Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. - 1John2: 15-17 (NLT) The movie "The Son of God" opened last weekend to a nifty 26.5 million dollars in sales. Written and produced by the same couple who brought us the History Channel miniseries "The Bible", this movie continued in the tradition of being largely unbiblical and avoiding all of the less seeker friendly topics of authentic Christianity. Yet, you wouldn't have guessed that from the fawning this movie produced from Christian leaders and Christian circles. Before the movie was released, mega-church pastors like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren were giving thousands of tickets away and renting out theaters to expressly show the movie. Accompanying study guides were produced and less than discerning pastors started to teach sermon series' based upon this heretical movie. I do not use that term lightly, as heresy is teaching that deviates from true doctrine and "The Son of God" could not have strayed any further. I say further meaning from true doctrine. It actually does a better job at staying true to seeker friendly doctrine, where Jesus apparently does modeling in his spare time, promoting the latest hair products. This rock star Jesus talks about "changing the world" but doesn't talk about sin. He has throngs of adoring fans but no where is a discussion of the price of following him. There are also blatant abuses of fundamental issues, like the continuing trend of emasculating the males in the movie while promoting a new 13th apostle, Mary. She is everywhere in the movie as she was in the miniseries, including on the boat during the storm. Of course, Mary was not actually there but I guess that is "artistic license." There is also no mention of the exclusivity of the Christ as being the only way one gets to heaven. You simply are not going to make 26.5 million dollars in one weekend if you tell the vast majority of people that they are going to hell. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. - John 14: 6 (ESV) In the miniseries, Jesus says the first half of this verse but conveniently leaves out the edge on the two edged sword that divides people. I think sometimes we look at stories such as this and make our comments and then simply move on without looking inward to find the root of the problem. What is at the heart of this phenomena we see whenever the world might seem to be willing to embrace Christ? We saw it in the lead up to the miniseries and it was more stark in the run up to the release of this movie. What makes us casually cast away Scripture for the sake of expediency? What Machiavellian mindset do we slip into when we start thinking that we can evangelize the unsaved better if they would just watch a movie first that does not present them with the real Jesus? I think if we peel back the stale Christianisms and old pious talking points we will discover the unseemly truth and that is that we simply love this world. We love the things of this world. We love the trappings of this world. We love the sins of this world. We cannot admit this of course but this is why when we see the world reaching out for just a sliver of God we jump off the nearest bridge shouting about how great the fall is. But here is the real problem beloved, they are not reaching out for a sliver of God at all. They are merely recreating Him in their own image. The God that is preached at mega churches such as the ones run by Osteen and Warren is not the God that saves people. He is the god that just wants to be your friend and change the world. The problem is that Jesus did not come to change the world. He came to change the hearts of sinners and save them from this world. It is not surprising that Warren, Osteen and TD Jakes were spiritual advisers for the making of this movie. This is their recreated god. It is a god who is quite comfortable in the world yet what do our key verses teach us today? I know, I know, it's always Scripture with me. When we love the things of this world we cannot have the love of the Father in us! We need to run from the physical pleasures this world offers. Run from the craving for everything we see and the pride we still maintain over what we feel we have done and possess. These things are not from God but rather are from the world. The problem today is that too many churches are trying so desperately to be relevant to the world that they no longer can discern a movie that accurately portrays Jesus from one that is completely powerless to save anyone. The world that we are so enamored with as Christians and as the church is fading away. We cannot continue to pitch our tents towards Sodom and pretend that we are not actually living in it. The last part of the key verses should be a sobering reminder what this is supposed to be all about. Those that please God will live forever. When the world has faded away, God will still be here and then it will matter if your faith hinged upon an hour and a half movie that left the Bible on the cutting room floor. This is not about mega churches packed with people who want to buy the jesus this movie is selling. This friend of god, bless me now, don't talk to me about sin and repentance generation goes nuts for movies like this because it allows us to believe our own facade. It allows us to think that we can sing about how much God loves us without being vaguely concerned about what He actually wants from us. The church is inmeshed with the world and the world is inmeshed with the church. Throw in a movie that reinforces this by portraying a hunka-burning jesus who doesn't weigh us down with all those pesky doctrines and the underlying secondary benefit we get is we start to believe our own nonsense. Because while the jesus in this movie is certainly not hard on the eyes, he is far more easy on our sin and in the end, isn't that what we truly want as worldly Christians? The belief that we can get our church on for Sundays and hang out in Sodom on Wednesdays. It is a myth beloved. We are called to come out from among the harlot world systems. We are called to be a shining city on a hill; not a glittering oasis in a desert that is killing the very people we claim to be "reaching for Jesus." At the end of the day, it will all depend on which Jesus we reach them with. The one that came out of an Axe Body Spray commercial or the one that might actually be able to save them for all eternity. Rev. Anthony.