For the past several days, I've been bombarded by commercials and news show interviews on various channels for a new mini-series set to air on Sunday, March 3, 2013, on The History Channel. Perhaps you've seen many of them, too, for (insert shofar blast here):
And what better time to do so, with Easter being only about a month a way, right?
Now, I normally don't do this kind of thing here on my blog. But I really do feel as if I should offer a word or two (or twenty) of warning here. Before we all go a'jumpin' on the bandwagon to praise & promote History Channel's showing of this mini-series on our social media pages and whatnot, I'd like to say this:
Please keep in mind that this is someone else's interpretation of the Word of God and the various Bible stories found in Scripture. I have to say that in the past, I've found that The History Channel's shows centering on the Bible and Jesus Christ more often than not have leaned heavily in the direction of debunking Christianity, planting seeds of doubt in viewers' minds about Moses' parting of the Red Sea, Noah's Ark, and worse, the validity of Christ actually being the Son of God. At times as I've watched some of these shows, I've felt what I can only describe as an uncomfortable, 'yucky' feeling, as if any minute, Satan would slither up alongside of me in my seat, asking, "Did God REALLY say/do that?"
The History Channel's website for 'The Bible,' touts it this way:
"The Bible comes to life in HISTORY'S epic new series. From Genesis to Revelation, these unforgettable stories unfold through live action and cutting-edge computer generated imagery, offering new insight into famous scenes and iconic characters."
New insight. Really? It'll be interesting to see just what famous scenes they are speaking of, scenes which will allow us to gain 'new insight'.
Over the years, I've enjoyed watching movies like 'The 10 Commandments,' 'King of Kings,' 'The Greatest Story Ever Told,' etc. But keep in mind that, once again, this IS Hollywood taking charge here, and to make scenes and people seem more exciting and larger than life, it's certainly not uncommon for screenwriters, producers and directors to take creative liberties and change things up to gain a larger viewing audience or to cater to a particular people. Personally, just ONCE, I'd love to see Jesus portrayed as a darker-skinned, dark-eyed, Middle Eastern Jew, and not the Nordic and WASPY, blue-eyed, light-haired Savior with the neatly trimmed facial hair and British accent. (Oops -- a much needed addendum here. My apologies to Mel Gibson and company. How I completely forgot about 'The Passion of The Christ' and Jim Caviezel's very non-blue eyed, blonde-haired portrayal of the Messiah is beyond me!)
While I'm no Bible scholar by ANY stretch of the imagination, lately I have found myself
shouting talking back to the TV while watching some of these same movies now, with things like, "Whoa, Jesus never said that!" and "Wait a minute -- I don't remember seeing THAT scene in the Bible!"
I know, I know -- I'm being what my daughter, a huge SNL fan, would call a 'Debbie Downer.' I'm sure 'The Bible's' producers, Mark Burnett and his wifey, actress Roma Downey (of Touched By An Angel fame), moved forward here with the very best of intentions in the making of this mini-series.
I'm certainly not saying we should boycott this series, nor am I asking anyone to tell family and friends to avoid it like one of the plagues we may see Moses calling down upon Pharoah in one of the episodes. This actually could be a darn fine opportunity to discuss our faith and our life in Christ with those friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and classmates who normally wouldn't give us the time of day, but just MIGHT now because they've watched this or are at least aware of it because of all the hype.
All I'm doing here is simply reminding and cautioning us all who profess to follow Christ, to be wise and discerning as we watch these kinds of things, and that the best way to gain new insight into the Bible and for its stories and characters to come alive to us, is to actually READ IT, while asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you afresh those things that God desires for you to know from His Word.