Tragedy seems to dominate headline ink these days, often augmented with gore in Technicolor®. I guess it’s only fitting that I apologize for the shipwreck redux to follow. Hollywood has dramatized plane wrecks, train wrecks, car wrecks, and various other wrecks of humanity. Shipwrecks are ever popular, from the Titanic to Pierce “Crusoe” Brosnan. Yet, a more real and dramatic shipwreck happens daily. It is far more serious than even the real loss of human life (Matthew 10:28), and the entertainment industry is aiding and abetting this misfortune with misinformation.
The Bible teaches that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). So, any information lacking biblical backing generates a false faith. Holding on to a true faith is difficult enough without the added burden of entertainers taking redaction liberties with God’s Word. Nevertheless, we are such a visual culture these days that, if you can put something on the silver screen, some assume it has an inherent value. Not so! In fact and more often, it causes doubt, skepticism, and agnosticism, and serves as a platform to undermine the word of God (e.g. the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar or Willam Defoe’s sick and perverted depiction of Jesus). Twisted scriptures notwithstanding, “Christian” organizations continue to produce “Christian” movies to dramatize their “Gospel.” And, as the “Christmas” season descends upon us, we are due for more of the same.
Hymenaeus and Alexander could have been directors/producers for much of today’s “Christian” entertainment. The apostle Paul told his student Timothy to “war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:19-20). When those (whose interest in truth and good conscience has long since crashed and burned) produce a shipwrecked faith, no matter how entertaining it may be, it leaves eternal carnage in its wake. Most “Jesus films” (e.g. the Jesus Video Project, “Jesus for Texas,” the “The Lamb of God” video) are nothing more than denominational propaganda films. Further, the Christmas season foments its own faith breakers, splintering the scriptures for emotive effect.
As we approach the holiday season, and John Q. Public gorges on Christendom’s Christmas cuisine, you need to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). While America’s attention is directed toward spiritual things, albeit DVD damaged, use the opportunity to “war a good warfare” by clarifying and illuminating what God actually teaches about His Son. Maybe this season, we can sink Satan.