Over the past few weeks, I’ve been intrigued by the advertisements for the movie Young Messiah. At first, I even made plans to go see the movie. However, when I read that the movie violates Scripture, I took notice. The issue is not that the movie takes creative license (this is to be expected) nor is the problem that the producers would need to draw upon their imagination as to what the life of young Jesus would have been like (clearly, Scripture is silent on those years).
Rather, my decision to forego seeing the movie is based upon the movie’s blatant violation of key truths as already revealed in Scripture. For example, the movie denies that Jesus had any brothers or sisters in direct conflict with Matthew 12:46 and 13:55. This is most likely an attempt to maintain the perception of Mary as a perpetual virgin and sinless, also in violation of Scripture. Romans 3:23 tell us that all have sinned and in Luke 1:47, Mary herself confesses her need of a Savior. And if that were not enough, Scripture leaves no room for doubt when we read that Joseph took Mary as his wife but “knew her not” (meaning, had sexual intercourse) until after Jesus was born (Matthew 1:25).
The movie is primarily based on Anne Rice’s novel Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. I’ve not read the novel nor am I familiar with Ms. Rice’s books. Wikipedia describes Anne Rice as “an American author of Gothic fiction, Christian literature, and erotica. She is perhaps best known for her popular and influential series of novels, The Vampire Chronicles.” According to some, this vampire author-turned born-again Christian is the real deal. I hope it is true. Only God knows for sure. Still, given the boatloads of books written about Jesus, choosing a book by an author whose primary genres include horror and erotica seems a curious choice. But then again, God is often full of surprises.
The movie also portrays the young Jesus performing miracles. This likewise is in direct conflict with Scripture, which tells us that Jesus performed His first miracle when he turned water into wine at a wedding (John chapter 2). All that to say that I have decided not to see the movie. Like the movie Risen, it may be entertaining and well acted but if it blatantly violates key teachings of Scripture, I cannot, in good conscience, support it.
Still, my decision may not be for everyone. Even secular movies can inspire unbelievers to seek the Truth – and for this I rejoice. As Paul warns us in Romans 14:4, “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls.” Therefore, while I have my own convictions concerning secular movies attempting to portray Biblical events, God is Lord of all and there is nothing He cannot use for His good purposes – just look at the Cross!
Besides, if God can use poor quality Christian-produced films, He can just as easily use high quality secular films to accomplish His perfect will. At the same time, supporting a film that violates Scripture and sends the wrong message will only encourage secular producers to continue doing the same. For this reason alone, we should at least pause to carefully consider our decision – something I myself initially failed to do. It takes only a few minutes of research on the internet to learn who is behind a film and what inspired them to produce it. Nonetheless, whether you choose to see the movie or not, may it be God who guides your decision for the purposes of His will. At the end of the day (or movie), we who are in Christ can take comfort in knowing how the story will end:
“… at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11 ESV)
“‘Look, he is coming with the clouds’ and ‘every eye will see him, even those who pierced him’ and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of him.’” (Revelation 1:7 NIV)
Come soon! Yes, Lord Jesus, come!
Were you blessed by this post? Perhaps it will bless others as well. The greatest encouragement I receive is when someone takes the message God gave me to write – and shares it with others 🙂
To God alone be all the glory!