In February 2014, ‘Son of God’ a spinoff feature-length film, of the wildly successful “Bible Miniseries”, will debut in movie theaters across America. The film, which is essentially expanded scenes from The Bible Miniseries. Created by TV producer Mark Burnett and actress Roma Downey, the movie has the potential to just be a continuation of the inaccurate and heretical doctrines of its original miniseries. And despite the many doctrinal red flags in The Bible Miniseries, Pastors across the country are once again urging their congregations to flock to see Hollywood’s distorted version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here is the trailer for the film:
1. The Bible Mini-Series: The Foundation of Its Heresy
Beginning and End initially did an article on The Bible Miniseries, entitled “The Bible Miniseries: Hollywood Heresy” in which we exposed the many heretical doctrines and outright blasphemies in the smash hit cable series. Rather than just mere “creative license”, The Bible Miniseries distorted and changed key events and accounts in the Biblical text for the sake of “entertainment.” Among some of the examples:
- The angels who arrive in Sodom to warn Lot of the coming judgment of God are beaten up by the residents of the city of Sodom. They run into Lot’s house in fear of the people. None of this is in Scripture and in angels, not only do humans never harm angels, they are more often than not in utter fear and despair when standing in the presence of a Holy Angel. Later in The Bible Miniseries, the angels use martial arts to fight the Sodomites as Lots and his family escape. Again, none of this is ever in Scripture and is a bizarre depiction of a very important account of God’s righteous judgment against sin (destroying the sinful city of Sodom) and His loving redemption (saving Lot and his family).
- King David upon being caught in the sin of adultery and murder by the prophet Nathan, is told that his son born of adultery will die as punishment. This indeed is what the Bible depicts. However in the Miniseries, David’s reaction at being told God’s judgment is anger and defiance, as he tells Nathan “we’ll see about that”, implying that he’s going to fix God’s business for daring to pronounce such a judgment on him. In Scripture, the real King David’s reaction is deep sorrow and repentance:
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. – 2 Samuel 12:13-23.
There are many powerful Biblical principles in this account. For one, we see that the real King David did indeed repent and immediately confess his sin. His humility before God was clear because despite being a powerful king surrounded by servants and owning an abundance of wealth, David fasted for days, laying on his face on the ground in repentance, praying for God’s mercy on his illegitimate child. Thus we see David’s heart was indeed one of a believer in God’s salvation and forgiveness. David even expressed to his servants that he believed it was possible God would revoke his judgment and let the child live. Finally in verse 23, David, despite his horrific sin, knows that he is going to Heaven as he declares that his child will not be coming back to life, but that he would “go to him” – at David’s point of death they would be reunited. What does this tell a believer? That even an adulterer and murderer like King David can be forgiven. That even in our times of deepest despair, God’s mercy is still extended. David did not earn God’s forgiveness. He believed in God’s Gospel and trusted in God’s mercy that his soul was saved eternally. He elaborated on this in Psalm 51, which he wrote after this incident:
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. – Psalm 51:1-8.
This beautiful Psalm shows the way to Heaven. And it starts with recognizing one’s sin. David confessed his sin to the Lord in clear and bold fashion. And he recognized that is God who “cleans” and “washes” us of that sin. How? By the blood of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Son of God. Jesus’ sacrifice was the payment for our sins. It is what allows God to justly forgive a person of their sins because in putting their faith in Christ, a person’s rightful punishment was taken on by Jesus on the cross. Jesus stepped in the place of King David and every other person who has ever lived, to suffer in their place. And it only takes faith in Christ’s sacrifice to receive forgiveness of sin. This is what the Bible is all about. If a person was making a movie about the Bible, it would probably be a good idea to include this very, extremely important and critical message in the film. But instead what did The Bible Miniseries do? Eliminate it altogether and turn David into a petulant brat who has no remorse or repentance and tells God “we’ll see about that!” This incredibly heretical and blasphemous in its distortion of the Holy Bible.
Recall that the ‘Son of God’ movie is mostly made from parts of The Bible Miniseries with extra scenes added in. For more details of the horrific alterations of Scripture and the Bible’s message of forgiveness of sin in Christ, see our article, “The Bible Miniseries: Hollywood Heresy.”
2. The ‘Biblical Advisors’ of The Bible Miniseries – Producing Rotten Fruit
“We weren’t qualified to teach the Bible, but we knew plenty of people who were,” – The Bible mini-series co-creator Mark Burnett, speaking of the panel of spiritual advisors who helped make the mini-series.
“[Miniseries Co-Creator Mark Burnett] would send scripts our way and ask doctrinal or Bible questions about it, but a lot of it was a friendship and an advisory role,”[Pastor Joel] Osteen said. Osteen said much of his work was confirming if the extra biblical material stayed true to the Bible. (source).
