20 November 2022

Comment on Two Biblical reasons to not watch The Chosen

I was directed by the artificial intellingence in YouTube to watch something - Two Biblical Reasons Not to Watch The Chosen with Dr. Scott Aniol - and so I watched it out of interest. I have really enjoyed watching The Chosen and so was intrigued to see what their concerns might be. 

An interview between Doreen Virtue and Dr Scott Aniol, PhD,
Executive Vice President and Editor-in-chief of G3 Ministries and
Professor of Pastoral Theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary

I guess that the concerns that they express are appropriate, but I would very much like to share some of my own thoughts about the matter. 

I think that the two reasons can be summed up as:

  • The second of the 10 commandments - that we might have a false view of Christ and put depictions of Him before Him, or bow down to or serve depictions of Him;
  • The Word is all that we need - and we should not add to or take away from it.

Regarding the second commandment that says 

Thou shalt anot make unto thee any bgraven cimage, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Thou shalt not abow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a bjealous God, cvisiting the diniquity of the efathers upon the fchildren unto the third and fourth generation of them that ghate me;

And shewing amercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my bcommandments.

Scott proposes that there should be no depictions of God that might be worshipped in the place of God. I cannot find fault with that. They are concerned that people will see the actor Jonathan Roumie who depicts Jesus of Nazareth as a person to worship, that it is Jonathan that brings them spiritual light. As for me, I never have felt any hint of that in myself, but I have been very impressed by the ways that the story has been presented as it has given me great pause to ponder. I have appreciated having deeper insights into how I might have been personally touched and affected if I had been in the company of Jesus of Nazareth in Jerusalem 2000 years ago.

I was thinking how I do not imagine a painting or depiction of an elephant to be that elephant. It makes me think of the elephant and its magnificence, of how I have felt when I have been close to elephants, of the wonder of the creation of that elephant, the beauty of the elephant, of the talent of the person who depicted the elephant, but I have never thought that the picture is anything that takes the place of an elephant. Maybe some other people do have a challenge with this, but I cannot relate to it, as I cannot relate to a concern that I am seeing a depiction of Jesus Christ as an object of worship. 

I have my own personal relationship with God the Eternal Father, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I appreciate the additional feeling of love that I have for Them as I watch The Chosen, but I have not been persuaded that the actors come between me and my relationship with the Godhead, that they in any way take the place of the Godhead. I have appreciated the possible interactions that Jesus might have had with His disciples. I have not seen this as interpretation of the scriptures, but the acting has been thought-provoking as I ponder my own relationship with and discipleship of Jesus Christ. I relate to Mary who pondered things in her heart as I have had many things to treasure up and ponder in my heart as I have reflected on Jesus Christ and my relationship with Him.

Their other concern revolves around adding to or detracting from the word of God. I think that they cite Revelation 22:18-20 

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall aadd unto these things, God shall add unto him the bplagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the abook of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I acome quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

 I am also impressed by what Moses said in Deuteronomy 4:2

Ye shall not aadd unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

They are also right that we should not add to or take away from the word of God - but we also should not limit the power of God to reveal more of His word in our day. My thoughts turned to the Pharisees and Scribes that limited Jesus as they called Him a blasphemer and failed to recognise the Messiah promised in the Law, that they so sincerely looked forward to coming, but they crucified that same promised Messiah because they felt that Jesus of Nazareth was not complying fully with their interpretation of the Law. 

I did not take notes as I watched - I was doing my morning exercises and preparing breakfast at the time - so I may have missed some important things that they were trying to share. You can watch the interview and draw your own conclusions. But I strongly encourage you to go straight to the source of the Living Water - pray to the Father as Jesus Christ directed in the sermon on the mount, and then read the scriptures so that you can hear Him as He directs you to things in the scriptures that He will use to answer your questions. He has done that for me and I am confident that He will do it for you as you prayerfully approach Him in humility.

I am very sure that He is not likely to reveal things to me that are easily available to me in what He has already revealed if I do not bother to read them. But I also believe that He did not reveal everything to His prophets 2000 years ago regarding things of 2022. Those prophets would find it incredibly difficult to communicate very effectively with their own vocabulary, experience with technology, and customs, so that we would understand them clearly in 2022. I am very impressed with the excellent job that they did in trying to describe what they saw of our days as they prophesied of the conditions in the last days, but I share a personal witness that God has not left us alone in those last days. He did not reveal to Noah what Moses needed for leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. He did not reveal to Moses what John the Baptist needed in order to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ. As an unchanging and eternal God, He continues to guide His children, from the simplest shepherd, carpenter or fisherman to the more sophisticated publican, scribe, politician, Pharisee, PhD or whatever other character in our day. 

God is not absent, but speaks to us through living prophets and apostles and will help us to hear His word through them if we seek His guidance. Jesus did warn of false prophets but never said that there would be no true prophets. He said that we would recognise them by their fruits. I bear witness that the fruits of our living prophets and apostles are truly in line with the tenets taught by Jesus Christ to His disciples of peace, loving one another, striving to be one with each other and with Christ as Christ is one with His Father, rendering to Caesar in their vassal state those things that are Caesar's, and to God those things that are God's. He is the ultimate example of how we can overcome all sorts of challenges with a godly walk and conversation, and He challenged His disciples - us - to be perfect, even as His Father which is in Heaven is perfect. May we do that, and may we be fruitful branches of the true vine - we are dependent on the vine, but the vine not dependent on us - but the fruits that we bear add glory to the Father. 

May we be worthy of His welcoming us with open arms to enter into the joy of the Lord, is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.