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Why Are Jesus Movies Always Lame?
Yahoo News via Daily Beast ^ | 03/03/2013 | By Matthew Paul Turner

Posted on 03/03/2014 7:00:29 AM PST by SeekAndFind

I never want to see Jesus again.

Not in a movie, at least. Not after sitting through two hours and 18 minutes of Son of God, the latest tragedy about the life of Jesus and the acting career of Roma Downey, the onetime Touched By An Angel star who, in addition to playing Mary, produced the film with her husband, Mark Burnett.

Having watched some of History Channel’s The Bible, the 10-hour mini series from which most of Son of God was pieced together, I already knew Jesus Starring Roma Downey wasn’t going to be great. (Nothing starring Roma Downey has ever been great.) But still, I went to the theater praying for the best, hoping Jesus might not be terrible. But alas, God’s only son was terrible; the story, the dialogue, the acting, the non-miraculous special effects—all pretty terrible. Sometimes it was SyFy Channel-terrible. Son of God is so awful that it borders on godless—not sinful or heretical, just lacking true Spirit.

Which is why I’m officially done watching Jesus movies. Because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every single Jesus movie made since 1960. No, I’m not a biblical film connoisseur by choice; I was just raised in a cave by Baptists who, upon purchasing a VCR in 1985, only watched movies that were produced by Disney, loosely based on Bible stories, or called Ben-Hur.

Consequently, I’ve watched a lot of Jesus movies in my day. And frankly, none of them are exactly great.

The first movie I can remember watching was The Greatest Story Ever Told, the 1965 biblical epic starring Charlton Heston as the shapeshifter, John the Baptist. At times, Heston appears more werewolf than human, which ended up being the best part of the film.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: History; Religion; Society; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: film; jesus; movies
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1 posted on 03/03/2014 7:00:29 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I was done with “Jesus movies” a long time ago, and broke the rule only to watch The Passion, with which I was deeply disappointed (lots of comments about why on another thread).

One problem is that I don’t like the concept of adding any details that are not in the bible. By “any”, what I actually mean is, “ANY”. Be they events or words.

But movies that abide by my rule don’t have a lot to work with. I remember one movie where the crowd was yelling, but you could tell they were not saying any real words. It just sounded weird.

And ALL movies are someone’s interpretation of what happened. I’m fine with bible studies on specific issues and the bible itself, both heavily salted with prayer. I go to movies to watch bad guys get their butts kicked or nice couple’s fall in love. I go to the Bible for truth.


2 posted on 03/03/2014 7:06:40 AM PST by cuban leaf
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To: SeekAndFind

John the Baptist as a shapeshifter? No bias there, eh?


3 posted on 03/03/2014 7:06:58 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

If Turner had half a brain, he would read FR and know not to see the trash that passes for film production today.

Plenty of FR threads have pointed to the only Jesus movie worth watching.

http://gloria.tv/?media=512696

And there are three more parts that will need to be found on the same website.


4 posted on 03/03/2014 7:08:09 AM PST by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: SeekAndFind

I saw the Ten Commandments back in around 1972 as a kid. I didn’t think that was lame. A bit corny by today’s CGI standards but it worked for the time.


5 posted on 03/03/2014 7:09:33 AM PST by CodeToad (Keeping whites from talking about blacks is verbal segregation!)
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To: cuban leaf

I too was very disappointed in watching the Passion.

But there is one that will not disappoint:

http://gloria.tv/?media=512696

The above is Part I. I’ll find the other parts and post them.


6 posted on 03/03/2014 7:09:51 AM PST by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: SeekAndFind

Its probably impossible to get Jesus right in such a one dimensional medium as a movie.


7 posted on 03/03/2014 7:10:31 AM PST by skeeter
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To: SeekAndFind

Call me cranky, but I’m saying - IF this Cranky Critic already knew it was going to be lame, why bother seeing it? And furthermore, why bother reviewing it in a negative way?

Can we not just celebrate that this movie was made at all and opened all over the US? That there was enough money available that it could be made? That someone had the vision and the fortitude to push through that vision to a finished product? That many people worked and got paid making it? Are these not amazing in their own right? But no, the Christians must tear it apart. “The doctrine is not perfect, it’s lame, it doesn’t xx, it includes xx.”

I look forward to the day when Christians can unify as a subset within a dark culture, represent Christ to our lost brethren, and simply celebrate amazing attempts to bring Light to this dark world.


8 posted on 03/03/2014 7:11:05 AM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: SeekAndFind

I enjoy some of the oldies, I believe they were reverent:

Movies like “The Greatest Story ever Told”, 1965. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059245/


9 posted on 03/03/2014 7:14:46 AM PST by BeadCounter
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To: cuban leaf

And therein lies the problem. You are correct. There just isn’t enough in the Bible with which to make a movie. I don’t have too much of a problem with “filling in the gaps” where you have some day to day types of conversations. If you don’t, all you have is a Short. I DON’T like movies that change the story. But I think the real problem is easily identified ... they just make crap “Bible movies” The last one I really enjoyed was really a mini-series ... Zeffirelli’s, Jesus of Nazareth. I LOVED that. Since then? Not a thing.


10 posted on 03/03/2014 7:17:08 AM PST by RIghtwardHo
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To: bboop

Agreed and if we didn’t have movies like this or some other more respectful ones, we might be left with movies like “The last temptation”.

I believe there was a bit of a heyday of religious movies in Hollywood, Quo Vadis, Ben Hur, the Robe. Just watched Quo Vadis the other day and it was inspirational, I didn’t watch it to be entertained.


11 posted on 03/03/2014 7:17:08 AM PST by BeadCounter
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To: bboop
A movie made by a New Ager that speaks to her deceased mother through John Edwards isn't a "Jesus" movie. How can it be when she and her 3rd husband don't know who He is?

If the messenger is corrupt the message will also be corrupt.

12 posted on 03/03/2014 7:18:30 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: CodeToad
I saw THE PASSION and wept. I haven't wept in decades.

Yesterday I saw the SON OF GOD. I wept again. Wept, as opposed to cry...far deeper and from my soul.

The "Jesus" films have gotten so good that I don't miss one. The past ones were forgettable...but then so were a LOT of films.

ONCE IN A WHILE Hollywood "gets it." It sure did this time.
I got the time wrong the other day and went in 15 minutes late so I am going to see it again today. It's not as if I don't know the story but it's SUCH a well-done story of Our Lord.

Jesus was portrayed by a Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado. Never heard of him and I hope I never see him again...he will always be "Jesus."

13 posted on 03/03/2014 7:19:54 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: skeeter
Its probably impossible to get Jesus right in such a one dimensional medium as a movie.

That's the understatement of the day. NO ONE can "get Jesus right" because He is God. We will ALL "get Jesus right" when we see Him in heaven.

I AM assuming the best for all of us!

14 posted on 03/03/2014 7:22:08 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: BeadCounter

If I ever had the creativity to make a Jesus movie. I would try to make every scene a religious experience. There would be wonderful music and rhythm. Each scene would evoke the power in Gods word


15 posted on 03/03/2014 7:22:59 AM PST by shineon
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To: SeekAndFind
I wonder if he'd changed his mind for this movie?


16 posted on 03/03/2014 7:24:57 AM PST by Lucky9teen (No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. ~ Albert Einstein)
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To: SeekAndFind
A National Review article talks about the “change the world” and (take their message) “right to the heart of power" lines and the "schmaltzy" feel. It says, "there is the challenge not just of presenting the narrative of his incarnation, ministry, and death but of pointing toward their significance. The film falls short of the latter, admittedly difficult, aim..."

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372307/redeemed-end-katherine-connell

That's kind of how I feel about so many of these "Bible" movies, as I've mentioned to you. With the exception of the “Ten Commandments” and maybe “The Passion of the Christ”, they’re generally so easily forgotten. Why are the characters always so wooden and lines so stilted? Nobody acts and talks like that. What does it take to get a down-to-earth "Jaws"-type production that compels and entertains the average Joe with real live characters who he identifies with while holding him in awe of the events taking place? Dunno. Hopefully we'll find out.

God willing I'm going to write an end times book. Afterwards, I hope to use it as the basis for a screenplay of a movie. I picture a well-done, thriller with down-to-earth believable characters the audience connects with and cares about - maybe a fictional love story framed by the Biblical end times events with a compelling, redemptive message.

17 posted on 03/03/2014 7:28:57 AM PST by PapaNew
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To: cuban leaf
Ditto on all counts. Any movie that deviated from scripture was to me heretical but it seems Hollywood could not help itself from embellishing and rewriting.

I also watched The Passion and was kind of amused by obscure sidelights like the Veronica scene which is not biblical and unless you're a fanatic like me, you wouldn't even know what it was about.

The worst Bible picture I've ever seen was an abomination on NBC about Noah. That garbage was so bad it was an obviously deliberate attempt to ridicule God.
In one early scene, Noah is bemoaning the work needed to work with the timbers he collected; he goes to sleep and the next morning The Lord has cut and planed them into perfect lumber. He even stacked and stamped it like the lumber companies do to transport them in trucks or for display at Home Depot!

I turned it off after about 10 minutes but a friend described the rest to me years later; I had a belly laugh and was glad I didn't waste any more time on it.

18 posted on 03/03/2014 7:29:28 AM PST by stormhill
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To: shineon; cuban leaf

‘Jesus of Nazareth’, the only quality film that comes close to revealing the true spirit of our Lord:

http://gloria.tv/?media=512696 Part I

http://gloria.tv/?media=512699 Part II

http://gloria.tv/?media=512632 Part III

http://gloria.tv/?media=512661 Part IV


19 posted on 03/03/2014 7:31:09 AM PST by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: SeekAndFind

People deep down want more “Fire and Brimstone, turn the tables and whip the corruption out of the temple” and less “Hippie feel good smoke up their rears”.


20 posted on 03/03/2014 7:31:45 AM PST by GraceG
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To: bboop
1. Call me cranky, but I’m saying - IF this Cranky Critic already knew it was going to be lame, why bother seeing it? And furthermore, why bother reviewing it in a negative way?
1. He saw it because it was his job. Too many critics are negative, I think, because that's what they think of those movies. Also, they wouldn't DARE be positive about a Jesus film...that would RUIN them with godless Hollywood.
Also, the Cranky Critic has no backbone and that's a fac, jack.

2. Can we not just celebrate that this movie was made at all and opened all over the US? That there was enough money available that it could be made? That someone had the vision and the fortitude to push through that vision to a finished product? That many people worked and got paid making it? Are these not amazing in their own right? But no, the Christians must tear it apart. “The doctrine is not perfect, it’s lame, it doesn’t xx, it includes xx.”
2. Not all Christians tore it apart. The Catholic Church's view was favorable, what I read, of course.
The people who made this movie ARE amazing. They wrote a GOOD film about Jesus in the TEETH of all the opposition, criticism and negativity they KNEW they would get.

3. I look forward to the day when Christians can unify as a subset within a dark culture, represent Christ to our lost brethren, and simply celebrate amazing attempts to bring Light to this dark world.
3. That will happen on the last day of the world. Our human nature, as Abraham Lincoln said, can be modified to some extent, but cannot be changed.
THAT is why we NEED Jesus so much.

21 posted on 03/03/2014 7:31:51 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: stormhill

Watch the links in Post #19. I think you will not be disappointed.


22 posted on 03/03/2014 7:32:17 AM PST by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: RIghtwardHo

I don’t have too much of a problem with “filling in the gaps” where you have some day to day types of conversations.


I don’t either, but once they do I consider it “fiction that is based on a true story”. Kinda like “The Last Temptation of Christ”.


23 posted on 03/03/2014 7:32:18 AM PST by cuban leaf
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To: SeekAndFind
Why Are Jesus Movies Always Lame?

Why expect moviemakers to excel at telling God's words and works? It should be enough to appreciate their best efforts even when those efforts fall far short of the New Testament books about Jesus.

I can't imagine how finite humans would go about apprehending the mind of an infinite God but I can appreciate their best efforts.

If you wish to amuse God, tell him of your plans.

24 posted on 03/03/2014 7:33:35 AM PST by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: cuban leaf

Yes, if you go without adding any details not in the bible, you can be done the whole movie in about an hour, featuring largely mere sermons.


25 posted on 03/03/2014 7:35:46 AM PST by dangus
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To: SeekAndFind

Turner’s review is a condescensnarkmeow!


26 posted on 03/03/2014 7:37:43 AM PST by Repulican Donkey
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To: cloudmountain

Thanks for your review. I’ve wanted to see Son of God but the reviews have been highly mixed. Yours seems more real than the other reviews.


27 posted on 03/03/2014 7:39:20 AM PST by CodeToad (Keeping whites from talking about blacks is verbal segregation!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Greatest story Ever Told was memorable. The upper balcony, a hot girl and making out right through Lazarus rising from the dead. I was one happy 10th grader!


28 posted on 03/03/2014 7:40:32 AM PST by Repulican Donkey
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To: CodeToad

Your welcome.


29 posted on 03/03/2014 7:41:05 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: SeekAndFind
Actually, I look at Jesus movies this way — even though it might be “one dimensional”, it can expose some people who have never been exposed to the story of Christ. Even if it just brings 1 person to the Bible, it is well worth it.

Criticism aside, in this world of terrible movies and messages, isn't it better to have a movie that tells the story of Christ? Isn't it better to have people interested in seeing this movie rather than brokeback mountain?

30 posted on 03/03/2014 7:53:48 AM PST by Londo Molari
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To: SeekAndFind
Few things cause the story of Jesus to fall short of God’s glory like a factual cinematic portrayal acted out by pretty Caucasians with British accents and bed-head walking joyfully across barren landscapes to a dramatic symphony of flutes and strings.

This is my biggest turn off to these movies. I give Gibson credit for at least using Aramaic and other period languages in his movie.

Some of it could also be the familiarity with the story. My kids go to Catholic school and they put on a passion play every year. It reminds me of the time one of the parish priests got to the play late, and the teachers said to him "it's too bad you missed half the play" and he replied "that's OK, I read the book"...

31 posted on 03/03/2014 7:57:17 AM PST by Mannaggia l'America
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To: SeekAndFind

Jesus movies are always lame because they are an idol of The Real One.


32 posted on 03/03/2014 8:09:01 AM PST by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: Londo Molari

I agree, and in that sense there are no bad Jesus movies.


33 posted on 03/03/2014 8:09:10 AM PST by Argus
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To: SeekAndFind
Few things cause the story of Jesus to fall short of God’s glory like a factual cinematic portrayal acted out by pretty Caucasians with British accents and bed-head walking joyfully across barren landscapes to a dramatic symphony of flutes and strings.

Point taken, so the author of the Yahoo article would also take objection to portrayals of Jesus among African people as being black or among Asian people as having features like theirs as well.

I'm glad the author is so theologically informed to insinuate Our Lord, God has limits.

34 posted on 03/03/2014 8:12:30 AM PST by BeadCounter
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To: bboop

“Can we not just celebrate that this movie was made at all and opened all over the US?”

The reason the movie was lame was because Jesus’ diety and power was deliberately removed from the script.

“Son of God” was produced and directed by 2 New Age Gurus. That in itself is a sad commentary on the Christian community.


35 posted on 03/03/2014 8:12:32 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: SeekAndFind

who is this Roma person?


36 posted on 03/03/2014 8:12:43 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

RE: who is this Roma person?

Brief Intro from Wikipedia:

Roma Downey is an Irish actress and Emmy nominated producer from Northern Ireland. She played kind-hearted angel Monica on the American TV series Touched by an Angel. Downey received two Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role on the show. Downey is an ambassador for Operation Smile.

An author of three books for children and producer of the children’s series, Little Angels. She is currently the executive producer of the television miniseries The Bible on the History channel. She also plays the role of Mother Mary in the series.

The Bible shattered sales records in its first week of home video release, selling 525,000 units to become the top-selling TV miniseries of all time.

Downey was raised as, and remains, a Roman Catholic.

Downey graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a master’s degree in spiritual psychology.


37 posted on 03/03/2014 8:17:47 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

At least for the Bible series and Son of God seems to have grown out of that, here are some of the advisors at least stated in the wikipedia article:

“Burnett and Downey consulted “a wide range of pastors and academics,” including their friend Joel Osteen, Joshua Garroway (a rabbi from Hebrew Union College), and a Catholic cardinal.[1] Geoff Tunnicliffe of the World Evangelical Alliance, read each episode’s script and visited the set in Morocco: he “wanted to be sure that the final edits would hold together as a singular thematic message throughout the entire series” and “was not disappointed.”[18] Another consultant, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, applauded the couple’s courage for making the series: “Let’s face it, it takes some moxie to lift up the Bible in the middle of Hollywood. In fact, when they first proposed the project they were told to try and tell the story without mentioning Jesus. They refused.”[19]

Other project advisors included:[20]

Rick Warren (pastor, Saddleback Church)
Erwin McManus (pastor, Mosaic)
Sam Rodriguez (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference)
Paul Eshleman (Campus Crusade for Christ)
Bobby Gruenewald (YouVersion Bible)
Brad Lomenick (Catalyst)
Leith Anderson (president, National Association of Evangelicals)
Frank Wright (president, National Religious Broadcasters)
Tom Peterson (Catholics Come Home)
Gabe Lyons (founder of the Fermi Project)
Luis Palau (Christian evangelist)
George Wood (General Superintendent of the General Council of the Assemblies of God in the United States of America)
Craig Groeschel (Life Church)
Denny Rydberg (Young Life)
Andrew Benton (president, Pepperdine University)”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_%28TV_miniseries%29


38 posted on 03/03/2014 8:21:29 AM PST by BeadCounter
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To: cloudmountain; Maudeen; DJ MacWoW

“The people who made this movie ARE amazing. They wrote a GOOD film about Jesus in the TEETH of all the opposition, criticism and negativity they KNEW they would get.”

The people who made this movie know Christian movies sell. It was hyped to the church, (who jumped at the chance at someone else ‘evangelizing’ for them). They are are laughing all the way to the bank, along with Rick Warren (whose cirriculum is already on its way to supplement their version of the truth)

Haven’t you been reading the posts? They are not what they seem to be. What is disturbing is that church leaders excused the omission of basic tenets of our faith and called it good.


39 posted on 03/03/2014 8:24:12 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: cuban leaf

Son of God was miles better than the Passion.


40 posted on 03/03/2014 8:24:17 AM PST by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: cuban leaf

This is not uncommon for almost any movie based on a book. The view in your head of how the characters look, the parts of the book they leave in or out, the “added” parts that weren’t in the book. All lead to a disappoint one way or another.

Why would a movie based on the Christian Bible be any different?


41 posted on 03/03/2014 8:24:23 AM PST by martiangohome
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To: SeekAndFind

oh

spiritual bullsheet if you ask me


42 posted on 03/03/2014 8:24:41 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: BeadCounter

this crew is not authentic, they are remaking Christianity into churchianity


43 posted on 03/03/2014 8:26:00 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

Who Is this Roma Person

http://thelasthiker.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/the-son-of-god-movie-is-not-what-we-think-do-you-know-the-voice-of-your-master/


44 posted on 03/03/2014 8:30:12 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
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To: martiangohome

Why would a movie based on the Christian Bible be any different?


Partly because it is the Word of God. The others are human creations. It flows, but in a completely different way than man made books.


45 posted on 03/03/2014 8:32:54 AM PST by cuban leaf
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To: stars & stripes forever
The people who made this movie know Christian movies sell. It was hyped to the church, (who jumped at the chance at someone else ‘evangelizing’ for them). They are are laughing all the way to the bank, along with Rick Warren (whose cirriculum is already on its way to supplement their version of the truth)
Haven’t you been reading the posts? They are not what they seem to be. What is disturbing is that church leaders excused the omission of basic tenets of our faith and called it good.

I assume that you HAVE seen the movie. Am I correct?
I also assume that you have watched and listened to those folks who made the movie. It was WHY I chose to see the movie in the first place. THEY convinced me.
And, FOR YOUR INFORMATION: they spoke to what wasn't the best in their efforts!!! If you had HEARD them, you might not have written your post.

Beside, who are YOU to assume that I haven't been reading the posts and making MY OWN DECISION?
You might at LEAST give me the common courtesy to have my own opinion...EVEN if it disagrees with yours. And, I DO disagree with you 100%.

I saw the movie once and I am going to see it again TODAY. I loved the movie and it MOVED me. Get over it.

46 posted on 03/03/2014 8:36:29 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain; stars & stripes forever

Whay are you so angry that you are being given information? No one said you couldn’t see it. Roma Downey is a New Ager. Her heroes are Eckhart Tolle and John Roberts, both New Age gurus that are into mysticism. She also used John Edwards to contact her deceased Mother (necromancy). Theses are facts. Hollywood embraces her but blacklists Christians like Kevin Sorbo. The reason is very apparent. It shouldn’t make you angry to be given information.


47 posted on 03/03/2014 8:42:29 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Repulican Donkey

” condescensnarkmeow!”

Great word!

I think his point and premise are correct and he had omepassages that made them well.

But overall, it was a disjointed piece.


48 posted on 03/03/2014 8:42:49 AM PST by ifinnegan
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To: stars & stripes forever
The people who made this movie know Christian movies sell.

They know Christian movies sell? Okay.

That's why independent film makers some in places like, Albany or Atlanta Georgia have been making movies like "Courageous", "October Baby" the pro-life movie and "Facing the Giants". We've got it. Christian movies are so popular to make in Hollywood, you can count the number on one hand in recent years I'd say. Thank goodness it hasn't stopped independent filmmakers.

Courageous

Facing the Giants

49 posted on 03/03/2014 8:43:57 AM PST by BeadCounter
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To: cloudmountain

Totally agree, saw them on Hannity, I’m sure they’ve been on elsewhere. Sure, they’ve made some mistakes in life. I guess a number of us have. Not sure if they are the same way once they started filming the Bible series. Everyone’s conversion is a continuing process.

Anyway, I don’t think there is anything in the movie about anything New Age, Crystals or any of that. It is based on Scripture. The only fault I think people can find with the movie itself is mainly open to interpretation.

And besides, Assemblies of God officer, Joel Osteen, Focus on the Family, apparently all of these people helped them make the Bible series.

This criticism has been here since this weekend, I respect people’s opinions, for and against.


50 posted on 03/03/2014 8:48:11 AM PST by BeadCounter
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