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. – Jesus Christ, The True Son of God, Matthew 7:15-20.
A quick look at the Board of Advisors on The Bible Miniseries and it becomes quite obvious that it was bound to contain heretical portrayals of the Scriptures. Prosperity Gospel preacher T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, the largest church in the United States are the three most prominent names. As Beginning and End has detailed in past articles, all three pastors teach Unbiblical, New Age, false doctrines. In our article on T.D. Jakes we showed that in addition to preaching the money-focused prosperity Gospel, he also has yoked with New Age promoter Oprah Winfrey. Joel Osteen preaches a message of New Age mysticism that can be found in many books and websites on witchcraft, while Rick Warren has been a major promoter of a one-world religion that merges other faiths with Christianity.
Osteen specifically, stated that he was a script advisor for The Bible Miniseries. Here is the pastor openly denying Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation:
So in addition to his New Age doctrines, Osteen has openly denied Jesus Christ. His teachings are wildly unbiblical and fall under the category of corrupt fruit. And the clear word of Scripture is that no “good fruit” will come from a corrupt tree. So says, the True Son of God, Jesus Christ. Who do you believe?
3. The Creators of Son of God – Yoked With The Occult
As detailed in our article on the Bible Miniseries, Roma Downey, co-creator of The Bible Miniseries and the Son of God, adheres to a number of New Age and occult doctrines and practices. Roma Downey has been celebrated for her co-creation of The Bible Miniseries and being an outspoken “Hollywood Christian.” Known for her role in the 90s drama “Touched By An Angel” in which she played an angel who comes to Earth to help people with problems, her name on The Bible Miniseries lent a great deal of Christian credibility. But looking a little closer at the testimony of Downey and it becomes apparent she is more involved with New Age mysticism than Biblical Christianity.
In 2010 Downey graduated from The University of Santa Monica with a Degree in Spiritual Psychology (the entire school is dedicated to the study of Spiritual Psychology and “Soul-centered Education”). The University describes this field as:
Spiritual Psychology is the study and practice of the art and science of human evolution in consciousness… “surrendering” and “sacrificing” is work that can and has been called “healing,” which includes healing on the physical, mental, and emotional levels in service to the deeper revelation of who we truly are as Loving, Peaceful, Compassionate, and Joyful beings. We refer to this level of awareness as the Authentic Self…
Put another way, Spiritual Psychology is a technology that empowers students to convert their everyday life experience into rungs on the ladder of Spiritual Evolution…” (source).
Downey also said in an interview:
‘My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. I’m open to the group’s opinion about what we listen to on the way there. On the way back, I get my own selections — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’ (source).
“Self-realization” is a term in New Age and Eastern mysticism for achieving godhood, or releasing one’s true “inner divine self” through spiritual practices. Eckhart Tolle, a New Age guru and author of the book, A New Earth, promoted many doctrines that are contrary to Biblical Christianity. Among them:
“…heaven is not a location but refers to the inner realm of consciousness…. Earth, on the other hand, is the outer manifestation in form, which is always a reflection of the inner…. ‘A new heaven’ is the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness, and ‘a new earth’ is its reflection in the physical realm.”[1,p.23]
“Recognize the ego for what it is: a collective dysfunction, the insanity of the human mind…. Nobody is wrong. It is the ego in someone, that’s all.” (p. 76).
“You realize your true identity as consciousness…. That’s the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.” (p. 56-57).
These doctrines are in clear contradiction to the Bible which states that Heaven is indeed a real place, as is hell. And rather than say “nobody is wrong” the Bible is quite clear that we are all sinners. Romans chapter 3 says: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” All people (this author included) have sinned. All people are deserving of God’s wrath. The New Age movmement seeks to eliminate the concept of sin or judgment of God. And this is a satanic deception. Beloved, if a person does not believe in sin, then they have no need for a Savior.
Downey has also promoted her occult practice of necromancy – communicating with the dead. She has worked with TV psychic Johnathan Edwards, who is renowned for his ability to speak with the dead. Against these are clear sins in Scripture:
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. – Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
“Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” – Leviticus 19:31.
The Bible could not be clearer that contacting the dead is rebellion against God. Downey not only practices necromancy, she appeared on Edwards’ TV show to have an on-air séance. In addition, she collaborated on a book with Edwards teaching the heretical Roman Catholic practice of “praying the rosary.” In the book Edwards encourages readers to “pray the rosary” a practice of holding a Catholic Crucifix necklace and uttering repetitive chants in prayers to Mary, the mother of Jesus in the Bible. This practice is sinful for several reasons. As shown above, Christians are not to communicate with the dead. Whether it is a relative, someone from the Bible or a celebrity, any attempts to speak with the dead is necromancy. Secondly, Mary was just a normal person. We are not to pray to her, hail her or seek anything from God through Mary. 1 Timothy 2:3 says: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”It is Jesus Christ who is our advocate with God The Father. The Son of God goes further by showing a scene after the crucifixion where the Apostle Peter is leading the disciples (all 13 of them) in The Lord’s Supper. This scene never took place in the Bible but serves the unbiblical Roman Catholic doctrine that Peter was the “first Pope.” Once again, there is no pope in the Bible or substitute Christ (save for the Antichrist).
