Monday, July 29, 2013

Ex-Porn Star Gives her life to Jesus

Brittni Ruiz
Once named by Maxim as one of the hottest porn stars in the world, Jenna Presley performed in more than 275 pornographic films, stripped for money, sold her body in prostitution, abused drugs and even tried to kill herself – but now the young brunette stunner says she has found her true calling in life.
“Thank you, Jesus! I found Him, I’m home!” she declared, announcing that she has become a born-again Christian.
Presley, 26, whose real name is Brittni Ruiz, said, “It’s been a long seven-year journey of porn, prostitution, stripping, drugs, alcohol and several failed suicide attempts.”

See whole video testimony here:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Problem With Jesus Calling (Part One)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Revelation: How will it all end?

How does the world come to a close in the final seven years before Jesus Christ comes to rule the earth? The book of Revelation gives us the answers and describes what will take place in the future for mankind. Remember, No man knows the exact day or hour that Christ will return, but He has told us the things to watch for before that horrible 7 years begins after the Rapture. This is truly God's revelation and a gift from Jesus Christ to His church to "Watch, for your redemption draws near!"

In chapters 6:1-8:5 the Seven Seal Judgments are described. 

  1. Rider on a White Horse- Antichrist: The false messiah takes control of this world- politically, militarily, economically, and religiously.
  2. Rider on a Red Horse- War: Nations align against Israel: Syria, Egypt, Iran, Russia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Libya, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon (Daniel 11;40-45; Ezekiel 38:2,5)
  3. Rider on Black Horse- Famine: Farmers use their time and resources for war- food becomes scarce. Starvation kills millions.
  4. Rider on Pale Horse- Death: Death and Hell come to earth. One fourth of the world's human population is taken to the grave.
  5. Martyrdom: Many who come to Christ through the two witnesses and the 144,000 will be murdered for their faith.
  6. Signs in the heavens, earthquakes: The sun becomes black. The moon becomes blood. Stars fall to earth. Every mountain and island is moved.
  7. Silence, Trumpets: Silence in Heaven for about a half hour. Trumpet Judgments begin. 
In chapters 8:7-11:19 the Seven Trumpets are described.

  1. One-third of the Earth burned: Hail, fire mingled with blood burns one-third of all the trees and grass.
  2. One-third of all sea creatures die: One-third of the sea becomes blood. One-third of the creatures that were in the sea die. One-third of the ships are destroyed.
  3. Stars fall; one-third of water turns bitter: One-third of the rivers and fountains of waters become wormwood (bitter, poison) and many die.
  4. One-third sun. moon, and stars darkened: One-third of the sun is smitten, one third of the moon and one-third of the stars are darkened.
  5. Woes, Abaddon, Locusts: Woes pronounced against man. Fallen angels, like locust, are released from the bottomless pit to torment men for months, under their king, Abaddon or Apollyon (Satan).
  6. One third of people killed by horsemen: 200 million evil angels as horsemen will kill one-third of humans. Half the world- 3 billion people- is dead by the midpoint of the Tribulation. 
  7. Wrath/Reward: A vision of the future yet to come. "The kingdoms of this world are becoming the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever."
In chapters 15:1-16:21 the Seven bowl or Vial judgements are described.

  1. Plague of terrible sores: Grievous sores come upon everyone who has denied Jesus Christ, who did not receive Him, who rejected Him so that they received the mark of the beast, 666, and believed the lie of the Antichrist.
  2. Sea turns to blood, All sea life dies: All of the seas become blood. Every living creature in the sea dies.
  3. Rivers to blood, all water life dies: The remaining water in the rivers, lakes, and streams turn to blood. Every creature in water dies.
  4. The sun scorches the earth: Men are scorched with great heat, and still blaspheme God and refuse to repent of their sins.
  5. Beast's kingdom is darkened: Every area of land claimed by the Beast is covered in darkness. Men gnaw their tongues from pain.
  6. The Euphrates River runs dry: It dries that so China, India, and other eastern nations make their way to battle Jerusalem in the campaign of Armageddon (Zechariah 14).
  7. It is Finished: Storms and the largest earthquake ever. Babylon is destroyed. 
These things will take the place in the future. God says it will happen and it will be His way of waking mankind up to His existence and making a call to everyone to repent of their sin and turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness of their sins. He must judge sin and this cursed creation before He sets up His kingdom on earth at the "regeneration" (Matt. 19:28). For those who are Christians already, we will not face these judgments but will dwell safely in Heaven with Jesus because "God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. 5:9)

