Use Discernment When Watching "The Chosen"

The Chosen has many good qualities, but we must exercise caution when watching it.

The April 2022 update at the bottom confirms Jenkin's beliefs as described in this article.

The Chosen has some very good elements. It helps us realize that the disciples were human, and it helps us personalize the story of Christ in ways that are helpful and inspiring.

For that reason, I'm not telling Christians not to watch it, but I am asking you to be very careful to examine and discern what you watch. I'm praying that the popularity of the series will not hinder Christians from carefully examining the show and judging it with Scripture.

Let me start by explaining my concerns without including any of my opinion...just the facts:

Jenkins feels he is chosen for a worldwide mission to give the definitive portrayal of God's people:

Dallas Jenkins created and produces The Chosen, and he explains his calling: 

“I felt like God was saying that ‘this will 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 not going to let you screw it up.’” ~ Dallas Jenkins (source

In brotherhood with Mormons

Jenkins also believes that one of the most beautiful things about doing The Chosen project is how he came to understand that Mormons worship the same Jesus as Christians. 

The wording in the quote below came directly from the video, so it doesn't always flow grammatically.

“One of the top three most fascinating and beautiful things about this project has been my growing brotherhood and sisterhood with people of the LDS community that I never would have known otherwise and learning so much about your faith tradition and realizing, gosh, for all the stuff that maybe don’t we don’t see eye to eye, that all happened, that’s all based on stuff that happened after Jesus was here. The stories of Jesus we do agree on, and we love the same Jesus. That’s not something that you often hear…I’ll sink or swim on that statement…I don’t mind being called a blasphemer…” (source)

The LDS church denies the Trinity and denies that Jesus is God. It teaches that Jesus is a created being, born to God the Father and a celestial mother. Mormons define Jesus as God but they believe all humans possess the same potential to become gods (like the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost)” (source).

The whole foundation of the LDS faith is based on secret scrolls which Joseph Smith claimed an angel helped him translate, revealing that all Christian churches other than the Mormon church were “of the devil” (source). Mormons also believe that Jesus visited the Americas after his resurrection and that there is no eternal hell” (source). They hold many other beliefs that contradict Scripture, but these are a few of the basics.

While Jenkins maintains the final approval of The Chosen script, he has partnered with Mormons in some significant ways. VidAngel, which is owned and operated by practicing Mormons, produces the series. Two of the executive producers of the series are practicing Mormons (source). Several seasons of The Chosen were filmed in the LDS Motion Picture Studio in Utah. This is not simply a studio owned by Mormons. It is owned by the LDS church and Jenkins had to secure permission from church leaders to use it. This is the same location where the LDS church films videos about the Book of Mormon, their most revered holy book, a book that contradicts God's Word (source/ source /source).

For more on the Mormon religion see the Bible Love Notes Articles on Mormonism. I especially recommend When Angels Tell Lies, Cults Are Formed.

Scripture clearly says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

The Chosen has many good qualities, but we must exercise caution when watching it.

Now, let me share my personal concerns: 

Jenkins' discernment

If Jenkins is comfortable partnering with Mormons in ministry and he is unable to discern the differences between the LDS Jesus and the Jesus of Scripture, is he able to accurately provide a definitive portrayal of God's people?

The Chosen develops Bible characters adding facts not contained in Scripture, and that's not necessarily wrong. We may not always agree with the personality traits given to various persons, but we can't accuse Jenkins of errors as long as the character development doesn't conflict with actual facts presented in Scripture.

The Chosen Jesus

Accurately developing Bible characters is important, but it pales in significance to the accurate presentation of Christ. His manner, attitudes, and words should be in complete harmony with Scripture, carefully scrutinized and accurately portrayed.  

I have some concerns about the accuracy of The Chosen Christ when he jokes about his supernatural powers, calls his mother the most important and powerful person he knows, and tells his disciples that their questions are getting annoying. 

The most popular quote from The Chosen Jesus is “Get used to different.”  It's become the title of sermons, articles, and t-shirts sold by The Chosen, but it doesn't actually resemble anything Christ said in Scripture. 

Do these things accurately reflect the attitudes and character of Christ? Are they helping us to accurately understand our Savior?

The Chosen has many good qualities, but we must exercise caution when watching it.

I don't have a definitive answer to these questions, but I am concerned that so many Christians are trusting Jenkins to help them better understand the Gospels when he clearly lacks discernment in some critically important areas. 

Please pray that people will not be deceived by Jenkins' approval of the Mormon Jesus.

Ephesians 5:11 commands us to have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

We should be praying that Mormons recognize they are still in darkness, worshiping a false god. We should be praying that Jenkins will understand the damage of partnering with false religions and claiming they are brothers and sisters in Christ.

If this article makes you angry or defensive because you love The Chosen and don't like it questioned or criticized, please ask God to replace your passion for The Chosen with a passion for His Word.

If you are watching The Chosen, please carefully examine the way the Gospels are depicted, separating fact from fiction and asking yourself if the attitudes, actions, and words are biblically accurate. If you are watching it with your children, please take time to discuss these things with them. This is an important responsibility of every Christian (Proverbs 4:23; Titus 1:9; Titus 2:1). 

And most important of all, get your definitive portrayal” of the gospel story from Scripture, not from a television series. 

God's Word always has been and always will be the most powerful force for transmitting truth. Nothing will take its place in defining God and His people (Romans 1:16; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 4:12).

Update

In an interview in April 2022, Jenkins said he wanted to clarify his previous statements. 

He wanted people to know that he never said all Mormons are Christians just as he would never say all Evangelicals are Christians. Then he reaffirmed that his friends, who are practicing Mormons, worship the same Jesus he worships. And he added, “I know plenty of Evangelicals who I would say don't know the same Jesus that I do and don't love the same Jesus that I do.”

Jenkin's "clarification" was basically a restatement of what he'd said previously. He has spoken vaguely of having "differences" with Mormon beliefs, but repeatedly maintains that he and his Mormon friends worship the same Jesus.

Sources: Christian Post, CBN

BLN

6 comments:

  1. I always struggle to believe movies that try and portray extra information that are not highlighted by the Bible because I know men are not wise enough to get to Gods level by trying to give "coded" messages but christian movies that accurately depict a christians real struggle that we all can relate to and give scriptural references are good.

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  2. Thank you Gail. We don't really watch any of these movies but I do want to be informed about them because I know many that do watch them and think everything in them are true and accurate.

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  3. I think "The Chosen" is akin to the Left Behind series and other books/videos. Definitely some good stuff in there, but also some questionable "directors privilege". We as Christians MUST evaluate what we watch/read in relation to scripture. The danger, as is pointed out with works such as these two, is that folks accept them as absolute truth without any critical analysis. Great Love Note.

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  4. Thank you for always reminding us to go to scripture to find the truth; hold whatever you are questioning against what scripture says. Really good devotional.

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  5. Thank you, Gail. We watched the first few and some of the scenes really touched my family and me, but other things portrayed were troubling to me. We'll stick with The Bible.

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