Jesus Christ is our High Priest who we take our prayers too. Jesus Christ, the True Son of God said: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking,”(Matthew 6:7). Repetitive chants or mantras, are occult practices. Jesus Christ was clear that Christians were not to do this as it is not a proper way of prayer. Prayer for a Christian should be open confession of sin and petitions – asking God for help in areas of life or for others. It’s a frank, open speaking from the heart, not repeated chants as if trying to cast a spell. Yet not only does Roma Downey ignore the Son of God’s clear teaching, she made a CD with John Edwards in which she does a series of repetitive prayers for the listener to repeat and chant themselves. What spirit is guiding the creator of the Son of God movie? What kind of fruit is coming the creators?
4. It Stars Another Jesus
Much of the Gospel accounts are altered inexplicably in the Son of God movie. Among some of the errors:
Here is that same account in the actual Bible:
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. – Luke 5:1-11.
Notice Peter’s reaction to the miracle that Jesus had performed. He and his men were fishing all night and caught nothing. There was seemingly, no way to catch any. Yet Peter believed Jesus’ words and obeyed him. Why? Because first off, Jesus was teaching people from Peter’s ship. He was preaching the Gospel which the Bible calls: “the power of God unto salvation…” And after the miracle, Peter dropped to a position of worship and said “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Recognizing one’s own sin before the morally perfect God and Lord that is Jesus Christ, is key to going to Heaven. This is again a critical aspect of how a person is saved from the wrath of God and the lake of fire. Peter understood he was in the presence of Divine Power and did not feel worthy. Yet Jesus encourages him by inviting him to come with him to “catch men”, meaning bringing more people to believe in Christ. And Peter “forsook all”, meaning he gave up everything he was doing with his life on the spot, to follow Jesus. All of this is what a person has to do in order to go to Heaven. Acknowledging your sin, confessing it to God, believing in Jesus Christ and giving up your past life of sinful ways and letting your own heart rule, in order to follow Jesus and let Him be Lord of your life, is all a part of being a born again Christian.
Does The Son of God illustrate these powerful points? Not at all. Instead of being astonished and worshiping at the feet of Jesus Character, Peter asks him “How did this happen? What did you do?” as if he had no idea what was going on. The Jesus Character (who looked like the renaissance era/Catholic depictions of Jesus) responds: “I am giving you the chance to change your life..giving up catching fish and I will make you a fisher of men.” Peter answers “What are we going to do?” showing he still does not really understand if Jesus is divine or why it would be necessary for people to know Jesus. And the Jesus character’s answer is “Change the world.” No mention of sin, acknowledging of Jesus as God in the flesh or a real salvation message. Instead it is almost a social justice message. Jesus Christ did not come to change the world, He came to save it from its sin. Without understanding that sin is the greatest problem the world is facing, Jesus’ message could be changed to just helping the poor, or providing water wells to communities in drought or working in a homeless shelter. All these actions, while noble, will not get you to Heaven or make one right before God. This is the problem with many churches as they put overemphasis on “changing the world” without first changing the sinful heart that has led a person into sin and damnation, lest they believe the Gospel. And the false doctrines being preached today, while exciting are not Biblical. Do not be deceived.
- Prominence of Mary Magdalene – Mary Magdalene, a true believer in Jesus Christ, is not very featured in the Gospels, as she only occurs in a small number of the accounts of Jesus’ life. In The Son of God movie, she is “the 13th disciple” right along with Jesus and the twelve disciples at every key event. As one excellent Christian review stated:
“But in the film, there are 13 apostles, and the thirteenth apostle is a woman named Mary. Not only is she always with them, but she’s with them in the boat during the storm when Jesus walks on water; she’s with them when they travel privately, though in the Scriptures, Jesus pulled aside and taught only The Twelve…men. Mary is also very outspoken and often reproves the male apostles to have more faith as it is very apparent her faith is stronger.During the crucifixion scene when Jesus is being jeered at by the crowd, Mary defends Jesus and shouts “Leave him be!” Wow, brave gal, huh? Braver than the male apostles who never speak up or do anything heroic or faithful. Then when Jesus is resurrected, she’s the first (and only woman) to enter the empty tomb. She also accompanies Peter and John who later come to the empty tomb to see for themselves. In Scripture, three women go to the tomb early in the morning and are greeted by angels who remind them that Jesus said He would rise on the third day. In the movie, she and the apostles remember all this on their own.” (source).
