This portion is taken from the original post, which can be fully viewed here: Concerns With The Series “The Chosen”. With the love of the show, so many feel discussing criticism is wrong. In this portion, I share arguments I’ve heard from followers of the show, and explain why it’s important to discuss criticism.
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I’m not against anyone in The Chosen. Like the creator, Dallas, I want to focus on the true Christ. I ask for prayer for everyone involved in the show, and everyone being influenced by the show. That we focus on what is true of Jesus Christ. I think it’s important to discuss our Savior and the way He is portrayed. That doesn’t mean I think The Chosen is evil, isn’t doing any good, or can’t be used by God. All I ask if for you to hear me out. Check out the resources, some are Christian, Catholic, or Mormon. I do not think all Mormons agree on the same points of their doctrine, just like I do not think all Catholics think the same of their doctrine. I’m focusing on the core doctrine of their religions, and followers can certainly disagree with core beliefs. Some interviews with Dallas are not with Christians. I’m trying to help give multiple perspectives so you can critically think most about what matters.
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Arguments Against Criticism of the Show
Before I begin, people often have very strong opinions on the show. I’ve seen hate which is never helpful, and by no means do I support hate. However, there are decent criticisms of the show that should be considered. Disagreement does not equal hate, please understand. Disagreement can lead to good discussions. On the other side of the pendulum, there are people who have such a love for the show they struggle to hear any criticism. So, let’s cover some things people say and why they believe criticism should be avoided.
Argument #1 – The show brings multiple denominations together
I discuss this at the very end of the post. But let’s define terms. Denomination here includes Catholicism, Mormonism, and Christianity. Now, the Gospel message can vary with each one listed, which means the variations are presenting different Christs. Having various versions of Jesus is not only confusing but distorts the Gospel message, which affects salvation. There is only one Christ and one Gospel message. We are to know the Bible and we are to know the true Christ the Bible presents, least we be tossed to and fro.
Why is Catholicism and Mormonism different than Christianity? It relates to the doctrine of the religions, the foundation by which the religions stand on. It is this foundation that builds up what defines Catholicism, Mormonism, Christianity, and any other religion.
Got Questions – What Are The Core Beliefs Of Christianity?
LDS – Mormon Beliefs, Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Melissa Dougherty: Are Mormons Christians? What’s the difference between Christianity and Mormonism? 24:12 mins
For a much more thorough dive into Mormonism check out Mike Winger: 2 Hrs On Mormonism
Catholicism – Core Catholic Beliefs , Don’t Catholics Worship Mary, The Four Marian Dogmas
Mike Winger – His playlist of 12 videos Catholicism Evaluated Biblically , 1st vid – Catholics vs. Catholicism, 3rd vid- Why Catholicism Is Wrong
Argument #2– It doesn’t matter what the actors believe, what matters is the show material
I can agree with this to a point.
But I begin to disagree when the actor’s beliefs are reflected in the show material, and those beliefs are false doctrine. I also care that the man who plays Jesus could influence weak followers because they are being emotionally led by the show. In the resource below sharing Roumie’s testimony on Divine Mercy, an older woman sees him acting (in a separate production as Jesus) and this woman, greatly in sorrow, felt that if she touched him, she could connect with the soul of her dead son. From what Roumie shared, he hugged her, but he did not correct her. Now, that’s a pretty unique situation to be in, so I hope the woman got comfort. I think hugging her was sweet and I really hope she understands the truth. But this moment from a hurting woman is my concern for viewers.
Emotions affect people and in the art of a show, music can manipulate emotionally. Appealing to our emotions in a story can manipulate. It may not be intentional, but it is something to consider. There are hurting people watching The Chosen, and it’s important they get the truth of Jesus Christ, not just a feel good message. The Gospel is good news, which means there is also bad news. There is only one authentic Jesus Christ, not the person who portrays Him in a show.
Jonathan Roumie plays Jesus in The Chosen. He is an amazing actor, and he is Catholic, holds very closely to Catholic doctrine. He supports the Pope. Jonathan Roumie has made recent claims in which he has had interactions with a dead man. Catholics do believe you can pray to dead saints and receive help. (You can see his tweet here, if it’s available.) Scripture tells us we are not to communicate with the dead. Roumie is a major influencer. People could look up to him as “Jesus” (just as the poor woman mentioned above) and people could be influenced on how he believes.
