yesterday and while most of it was very good was very disturbed that they left the last part of John 14:6 off just like they did in "The Bible" series. This is not just a slip up. They are making a statement just like Mother Theresa did in her last book "A Simple Path" where she said her job was to make Hindus better Hindus, Buddhists better Buddhists and Catholics better Catholics. Then when I read that Rona is a follower of Echard Tolle it all made sense. He teaches the same thing. Buyer beware.

    March 2, 2014 at 12:33 AM Reply
  13. JTH #

    God knows people by there fruits. If you see a Christian in sin are you going too stand by and say nothing to them when you know this person is sinning willing?

    March 2, 2014 at 4:52 PM Reply
    • I am a very spiritual person so don't need a movie to remind me. I listen to my head, heart & soul.

      March 3, 2014 at 2:19 PM Reply
      • Christians need to be in the Word of God to get their truth. If we get our truth from our wicked hearts and foolish heads, our lost souls are nothing but unregenerated, secular humansits.

        March 4, 2014 at 4:14 AM Reply
      • standupwi #

        Might want to listen to God through His Word… ;-)

        May 22, 2014 at 9:47 AM Reply
  14. Bien #

    I've watched the movie and studying the Bible myself, I was really disappointed and hurt. They have change almost 20 % of what it says in the Bible and replaced it to sell this movie. The title itself didn't do justice of what it really means written in the book of John. Truly, we should ask God for wisdom and have strong discernment of things like this.

    March 3, 2014 at 11:46 AM Reply
  15. lyn #

    Here's a review that all who defend this movie need to read…
    http://www.sunnyshell.org/2014/02/movie-review-so

    Is accuracy and truth essential? You better believe it is!

    March 3, 2014 at 2:35 PM Reply
  16. Guest #

    I don't understand why true Christians would want to or need to see this movie, or any other "Christian" movie especially one that claims to tell the truth about Christ.

    Christians, we already have the testimony of Christ and it is the Bible that you hold in your hands. Do we need another testimony? No, we have eyewitness testimonies already from those who lived with, ministered with, ate with the Lord Jesus Christ. They sat at His feet and listened to Him for three years. We have the eyewitness testimony of the Apostle Paul as well who saw Christ face to face and received a message directly from Him. We need no other word. We need no other testimony. We have the New Testament – a testimony of Jesus Christ. This Word is inspired, it is infallible, it is without error. It is sanctifying because it is the truth. We do not need another man's testimony, which is what this movie is. It's another testimony and it no doubt has another Jesus and another gospel.

    If you will not believe the written Word of God, God's own testimony of His Son, or if that is not enough you and you cannot be content with that, then do not call yourself a true Christian.

    March 4, 2014 at 6:54 AM Reply
  17. Anne #

    I can not get my head around a Christian going to see a movie that portrays Christ! Images of our Lord – in my mind, they are blasphemous … I cannot even bear to glance at photos of images of Christ.
    God gave us The Word, and the Holy Spirit blessed The Word to our souls …not *pictures*.

    March 5, 2014 at 5:13 PM Reply
  18. It is so sad to see fundamentalist eager to show their self-righteousness and I just wonder with billion of dollar that goes through their churches why do not reach and go to the center of the beast Hollywood and produce high quality, artistic representation of Christ, Why no train Christians to transform Hollywood, political leaders with great discern, accomplished scientist that enjoy the wonder of creation. The only thing I see is quick to show how bad are the pagans trying to understand Jesus and very soon we have president Obama saying the America is no longer a Christian church and they are silent while atheist ideas coming from Marxism keep dominating the politics in our country. So when they must talk, they are silent protecting their interest on their 501 c status and salaries.

    March 16, 2014 at 4:41 AM Reply

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