Question: I’ve spent countless hours talking to those who support biblical movies, and no matter what concerns I raise that are abundantly clear from the Scriptures, the final word on their part is, “I hear what you’re saying, but I still feel that God can use such movies to win people to Jesus.” I am continually frustrated by their lack of biblical discernment. What do you say to those who respond based upon what they feel?
Response: God, in His abundant mercy, can certainly bring conviction of sin and draw a person to Himself in ways and means that seem to be an exception to what we would normally see. Consider these scenarios: 1) A Roman Catholic at Mass hears a verse quoted from Scripture during the priest’s homily. The verse speaks to the person’s heart and leads him to the biblical gospel and salvation. 2) A Jehovah’s Witness is reading through his New World Translation bible, and some of its verses that contradict Witness doctrine lead the person to trust in the biblical Jesus. 3) Some of the writings in the Book of Mormon (which were plagiarized from the King James Version of the Bible) are read by a Mormon, who is then convicted by those words; they help lead him out of the cult, and to salvation. God’s Word, as we know, will not return void but will accomplish what He intends (Isaiah:55:11).
Can we then say that the Mass, the New World Translation, and the Book of Mormon are legitimate means of bringing the lost to Christ? No. To support such erroneous, even blasphemous, spiritual devices as valid for evangelizing is to give credence to those things that are an abomination before God, not to mention that they are a pack of lies. God cannot support such things for evangelizing that contradict or corrupt His Word, and He does not. Again, in His mercy He may use such things even when they contain only a slight hint of truth to help deliver a person from spiritual bondage.
Biblical movies are similar to the above examples because in the attempt to translate the Bible to the screen, the content must be altered to fit the medium. That involves adding dialogue to the Scriptures not found in the Bible, scenes not found there, characters who are portrayed out of their biblical context, emotions and drama not indicated in Scripture, locations not consistent with Scripture, and the list goes on. In other words, they are a major distortion of God’s Word. For those who still cling to the belief that God, nevertheless, is using such errors to draw multitudes of the lost to Himself, we appeal to them to consider these two words: damage control.
Although God may use whatever truth may be gleaned from any medium, the unsaved meanwhile will have been subjected to a truckload of unbiblical teaching. God’s objective would not be to have people partake of the errors but rather that the lost would respond to the truth. Those evangelical Christians who know the Lord, however, and who watched movies such as The Passion of the Christ and Son of God have consequently been fed imagery that confuses their biblical literacy at best and corrupts the truth of what they have already been taught at worst. This is damage that has serious consequences and must be dealt with for the sake of both the lost as well as believers.