Unpopular Post # (oh I forgot – I lost count)
I tried hard to get into and enjoy The Chosen, even attempting to turn off my theology filter in my mind. But it didn’t take long in the very first episodes of the first season to “smell” something not right. It wasnt’ the fill-in material to keep the story working on screen. It was subtle at first – ways of trying to make the “Jesus” character more human. (and no – I’m not just grinding on the suppsed “2nd Commandment violation” that some of my more confessional/Regulative Principal friends have done) – but His insecurites, and some oddly unChristlike phrases. And the growing disrespect for WHO He is continued to grow.
So I began looking in to who is behind this TV series (and now movie theatre season premier) – the son of Jerry Jenkins (Dallas Jenkins) – a failry creative guy, who has some pretty bent ideas about Christ and Christianty himself. One glaring concern – he is quite ecumenical in his beliefs – he considers not just pretty much ever “Christian” denomination to be a right faith (despite direct contradictions), but also lumps Mormons in as “saved” Christians.
The series promotion and production is done by several entities, with VidAngel (founded by two mormons) being the major player – founded by two Mormons.
The show’s soundtrack is written by Jars of Clay frontman Dan Haseltine, a who’s deconstructed Christianity is pro-LGBTQ+, pro-abortion.
And with filming at LDS Motion Picture Studio, Goshen, Utah, USA (LDS is Latter Day Saints, for those that don’t know)
Dallas Jenkins has repeatedly stated his “brotherhood” with his “LDS Brothers”, claiming that Mormons and Christians worship the same God and the same Jesus, and that Mormons are “saved”. I submit to you an abbreviated list of beliefs mormonism has about “Jesus”. Is this the same Jesus you worship?
- Jesus is Lucifer’s brother.
- Jesus is a spirit child conceived through physical means between an exalted man (Heavenly Father) and the virgin Mary.
- Jesus is not eternal and had a beginning (i.e., not part of an eternal Trinity).
- Jesus was not always God but earned his way to godhood just as we will become gods someday.
- The work of the Mormon Jesus was insufficient for man’s salvation, and to complete it, one has to believe in Joseph Smith that he came from God to restore the church (i.e., Smith has a role in salvation).
- Mormon doctrine teaches that without our own righteousness, there is no forgiveness of sins (contrary to Romans 4:5 and many other Bible verses).
AS to specific content that is problematic – I could fill posts with just what I have seen with my own eyes, but will just include a few that ought to easily stick out to those who are active in studying God’s Word:
John 3’s encoutner between Jesus and Nichodemus is portrayed in the show – and in it, Jenkins decided to have Jesus say something He would never have said: “What does your heart say?” (a product of western pop theology). Compare that to the clear statement about the heart in Jeremiah 17:9 (“The heart is deceitful above all, who can know it?)
Or can you imagine Jesus saying this: If we are going to have a question and answer time every time there is something you are not used to, we will have a very annoying time for all of us.”?
Did Jesus (or would He) say “I’m here to start a revolution!”
Or how about where do we have a record of Peter breaking the Sabbath by going fishing?
I might also ask the point (creative license?) of portraying the disciples with autism (Matthews) Cerebral Palsy (James). What made Jenkins feel the need to embellish and add to the biblical record and text with these phrases and “inclusive characters”?
If Dallas Jenkins believes (as he has claimed repeatedly) that the Bible is inerrant and sufficient, why did he change the scene from Luke 5:18, where two men brought a paralyzed man to Jesus, to having Mary Magdalene and “Tamar” carry the man in?
Why did The Chosen have Jesus ask Mary Magdalene to lead the group in prayer and reading of Scripture? Like it or not, this just simply wouldn’t have happened in the first Century among jewish men, and of course this doesn’t appear anywhere in Scripture.
OR take this statement by Dallas in an interview from 2021 about the show:
I felt like God was saying like [The Chosen] is going to be the definitive portrayal of my people, and this is what people are going to think of around the world when they think of my people, and I’m [God] not going to let you screw it up.
(A Candid Conversation with Dallas Jenkins, Director of The Chosen, op. cit., mm: 14:26-14:37.)
In the same interview above, Jenkins also stated that “95% of the content [of The Chosen] isn’t from the Bible.”
In addition to the Mormon connections, another heavy contributor is a Roman Catholic priest as well as the star actor who portrays “Jesus” Jonathan Roumie, who is a fervent Catholic of a branch that practices all sorts of transcendental prayer and other New Age practices who claims to have had “personal interactions with a deceased Catholic saint”. Roumie promotes Russel Brand and his “Transcendental Meditation”. Roumie also promotes James Martin and his pantheistic view of God in everyone and everything. Jonathan Roumie has frequently thanked Jenkins for The Chosen as a platform to share his particular view of Roman Catholicism to a broader audience.
Jenkins himself, just a couple of years ago, published the following quote from Franciscan priest Robert Rohr to his Facebook account a quote and an explanation that the quote had “rocked his world” :
Just because you use Scripture, even in a God-affirming way, does not mean you’re using Scripture for life and love, growth and wisdom—and for the sake of God or others. Many of the worst genocides and atrocities in history have been supported by Scripture quotes in the mouths of selfish and scared people. Excessive God talk and quoting of Scripture are the best cover possible for a narcissistic personality. In fact, sometimes it seems to me that the churches that go on and on about “the greatness of God”—in both their sermons and their music—are often filled with the very groups and individuals that most want that greatness for themselves. I doubt if God needs us to be saying how great God is, as Satan does here with Jesus. Yes, religion is the best thing in the world and also the worst thing in the world—and so is Holy Scripture.
Yes – Rohr, in this quote that rocked Jenkin’s world, is an attack on Scripture.
Again – does that make this a valuable, faith-building, doctrinally-sound source for learning about Jesus?
And this was just brought to my attention – The Chosen is teaming up with an app developer to promote a kids Advent Rosary prayer activity…
But over the first two season, many even fairly conservative writers supported The Chosen, and basically hinged that on “at least he hasn’t inserted Mormon theology”. And while I would disagree with even that assessment – as it was just much more subtle in those first two seasons, Season 3 appears to be taking the face mask off. Take this scene released as a teaser for the season:
“I AM the law of Moses!” Sure sounds biblical, right? I’m afraid not. Not even close. This is a quote from The Book of Mormon, Nephi 15:9 where it supposedly quotes Jesus as saying “I am the law and the light”
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. And more is yet to come, as more and more fall for the Americanized, Pop-Jesus that Dallas Jenkins has built in a worldly mold.
For additional thoughts from others on The Chosen, See the links below: