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Cornelius

Hollywood's Christian shows are anything but..

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I recently watched the TV mini-series, The Red Tent. It’s based on Jacob’s daughter Dinah from Genesis 34. In the Bible, a king’s son rapes Dinah. Two of her brothers, Levi and Simon, seek revenge by killing the king and his men. For the slaughter, Levi is denied land for his tribe and Simon’s tribe is greatly reduced in significance.

 

The show keeps many of the details from the Bible, but changes one key point. Instead of Dinah being raped, Dinah seduces the King’s son. This makes the killing spree by the brothers look completely unjustified and implausible. And, to compound the ridiculousness, the show tells us that the brothers go unpunished for killing Dinah’s “husband” (along with the the king and his men) because Dinah’s just a female.

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I’m afraid, most Christian viewers will think this is the story the Bible tells, unjustified slaughter by Jacob’s family and no justice for women. Dinah, who is presented as implicitly too smart to believe in God, also spends a lot of time talking about her “mothers” (Jacob was a polygamist), without reference to her father, in a way that comes off like she’s a child of a lesbian couple.

 

Or, consider the current TV series, A.D. The Bible Continues. Like most modern Hollywood Christian TV and movies, the show is free from the teaching of morality and righteousness. Instead, we get the pseudo-Christian teaching that being a Christian is about, and only about, loving everyone.

 

These shows add a lot to the Bible to create new show material. But, what they add never lines up with the Bible. In A.D. The Bible Continues, Pontius Pilate is presented as a completely depraved and brutal man who terrorizes the Jews. After a non-biblical attempt on his life, he starts having ten random Jews crucified every day until the would-be assassin is captured. After a few days of killing men fails to bring results, he orders that women be crucified. But, in the Bible, Pontius Pilate, whom the Bible tells us was afraid of the Jews, is a relatively good man who tries very hard to not be pushed into an unjustified crucifixion of Jesus. But, the ethos of our day is that the only villain you can have in the NT are Romans.

 

At best, Hollywood’s Bible-themed shows are secular dramas with no educational value. At worst, they’re a form of anti-Christian hate-speech that should be avoided. Yet, many Christians gravitate to them like moths to a flame. The Red Tent is a story by Anita Diamant, a Jewish feminist. A.D. The Bible Continues is by the married duo Downey and Burnett, both Catholic serial divorcers.

 

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Jesus warned against false prophets who looked like sheep but were really wolves. Perhaps this warning should be extended to apply to many television and movie producers.

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