In Christ -Dustin

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This Little Church went to Market

In an effort to draw sellout crowds, is the modern Church in danger of selling out? This is the question author and pastor Gary E. Gilley addresses in This Little Church Went to Market. He believes that under pressure from secular philosophies and fads, many evangelical churches have subscribed to pragmatic rather than scriptural patterns for ministry. Marketing tactics, demographic analyses and entertainment-oriented worship have taken the new paradigm Church by storm.  The result is a Christian community which is rapidly losing its focus and forfeiting its biblical mandate.  This Little Church Went to Market is a call for the Church to return to its scriptural roots.

I'm currently reading this book and suggest it to anyone who is concerned for their home church where these patterns are showing up.  He has also authored two other books related to this: "This Little Church had None" and "This Little Church Stayed Home."

(To buy:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Work of Sin

"Sin is the monarch that rules the heart of every man. It is the first lord of the
soul, and its virus has contaminated every living being. Sin is the degenerative power in the human stream that makes man susceptible to disease, illness, death, and hell. It is the culprit in every broken marriage, disrupted home, shattered friendship, argument, pain, sorrow, and death. No wonder Scripture compares it to the venom of a snake and the stench of death (Rom. 3:13)."
Sin is the moral and spiritual disease for which man has no cure. "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23) 
  • Sin dominates the mind. Romans 1:21 indicates that men have a reprobate mind given over to evil and lust.
  • Sin dominates the will. According to Jeremiah 44:15-17, men desire to do evil because their will is controlled by sin.  
  • Sin dominates the emotions and the affections. The natural man does not want his sin cured because he loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19).
  • Sin brings men under the control of Satan. Ephesians 2:2 teaches that men are guided by "the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience."
  • Sin brings people under divine wrath. According to Ephesians 2:3, unsaved people are "children of wrath."
  • Sin subjects men to misery. Job said, "Man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7)." There is no peace for the wicked, says the Lord (Isa. 48:22)
    Excerpt from "Alone with God" by J. MacArthur

