Friday, March 8, 2013

Beloved, Be Not Ignorant: The Bible Miniseries Review


This series is epic….it’s colorful, riveting, fast-paced, full of sex, violence, adventure, and LOTS of CGI….but, something is missing from the story….something big…something fundamental…. Still scratching your head?
It’s God.  I don’t mean the word “god”…that’s in there.  Or the idea of “a god”…that’s in there too.  I mean  THE One True God: Jehovah, Yahweh, Our Creator, The Great I Am...omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent author of the THE BIBLE.
I just watched the first episode of the deceptively titled “The Bible” miniseries.  In the introduction, I found this disclaimer: “This program is an adaptation of Bible stories. It endeavors to stay true to the spirit of the book”.  When I read that, I thought:  That is quite an endeavor considering the “spirit of the book” is God’s very character. His nature is revealed to us through His living word.  So, any failed endeavor twists the perception of who God is and instead reveals a totally different (false) god....bearing false witness to His character.   This is especially dangerous for viewers who passively accept the god presented, having no other reference point for comparison.   We must not forget that the devil prowls like a hungry lion seeking whom he may devour.  Ignorance leaves them vulnerable.  And so does our silence.
I watched this series with a very discerning eye, hoping to find a few points of error to reprove.   What unfolded in the first few minutes of the Scotsman’s (Noah) narrative was very revealing.
“The Bible” - miniseries:  Genesis 1-9
God made light, moon, stars, plants, animals… God made “us” (apparently it rained that day, because Adam was made from mud, rather than the dust of the earth). Adam and Eve ate the fruit (while Darth Sidious watched in the garden). Cain killed Abel. God saw too much evil in the human hearts, so he cleansed the earth. But, first he warned Noah and told him to build a boat (which he apparently built by himself, because the other family members on the little cruise were young children and his sheepish wife).  When Noah felt the waves stop rocking, he climbed up to the deck of the boat to check things out. There was a rainbow in the sky….and on we go to Abraham.
Overall, a little shallow. No mention of the consequences of sin on mankind (curse, separation, and death),  Satan’s deception, Cain’s arrogance, the perfection of Noah’s generations,  or the fallen state of man (meaning us).  Where was God?  But, overall…no worse than most children’s Bible Stories (unfortunately).
But, as the miniseries moves to Genesis, chapter 12 (The call of Abraham), something very grave begins to surface.   The plot is no longer a diluted version of the truth, but something else all together.   I was bewildered by the initial discrepancies: Why are they already named Abraham and Sarah (who look like they’re in their late 40’s)? Why does Lot’s wife have so much say in the decision making process?   I started to realize how serious the trailer was when it boasted “The story everyone knows…told like never before…”   Lot under his wife’s thumb, rebelling against Abram? Abram begging Lot to stay close to his camp so they can “stick together”? Abram depressed because of his nephew’s abandonment?  Abram using guilt to coerce Lot back to his camp? Sarai’s indignant refusal to help Lot because he chose his own way? Lot’s wife’s beckoning to Sodom because “the future is in the city”? Jesus “testing” the citizens of Sodom through deception to determine its fate?  No mention of homosexuality? Not even with the citizens at Lot's door? A ninja angel killing spree?  A narrow escape from the perils of CGI brimstone? No refuge in the city of Zoar? Abram’s witnessing the destruction of Sodom?  Isaac trotting off with Dad for his sacrifice at age 11? Sarah running after Abraham to save Isaac? Abraham asking his son for forgiveness?  Jesus on a mountain top in a little red riding hood cloak? This was CERTAINLY a story that had NEVER been told before…because IT’S NOT IN THE BIBLE!!
These “script variations” are not subtle, harmless, or accidental.  The makers (and editors, consultants, producers, set directors, actors…) of this series have taken on the stewardship of God’s Holy Word and have foolishly presented us with a work of fiction.   All that time, talent, and money and they have created nothing more than a $22 million dollar wolf in sheep’s clothes.  Changing the Word of God to deny Adam’s accountability, Abraham’s dignity, Moses’ heritage, and God’s sovereignty, and then presenting it to the world as entertainment is a wicked work of the devil.  We cannot ignore this, chalk it up to Hollywood, or just “glean from the truthful parts”.  Not only are we not to have any fellowship with these unfruitful works of darkness, we are to reprove them.  That is, expose them! Question them. Demand an account for them:
“Why is there a lamb next to a tree (instead of a ram caught in the thicket by its horns)?
Why is Abraham depicted as emotional and weak (rather than a wise, wealthy patriarch)?
Why are Sarah and Abraham dressed in rags (rather than depicting the wealth and beauty they were known for)?
Why do the three visitors look like druids (and what happened to the three measures of meal)?
Why does Abraham ask the visitors if they travelled far (what’s a couple of angels like you doing in a place like this)?
Why wasn’t Lot at the city gate (or greeting the angels with a bow, or sharing a meal with them in his home)?

