You can’t have a Christiollywood blockbuster without the bling. While you won’t find Young Messiah Happy Meal toys in your fast food, the Jesus trading cards and games introduce a whole new kind of fandom.
Successful movies require bling. Successful Christian genre films require endorsements and film-based preaching. From sermon guides and resources to small group study materials, the film is quickly making merchandise of men’s souls.
My previous articles will help discerning Christians understand the theological inclinations of churches and celebrities behind the new movie (see, The Young “Messiah”: Christians delight in really bad fanfiction). You also need to know what’s in the movie itself, by getting a good look at the many doctrinal departures and detours the filmmakers take in the name of art: (see, What’s so unbiblical about “Young Messiah”? Read and weep).
The filmmakers themselves are pushing the film as truth rather than art, and that should concern you:
The endorsers are pushing this off as doctrinally sound:
What concerns me more than anything are the resources designed for churches – the very shepherds who are entrusted with protecting sheep from apostasy will now get a kit to help them swallow it down.
Churches are encouraged to get the free premiere kit, so that pastors can begin showing clips and asking poignant questions of their sheep to get them to think about a 7-year-old Jesus and all of His (I mean his) adventures. Like bringing a dead bird back to life, which is straight out of the heretical Gnostic Gospels, or that time when a bully beat the tar out of wimpy Jesus for playing with a girl, and the girl took a big stick and beat the tar out of the bully, all as a snack-eating Satan looks on.
It never happened. Here’s the bully scene, and “Sister Rose,” a Catholic nun teaching about “Jesus and the Bullies” on leftist Patheos:
There are small group study guides for Evangelicals, children, and special ones for Catholics.Here’s the scene where Mary tells Jesus who He is, and warns Him not to use His superpowers. The accompanying study guide for church small groups states:
“Once Jesus understood fully his mission, the weight of his questions was lifted from him and he feltpeace. In the same way, we find freedom when we discover and live out our identities as sons anddaughters of God. Can you think of a time when knowing your true identity in Christ brought freedom and peace? What was that experience like for you?”
The beautiful website and gorgeous film trailers will no doubt enchant many. And anyone who raises concerns will be sure to get the stink-eye from Christians defending their turf and demanding that you consume the full heaping, steaming plate of apostasy before earning the right to say anything constructive or discerning.
You have to see it to know it’s not the Jesus of the Bible, but a different Jesus? Hogwash. Look, the reason I am writing these articles and sharing them is because this movie in particular is theologically dangerous. And the fact that Bible study guides were created so that people could study this fiction about our Lord grieves me to no end.
If you want to go enjoy and consume something false, believing that none of the stories and images can be unseen, then go. But at least be an informed consumer, and know that God does not delight in pablum for the masses.