We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Nativity

As with many assemblies projecting lyrics on screens for congregational singing, ours will often have background photos with the lyrics.  This week was no exception, but I found the one selection to be a bit odd, and in my view bordering on blasphemy.

The song we sang was “Who Would Have Dreamed?” — which I’m not really keen on to begin with due to its chorus.  If I wanted to use an illustration behind these lyrics, to show a scene of the nativity, there are more selections of art than one could ever finish looking at!  Here are just a few I came across in a quick Google search:

So what was selected to illustrate the lyrics?  THIS!
This is a scene from the movie “The Nativity Story.”  Actors playing the parts of Joseph and Mary!  Here we are promoting a Hollywood movie which had biblical problems, and actually giving tacit praise to these actors and the production itself!!

I just don’t understand the fascination with movies by church leadership.  It is endemic across the nation as Hollywood productions are used to support various teachings, whether it is the use of scenes or anecdotes about the script or actors.

It’s just fine if we use these things as examples of what is wrong with the world, about how movies lie about mankind and God, and how we can learn discernment about them.  But when we use Hollywood in a good sense, whether it is using movie scenes behind lyrics or buying out theatre seats for promoting so-called “Christian” movies, we are just being like the world and not being good ambassadors for Christ.

The movie “The Nativity Story” was a fairly good movie, but there were too many issues in it, too many extra-biblical or unbiblical scenes, age differences between “Joseph” and “Mary,” etc, for me to not be bothered by it (especially when a promiscuous young lady is ironically playing the part of a virgin!).

Pastors, elders, Sunday School teachers, et al:  would you please leave any praise of Hollywood out of the assembly.


Robyn Base said...

I didn't know about the actress's tumultuous life. I just searched for her name and read what a mess her life has been. Like all of us, she really needs Jesus! You're right--it's strange for a church to show a still of this film when this actress is now starring in productions that are completely against God's values. I'm sure that like me, the church didn't have any idea about the implications of displaying a picture from this movie, which was lovely. I think they were trying to show an image that was more realistic because the beautiful artwork can make Christ's birth seem less than real. (Interestingly, I've read that artists sometimes used female models for religious paintings who were of ill repute!) I think when my church uses film to introduce a message or illustrate a point, it's distracting. It doesn't enhance the message at all.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...


I agree with you -- it's distracting and doesn't enhance the message.