"Despite a clear cultural interest and awareness of the Bible, the research also shows that neutral or negative attitudes toward the Bible are becoming more commonplace. In 2011, more than half (53%) of adults said the Bible “contains everything a person needs to live a meaningful life.” In 2013, that percentage dipped below half of the population (47%). And although the 61% of American adults who want to read the Bible represents a majority of Americans, it’s a step down from the 67% of adults who said the same in 2011. Furthermore, the percentage of adults who believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to live a meaningful life has declined substantially from 75% to 66% in the last two years." (Barna)
Now for those who enjoyed the “Son of God” and were moved by this film I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but I do believe there are some things we should think about as Christians. So what are my real issues with this film?
First, the cynic in me says this production wasn’t as pure as some would have us believe. The film was peddled as an evangelistic tool to many pastors, and I sincerely hope numerous individuals came to know Christ as Savior but I’m not so sure. Knowing what I know now about how the movie was produced from bits and pieces of “The Bible” on the History Channel, I question if the motives weren’t more for financial reasons based on the success of the miniseries. I don’t have a problem with this film making money, but I do have a problem with what I believe is a lack of truthfulness in its marketing.
Secondly, the storyline was fragmented most likely because it was spliced together and better suited for television rather than a larger theatrical production. This was not the high quality film that was characterized by its representatives.
Third, Downey’s Catholicism was more on display than the Gospel of John. In the scene of the Last Supper the false doctrine of transubstantiation is promoted (a belief that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Christ and becomes a means of salvation). The Archdiocese of Washington has even devoted video lessons based on particular clips from the film including the doctrine of transubstantiation (explanation). And then there is Mary Magdalene’s constant presence and placement of importance beside Christ which is not only misleading but a distraction to say the least.
And lastly the biggest problem I have with the film is what was intentionally left out. At one point Christ Jesus is addressing Thomas and states, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” That’s it – no more. The exclusivity of Christ is abandoned and I have to wonder why? Clearly the statement is from John 14:6 and what is excluded is, “And no one comes to the Father except through me.”
Was this done for political correctness in order not to offend others? Who knows? What I do know is that faith in Christ is the only means of salvation, and there’s no reasonable excuse to leave such an important fact out of the dialogue as presented.
Were there positive aspects to this film?
I was moved by the crucifixion of Christ and was once again reminded of His sacrificial love. And of course His resurrection was reassuring because without this we have no hope. As Christians it’s inconceivable to demand perfection in this production or any other, but we should maintain an expectation of authenticity that honors God and His Word.