The chosen TV series
The Chosen has over 200 million views and has been translated into 50 different languages.
Their first episode opens on the subject of fishing on the Sabbath. We see Nicodemus is introduced as a man who walks around with incense, is asked to help a demon possessed girl (who we find is Mary Magdalen) who then invokes angels and patriarchs names to set her free – she chases him away.
We then find that Mary of Magdala is called first by Jesus. What is Ironic is the film is produced by ‘out of order studios,’ which certainly is the case here.
The series “The Chosen” is produced by Dallas Jenkins and is distributed by partner Angel Studios, a streaming video company that was co-founded by two brothers Neal and Jeffrey Harmon, who are Latter-day Saints. That is better known as Mormons, that has been classified as a Christian cult, but they are actively changing their image. This is one of the ways.
So the series began not as authentic portrayal of Jesus or his disciples and is not being faithful to Scripture (the Bible). Some say it is just entertainment and expression of their ‘artistic imagination’ designed to support the truth and intent of scripture
Some become uncomfortable along the way as they begin to see this is the not presenting the same Jesus they serve or know. For the public learning about the Bible it does not leave an impression of truth. But of certain men’s opinion of what the truth is.
Jenkins says “ most of the content of the show is not from Scripture, I know that’s sounds horrible but its true.” So then if it’s not from the book of Gods truth where is it coming from? It is from his and others imagination.
He says “ You are not going to agree with what I decide in my portrayal of christ or the followers of Jesus”
So is one being helped to get to know the true Jesus of the bible better? Or, has he built a golden calf, saying here is Jesus, a corruption coming from his imagination of what he thinks is Jesus?
The executive producer of the chosen states, “ the mission of The Chosen is not to be Scripture…
it’s not to pretend that we know exactly what Jesus was like or what his friends were like. It was simply to present him in the language, really, of a modern generation.”
Is this language more important than the language of the Bibles eye witnesses who did know him and spoke the truth.
God has given us his Word not his image, what I mean by this is we learn by reading of him which he encouraged to do, not by watching an actor portray what the director has him do.
Let me add that enthusiasm or sincerity has nothing to do with this.
This may sound like we are splitting hairs on this but we are warned about vain imagination. Let me put it this way, it is one thing to watch a movie and see actors portray other people of real life and try to be accurate to their story. But this is God incarnate whose given us His Word on who and what he is done, not a script.
If the video is not exact to the words written in Scripture, how far do we allow the artistic license to go? What happens when we accept what is not true as the truth? Images are a powerful medium, especially when they lead the imagination to think differently.
Even the producer Dallas Jenkins says when reading the bible it’s hard for him not to picture the actors, and says its clarifying what he reads.
But what about the substance?
Jenkins: “I r eally felt God speaking to me, like, laying something very strong on my heart, that God was laying on my heart The Chosen was going to be what people thought of when they pictured the disciples, like, when they pictured Jesus’ people. And I felt like God was saying, like, “This is going to be the definitive portrayal of my people.”
So when Jesus is seen with Rasberries which are not grown in ancient Israel, does this matter? How many details are made up to enhance the Bible, or fill in the blanks?
Matthew’s problems are presented when the bible itself does not express these. Jenkins tells us “W hen we created the character of Matthew, we decided that based on some of the characteristics we saw in the gospels, that it was plausible if not factual, but plausible that Matthew had Asperger’s Syndrome. So once we decided that, writing into Matthew these characteristics that I know very well, I felt like we could really do an accurate portrayal.”
Consider all that Jenkins said which of course come under his artistic license of expression as he makes videos. “We created” they give Matthew a disease to make him more relatable, and then say they are doing an accurate portrayal. There is no justification for going beyond the word like this.
They want you to connect to the Jesus, in fact he says it works because the audience feels authentic connection to these people. But what about those in the Bible they have not or do not feel the connection to the characters they have made? They have sacrificed truth at the altar of entertainment in the name of the Lord.
In the end what we have is a series with the names of the people dressed like they were in a similar surroundings but it is how they interpret Jesus and the disciples that actually speak them from the word God has given us on them.
This becomes a subjective argument when people say they have been drawn closer to God. This becomes production of experience-driven emotions. Not an objective Christianity, which lead one into deception.
Can one truthfully say they understand the Word better when it is so liberal in its use of words and additions outside the Bible?
This is not just filling in the characteristics of Jesus and his disciples where the Scripture may be silent, but even when it is clear. Jenkins is using his imagination to fill the gaps.
It’s the character[s] in his mind, which makes the Bible into more of a myth than an accurate narrative of eyewitness.
It becomes a lie versus the truth. What did John say ‘no lie is of the truth.’
The Words are written by Gods spirit to men to reach the human heart. If it needs a movie series to ameliorate this than the Word is insufficient. God has his Spirit working when the Word of truth is given, not when an imaginary character speaks words that are not written, or add to the Word which we are told to specifically not do.
1 John 2:21 “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth .
1 Tim 2:7 “ I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying
Eph. 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,
Rom. 9:1I “ tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit
1 Tim 4:1-3 “ Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
2 Tim 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Dallas Jenkins’ comment regarding the controversy he finds himself in working with Mormons on this project. “We love the same Jesus,” He has said he would go down swinging on this statement, does not mind being called a blasphemer (which shows his conscience is not what it should be)
Apparently he hears the name Jesus but has not look past the name to see what the name means to Mormons. What is the substance, which is his same approach to the Scripture.
To Mormons in their doctrine (which many of them do not know always) Jesus is a created being that is the spirit brother of Lucifer. Jesus is a god among gods. Which makes him not the same Jesus of the Bible. In fact their own book has a very different story of Bible history Mormons teach he was Born in Jerusalem, not Bethlehem. This means he was not born in Bethlehem under the edict of a census. This is not splitting hairs, it means he is a Jesus by name only, he is not the same Jesus in the Bible.
Jenkins: “When I’ve talked about my brothers and sisters in Christ, and when I’ve talked about those LDS folks that I know who loved the same Jesus I do , I’m referring to some of the friends that I have who identify as LDS who I’ve gotten to know very deeply over the last few years, in particular. And have had hundreds of hours of conversations with (them), and I stand by the statement that those friends of mine that I’m referring to absolutely love the same Jesus that I do . ”
Let me explain this statement: If they love the same Jesus as he does (excluding others who are believers in the Christ of the Bible) than his comparison to his own Christianity is flawed. Making friends, maintaining friendships is not the same as adhering to and fellowshipping in the same faith.
Is the Mormons Jesus the same or a different (a false Jesus). If Jenkins believes that some of his LDS friends love the same Jesus, this not only shows that he does not know what their church teaches or maybe he does not care as he looks to the person and not the word itself.
The Mormons founder revelation on God, “ God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man , and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret .” Joseph Smith promoted polytheism as the basis for Gods nature. In fact he said we can all become gods as all the gods before us. Do you wonder what the God of the Bible would think of that. Well, He has already spoke on this by stating, there is no God formed before nor after me. And that we cannot become a god (these are spoken numerous times)
Can Jenkins speak on the specific similarities between the Mormon Jesus and the Jesus of the Bible? Exactly why are they so different? Jenkins may be oblivious to, or purposely ignorant on Mormon beliefs, but it becomes another matter when those who do know the differences question him and he does not respond as mature Christian would by saying, I will look into it further to see if he is representing the Jesus the Word of God speaks of.
Or could there something else at work? If it is not money then is it spiritual?