Itís not all about you

I am guilty of doing this along with everyone else at one time or another and that is to look at something and project our opinion of it and see it only in the light of what we believe or feel it should be. Recently it has been more prevalent with more religiously slanted movies. We watch the secular world try and produce movies based upon stories, well known stories, found in the Bible. Our response is normally a critical one for good reason, because they for the most part ruin the basic story line. We will talk about how they ruined this part or that part and how they showed things that were just straight-out false based on the stories that can be easily found in the scriptures. Though we may cast on these portrayals a righteous indignation or contempt for such sacrilege we over look another aspect that is taking place.

Even though the secular world drops the ball when it comes to making these movies they do something that even Christians have a hard time getting others to do and that is opening up a Bible and finding out exactly what the story really was. Many that may not have believed or bothered reading the Bible find themselves investigating the very book that they might never have picked up and read. So, instead of looking at these movies based on our OWN understanding and OWN beliefs we need to look at the more positive side, that regardless of some of the inaccuracy of them, it is at least getting those that might never have thought much about biblical stories to crack opening a Bible and read.

We who consider ourselves as biblical scholars, sarcastically speaking, have no fears of having our faith shaken by such representations, but we can take these opportunities that arise from interested people that want to know the true stories of the Bible to share with them the truth. So even though we may dog these movies we canít complain too loudly since it seems the Christians arenít doing any better or any more that the secular world is doing in sharing the word of God. Even atheist may go and watch these movies because the big name actors that play the roles of people such as Noah, Moses or even David (mentioned him because I think that is one that will be coming up in the future). We miss the BIG picture of the fact that these movies arenít really being made for us but for the people that need in some way or another hear about the Word of God and not from a church that they would most likely never attend or think twice about going to.

God is able to use such depictions of the Bible for good, regardless if those that make them do it for money or for ill. It is like when Jesus mentioned that he came for the lost (Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10). We put some much thought on ourselves that we forget that it isnít about us, but about those that are lost and need to hear the Word of God. If they want to spend their millions on making movies based on biblical stories, so be it, but donít let our own high and mightiness get in the way of using these as avenues to speak to those that have their interests peaked by them. In some ways it reminds me of the parable that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about straining out the gnat to gulp down the camel (Matthew 23:24). We can nitpick things apart while throwing away a good opportunity or we can swallow our pride and do the work of the Lord in the face of what the world puts out there.

If we are truly saved then it is no longer about us. We need to put a new focus on in our lives. As I mentioned before Jesus came to save the lost and if we are no longer part of that crowd then our attention should be upon the lost as it was for Jesus. Being sheep we feel comfortable in a group of like-minded individuals and are watched over by a good shepherd. What we forget is a parable that Jesus gives about the value of one that is lost over the 99 that are saved. He is willing to leave those sheep to find the one that has gone astray (Matthew 18:12-13). I have found that parable quite interesting most of my life. Here is our shepherd in a sense abandoning 99 sheep to who knows what dangers just to go and get one that seems to have run off and when finding that one rejoices more over finding the one that had gone astray then those that had not gone astray. It puts a different light on the importance of reaching out to the ones that are astray. We are the 99 who are saved, who have not gone astray. Are we at times more focused on our own walk that we have been blinded by how much importance Jesus had placed upon finding that one lonely sheep that had gone astray?

It may seem a trivial matter when talking about movies depicting biblical stories inaccurately, but is our own indignation and contempt towards them blinding us to the BIGGER picture of what good can by salvaged from them? I know that we will continue to critique the movies that are put out there by both secular and Christian society, at least I know I will, itís a habit and an easy one to do, but will it cause us to become jaded to the point of affecting our witnessing ability to those that would never have picked up and read a Bible? So, when someone comes up to us that has had their interest sparked by one of these movies let us not come out and dog the movies inadequacies, but look at what good points there are and use them in furthering that interest in the scriptures beyond what they had seen on the BIG screen.