Tag Archives: Jesus Christ’s Name

A book of life and a man born more than two thousand years ago

We may live at a time when the climax of human history is approaching fast though many do not see it how certain things where foretold already long ago and are becoming a reality we can not escape today.

Today not many “thirsts” for the living Christ. That ‘living water’ is there for all of us but many do feel hungry and thirsty and do not see the precious meal which is set in front of them. The Lamb which has been slaughtered some two thousands years ago may be put in the cupboard by many to rot in oblivion.

Are you some one who understand the kind of symbolic language when there is spoken of the one who thirsts and ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38)?

On December 24 Christadelphians read about

“a great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the lamb clothed in white robes … crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb’” (7:9-10). “The lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd and he will guide them to springs of living water and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (verse 17).

*Description: Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spa...

Bilbao-Loiu airport, Biscay, Spain. Olentzaro, Christmas tree, Santa Claus and elf. Photographer: Javier Mediavilla Ezquibela Date: January 6, 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As many say they celebrate the birth of the saviour they took a Christmas tree in the house and have their mouthful of Santa Claus who brings gifts to many families. But about the most precious gift mankind received not much is talked. In our readings in the book of Revelation we are lead to a description of the ultimate climax of human history – we read of visions, largely, but not entirely, in symbol, picturing God’s judgements. For Christadelphians this “Time of the year” is a time for looking at the opening of “the book of life” (3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27). The seventh and only other reference to “the book of life” in the New Testament is in Philippians (4:3).

We may wonder who is written down in the “Book of life“. I think many would love to see their name in it. Jesus name was in it already long before Abraham was born. God had promised him already in the garden of Eden. And he was present some ages later to do not his own will but the Will of God. In which way are we wiling to do the will of God? Do we prefer to keep to those human traditions, which keep celebrating those pagan feasts?

Though the redeemed ones are, first of all, an exclusively Jewish band, we must not be afraid, Jesus died for all people and as such we also have the opportunity to become one of a’ great multitude out of all nations’. but not everybody shall be there in the end to enjoy the entrance of the small gate. There shall only be a selection drawn out of such environment to comprise the true Israel of God (Galatians 6:16; Ephesians 2:11-13) that we should consider how we shall be able to be a part of it. It will be possible when we know the Way, Jesus Christ, and when we are willing to follow his teachings. Today we do find lots of people who say they are Christian, but they do not follow the teachings of the master teacher rabbi Jeshua. They prefer to keep to human doctrines, like the trinity dogma and others. This often makes it difficult for people to come to see the truth, because their ears are full of puss created by false teachings and for them it seems so difficult for taking the words of the Bible just for what they are saying. It looks too simple, too easy to be the truth. But the easy thing is the easiest way to come there at the real truth. When believing those words like they are written in the Holy Scriptures, those Bible readers shall find that everything becomes clear and then they shall be pleased to pay their respects to the Lamb, because of the victory they have obtained. In the last book of the Bible they are represented as celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkoth, and as praising the Lamb for the salvation they have received. In answer to a question put by John, their character and nature are described. (Revelation 7: 9-17)

In the readings of today  we are warned about a mighty and ruthless destroyer as in Isaiah 28:2 (Revelation 9:6-13) the apostle John speaks of the serious nature of the affliction, and to its concentration on one of the tripartite divisions of the Roman Empire. It also can be related to the first plague on Egypt (Exodus 7:17) but it warns us for the days to come.

The apostle looked first at the Western Empire but then turns to the Eastern Empire which shall be very important in the Last Days. when we do know that nearly all prophesies foretold in the bible became a reality, why should not the prophesies  concerning the Last Days not be fulfilled?

The falling star, the bottomless pit, the smoking furnace, the army of locusts, and the king who leads them to battle, symbolise the up-rise of Mahomet and the Saracens in 622, and their attacks against the eastern Roman, or Byzantine Empire, but it also counts as a warning for what has happened in the past shall come back over mankind and in the land of Euphrates and Tigris (Iraq and Iran) shall start a war which shall be the beginning of a time when religions will come up against each other. Does that not sound familiar?

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Preceding article

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

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Additional reading

  1. Who is on the Lord’s side
  2. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  3. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  4. Getting to know the Truth
  5. Christianity is a love affair
  6. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  7. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  8. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  9. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  12. God’s Special Gift
  13. Creation gift of God
  14. Apple of Gods eye
  15. A New Jerusalem
  16. Armageddon, har and megiddo, an action or a place
  17. Times of the Gentiles
  18. OT prophesies and the NT fulfillment of them
  19. National Natural Disaster and Bible Prophecy

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Filed under Religious affairs, World affairs

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

Rom 10:13-15 MKJV  For everyone, “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  (14)  How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching?  (15)  And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!”

For they who do not believe should come to hear and should receive an opportunity to get to know the grace given to all people. People can only call on the Name of God when they do believe. Only then when we call onto God’s Name, Jehovah, shall we be saved. This is a condition to become saved which too many do forget. Also they who do not believe the Gospel as the record which God has given of his Son are missing a lot, and those who do believe are responsible for that, when they do not make the effort of preaching. But those who go out into the world to tell the Good News are recognised as people doing beautiful work, because how can others hear without preaching? Naturally there can only be preached rightly by those who believe and by those who are sent, showing others their faith and gladly willing to share the Good News they themselves heard and got convinced of.

The apostle turns from the responsibility of the seeker after salvation to emphasize the role that believers are intended to have in God’s plan for preaching the gospel. Calling on the Lord is meaningless apart from some assurance that He is worthy of confidence and trust, that He has something to offer that guilty sinners need. Calling on Him and trust in Him are two sides of the same coin. The verse suggests that calling on the Lord continues to be a mark of the believer, not simply the first step in the direction of establishing relationship to him.

1Co 1:2 MKJV  to the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called out with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

One must hear the gospel before a person can be expected either to receive it or reject it. Without people preaching there can be no hearing. Without witnessing there can be no thought or consideration about what could be true or not, or people would not get to know. Certain King James Versions have “without a preacher” – which may be misleading, in that it implies (or it may be inferred there-from) that there is a special office of preacher. This is of course not the case at all: all God’s children are (or should be) preachers!

People do need to hear about Jesus, the son of God. They should come to know what that Nazarene man has done and who his heavenly Father is and for what that eternal Spirit is so important for mankind. Those who do believe should know the importance of their knowledge and out of love for the others they should want others to know that truth as well. When a person believes unto righteousness with the heart he shall be glad to be able to confess with with the mouth unto salvation not being put to shame knowing that when he calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs

Saint Peter preaching the Gospel in the Catacombs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The apostle Paul rightly observes that it all goes back to the preaching of the gospel, and preachers, those who profess the Word of God, must be sent – both by God and the Christian community at large. It does not have to be special university people, but men and women willing to share the Gospel in Jesus’ name. God’s “normal” way of bringing people to Jesus Christ is through the preaching of the gospel, which has to happen through faithful people who follow the example of Christ Jesus and do what he had demanded his disciples.

God’s cursing or blessing is upon us, also according to our faithfulness in preaching the Word. God has committed unto us, in our ministry, the word of His reconciliation.

2Co 5:17-21 KJV  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (18)  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  (19)  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  (20)  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  (21)  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When we choose to become baptised in the name of Jesus we wanted to become in Messiah reborn, becoming a new creation. From then onwards our shyness in the world should be gone having the old things having passed away. Shyness refers to passivity, emotional arousal, and excessive self-focus in the presence of other people ( Jones, Cheek, and Briggs 1986). It also frequently involves negative self-evaluations, social avoidance, and withdrawal. (International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family, 2003). Being reborn we have received a new soul (being) not focusing as such on the self, but on the totality of union in Christ. Arousal and heightened self-consciousness in response to social threat can be put aside when one is confirmed about the truth and its value. The experiences of shyness are often sufficiently unpleasant to lead to withdrawal from or avoidance of many social situations, but they also compound the distress of shyness by distracting from skilled and self-confident social interactions. When a person his faith sits deep in him it will give him enough assurance to conquer that shyness to witness for Christ Jesus and for his heavenly Father, the only One God.

Facing all those new things which are from God we want to share with others that in Jesus Christ the Messiah Jehovah God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them; and He has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us.  We are by the baptism in spirit taken away from the doubt and fear from man and therefore should want to be ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us.

The apostles and members of the first communities begged the community members on behalf of Messiah, to be reconciled to God and to share the Good News with others.  Though it was not easy, because many had seen what had happened to Christ Jesus, and knew that there were fierce opponents of the teachings of this master teacher. It was the Most High Almighty Elohim Who made the Sent One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. By his offering we are bought and are now facing freedom, if we want. It is not by deeds of righteousness which we had done ourselves, but because of God His mercy. It is by the blessing of Jesus his offering that we can become saved through the mikveh of rebirth and renewing of the Ruach ha-Kodesh,  whom Jehovah abundantly poured out on us through Messiah Jeshua our Saviour, so that being set right by his grace, we might become heirs with the confident hope of eternal life!

Tit 3:5-7 MKJV  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  (6)  whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  (7)  that being justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The Messiah or Christ was a man who did not want to do his own will but preferred to do only the will of his heavenly Father. He love God’s ecclesia and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. (Ephesians 5:25-26). Like Jesus took care that the dirt of the earth was washed away by the Word of God we also should where we come try to wash away the dirt of this contemporary world.

At baptism the believer becomes a part of Christ’s new “creation” (Ephesians 2:10;  4:23-24; Collosians 3:10). That new creation is so incredible and presents such a magic future we do not want to keep it for ourselves alone. Real believers in Christ do want to become like Christ sharers of the Good News. Being washed… sanctified, we are prepared to do the work for God. It is the will to get to know the Word of God better which should bring us to read it more and to share it with others. It is not be going to a special college reading lots of human writings and philosophies that we shall get more knowledge to bring people to God. God has given everything we need in His Word. All is there in that Book of books, the Bible, God His infallible Word which says all.

Without the faith in Jesus we shall not be able to succeed. We need to have faith in Jesus so that we can call on Jesus. And we need to call on Jesus because calling on Jesus, searching for Jesus, crying out for Jesus is what brings us salvation. Through calling on Jesus, we are saved.
So why do we preach?
So that we may be saved.

We need to be saved from our own captivity. We all need to be set free from something that may keep us away from our loving heavenly Father, the Divine Creator.

The world has to know what God provided. they should come to know that there is a possibility of real peace. But they also should get to know that it will be God Who rules.

Isa 52:7-10 MKJV  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, making peace heard; who brings good news, making salvation heard; who says to Zion, Your God reigns!  (8)  The voice of Your watchmen shall lift up! They lift up the voice together; they sing aloud. For they shall see eye to eye, when Jehovah shall bring again Zion.  (9)  Break out, sing together, waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah has comforted His people; He has redeemed Jerusalem.  (10)  Jehovah has bared His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

As in the time before Christ Jesus it was nice to see the messengers of God bringing good tidings. Now it is our time to bring such good tidings. We have hear them and we should be convinced of the importance of them.

English: 4 days of Evangelism Training in Sout...

4 days of Evangelism Training in Southern California provided by LivingWaters Ministry. Obeying the great commission of Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Good Tidings publishes peace and brings confirmation about the sent one from God, who is the Messiah and fulfilled his duties here on earth. God reigns and has given Jeshua the authority to prepare His Kingdom and to reign on earth. We are looking for that Kingdom of God and belief that it is a reality which can be there for much more people than it is at the moment. Therefore we should be willing to show the way to Jerusalem, the physical but even more the spiritual Jerusalem. More and more we can see how the Plan of God gets shape and how we come closer to the execution of that Plan.

The freedom that awaits us has to be spoken off. But first we need to liberate us from our own weaknesses, bad things we are burdened with. We must see that we can make ourselves free from the bad things of this world first. There  may be things which are holding us captive. There  may be many things holding onto us.

Andy Burns, who believes the goal of life is to get so close to that light that we are breathing in the light and exhaling it out into the world, writes:

Maybe you’re dealing with a very real kind of captivity like addiction. Maybe you have an addiction to a physical substance-alcohol, drugs, those kinds of things-or maybe you’re addicted to something more abstract-your work, money, maybe you’re addicted to other people’s approval of you. And this addiction controls when you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you eat, where you work, where you go after work, how hard you work. You’re not free.

Or maybe you deal with an intensely personal problem like low self-esteem or self-doubt or depression. And maybe this controls you in ways that surprise you-you want a certain job but you don’t believe you can do it. You want to speak up but you don’t believe in yourself in enough to find the words. You want to get to know someone, but you don’t believe they could ever like you. You’re not free.

Or maybe you deal with some pain in your past. Maybe you’ve been seriously hurt-either physically or emotionally by their words or both. Maybe it was a parent, a friend, a spouse, a child. And maybe this old would is holding you captive, keeping you from enjoying life, making you avoid certain situations and people. You’re not free.

See, I think all need to be freed from something. We all need freedom and transformation in our lives. And according to Paul in our passage, this is the message that preachers are entrusted with. This is the reason we preach here. Preachers preach so that people can hear about Jesus. People need to hear about Jesus so that we may have faith in Jesus. People need to have faith in Jesus so that they can call on Jesus. And people need to call on Jesus so that we may be set free by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the message that we proclaim every week. This is what we all need to hear and what we all need to be reminded of, week in and week out. You can be free in Jesus Christ. {Stuff My Church Does I: Preaching}

People do have to hear about Jesus and each believer in Christ should take care of that. We do have to go out into the world and tell about the marvellous gift we received. We do have to invite others to share with us the grace which has been given to us.

What would it look like if we invited others here to hear the freedom of God proclaimed in the Word of God? What would it look like if we all brought this Word out into our community and saw it as our job to proclaim this freedom that everyone needs to those around us? Just think of the transformation that would happen. I think it would look pretty amazing. {Stuff My Church Does I: Preaching}

Let us all joining and be workers for the Lord, going into all the world and preaching the Gospel to everyone. (Mark 16:15 )

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Preceding articles:

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation

Not making yourselves abominable

Where are the female writers

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Preaching by example

What Should I Preach ?

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Additional reading:

  1. Where is the edge
  2. Remember the day
  3. Gospel = Good tidings, good news, a good message
  4. Counterfeit Gospels
  5. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  6. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  7. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  8. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  9. Hearing words to accept
  10. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  11. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  12. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  13. The Right One to follow and to worship
  14. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  15. Hope by faith and free gift
  16. Showing by the scriptures that …
  17. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  18. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  19. Establish your hearts blameless in holiness
  20. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  21. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  22. Breathing to teach
  23. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
  24. Belgian Christadelphians 2013 & 2014 in review
  25. Stepping Toes 2014 in review
  26. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  27. A prophet to restore
  28. Imitate prophets and Paul
  29. Oratory Style
  30. Counting sands and stars
  31. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Bringing Good News into the world
  34. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  35. Holland Week of billing
  36. Faith and trial
  37. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  38. How should we preach?
  39. The Rapture Wars
  40. Not many coming out with their community name
  41. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  42. Jehovah can make him stand
  43. Our openness to being approachable
  44. Different approach in organisation of services #3
  45. Glory of God appearing in our character
  46. A Society pleading poverty
  47. Good or bad preacher
  48. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  49. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  50. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  51. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  52. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships

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Also of interest

31 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

Christians acting towards filmbusiness

Recently the mega churches have been in the news with many things going wrong in that business. They also are churches which often make use of the modern media and use a lot of audio and visual material.

The film industry has seen a renewal of interest in religious movies and therefore is releasing again some films with Biblical stories.

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Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of Movieguide, as well as chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission and  Tom Snyder, Movieguide’s editor, wrote the underneath article which originally appeared on Movieguide.org.

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I Thought I Knew How Christians Should Act Toward Hollywood, Until I Read This …

 

faith-based films
in 2014, an incredible number of the major movies being released have positive, overtly biblical and often evangelical content. (Movieguide)

Twenty years ago, when Jesus’ name was used in a movie, it was usually used as a curse word. Last year, 67 percent of the movies released had at least some pro-Christian, pro-biblical content.

This year, an incredible number of the major movies being released have positive, overtly biblical and often evangelical content. As might be expected, many of these movies have attracted criticism. Sadly, some of the most spiteful, angry and mean-spirited criticism has come from Christians.

Movieguide was built on the premise of exposing the fruitless works of darkness and commending the good. As a result of doing this consistently for many years, we have seen a great growth of the good, the true and the beautiful, and a decrease in the darkness in the movies released. Much of that could be attributed to our detailed economic analysis of the box office, combined with the fact that we see the gospel for what it is: good news.

So we try to present our analysis and criticism in light of the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control), which dictates that we love the people who created the works we’re examining enough to try to be constructive. There are exceptions, but the exceptions are not the rule.

Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, there’s been a tremendous amount of criticism bashing Darren Aronofsky and the producers of Noah, criticism of Roma Downey and Mark Burnett for Son of God, and even criticism of the producers of Heaven Is for Real.

Recently, I had a chance to talk to one of the top people at Paramount Pictures, whom I’ve known for years, who’s a co-producer of Noah. He had told me about Noah years ago when we met for lunch. He wanted Noah to be very evangelistic, which it is not, and he wanted to tell an Old Testament story in light of the New Testament revelation of God’s grace. I asked him about Darren Aronofsky, and he said Aronofsky was wrestling with forgiveness and mercy because of a crisis in his family.

The producer, one of the brightest, most conservative Christians in Hollywood, noted that the same thing had happened to him. We discussed the fact that Mel Gibson had been bashed so badly for the trumped-up charge of anti-Semitism that he went off the deep end.

There is no doubt that my friend and Aronofsky needed guidance and perhaps even faith formation, but personal, ill-conceived attacks don’t make it easier for him, as a conservative evangelical Christian, to do more movies that touch upon Christian and biblical themes.

With regard to Downey and Burnett, the situation seems even more mean-spirited. One attack article claimed The Passion of the Christ was more biblical, when, in fact, The Passion was based on visions a Catholic nun had over 100 years ago.

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other articles commended the Jesus film, which, for the record, is only 66 percent of the book of Luke and is produced by a good friend of mine who is Jewish and extremely wary of the Christian community, as well as a director who’s known for some very salacious movies. In fact, the star of the Jesus film told me years later he was an atheist. Also, Jesus of Nazareth was funded by a Muslim and directed by a bisexual who chased one of the male stars around his villa.

Thus, of all the 130 Jesus films that have come out, Burnett and Downey’s Son of God is one of the few made by people who constantly say they love Jesus. That doesn’t mean they got everything right. In fact, I sent them a theological analysis months before the movie was locked in editing.

In this regard, however, has any sermon ever gotten everything right? If so, I have yet to hear such a sermon, though I have walked out several times on sermons that have gotten most of their theology wrong.

Many of the mean-spirited articles about Noah have been written by people who admit to having never seen the movie. Others have been written by people who don’t seem to understand some of the Bible’s basic theological concepts or realize the difference between a Christian ontology (a real world with real sin and real pain that needs a real Savior, Jesus Christ) and an anti-Christian, nominalistic ontology (a nonmaterial, great-thought maya world where all is an illusion and there is no need for a savior, such as The Last Temptation of Christ).

Movieguide has been critical of Noah, but also fair. We’d love to see the theology of each movie improved and would love to see the theology of most of these articles improved.

One theologian complained to us that, unlike depicted in Heaven Is for Real, no one has gone to heaven and come back, although I pointed out to him that Paul said he did just that in 2 Corinthians 12:2. Was Paul lying? Where do we get such strange eisegetical views?

Thank God that iron does sharpen iron.

But even so, what enabled a small group of Christians to overthrow the most debauched empire in history, Rome? As Professor Alvin J. Schmidt points out in the book How Christianity Changed the World, one major reason was that people knew the Christians by their love and wanted to convert.

Did the people who criticized Mel Gibson love him? Or those who criticize any of the Christians working behind the scenes in Hollywood?

Most biblical movies and most movies dealing with heaven contain things that you won’t find in the pages of the Bible. To make a really dramatic movie that millions of people will go see requires at least some dramatic artistry. Furthermore, it’s really easy to poke holes in almost any movie, whatever the subject matter.

So, let us commend the good while gently instructing those who might have gone astray so that we may encourage everyone to focus on the Good News of Jesus Christ that enlightens us all.

– Ted Baehr & Tom Snyder

Ted Baehr is a Christian film critic whose Movieguide has grown from a modest newsletter into a mammoth Web database that attracts millions of readers each month. For thirty years, the site has reviewed most every Hollywood film released in theatres, picking up on thematic intricacies that other critics tend to overlook. For instance, Movieguide noted that the first Harry Potter movie relies heavily on “evil occult themes and a spirit of selfish rebellion among its children characters.” In the year that “Avatar” swept the awards shows, Movieguide cautioned against its “New Age pagan worldview, which contains extremely anti-capitalist content with a strong Marxist overtone. It promotes group-think and argues in favor of the destruction of the human race.” ()

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Original Movieguide article

As a Christian myself there are certain things in the Bible where creative liberties have no place. That may not allow me to be the most objective critic of some Bible-based movies but it is a belief that is inseparable from who I am. On the other hand some stories from Scripture leave themselves open to interpretation while others may stir our imaginations by omitting many of the details. Such is the case with the story of Noah. The story of Noah and his ark takes up only a small portion of Scripture so there are definitely areas where our creative imaginations (in this case Aronofsky’s) may kick in. Yet you always look for respect of the spirit of the story and at least some type of adherence to the material.

Paramount Adds Disclaimer to Noah Movie

The disclaimer admits some “artistic license” has been taken with regard to the story, but that the movie is “true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.”

The disclaimer also adds, “The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

The disclaimer is being added at a suggestion coming from a panel on the movie NOAH at the recent National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention in Nashville last week. The panel, led by President and CEO of the NRB, Dr. Jerry Johnson, discussed NOAH’s positive qualities and its departures from the Bible.

6 Fun Things Noah and Duck Dynasty Have in Common

The Good and Bad in Noah

Tubal-Cain (Ray Winstone) begins as Noah’s nemesis from a scene in the hero’s childhood and finishes as his enemy in a violent hand to hand combat scene on the ark. In between, Tubal-Cain tries to turn Noah’s son against him, launches a military attack on Noah’s ark project during construction, and finally manages to hack his way into the ark as the flood surges.

The “Watchers” assist Noah. They are Aronofsky’s fanciful development of the biblical Nephilim concept. We are told angelic creatures helped early man with technology; humans abused it for evil; God cursed the angels for this and turned them into rock giants; these fallen angels help Noah defend and build the ark; when they die in the battle against the bad guys, the mysterious beings go up to heaven. Of course, in Christian theology, fallen angels keep falling, down to the other place.

While showing images of war, violence, theft, and sexual sin, the main evil of humankind according to Noah is the abuse of the environment. Man has been guilty of a scorched earth policy brought about primitive industrialization, resulting in apocalyptic scenery reminiscent of the Mad Max trilogy.

Son Of God and the Flood of Christian, Biblical Movies in 2014

Son of God marks the first time in more than 15 years since a major Hollywood studio has put major money into a movie aimed at depicting the life of a biblical character, since 1997’s The Prince of Egypt about Moses.

20th Century Fox is releasing Son of God, a movie version of the Gospel portion of The Bible that aired on The History Channel in Spring 2013. In December, they’re scheduled to release Exodus starring Christian Bale as Moses.

Sony Pictures has Heaven is for real scheduled for release in April. It’s based on the popular book telling the story of a boy who died, went to heaven, and came back to tell about it.

Warner Bros. has its own Moses movie, Gods and kings, in the works, but no release date has been set. They had hoped to get Steven Spielberg to direct, but he turned them down. And, there is talk at MGM about a remake of one of the greatest Christian epics ever made, Ben-Hur.

Empowering Epics of Faith & Values

The 22nd Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry honored the best, most family-friendly, and most inspiring movies and television programs of 2013 at its annual awards show, held last month in the Grand Ballroom of the Universal Hilton Hotel.
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Grace Unplugged and The Bible took home the two $100,000 Epiphany Prizes for the Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program of 2013. Supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the Epiphany Prizes honor the best movie and television program that “greatly increase man’s love or understanding of God.”

Love vs. Lust: Transforming the Culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Tolerating self-destructive or socially destructive behavior in our children is not a sign of love, but hate, as well as parental neglect. If a child has a propensity to beat themselves or beat other children, the parents are required by love to intervene and help the child get over such abhorrent, intolerable behavior. To do anything less is a sign of child abuse!

Our narcissistic society is on the brink of stewing in the vile juice of its own self-destructive behavior. Consequently, we seem to have forgotten what love entails.

God calls us all to love our neighbor as ourselves, both Jew and Gentile. That divine call entails helping ourselves and our neighbors get over intolerable destructive behavior, such as violence against the innocent, alcoholic stupors and perverting our children’s innocent hearts and minds by frankly intervening and correcting such behavior in a manner that brings about significant change or repentance (see Lev. 19:17,18).

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Next: Savouring pictorial entertainement

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  • Obligatory Noah Thread (scottpaeth.typepad.com)
    Having devoted valuable time and bandwidth to God Is Not Dead, it is, I suppose, behoovenly for me to say just a bit about Noah. These days, of course, I seldom get to see movies that aren’t streaming on Netflix, so I’m no more likely to get out ot see Noah than God Is Not Dead, nevertheless, in both cases I’m fascianted by the zeitgeist surrounding them.
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    Tony offers a lot of plot details in his review, but does not reveal the outcome of what is the actual spiritual core of the film — Noah’s crisis of faith in the aftermath of the flood. This is the thematic hook on which the movie rises or falls, and I suspect that the very idea that Noah may experience any kind of a crisis is at the heart of evangelical objections to the movie.

  • Bible Films ‘Noah’ and ‘Son of God’ Are Competing for Christian Audiences This Spring (thewire.com)
    The first two so-called Bible films of the year have very different backgrounds and intents. Son of God is produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who also made The History Channel’s Bible miniseries. The pair are capitalizing on the commercial success of that miniseries by releasing the mix of re-purposed and new footage from The Bible as a film. And they’re also Christians, making a Christian movie. On the other hand, Noah is not an explicitly Christian film, although it has its basis in a well-known biblical story, to which it remains rather faithful. Aronofsky, it should be noted, did not make Noah to glorify God, or to promote religious belief. He was understandably opposed to his studio’s efforts to repackage the film in the editing booth for a conservative Christian audience. 
  • Thoughts on “Noah” (pianonate.wordpress.com)
    By and large, the movie is fantasy. (And I firmly believe in the Flood account of Genesis!) But this no doubt plays like a “Lord of the Rings” or “Clash of the Titans” film. This is not an attempt to re-create the events as they actually were, a la “The Passion of the Christ”.
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    If the Bible is merely a collection of stories, as is often portrayed, than “Noah” is par for the course. But the Bible is more than that; it’s the story of God and how He redeems people.If the character of God; His holiness, justice, purity, is not explained, then the story makes no sense.If the Fall of man, and the pervasive nature of personal sin is not explained, then the story makes no sense.If God’s redemption plan is not clearly spelled out, especially in the light of the rest of Scripture, then the story makes no sense.
  • Does God Have A Prayer In Hollywood? (wreg.com)
    The National Religious Broadcasters insisted “Noah” include a disclaimer acknowledging the filmmakers took “artistic license” with the Bible story.Several Muslim countries have banned the movie, citing Islam’s injunctions against depicting prophets.Even Paramount, the studio releasing “Noah,” has agitated Aronofsky, testing at least five different versions of his film with focus groups.“I can understand some of the suspicion because it’s been 50 years since an Old Testament biblical epic has come to the big screen,” Aronofsky said recently. “And in that time a lot of films have come out of Hollywood that have rubbed people the wrong way.”

    2014 is supposed to be the year Tinsel Town reversed that trend and finally got religion.

  • Review: “Noah” (keithandthemovies.com)
    As a Christian myself there are certain things in the Bible where creative liberties have no place. That may not allow me to be the most objective critic of some Bible-based movies but it is a belief that is inseparable from who I am. On the other hand some stories from Scripture leave themselves open to interpretation while others may stir our imaginations by omitting many of the details. Such is the case with the story of Noah. The story of Noah and his ark takes up only a small portion of Scripture so there are definitely areas where our creative imaginations (in this case Aronofsky’s) may kick in. Yet you always look for respect of the spirit of the story and at least some type of adherence to the material.
  • The Christian Oscars (newyorker.com)
    Baehr has no interest in this year’s Academy front-runners: Movieguide called “American Hustle” “predominantly pagan,” and complained that “12 Years a Slave” portrays “a mean Christian who uses Scripture to justify slavery.” But that doesn’t concern him, as he has his own awards show: the twenty-second-annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala, which will be held tonight, at the Universal City Hilton, in Los Angeles. Better known in industry circles as The Christian Oscars, Baehr’s ceremony gives cash prizes to films and television programs that “increase man’s love and understanding of God.” Originally a fringe event, the gala has recently attracted the attention of the major studios, who come for Baehr’s annual report to the entertainment industry, which attempts to demonstrate a correlation between Movieguide-approved content and box-office revenue.
  • What’s at Stake in the ‘Noah’ Controversy (news.moviefone.com)
    various Christian organizations, including consulting firms that can help Hollywood market its films to Christians and ministries whose thumbs-up or thumbs-down will influence large numbers of congregants. So far, they’ve been wary of “Noah,” not just because of long-standing skepticism toward Hollywood, but because of reports since “Noah” was still just a screenplay that the film strays from scripture in ways that may rankle the faithful. Will Paramount’s disclaimer placate the Christian power brokers and the viewers they claim to speak for? And if it doesn’t, can the film succeed without them?
  • ABC’s Christian-Bashing Show Canceled (americanclarion.com)
    I like to think we humans developed the amygdala about the time we decided to climb down out of the  trees and live in holes in the ground and the sides of mountains and cliffs we later came to call caves.  I’m no anthropologists or biologist, or any other kind of “ologist,”  so I have no clue when the human amygdala became standard equipment.  So, I’m just winging it here.Still — smart people pay attention to the warnings from their amygdala.  A great number of those who didn’t — aren’t here any more. And a disproportionate number of those who still don’t today, will not be with us much longer.
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    the American people are, like that humming bow string I mentioned above, strung about as tight as they have ever been.  It won’t take much for then to utter an oath, grab their semi-automatic rifle, all the ammo they can carry,  and head for the swamps and woods and form up into organized resistance.  Many groups of citizens have already “formed-up.”  They are simply awaiting orders from headquarters.
  • Faith Films Win Box Office War (foxnews.com)
    It seems in 2011, pro-America sentiment mixed with conservative values and faith-centered themes equaled a hit.This according to an annual study conducted by the Christian-focused entertainment advocacy group Movieguide, which found that in 2011, American audiences preferred movies with strong conservative content and values over movies with liberal or left-leaning values by an almost six-to-one margin.The 760-page report claims that films with a conservative or pro-American edge, such as “Captain America,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Soul Surfer,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” and “Battle: Los Angeles” raked in significantly more box office green than more liberal films like “Red State,” “Super 8,” “J. Edgar,” “Glee” and “Ides of March.”“People want good to overcome evil, justice to prevail over injustice and liberty to conquer tyranny. They respond to strong heroes and even strong heroines, but they are turned off by radical social engineering and big government programs,” Movieguide publisher Dr. Ted Baehr said of the report, which rates movies using several criteria such as “anti-communist content,” “strong biblical morality,” and “strong pro-capitalist content.”
  • Hollywood honors faith, family films (wnd.com)
    Since the mid-1980s Baehr’s Movieguide organization has been on a quest to completely transform the movie industry by revealing to Hollywood executives that positive-themed, faith and family-friendly films make significantly more money at the box office than their more salacious and often R-rated competitors.The quest has been hugely successful, as each successive Movieguide awards gala has enabled Baehr to present Hollywood’s power players with extensive studies proving America’s audiences would much rather watch faith than filth on the silver screen.And Hollywood, where money talks and box office receipts are king, has heard the message.
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