Mary Magdalene is a virtual celebrity in New Age and pagan circles. There are even Gnostic churches devoted to her. And all of this based on heretical and blasphemous writings about a woman who was indeed a believer, but never one of the twelve disciples. She also was not the wife, girlfriend or “right hand woman” to Jesus Christ. With all the deception promoted by blasphemous books such as The DaVinci Code, History Channel documentaries and other “entertainment vehicles” based on the heretical Gnostic Gospels, you would think someone making a “Christian film” would be very wary of this be faithful to the limited account of Mary Magdalene. Instead, the Joel Osteen-approved Son of God film just adds to the confusion.
Mary Magadalene’s account in Scripture, as a woman once possessed by demons who was healed by Jesus and then became a born-again believer – is one to celebrate. But it shoudl be right alongside the numerous other people who Jesus healed in Scripture who then professed their faith in Him as The True Son of God.
- No mention of sin – In The Son of God, the Jesus Character somehow neglects to mention sin and the need for forgiveness (a glaring omission throughout The Bible miniseries as well). Again, if someone is making a movie about Jesus Christ and trying to share the Gospel this is a key element. The true Jesus Christ of the Bible said: “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Both of these groups groups were the established “megachurch” preachers of their day, who drew the biggest audiences, garnered the most worldly respect and put on the best appearances of running a truly Godly ministry. But in fact, their doctrine was corrupt and heretical. Jesus referred to their doctrine as “leaven” (another term for yeast) to illustrate an important point – just as a bowl of bread dough only needs a pinch of leaven, so too can false teachers just add a small amount of their false teachings to true Biblical teaching. But soon, like leaven permeates an entire loaf of bread, so too will the false teaching permeate the doctrine. The Son of God film is a perfect example of how the leaven works.
5. It’s Going To Test You
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. – Matthew 10:34-35.
Jesus Christ was clear that His message was divisive. And today, it is clear that the message of Christ has become one of the divisive issues in all of society. And within the church, the division increases with works like the Son of God. The Christian church has entered an age of rampant apostasy, watered down doctrine and a lack of respect for the Word of God. There has been such a rush to celebrate a Hollywood retelling of the Gospel, that thousands if not millions of Christians have no concern for the inaccuracies, heretical doctrines or occult and New age roots of The Bible Miniseries. Many pastors have rented out theaters, given away thousands of tickets and basically commanded their congregations to run and support the film. And while curiosity about the film or a desire to give a film about Jesus a chance is perfectly understandable – a Pastor, in a position of authority over his congregation has a greater duty. Telling your congregants to see a film is an open endorsement of its creators. And in the case of The Son of God, it means these pastors are endorsing Catholic mystics and New Age heretics. This is just the type of “Christian unity” that will come in the end times as more and more apostate churches abandon Biblical Christianity in preparation for the one-world religion of the Antichrist.
Christian writers have praised the film, that despite its “liberties” with the Bible, should be celebrated because it will “open discussions about Jesus.” If you are a Christian – a real born again, Bible-believing Christian, then your purpose in life is clear: Jesus Christ, the son of God said: “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations…”
You do not need a movie to start a “discussion about Jesus.” Preach the Gospel to those around you. Share Gospel tracts with family, friends and co-workers. Open the Bible with your children and read it to them. Find a Bible-believing church and attend. If the Church is relying on Hollywood to open doors to preach the Gospel, it will be waiting for a very long time. The True Son of God needed no entertainment vehicle to preach. He just needed people around Him. We are to follow His example. And certainly if the Church is going to be excited it should not be over fruit from a corrupt tree, like The Son of God movie.
So where do you stand, Christian? Are you willing to rush after a heretical film and promote it, despite its glaring errors? Are you willing to take in the leaven that The True Son of God said should be avoided, lest you become completely leavened? Are you willing to put popular sentiment among the apostate church and rock star false pastors over the clear commands and words of Jesus Christ? Are you going to listen to your heart over The True Son of God who said the Bible is truth? Or will you be yoked with the New Age movement and the occult? This is the test. And it will produce ugly results. Many will be upset and offended by this article. But why? Because of their passion for God’s Word or due to their excitement that Hollywood is “giving us a chance”?
This author’s sincere hope and prayer is that Christians become united over the Bible and it being presented in “spirit and truth.” The spirit and enthusiasm of the church is certainly present today – but the commitment to truth – meaning accurate, Biblical preaching, is lacking. If Christians want to make Christian film or presentations of the Bible, that is great. In this age, all media should be used to share the message of the Bible. But it should be done with the reverence, respect and care that our Savior deserves and is more than worthy of. That commitment, to be an ambassador for Christ and contend for the faith in every arena, is the best testimony a movie can give (even if it gets a thumbs down from Hollywood).