"This Jesus thing is a smash hit..." The lyrics to All Star United's SMASH HIT song are sad but true. I find it very ironic that society seems to be moving further and further from God as so called faith based films, books and other paraphernalia sell like wildfire. Sadly, it seems that if you want to make some money, all one needs do is slap a christian saying on some cheap coffee mug and charge double. Unfortunately, we seem to be selling out the very one we are selling. I have watched Christian fads come and go, The Prayer of Jabez made millions with books, CDs, and every imaginable item with the words Prayer of Jabez emblazoned on it. The Purpose Driven movement also made millions as it continues into creative marketing designed to point dollars to pockets rather than people to Christ. I am anticipating an onslaught of Son Of God and Noah garbage filling the shelves at Wal-Mart and a Christian bookstore near you. Check out my review on Son of God to see just how far we have sunk and what we are willing to accept as believers.
Selling Jesus has become a billion dollar industry and has allowed people to load up on "christian" merchandise without actually building a relationship with the Savior. I fear that we live in a cliff note society where films like Noah and Son of God will replace true Biblical education. These films are to Bible study as as the Daily Show is to real news, a humorous look from a liberal slant disguised as truth. I recently read an article in which Paramount solicited a slew of "christian leaders" to endorse the Noah film. The reviews from students of the Bible have been dismal but there is always someone willing to sell an endorsement if the price is right, even if the ultimate price is one's soul. Make no mistake, films like Noah and Son of God have one purpose, to make money for the people who create them. The shoddy scholarship is testimony to this fact.
Rick Warren has jumped on the Son of God band wagon, naturally, as he has graciously created a Son of God Bible study as an companion to the Son of God movie. This is a blatant money grab as the Son Of God movie has major chronological discrepancies and makes a mockery of many of Christ's foundational teachings (please read my review if you have not) I find it hard to believe that any Bible teacher with any modicum of a conscience would stoop so low as to create a Bible study from a movie that that so blatantly disregards truth. Rick Warren is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, a so called Bible college that does not hold the Scripture to be literal or necessarily inspired. No wonder Warren finds nothing wrong with the Son Of God Film. How many millions will warren make from this study I wonder...
I am not against faith based films, music or books, just blatant attempts to make money off God without caring about truth or scholarship. Believers need to be far more finicky when it comes to what we buy and endorse, not everything labeled "christian" is. I am truly looking forward to God's Not Dead, a film made by evangelical Christians that deals with real life situations and points to the saving, life changing power of the Gospel. I almost exclusively listen to faith based music and read all sorts of faith based books. These things are good. My complaint is when some new craze comes along and suddenly we have Jesus Christ Bobble heads popping up or a heretic like Joel Osteen writes some psychobabble, calls it Christian and sells millions of copies to millions to people who are too lazy to read a Bible and who would rather allow some clown who rejected Christ on Larry King tell them what the Bible says.
As I walk into the Christian book store, I look at all the overpriced knickknacks with a cross or a dove plastered on it and I cannot help but think of Christ overturning the tables in the Temple because they were robbing people by merchandising the sacrifice. Are we not merchandising the sacrifice with cheap coffee mugs and key chains? Are we not merchandising the sacrifice when a rip off film like Son Of God is endorsed by so called christian leaders so they can sell their Son Of God merchandise? It is time for believers to study the Bible for themselves and not allow the millionaire God club to get richer selling us their version of the Gospel..