Monday, July 8, 2013

This Little Church Had None: A Church in Search of the Truth

The Misplaced Mandate for Truth 
A few years ago I wrote a book entitled  This Little Church Went to Market: The Church in the Age of Entertainment.  There I explored in detail areas in which I believe the “seeker-sensitive” church model is missing the mark biblically, especially in regard to its gospel and doctrinal messages. That book was followed by  This Little Church Stayed Home: A Faithful Church in Deceptive Times.  The original intent was to identify the marks of a truly biblical church standing firm in the face of wide-scale assaults by the forces of deception. While a portion of that volume was in fact dedicated to this objective, I also felt compelled specifically to address the areas of deception surrounding the rapidly growing emergent church movement.
In this, the third book in the Little Church series, I want to talk about “a church in search of truth.” My contention is that the great need of the moment is for Christ’s church to rediscover the truth that it has either lost or minimized, to understand the inestimable value of the truth in the lives of God’s people and to recognize its role as the supporter and dispenser of that truth (1 Tm 3:15). I have entitled this book  This Little Church Had None: A Church in Search of the Truth  because I believe that the majority of so-called evangelical churches and Christians have lost, or at least misplaced, this important mandate. Truth has been sacrificed on the altars of pragmatism, church growth, postmodern ideologies, paganism, and hedonism, to name a few. In many cases this defection from truth is not so much by design as the result of ignorance and neglect. A whole generation of believers has grown up in churches in which the Word of God has not been systematically taught and appreciated. While there are notable and happy exceptions to this, nevertheless we should not be surprised to find that the people of this generation have marginalized the place of the Scriptures in their lives.
To be sure, in many evangelical circles you hear a little more about Jesus; an occasional prayer is offered; a few choruses are sung, and popular verses of Scripture and slogans thrown around—but little more. The average Christian is marching to the same beat as his unbelieving counterpart, both living out their own patchwork philosophies of life based upon a mix of pragmatism, social standards and faddish ideologies, with a dash of Scripture added....
Sadly, this is how many children of God have been raised by their leaders. They have no idea that Christ has called them to something more—lives truly based upon the truth of his Word. And if they have a vague suspicion that there is something more, something deeper, something better, than the life they are experiencing, they have no concept where to search for it. These deficiencies are increasingly being recognized by the mainstream evangelical church, but the remedy is not. What is needed is a return to full confidence in the power and the authority of the Word of God, which in turn will cause church leaders to teach once again the full counsel of the Lord.
The Constant Flux Concerning “Truth”
Ever since my college days I have enjoyed the study of philosophy. It is fascinating to delve into the reasoning of thinkers like Plato, Descartes, or Kant and study how they pieced life together. However, I have always deliberated on these philosophies from a biblical vantage point. That is, I have found their ideas interesting, yet largely flawed in the light of the teachings of Scripture. But, as I examined the writings of such philosophers, I have often thought about the reaction of unbelievers to the same concepts. For one thing is very noticeable about philosophies—they are constantly changing. As each new philosopher comes along, he rejects the views of the previous one. Each generation considers the last generation, with its set of ideas, systems of thought, and social structures, as passé, apparently not recognizing that the next generation will cast the same censorious comments on the current one.
This constant flux concerning truth must be most frustrating to those without Christ as they observe historically the changing views of thinking people. Even within our own lifetimes the rapid presentation of new worldviews that promised to solve the “mysteries of life”—only to be soon relegated to the philosophical rubbish heap and replaced with the newest idea on the block—has to be unsettling. It is no wonder that postmodernism has taken root in Western thinking. After all, if Plato, Descartes, Kant, and a whole train-load of others have presented unique systems of truth, only to be rejected and contradicted by the next set of thinkers, after a while one begins to assume that maybe there is no such thing as objective, universal truth. Perhaps what remains is selective truth, temporary truth, individual truth (truth for you, but not for me).
If the “truth claims” of the best and brightest from the past have not proved true, then what hope do we have that the next philosophy will offer the key to life’s issues? In a real sense, after thousands of years riding the merry-go-round of philosophical thought, people have grown tired and want to get off the ride. There apparently is no absolute truth. There is no final authority. There is no one whose ideas are superior to anyone else’s. We are left with relativism—let each of us do his own thing and believe his own way and let’s just accept one another’s ideas as equal. Eventually all of this rings hollow. Postmodernism, which challenges absolute truth and embraces relativism, has been birthed from the ashes of disillusionment.
Popular film star Brad Pitt, in an interview with  Rolling Stone  magazine, expressed well the disillusionment that many face today. Pitt was discussing a character (Tyler) whom he played in the movie  Fight Club :
PITT: The point is, the question has to be asked: “What track are we on?” Tyler starts out in the movie saying, “Man, I know all these things are supposed to seem important to us—the car, the condo, our versions of success—but if that’s the case, why is the general feeling out there reflecting more impotence and isolation and desperation and loneliness?” If you ask me, I say, “Toss all this, we gotta find something else.” Because all I know is that at this point in time, we are heading for a dead end, a numbing of the soul, a complete atrophy of the spiritual being. And I don’t want that.
RS: So if we’re heading toward this kind of existential dead end in society, what do you think should happen?
