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 revealed in Scripture. For example, the movie denies that Jesus had any brothers or sisters. This is in direct conflict with Matthew 12:46 and 13:55. Most likely, this is an attempt to maintain the perception of Mary as a perpetual virgin and sinless. But this also violates Scripture. Romans 3:23 tell us that all have sinned. 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 also portrays the child Jesus performing miracles. This likewise is in direct conflict with Scripture, which tells us that Jesus performed His first miracle when, as an adult, 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!
At the same time, supporting a film that violates Scripture and sends the wrong message will only encourage producers to continue doing the same. For this reason alone, we should at least pause to carefully consider our decision. This is something I myself initially failed to do. It takes only a few minutes of internet search 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!