FIRST I think that it’s of utmost importance for the reader to watch this video. Click on “Watch on YouTube”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I cannot tell you how many times I communicated with the people responsible for “The Chosen” series. I even got through via email to Dallas Jenkins but to no avail at all. I came to them in a “Let us reason together” attitude. Each time I was shut down. I nearly wrote an article about this a number of times, but then put it back into drafts. I’m very glad that I listened to the Lord because this article from Bereancall.org says it all!
Audio Version of Article. click to listen
December 1, 2021 T. A. McMahon
At a conference not too long ago, I was asked to give a review of The Chosen TV Series. I did so, but before I began my critique, I informed the audience that I hadn’t watched even one frame of the series, and my guess was that that revelation would make more than a few people upset with my criticisms. The immediate response by those enamored with the series about the life of Christ was to scorn everything I said, saying, “He’s like those who criticize books, even the Bible, without having read them!” I can relate to that. I’ve had many discussions with some who tell me what the Bible says without having read it themselves, so I can see why my initial review and its approach would put some people off.
Since my first critique I have viewed a couple of the programs, parts of which I’ll address. However, I want to explain why I believe watching the series is not necessary for rejecting it. In doing so, my explanations will appeal to Scripture and reason in light of Isaiah’s words, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD” (Isaiah:1:18).
Why isn’t it necessary to watch The Chosen in order to criticize it, and how would that be any different than critiquing a novel without having read it? First of all, a novel is defined generally as “a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.” In other words, it’s a made-up story. Yet it must be read in order to be evaluated.
Not so with The Chosen. It professes to be true to the Bible’s teachings, as well as a faithful representation of the Bible’s stories and characters. The Bible, however, declares itself to be inerrant and infallible in all that it teaches, as well as God’s authority in all that it commands. It’s God’s Word. If it condemns any attempt to visually represent the content and characters of the Bible (which it does) then one has no need to watch The Chosen because it claims to visually represent it—in direct disobedience to the Scriptures.
All biblical movies are visual translations and interpretations of the words and narrative presented in the Bible. If a Christian was aware that the Bible condemns visual translations and interpretations of the Scriptures, there would be no need to evaluate a movie or video series based upon the Bible before rejecting them. But does the Bible denounce any such attempts to translate/interpret it through a visual medium?
It does. And it does so in many indisputable ways. But before I point out the scriptures related to the Bible’s denunciation of such productions, I need to present some of the components that are involved in the production of making a movie that must be considered when determining whether or not “biblical movies” can be truly biblical. These are things I know and have experienced while studying filmmaking in graduate school and having worked for 20th Century Fox studios for a number of years. I then moved on to a career as a screenwriter in Hollywood before being saved and spending four decades in Christian ministry with Dave Hunt.
This is how the process works. A movie begins with a screenplay. It’s either an original story or a screen adaptation from someone else’s work (such as the Bible). The screenplay or movie script, in addition to presenting the storyline or plot, the characters, and the dialogue, consists of visual descriptions of what is taking place in the movie story. For example, if a scene calls for a vehicle, a description is needed for the art director or prop man to find the right kind of car for a particular scene or purpose. If the script calls for the car to be crashed, that needs to be described in detail if the crash is going to be unique and significant to the storyline. This is just one example of the creative input that is necessary for the filmmaking process.
Although the screenwriter is the initial composer of the movie script, changes to the script always take place during filming. Such changes are usually made by the movie’s director. Reasons for the changes from the original script are seemingly endless: actors’ egos, budget cuts, weather problems, location problems, the executive producer’s ego, the cameraman’s “inspirational idea” for filming a scene, union problems, stunt failures, the director’s ego, etc. The author of the motion picture, for the most part, is the screenwriter, even though contributions of interpretation also come from the director, the actors, and a host of others creatively involved in the filming process.
All of that and much more are involved in every attempt to translate the Bible itself into a theatrical motion picture for the silver screen and/or television. The question therefore, for every Bible-believing Christian, is this: Can the Bible be presented through the filmmaking process and stay true to what God’s Word says about His Word?
Well, what does it say? Proverbs:30:5-6
:“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (italics added). God’s words are His words, written down by men, His prophets (2 Peter:1:20-21
). “Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device” (Acts:17:29
, emphasis added).
“I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation:22:18-19).
Read rest of article HERE
For further insights into the problems with visually translating the Bible, we recommend Showtime for the Sheep and “The Bible According to Hollywood.” For materials related to the cult of Mormonism we recommend The God Makers and “Mormon Fiction” [see TBC article August 2
A dog keeps an eye on the presses as a woman has a swab taken at a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney, on Dec. 21, 2021. (Rick Rycroft/AP Photo)
COVID-19 vaccine mandates “have to be repealed” as the vaccines are “still in research” and “people cannot be mandated to participate in research,” says Dr. Peter McCullough.
