The Christian Reaction to The Bible Series by Julie Arduini

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Whether you have an actual water cooler at work or where ever you spend your Monday morning, chances are the topic of conversation was the History Channel’s 10 part series on the Bible. The ratings are in  and over 14 million people watched the first offering, produced by husband and wife team Mark Burnett (producer of Survivor, The Apprentice, and The Voice) and Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel.)

You know what, I’m disappointed. Not in the episode, but in the negativity by Christians who made up part of the viewership.

Here is some of the feedback I read on my Facebook feed:

-Too Hollywood

-Biblically Inaccurate

-How could Focus on the Family promote such heresy?

-Is Roma Downey even saved? Should she even be representing this Holy Book?

-Way too much was missed/ignored

My takeaway, perhaps because I have a writing background, is this is  a production full of  people doing their best to represent God’s Word. They are mere humans, and even with the best of intent, they are not perfect. Because it is a production, there are going to be points we can quibble about. I’m sad that debate outweighs the heart to tell the greatest story of all time.

I read someone was mad because Sarah headed for Moriah during Abraham’s sacrifice.  Since we don’t read about her in Genesis 22 as far as the sacrifice scene, some people felt her presence on screen was too much liberty with His Word. But I think to focus on that is missing the big picture.

People I never expected to talk about God’s Word are conversing and asking good questions. I heard morning show anchors speaking in depth about it. I sat with my teenaged son where he paused for two hours from his friends and hobbies to watch this, talk with me, and look things up in his Bible. That will always impress me.

I wonder if the criticism would be there if Ted Turner were behind this, or Spike Lee? What exactly are Christians looking for? I mean, we all do understand Charlton Heston was not really Moses in his offering of The Ten Commandments, right?

Anyway, I was moved by the first installment. As a wife and mom that had a dying child we had to trust God for, I was more than inspired and moved by Abraham and Issac. What left me unimpressed were the harsh criticisms and arguing amongst Christians. I turned off the TV believing this was an offering to the world showing how personal God is, and wants to be with us. It wasn’t about religion, but relationship. God is real and longs for us to know Him. To see the Red Sea part reminded me how much He is for us.

Here is what I shared on my Facebook page:

We can’t re create what God created and expect perfection, but I applaud everyone behind the project for having the passion to try. It has started conversations between all ages and walks of faith. My teen son and I watched together, talked through the whole thing, and he went to his Bible more than once to check things. That will always impress me. If you walked away unimpressed because of religious matters, I’m sorry, but I think you missed the point. I saw/read their interviews and they were prayerful and wanted to be reverent. Their passion is to show the world the relationship Christianity brings. And if you believe and couldn’t find that aspect, to me, that’s the saddest thing of all.

If interested, I tried to embed a video interview from Roma Downey and Mark Burnett sharing their hearts about this series. The site also has a lot of faith based resources I believe are worth looking at.

I’d love to read what you think. Am I too harsh on the viewers and their criticisms? Did you watch? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

image from bibleseriesresources.com

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts, and don’t represent the other bloggers represented here. They are allowed to disagree with me. 🙂

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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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9 Responses to The Christian Reaction to The Bible Series by Julie Arduini

  1. juliearduini says:

    Oops, the wrong video embedded. If you want the interview, try this: http://youtu.be/Udg0mVsYay8

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  2. Sarah Goebel says:

    Julie, I haven’t watched it yet, but plan to. I recorded it. I am not surprised, however, about what you have shared and your comments seem appropriate to me. There is no way the program was going to be a full and complete story with all the details we as Christians love and benefit from. I understood the purpose to share enough that unbelievers watching would want to know more and would ask questions of those Christians they work with, serve in organizations with, and belong to clubs with. That has been my prayer for the series — that it will reach the lost and cause them to ask questions that will lead them to salvation.

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    • juliearduini says:

      Sarah, I agree, and I believe that goal is in the works. Now, if the negativity can step aside, we’d all be in a great place!

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  3. I’m recording them all to watch together. But I really agree about the hate Christians spew. It flies in the face of “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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  4. I heard some of the same comments at a Bible study Monday night, and couldn’t agree with you more, Julie. Some of it is probably legalism, as usual. And some of it is people not stopping to think about how most of us move from unbeliever to believer. In the moment when we first trust Christ, it’s about relationship. Nobody thinks about the theology of their decision in the moment that they trust him. We just know we’re lost, and we need Him, and we believe He can save us, and we ask for that because we NEED it, not because we understand it. So if this series skips some things and overemphasizes other things in order to interest unbelievers enough to get them moving in that direction, I say praise the Lord!

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    • Julie Arduini says:

      That’s a great point, Athol. I know my own experience was so slow (to me) and full of insults toward believers I our son’s middle name is Paul. I don’t want to forget the transition I had from mocker to believer. I look forward to the rest of the series. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!

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  5. Glynis says:

    I agree, Julie. My kids (ages 10 and 12) watched it with me and the older one said more than once, “I’m going to go read that story again!” I love that my children and I could watch something so well-produced and beautifully done that got us talking together and in the Word together. I thank Roma Downey and Mark Burnett for taking on such an ambitious project and for holding themselves up to the criticism of others. It is ALWAYS going to be someone’s interpretation because it isn’t scripture, but how wonderful that people are talking about the Bible in a GOOD way!

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    • Julie Arduini says:

      Glynis, I agree! I don’t understand how people opening up their Bibles and asking great questions can be wrong. What seems wrong to me is those the seekers are going to might be missing a wonderful opportunity to share the living God that I think is well represented in the series. Thank you for commenting, and I hope your children continue to enjoy the series!

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