Have you seen the trailers for the new movie, “Exodus: Gods and Kings?” Christian Bale is Moses:
Not bad for an 80 year old guy, right?
Do you remember the Cecil B. DeMille classic, “”The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston as Moses? Another 80 year old man who didn’t look a day over 38.
Oh, yes- who can forget that classic with F. Murray Abraham and Jon Voight about Noah? It was so bad the only thing worse, and less biblical, was the remake recently with Russell Crowe, another virile and young-looking Noah, who was actually about 500 years old when he went into the Ark.
There have been scores of biblical stories, all “Hollywood-ed” down to the basic elements of any story that sells tickets- love triangle, action, and happy ending. Did you know that the Queen of Sheba was white? And that she prayed to God to help Solomon, and that after she was stoned God miraculously healed her wounds? You didn’t know that? Didn’t you see the movie with Yul Brenner and Gina Lollobrigida? Yeah- Sheba was Italian; what? You didn’t know that? You didn’t know that she loved Solomon and she was the one that turned him to foreign gods?
C’mon, get with it…ya gotta believe the movies! They wouldn’t lie, right?
OK…enough fun. Let’s get serious now. The Devil is called the Prince of the Air by Shaul, and the Bible tells us he wasn’t sent to hell but was thrown down to the Earth. And what is the Devil’s primary means of turning souls away from God? He accuses God of being a liar. When God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of Knowledge or they would die, HaSatan (the Accuser) said that wasn’t true- he called God a liar. But God didn’t lie: after eating from that tree Adam and Eve were sent out of Paradise, and that meant that they would now have limited lifetimes. In other words, because they ate from that tree they will die. God never said they would die immediately, just that they would die.
When God told Satan about the righteousness of Job, Satan said, effectively, he didn’t believe God; in other words, he said God was lying.
So, where does the Prince of the Air and always accusing God of lying fit together? They fit together in that today’s world is digital and downloadable. The information from the Internet, TV, and movies (we still have the theaters and DVD’s, but streaming movies is becoming more and more popular) is transmitted through the air directly into our homes, and to our children.
Hollywood is the penultimate example of supply and demand: what society demands, Hollywood (and the media) supplies.
TV shows are disgusting demonstrations of how decrepit people are today. Look at these “reality” shows that are so popular- Hoarders, Bridezilla, Kendra on Top, 90 day Fiance, Naked and Afraid, and let’s not forget that cop shows, showing us the dregs of society, have been top rated since Jack Webb first said, “Just the facts, Ma’am…just the facts.”
We need to realize that TV, Hollywood, the media in general, are all telling us what we want to hear, and what we want to hear is garbage, gossip, murder, rape, adultery, sin, sin ,sin, sin, and more sin. That’s what we are ingesting, mentally, when we watch TV or go to the movies, or even when we read a newspaper. God forbid we should believe anything on any Internet site.
Cynical, ain’t I? Maybe it’s not as bad as I say, but it can’t be that far from it.
I might see the movie Gods and Kings just to see the special effects, but my wife is thinking twice about going with me because she is afraid (and rightly so) that I will start to get really annoyed at the ridiculous way they twist and add to the story to make it more “Hollywood” and less Godly. I understand, I understand…if you really want to know God and honor Him, the movies are not the place to do it. I get that, so I shouldn’t get upset or angry when they screw up the Torah so badly that you can’t even recognize the main characters anymore.
But, I do.
Let me tell you a short story to give an example of why I am so concerned about this: there was a gentle, humble and uneducated man I knew where I used to worship, many years ago. He was a man who did love the Lord, and he was curious to know God better. One day at Bible study he asked me if I knew that Yeshua’s mother used to call him “Shuie” as a nickname? After picking myself up off the floor, I asked where he learned that. He told me it was in a book he read. Here was just some book someone wrote, something that was obviously biblical-fiction, but this poor man thought it was accurate and valid. His ignorance of the true word of God and conditioned response to the written word (meaning he thought that if it is a published book it must be true) was turning him away from the truth about God, which eventually will turn anyone away from salvation.
It’s that serious. We need to keep our understanding of God and His ways as pure as possible, and that will only come from reading His word. Nothing else matters.
Don’t get the wrong idea- I am not against extra-biblical references or books about the bible. I mean, really- I wrote a book that is about the Bible and want everyone to read it (the links are on this site), but it, along with everything else, needs to be taken with a grain of salt and tested against the true Torah, the true B’rit Chadashah, and the Ruach Ha Kodesh.
What I really hate about the way the media treats God is that they treat Him with disrespect, and just like the guy who runs their delivery system, they constantly try to show that what God says is not the truth. Moses wasn’t an old man, Noah was a jerk, the Queen of Sheba was Italian…you get it. They use the wonderful workings of God throughout history, then prostitute it to appeal to the lowest common denominator of human depravity.
I am really ranting on, and I hope you will forgive me for doing more of a “this is how I feel” than a “this is what God says” kind of blog today. I believe that somewhere in here is a true message that honors God, but it might be hidden between the rants and raves.
I hope you find it.