Remember when movies about the Bible were considered cheesy? But you watched them anyway and they were pretty good?! Now they seem to be more cinematic, very appealing & riddled with visual effects, some depend more on the VFX than the context of the story. Bible films aren’t new, I’m sure we’ve all seen the 10 Commandments and many Jesus’ films. However, this year be prepared! A trend has hit the theaters with Bible films! A lineup is waiting for you with Jesus, Mary and even Noah! It’s ironic how each portrayal and rendition of the characters and stories have been developed towards our liking. The Jesus’s keep getting more handsome, the Mary’s more attractive and apparently the Noah’s are getting buffer–or becoming more like a gladiator than a servant of God. What baffles me is the Bible’s description vs. Hollywood’s depiction. Take Isaiah’s description of Christ:
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows,and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Essentially, the real Jesus, whom existed in an era of no photography (which is very interesting to me and loving of our Father, because we would most definitely forsake the Man and worship the pixels) was a man in which other men were ashamed of. A man who was unappealing, unattractive & filled with pain. I don’t want to be a debbie downer about the Bible movies, and I’m not saying to watch these films is inherently sinful. I Just want to remind you that these films, they’re not Scripture, and it’s not Christianity. If you’re going to watch them, take them for what they are, movies, not a hermeneutic to Scripture. Be cautious in allowing a movie to give you “better biblical understanding”. That would be like depending on Peter Jackson’s adaptations of The Hobbit to provide a clear understanding of the books. Many Tolkien disciples would shudder at the sound of that! Everyone agrees that the best way to understand any story is to go directly to the source and read it yourself. Like wise, Christianity isn’t understood on the big screen, it’s understood through Christ. And Christ is known through Scripture, lived through sinful men & women, who’ve been redeemed by Christ who humbly follow Him to the end. His word gives life, not a movie, His people paint His love, not a studio production armed with pixels and shadows of lights projected to a screen to stirr you emotionally for a dollar (or 10). They may serve their purpose for our amusement–but that’s the danger isn’t it? Christ is not an amusement, He is musement. They are nothing more than films for amusement. They are made because they make $$$$. The film industry are experts at manipulating stories to pull our emotional strings. We pay them to feed our emotions, as if we don’t have a healthy dose of feelings, or perspective, or something. If pulling our feelings makes the industry profit, they will do it. So I’m writing this as food for thought. Rather than be fueled by shadows on the wall, go out into the world and do something for real because of Scripture. Be fueld by the Holy Spirit, not a movie. Find someone to pray for, find a shepherd to serve, preach the Magnitude of Christ–that is far greater than any Hollywood film–even with all their VFX, it can’t compare with the reality of someones passion for Christ! To God be the glory!
For your amusement: