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Son of God Movie - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Son of God movie
Son of God movie
20th Century Fox

The movie Son of God made some waves in the world of entertainment. It garnered almost $26 million dollars the first weekend. After 12 weeks, it is still showing in 46 theaters and has garnered just under $60 million. The DVD should be out fairly soon. Do I think you should buy that DVD?

The waves were not only made at the box office however. The showing of this new story concerning Jesus, a project of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, triggered some criticism which alerts anyone paying attention that not all is well is Christendom in the area of unity. Whereas this Hollywood husband and wife team have done a commendable job of organizing a grassroots support infrastructure, which includes several big name pastors, not everyone in the flock of Jesus followers accepted this movie with open arms. They would recommend that people not contribute to the financial and social success of this flick by buying the movie when it becomes available. Appearances on basically every Christian talk show and some secular shows as well have not convinced those watchers on the wall, or heresy hunters, depending on your viewpoint, that refuse to overlook the fact that Roma Downey's walk of faith includes some very questionable detours into the world of new age mysticism and of course her Roman Catholicism.

I posted a link to an article detailing the troublesome activity of Roma Downey on Facebook and took some flack for it. Now, don't get me wrong here. I've had a big crush on Roma Downey since the first year of Touched by an Angel. I'm certainly not trying to trash her reputation or denigrate her person. She is a sweet and very sincere lady, and I think she displays a powerful love for God and for her neighbors. She's perhaps living out the two great commandments right there. However, having said that, I must point out that her involvement with psychics and even with her old Touched by an Angel co-star, Della Reese, who pastors a Universalist church, an organization which claims every one is going to Heaven, puts her credibility in jeopardy.

Here's a link to some information about the New Age connection:

No one has more surface love for people than the New Agers. They drip with what they consider love. Others might consider that demonstration of love mere sentimentality and lack of behavioral standards which cause conflict with others.

I just wrote an article on the "gospel of love" and how it is a counterfeit. You can read it here:

The new agers seem to fall into that camp. I have to bring up that one little tidbit in conjunction with this movie.

The movie was well done. Some of the computer generated scenery/architecture was the object of scorn for mockers, but I thought they were cool. I had no problem with that stuff. Two things bothered me about this rendition of the greatest story ever told. The first was obvious and was pointed out by many critics: the adherence to the Bible was less than satisfactory. I don't understand how a book can be venerated as the word of God and then made into a movie and not quoted directly or followed accurately. Of course there are some scenes in the movie in which scripture contradicts itself. Put your rock down. The story of how Jesus called Peter and Andrew is different in all the gospels. The story of the resurrection day is also not consistent. So it would be pretty difficult to reenact those scenes without someone complaining about inaccuracy. The second problem is something that flew under the radar of most people. I was looking for it because of Downey's new age leanings. I recently wrote a couple of articles about Joel Osteen. His followers would probably feel very comfortable with this telling of the story of Jesus which omits any commands that might rub people the wrong way or parables that might indicate that men have a responsibility to God and they can't just say I love you and consider it a done deal.

In the movie Pollyanna, the sweet little girl played by Hayley Mills, points out to the fire and brimstone preacher, who yells at his congregation all the time, that the Bible is chock full of "happy passages." He preaches the next week on such passages. That is good. God does love us and He wants us to have joy in Him. However He is still a righteous judge and as such has handed down some passages that are not on most people's top 10 list. How many people cheer when a pastor exhorts them to take up their cross and follow Jesus? How many people get excited over the warning that he who puts his hand to the plow but looks back will not be worthy of Heaven. Or pouring oneself out as a living sacrifice? Do I need to continue? A balanced view of the gospel shows the grace and love combined with the law and responsibility. This movie omitted that balance perhaps to make the movie more palatable or perhaps to make the movie line up with a personal view of God held by the producers.

And so perhaps the best thing for me to do is condemn the movie through faint praise, since I don't have anything to really criticize vociferously. I enjoyed the movie; just thought it only presented one facet of the gospel. My thought is that there are more accurate and equally compelling versions of this story, but I'm not going rant if you like and want to buy this movie. But let me leave you with a caveat: don't let the success of the Bible Miniseries and Son of God suck you into being influenced by the angel named Roma in ways that take you away from the truth.

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