McCullough, a cardiologist, epidemiologist, and internist who manages COVID-19 patients with heart-related complications and patients who become ill after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, contends that COVID-19 vaccine mandates violate the Nuremberg Code.Related CoverageDr. Peter McCullough: The Inexplicable Suppression of Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, and Other COVID-19 Treatments | PART 1
“When it comes to research, research can only be voluntary. And under no circumstances can anyone receive any pressure, coercion, or threat of reprisal—cannot. It violates the cornerstone of ethics; it’s unethical, it’s immoral to do that,” he says.
McCullough notes that the CDC and FDA have yet to publish “their first monthly safety report” on the vaccines, and that as of Dec. 17, the CDC’s VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) has reported 20,622 deaths post-vaccination and over 983,000 adverse events.
While VAERS has issued a disclaimer discouraging the interpretation of its data “to reach conclusions about existence, severity, frequency, or rates of problems associated with vaccines,” McCullough says that the system’s death reports deserve serious attention.
He cites a June 2021 analysis of VAERS COVID-19 vaccine death reports led by the University of London’s Scott Mclachlan. Mclachlan found that “contrary to claims that most of these reports are made by lay-people and are hence clinically unreliable,” health service employees were the reporters at least 67 percent of the time, and “there were only 14 percent of the cases for which a vaccine reaction could be ruled out as a contributing factor in their death.”
COVID-19 vaccines commonly used in the United States use genetic mechanisms to install genetic material into cells, and then the cells produce the spike protein of the virus, says McCullough. “That’s the mechanism of the spike protein, it’s the dangerous and lethal part of the virus.”
The “uncontrolled quantity and duration of spike protein” produced by the vaccine in the human body “almost certainly is the proximate cause of death,” according to McCullough.
McCullough said that the data satisfy all five of the Bradford Hill criteria, a framework scientists use to work out whether one thing is causing another. In this case, because COVID-19 vaccination data satisfies the Bradford Hill principles, McCullough says that reported deaths are highly likely caused by COVID-19 vaccinations.
McCullough also mentioned the “non-fatal events that just go right along” with COVID-19 deaths which makes it more plausible that the vaccines are causing adverse reactions and in turn, deaths.
VAERS has recorded more than 20,000 reports of death post-vaccination according to its database. Between January 2021 and October 2021, more than 1,000 deaths were reported per month, with over 3,000 deaths reported as having occurred on an unknown date.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported 10,483 deaths to VAERS between Dec. 14, 2020, and Dec. 13, 2021.
A lawsuit was recently filed against the FDA by a medical transparency group, Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT) formed by a group of doctors and scientists, including Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.
The FDA has asked a judge to grant it 75 years to fully release the documents in its possession tied to the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.Related CoverageDr. Peter McCullough: The Inexplicable Suppression of Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, and Other COVID-19 Treatments | PART 1
Aaron Siri, a lawyer working on the case, on Dec. 8 wrote, “If you find what you are reading difficult to believe—that is because it is dystopian for the government to give Pfizer billions, mandate Americans to take its product, prohibit Americans from suing for harms, but yet refuse to let Americans see the data underlying its licensure.”
Since its initial announcement of vaccine mandates in both the federal and private sectors, the Biden administration has emphasized that “vaccines are safe, free, and the most effective way for workers to be protected from COVID-19 transmission at work.”
Gary W. Ritter
(Malachi 1-4; Revelation 22)
As I write this on the last day of December 2021, I stand amazed at God and humbled by what He has done. Toward the end of 2019 the Lord put it on my heart to teach a class at my church centered on Reading Through the Bible in A Year beginning in January of 2020. This was to be straight up everyone reading God’s Word each day and then coming together weekly to discuss what we’d read. So many classes these days use other books and dip into Scripture for what they intend to convey. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the truth of the matter is that the people in His church – those who should know God and His Word – have not faithfully read this love letter He has given us. The times today are no different than what the prophet declared in Amos 8:11-12:
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
but they shall not find it.
The modern church indeed has a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. This has caused a generation or more of lukewarm Christians, led by pastors who avoid much of Scripture, because teaching it is too hard, opposed to their beliefs, or in their view may negatively impact tithes and offerings. It has led to many in the church who don’t understand the character of God, and certainly to a large swath of congregants and pastors who don’t know Bible prophecy. Despite the fact that God has infused His Word with the prophetic – as much as 1/3 of the Bible is comprised of prophecy – people today are simply ignorant of it. If not uninformed, they have adopted poor exegesis so that their interpretation is significantly flawed.
Thus, God’s direction to me was to teach directly from His Word by having those in the class read it regularly and completely. Note that His instruction wasn’t something I heard audibly; I didn’t experience any sort of revelation; I simply knew this is what I was to do. (I believe wholeheartedly that God can and will impart what He wants to someone in whatever way He deems necessary. This certainly may be supernatural in how that happens.) As part of this class God gave me the realization that I was to write notes from each day’s reading and use those in the class for my teaching. And so, each day that’s what I did.