PITT: Hey, man, I don’t have those answers yet. The emphasis now is on success and personal gain. [Smiles] I’m sitting in it, and I’m telling you, that’s not it.
RS: But, and I’m glad you said it first, people will read your saying that and think...
PITT: I’m the guy who’s got everything. I know. But I’m telling you, once you get everything, then you’re just left with yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It doesn’t help you sleep any better, and you don’t wake up any better because of it. Now, no one’s going to want to hear that. I understand it. I’m sorry I’m the guy who’s got to say it. But I’m telling you.
Of course postmodernism did not invent disillusionment; it is the ultimate trademark of any philosophical or religious system that denies [a] biblical understanding of the reality of life. In T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” we find the same struggle:
This is the way the way the world ends,
This is the way the way the world ends,
This is the way the way the world ends,
Not with a bang but a whimper.
There is something within the nature of man that rejects this type of existence and end. There has to be more to our life than what many experience. Something has gone wrong but, having already factored out the biblical view of reality, people are forced to turn to false sources for a handle on life. Having missed the fountain of life, they must dig other wells (Jer:2:13).
The Scripture has a different story to tell. Paul informs us in Romans:1:19-23 that man’s problem is that he has suppressed the truth about God which has been revealed in the creation around him. This suppression has led to darkened hearts and imaginations that are empty of spiritual reality. Man tries to fill in the blanks with whatever might be in vogue at the moment—in biblical times it was idols and the direct, conscious worship of creation. Today it might be New Age philosophy, Eastern religions, human achievement, humanistic theory, modernistic certainty, postmodern uncertainty, or any number of other ideas.
The bottom line is that mankind has rejected God and His truth and suffers the consequences of that choice as God hands him over to enslavement by his own worldview, with its resulting sins (Rom:1:24-32). It is no wonder people are disillusioned with life; sin and false beliefs ultimately have that effect. As the world system propagates its various views and philosophies we should expect nothing less than minds scratching about in empty speculation and foolish hearts wandering around in darkness (Rom:1:21).
The Providential Pillar of Truth
Enter the church. One of the things that separates the church from all other organizations is that it is to be the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tm 3:15). The congregation which is not functioning as the support and dispenser of truth falls short of the biblical criteria for a local church; therefore the assembly which does not major on truth does not fit the definition of a New Testament church. Its attendance may be “mega,” its programs prolific, its enthusiasm contagious, and its motives honourable, but if it is not the pillar and support of truth it fails in its job description as a church. Call it a club, a social gathering, a political-awareness group, a socially concerned assembly, or an entertainment centre, but don’t call it a church.
The church that has God’s understanding of truth will begin thinking biblically. This is often called a “biblical worldview.” In attempting to discern how widespread a biblical worldview is today (or how similar the beliefs of people are to the teaching of Scripture) pollster George Barna developed a rather minimalist list of required beliefs. They were as follows:
  1. Believing that absolute moral truth exists.
  2. Believing that such truth is defined by the Bible.
  3. And the firm belief in six specific religious views:
  • Jesus Christ lived a sinless life.
  • God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules today.
  • Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned.
  • Satan is a living force.
  • Christians have a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people.
  • The Bible is accurate in all its teachings.
As stated above, this is a barebones list. With the addition of even a few other essentials of the Christian faith (e.g., the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the bodily resurrection of people, the actual existence of heaven and hell, eternal judgment, the virgin birth, the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God, etc.), the numbers heralded as having a biblical worldview would plummet drastically. As it is, the statistics are startling. In 2007 Barna identified 40 percent of Americans as born again (this statistic is highly suspect to me, but we will go with it for now) and 7 percent as evangelical Christians. The results of the study indicated that “most Americans do not have strong and clear beliefs, largely because they do not possess a coherent biblical worldview....Most Americans have one foot in the biblical camp, and one foot outside it.”
In Barna’s most recent study it was discovered that only 9 percent of those who he claims are born again have a biblical worldview. In a later survey of the clergy it was found that only 51 percent of Protestant pastors have a biblical worldview, even by Barna’s minimalist definition. He states, “The low percentage of Christians who have a biblical worldview is a direct reflection of the fact that half of our primary religious teachers and leaders do not have one.” But it gets worse: The research also points out that even in churches where the pastor has a biblical worldview, most of the congregants do not. More than six out of every seven congregants in the typical church do not share the biblical worldview of their pastor even when he or she has one. [According to Barna], developing a biblical worldview in a congregation requires:
...a lot of purposeful activity: teaching, prayer, conversation, accountability, and so forth. [However] if the 51% of pastors who have a biblical worldview were to strategically and relentlessly assist their congregants in adopting such a way of interpreting and responding to life, the impact on our churches, families, and society at-large would be enormous.
To this end this book is dedicated. We shall seek to understand the opposition to having and living a biblical worldview, identify what steps we must take to implement the same in our churches, and then consider how to evangelize people from the framework of a biblical worldview.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Must I Believe God Exists Before I Seek Him?

