Hollywood, the Bible, and Weird Things

The Bible is the number one show on TV with 14.8 million viewers during the season premiere.  Given the large amount of professing Christians in the US, that is not a surprise.  The Passion of the Christ enjoyed this type of success for the same reason.

I admit it bothers me (slightly) that the most depraved industry in the world (other than the abortion industry) is taking advantage of the Word of God to make money.  Hollywood struck gold with biblical themes, and The Bible will be on display until Easter making the most of it.

Not only are they using the Word of God to make money, but Mark Burnett the producer of The Bible is now marketing to Christians who are not grounded in the Word of God.

Very ironic.

Burnett has borrowed on old technique previously used by the producers of The Passion to increase the shows audience.

He is marketing his perception that “weird things happened” during the filming of The Bible to invoke the work of the Holy Spirit in the making of the show.

From the Christian Post:

“Reportedly, when Jesus referenced the Holy Spirit as being like the wind, a huge gust of air blew across the entire crew for 20 seconds, which was filming the scene on a very still night in the Sahara desert.

In another incident, the set’s snake wrangler, who usually recovered one or two snakes per day on set to protect crew members, found 48 cobras and vipers hidden near the scene of the cross, where the crew was to film Jesus’ crucifixion.

The third incident, according to Burnett, happened when the crew was filming a baptism scene in a giant Sahara reservoir and part of Jesus’ detailed costume, which took months to create, floated away.

According to Burnett, a young boy from miles away returned the costume days later.”

Could Burnett possibly be trying to fool naive Christians into believing that God has given His stamp of approval to the show?

That the Holy Spirit really had a special presence there during the filming of the show?

That would sure make the audience grow… Naive Christians will be amazed by these incidents.  They would rather watch a show with special effects and beautiful actors, a show about the Bible, than read the Bible itself.

Ultimately, I hope the show will spark the interest of unbelievers to pick up a Bible or perhaps attend a church where they can hear the Gospel.

But for Burnett to imply the work of the Holy Spirit in this project is manipulative.

7 comments on “Hollywood, the Bible, and Weird Things

  1. Interesting take you have on this… I can’t help but feel a tendency on your part to assign the worst motivations to these people (quite the opposite of what 1Cor. 13 tells us to do). I wonder how much research you did, on this subject, before you drew your conclusions. I’m no Hollywood defender, but based on what I heard on the Focus on the Family broadcast linked below, I see things quite the opposite. I believe this couple, while obviously imperfect (both have been married previously) and with questionable theology (they seem to be catholic), they clearly have a love for God and their motives seem quite pure to me. They had too much success in Hollywood, to want to do such a risky project for self-serving reasons. They both already have plenty of fame and money. I hope you’ll take 20 minutes to listen to the broadcast, who knows you might gain a different perspective.
    Maybe God is in this after all! (Mark 9:38-40). Here’s the link:

    • Weclome to Delight in Truth, God bless you.

      I tried both links but the subject matter was not related to the Bible show. I know that FOF and many pastors are endorsing the show. Anyways…

      Sincerity in production of The Passion or the Bible is not really my problem. There are some delightful people out there, very sincere, Catholic, Mormon, etc…

      I would argue that the project is not risky, but rewarding. If you follow the examples of the classic movies with Bible stories, as well as the Passion you will see that they make BIG money.

      So it is a big money maker, no question.

      Look at depraved Mel Gibson. Why should we savor everything he has to give us in his R-rated film the Passion? What makes him an authority on telling about Holy Scripture?

      He is using the real passion of our Lord and Savior as subject to make in excess of $600 million with that film (just the theatrical shows I believe, more on DVDs and TV shows)

      There is a serious disconnect here between the author and the subject of the movie.

      I have nothing personal against Mark and Roma, I would certainly hope they salvation find in Jesus and not catholic teachings of purgatory, salvation by sacraments and many other heresies (if they are Catholic).

        • If you really want to listen to their side of the story, the broadcast date was March 1st, you’ll find it on FoF website by clicking on the calendar. I hope you do, since you seem to care enough about the subject to publicly give your point of view on it. As I pointed out in the beginning, I believe your POV might be a little out of balance. First in the way you make assumptions about Mark and Roma’s motivation, even to the point of inferring that they might be making stuff up in order to boost their bottom line. As Christians who delight in truth, we should make a bigger effort to look at both sides of the equation in order to really get the accurate picture about a situation.
          Secondly, I don’t think your assumption about the the profitability of Christian focused productions is all that accurate. This project and the one of the very depraved Mel Gibson, are the exception rather than the rule in Hollywood. Reasonably acknowledging the limitations of translating the Bible message and stories in this medium, I would like to understand what in Mel’s production or this one, you found damaging to the kingdom God? You seem to assume that Mel’s lifestyle will somehow diminish the power of the story of the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Personally if I watch something like this, I try to evaluate the message itself and its likely impact on the public and me, the author is not a consideration, unless he inserts his own agenda. As long as the message is not biblically incorrect than, the Holy Spirit will do it’s work through it, no matter how depraved the producer is. Paul seems to rejoice when the message of the Gospel is preached even when it’s done with wrong motivation (Phil. 1:15-18)

          My reference to the verse in Mark was meant to point out the principle behind it, that not everybody that is not in our camp is necessarily against God. In other words, the fact that Mark and Roma might be Catholics doesn’t mean that their rendition of their Bible story won’t be bring glory to God and advance His Kingdom in some ways, as long as they didn’t interfere with the message.

  2. NobodyImportant, you may have missed the center of my piece above, that is the invocation of the presence of the Holy Spirit on the set of The Bible by Burnett. If he is a Catholic, and btw Catholics do not preach the same Gospel message found in the Bible, or if he is not a Catholic, what business does he have in inferring the physical presence of the Holy Spirit on the set via wind?

    Let’s look at it biblically.

    The believers, the born-again, the children of God are the ones promised the Holy Spirit:

    “they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”

    “31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit”

    No where in the Bible do we find evidence of the presence and filling with the Holy Spirit of non-believers or people who preach a different gospel no matter how sincere they are.

    This is blasphemous for Burnett to entice the audience with presence of the Holy Spirit in a Hollywood production.

    I never thought I would write the name Hollywood and Holy Spirit in the same sentence…

    Now, I do concede to your point about spreading the message of the Bible to a certain extent.

    I stated “Ultimately, I hope the show will spark the interest of unbelievers to pick up a Bible or perhaps attend a church where they can hear the Gospel.”

    For more detail on my personal view on this issue see the other article

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