Why was Abraham angry and impatient with God when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac (rather than understanding the symbolism and trusting God by telling the men that he AND HIS SON will return after worshipping)?

How did 100+ year old Sarah catch up to her husband and son (a three day journey) by sprinting up a mountain side (which never actually happened, by the way)?

Why did Isaac reject his father's extended hand and instead run down to the safety of his mother's arms (who wasn't actually there in the true account)?
What happened to Isaac?
 And Jacob?
And Joseph?
Why doesn’t Moses know his heritage or remember his nursemaid (his mother) or siblings?
Why is their a rivalry between Moses and the Pharaoh’s heir (which is not mentioned in scripture)?
Why did the victim bury the body of the Egyptian (rather than Moses)?
Why was Moses pitching a tent in the dark (rather than tending to Jethro’s sheep on the backside of the desert near Mt. Horeb)?
Why didn’t God command Moses to take his shoes off when he stood on Holy ground?
Why did Moses ask God if he was real?
Why didn’t Moses show any hesitation about returning to Egypt?
Why didn’t God mention Aaron?
Why didn’t the people accept or believe him when he returned and called him “demented?”
Why did Moses demand that Pharaoh let Moses’ people go (rather than “Thus saith the Lord…”)?
Why is this whole interaction focused on the vengeful competitive temperaments of Moses and the Pharaoh (rather than God redeeming His people)?
Why does Moses go to see Pharaoh without Aaron (his appointed speaker)?
Why do they slit the throat of a lamb and allow the blood to spill out on to the street as people run up with wooden bowls to catch their share? (What about the basin? What about each household selecting a lamb and preparing it for meat)?
Why don’t the Israelites participate in the Passover meal?
Why do they act fearful and unprepared as the death angel passes through (rather than faithful and obedient)?
Why doesn’t Pharaoh summon Moses and Aaron until the next morning? Why do they hail Moses the hero (rather than giving glory to God)?
Why were they unprepared to travel (instead of having their shoes on and the bags packed)?
Why were their only about 100 of them (instead of 2-3 million)?
Where is the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night? (WHERE IS GOD)?
Why does Moses smash his rod into the sea forming an instantaneous path (rather than allowing God to divide the waters by an eastern wind blowing all night long)?
Why was the Egyptian army charging a few paces behind Moses with no intervention from God (like making the chariot’s wheels fall off or a pillar of cloud)?
Why was there seemingly NO attempt to present biblical accuracy in a series entitled “The Bible”?
Why have 13 million viewers tuned in to a captivating fictional depiction of a story that was NEVER meant to be entertainment?
Christians, If you watched this and enjoyed it…If you did not find fault, error, or offense in the heresy showcased…if you can accept a 2nd hand, lukewarm, or false version of God along with the world….you are in a dangerous place.  Don’t be fooled. READ YOUR BIBLE. FIND THE TRUTH. Reprove these unfruitful works of darkness.  

Read my review for answers about Episode 1: Beginings

For a brief, but very thorough study:  The Bible in 24 Hours

For a stiring sermon on the infallibility of God's Holy Word: Why I Choose to Believe the Bible

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