A Christ of No Consequence

I would just as soon listen to a gangster lecture on honesty as watch Hollywood portray the Bible — Vance Havner

Several people have asked me to share my thoughts about movies and television shows like presently popular show The Chosen. Since other godly folks have already specifically addressed it (see links below), I’ll keep this brief and more general in nature.

I remain highly skeptical that entertainment reenactments of the life of Christ can have the weightiness the God-breathed Scriptures demand for speaking of The Christ. One reason for my skepticism is that I’ve yet to hear of viewers so offended they stone their Sony flatscreen, unlike when the real Stephen and Paul stood before real sinners solemnly preaching Jesus as the Christ. As Neil Postman observed several decades ago, our civilization is amusing itself to death. In our addiction to amusement, the reality is easily ignored: The Holy One of Israel is being presented to surfeited sinners the same way Sponge Bob Square Pants is – inconsequentially.

Christ did not send out His apostles as a drama team to reenact what they had seen. They bore witness with words of weighty eternal consequence. They didn’t play a part; they laid down their real lives The Holy Spirit enabled Christ’s apostles (eyewitnesses) to speak authoritatively about the meaning of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and ascension (e.g., Acts 2). They proclaimed the Gospel with an authoritative summons calling all men everywhere to repent and believe (Acts 17:30-31; 26:20).

When the God-breathed record of Christ’s life becomes speculative amusement or moralistic entertainment, His cross is made of no effect (I Corinthians 1:17; 2:1-5; Hebrews 4:12-13; John 20:30-31; II Tim. 3:14-17).

Vance Havner got it right decades ago: Many today are trying to follow a Jesus who is a wondering rabbi from Galilee who goes about doing good and teaching people the golden rule. But that is over. We are no longer dealing with a meek and lowly Jesus who has nowhere to lay His head. That chapter is past. We are now dealing with a crucified, risen, ascended, glorious and all-consuming LORD who, when He returns, judges the living and the dead.

The infallible Scriptures should have the last word. To an audience that likely had never seen Jesus, Christ’s apostle John wrote the following:  

“We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”

– I John 5:20-21

Here are several thorough, biblical, Christ-honoring critiques of The Chosen.

This podcast from Dr. Scott Aniol.

This podcast from G3 ministries

And this thorough assessment from Ingrid McCullough 

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