Some other resources on Jonathan and where he stands:
- Jonathan shares the Catholic belief of the eucharist is what makes sense to him. My Favorite Thing About Being Catholic from Pints With Aquinas
– Jonathan shares how he feels like he was prepared for The Chosen, even at a young age, he built a crucifix in his yard. – Jonathan Roumie On Being A Born Again Catholic See also: What Is The Catholic sacrament of the Holy Eucharist by Got Questions
- Jonathan believes icons (like paintings, statues, rosemary beads) help anchor him in prayer. He shares how he believes he needed these things, a particular environment, to help “feel connected to God,” which I would recommend seeing my posts Should We Use Our Emotions As Truth? | What Is Emotionalism? & Contemplative Prayer/Spirituality | What You Need To Know About That “Still, Small Voice” I feel for Jonathan and his desire to connect to God outside of scripture. I do appreciate his desire to surrender. I pray he gets all the answers he needs from the truth of Jesus Christ in scripture and not outside experiences or emotions. Pray for him. – Jonathan Roumie – Testimony on Divine Mercy from Team Catholify –
- Little Info- Divine Mercy relates to a nun named Maria Faustina Kowalska, who later became Saint Faustina. Maria claimed to talk to Christ and have visions. She claimed Christ told her to make a painting of Him and all who would revere the painting would not perish. She claimed Christ told her that she is an apostle and secretary of His mercy. See: What is Divine Mercy Sunday? By Got Questions. Maria was not talking to Christ, even if she believed she was. There is nothing in scripture that indicates this. Maria cannot be considered an apostle, she did not witness the actual death and resurrection of Christ. There are no women recorded as apostles in scripture. Maria also claimed she saw a vision of Purgatory and how Mother Mary visited souls. She probably saw something and heard voices, but sadly and more concerning, it was not of Jesus.
Dallas, the creator of the show, is a major influencer, as well. He also has a Roundtable of various influences.
– Dallas does get advice from a Catholic priest for the show – from The Chosen channel – A Catholic Priest Responds To Mary In The Chosen snippet from their Roundtable talks.
Dallas and Jonathan are in the same position, as other Christian celebrities, like singers. Please pray for Jonathan that the truth is revealed. Please pray for those who are influenced and those who are influencers. We are not just dealing with the show. We are dealing with all influence that occurs from the show, but also outside of the show. We are to consider how influence will affect the writing of the show, and how influence of the actors, director, etc affects followers. If things are misleading, we need to discuss what is false and what is true. In addition, to keep praying for everyone involved.
See Also: Interview With Former Roman Catholic Mike Gendron by Justin Peters to understand why it is not ok to accept Catholicism, and why people like Dallas need to show love and speak up against it.
Argument #3 – It’s still a good Christian show, even if there are concerns
Actually, I think we have more danger here whenever the title of Christian is used. Again, we have many weak followers, new believers, who need the milk, basic understanding. Unfortunately, there is a vulnerability that can be lowered when we think material is “safe,”when our emotions are used against the truth. We are still called by God to be discerning with anything and anyone who claims to be of Him and for Him. In fact, we might have to be more critical than we would with a secular show because the show IS displaying a character representing the Savior, our King.
(I’m not saying to go and watch secular shows. But I am saying we need to be careful with what’s true and what’s mostly true. We need to know those differences because wolves are disguised as sheep. Those differences COULD eternally matter, which is why we need to discern.)
Argument #4 – People are being led to Jesus Christ.
While for the past few years this show has been proclaimed to preach the Gospel, the Gospel message has yet to be shared in the show alone. Now, I don’t know the depth of other Bible studies or books that people can buy from the show’s creators, hopefully the Gospel is explained in those materials, which is awesome, if that’s the case. But the show by itself has not shared the Gospel message.
The main message that is received is that Christ is different and He loves us. While this is certainly true, this is not the Gospel. No one is being saved through the show. Christ alone saves, and it is scripture that increases faith. (Romans 10:17). As I share later, I’m not against people being led to scripture because of the show. I think that’s awesome! But it’s important to recognize the show has not yet shared the Gospel message. (I cover the issues of “authentic” Jesus from The Chosen down in point 1 from Problems With The Chosen.)
The Gospel message of Jesus Christ is most important. Anyone proclaiming the Gospel, Christian or not, is accountable for that message and what the message implies and claims. If that message is tainted, we are to expose the darkness, as scripture tells us. (Ephesians 5:10-11)
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If you would like to view the entire post, see Concerns With The Series “The Chosen”
A Word Fitly Spoken (Podcast by Michelle Lesley & Amy Spreeman) Review Of The Chosen (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)
Michelle Lesley: Overview/Review Of The Chosen
Melissa Dougherty: A Candid Conversation With Dallas Jenkins, Director of The Chosen. – Because of the interview Dallas did with Saints Unscripted, Melissa tries to ask Dallas how Mormons view Jesus.
Saints Unscripted: Interview With A Mormon & An Evangelical – Dallas claims Mormons love the same Jesus as an Evangelical. This is the interview that first sparked concern.
Saints Unscripted: Sharing the Authentic Jesus With The World ft. Dallas Jenkins – Dallas even talks about studying the real Jesus instead of counterfeits, but as the post makes the point of, the show is not showing the true Jesus.
Churchwatcher and Ingrid McCullough– The Chosen & The Shift– EXTREMELY well done and helpful to critically make you think.
Fighting 4 Faith – A Brief Reality Check On The Chosen
Scripture To Memorize/Meditate On – (ESV) Romans 5:08, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
*To learn more about what Jesus did on the cross and why His atonement sacrifice is so needed please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
*If you do not know the Gospel, do not turn away. If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
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