Partway into the year, since I’m an author, I realized that these notes could be assembled into a series of books made available to the general public with the intent of encouraging others beyond the class to likewise engage in Reading Through the Bible in a Year. With that in mind, I created the 4-volume set of Awaken Bible Study Notes:
At the conclusion of that year’s worth of effort, God wasn’t done with me. He gave me another “assignment” for this year of 2021. I was no longer teaching a class, but I was to write an essay based on each day’s reading. Not realizing how daunting a task that would be, I commenced to do it on the first day of January of this year. If I had thought about the hill of doing this that I would climb, I might have floundered. But God kept me focused on the task each day and didn’t really let me look too far ahead. Day-by-day I wrote. This undertaking has resulted in this 4-volume set titled Awaken Bible Commentary and Reflections:
Having learned from my efforts in creating the study notes, I essentially assembled each day’s writing into the book format as I went along. Trust me, that made creating each volume in the series so much easier!
Both the study notes and the commentaries focus on two major aspects of Scripture: Bible prophecy and the supernatural that is so prevalent in God’s Word. Having studied Bible prophecy for a number of years, that came naturally. Because of reading works by Dr. Michael Heiser, particularly his seminal book, The Unseen Realm, watching his numerous lectures available on Youtube, and by taking a two-year course that he offered, I learned much and imparted that knowledge as best I could in my books.
The moral of this story is that God is faithful. I’m in awe thinking about the fact that I created eight books in these last two years dedicated to studying the Bible and learning its lessons. To top it off, while I was writing these two series, I also wrote two fiction books in this same timeframe. Ten books in two years! Believe me, I take no credit for this effort: It was all God, and how He worked through me to carry on each day.
These last two years have been an extraordinary time in human history. For those of us watching through a Biblical, prophetic – even supernatural – lens, it is clear that what is happening is like no other. Having such a worldview in which we examine current events in light of God’s Word, we see the convergence of all Biblical signs pointing toward the very soon return of Jesus. Indeed, just as He told John in Revelation 22:7:
“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”
… we’re not only two millennia closer, we’re at the doorstep of Jesus appearing in the clouds to snatch His beloved Bride from this alien place. Because we believe in the inerrant, infallibility of Scripture, we know that Jesus’ Words are true, i.e. we’re keeping the words of the prophecy of this book.
Unlike those in so many churches – pastors and people in the pews alike – the last thing we wish to do is disobey Jesus’ command regarding what John wrote in Revelation 22:10:
And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.”
This is why we revere Bible prophecy. God gives us the ears to hear and eyes to see through it. He shows us why the world is in such a state of apostasy, chaos, lawlessness, and darkness. We know the reason for Christ’s statement in Revelation 22:12:
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.”
When John says the following in Revelation 22:14-15:
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
… we know why. God loves those who love and obey Him. He pours out His wrath upon those who don’t. All have the opportunity of gaining eternal life. Sadly, far too many reject the Lord’s free offer to achieve it.
And so, we look up and wait expectantly, for the time cannot be long until His return. It’s why we can rejoice, even now as trials and tribulations come our way. The sure Word of God is our hope and our confidence. Just as Revelation 22:20 says:
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
… we, along with the Apostle John, say: “Maranatha! Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
The Lord put it on my heart this year to write a daily essay relating to my practice of Reading Through the Bible in a Year. Last year, that resulted in my producing the Awaken Bible Study Notes, a 4-volume set correlating with each quarter’s readings. This year in my writings, truly through the grace of God, I’m producing the 4-volume Awaken Bible Commentary and Reflections series. Volume 1, which covers January – March (Genesis 1 – Judges 5; Matthew 1 – Luke 7), is now available on Amazon in both paper and Kindle e-book formats at this link:
If these daily writings have been a blessing to you, I hope that you’ll acquire this first book and the subsequent ones as I finish editing them. My intent in all I write is to bring God the glory and to make His people think. As in the Study Notes from last year, the Commentary and Reflections delve into the prophetic and supernatural nature of God’s Word, a combination you simply won’t find elsewhere. They attempt to show the parallels to our times and the peril from the past when God’s people turn away from Him and His commands. Scripture is very much a blueprint for today.
Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author. His Whirlwind Series comprises three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is a Time. These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus. Gary has written many other Christian thrillers that will challenge you, and which you can learn about at his website: www.GaryRitter.com. Recently, Gary wrote a novella for the new Kindle Vella platform called Tribulation Rising: Seal Judgments – The Coming Apocalypse. This seven-part short work can be found at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099Z462WD. You can also watch Gary’s video Bible teachings on Rumble at his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel: https://rumble.com/c/c-783217.