Question: In my daily Bible reading, I came across a verse that really puzzles me: “Without faith it is impossible to please him [God]; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews:11:6). Rather than God revealing Him-self to a seeking heart, it sounds as though one must already believe in God before seeking Him. How can that be the case?
Response:  Would someone seek God if he didn’t already believe He existed? It would be a waste of time. In fact, everyone, including you, knows that God exists.
The true story is told of a London street preacher who announced to his audience that every atheist was a fool because the Bible said so. A well-known atheist in the crowd shouted back at him that it was a slanderous insult, which he took personally, and that he would sue the preacher for damages. The preacher responded, “It’s not slander to tell the truth.”
The atheist countered, “And it’s not truth unless you can prove it! You’ll have to prove in court that I’m a fool, or I’ll take every pound you’ve got!”
“I don’t have to go to court to prove it,” said the preacher calmly. “You say you’re an atheist?”
“Yes, and not just a casual one. I’ve spent my life proving God doesn’t exist. It’s a pernicious myth!”
“Spent your life proving God doesn’t exist, have you?” replied the preacher. “Tell me this: if a man who spends his life fighting against something that doesn’t exist isn’t a fool, who is?”
Likewise, one would have to be a fool to spend any time at all seeking to know a God without being convinced that He exists. God expects every person, as the first step in knowing Him, to admit the obvious fact that He exists. Furthermore, God expects each person coming to Him to have a proper concept of who He is. He won’t honor prayers to an idol or to some “force” or “higher power.” Each person is accountable on the basis of the evidence to come to a proper understanding of God and not to be seeking some false god. God also requires that those who come to Him truly believe that He is not a God of caprice or trickery but a God who “rewards those who diligently seek Him.”
What is it that any sincere seeker should already have concluded about the God he wants to know? Reason and evidence dictate the following: To create the universe, God must be all-powerful (omnipotent) and all-knowing (omniscient) and in touch with every part of the universe at once (omnipresent). He would have to be at least as personal a Being as we are in order to create us. He would need to perfectly embody all that we recognize as the highest qualities to which mankind could aspire—love, truth, justice, patience, kindness, compassion, etc.—or there would be no explanation for our admiration of such attributes. Furthermore, He would have to know the future consequences of every action in His universe. Otherwise, He could make some terrible blunders. And of course He must have existed eternally as God. He certainly couldn’t have evolved or developed out of something or someone that was less than God.
The true God must also be able to create everything out of  nothing  and not just build or manufacture His universe out of materials already available. Not energy, not matter, not gravity or electricity, but  God alone  must be self-existent in order to be the cause of all. Finally, He must be perfectly good and just, or there would be no explanation for the common recognition of right and wrong written in the conscience of all mankind all over this earth. These are the minimum qualifications of the true God, without which we couldn’t trust and worship and love Him.
Although we can understand the necessity of the above abilities, it is also completely beyond our capacity to comprehend such a Being: a God who has  always  existed and thus is without beginning or end; who not only created everything out of nothing but in order not to lose control of His creation must know where every subatomic particle in every atom ever was or ever will be; who must also know what every person who ever lived or ever will live has ever thought or ever will think or say or do, etc. Obviously, such a God is beyond our ability to fully comprehend.
At the same time that God is beyond our comprehension, however, we have seen that both reason and evidence demand such a God as the only explanation for our own existence and that of the universe around us. To deny this God, though He is incomprehensible, would fly in the face of reason and common sense. It is both impossible and unreasonable for there to have been a time when nothing existed and to have everything, including God, somehow arise out of that void of nothingness. It is totally unreasonable to suggest that life and intelligence sprang unaided from dead, empty space and thereafter evolved by chance.
Having come to these conclusions about God on the basis of the evidence all around him and in his own conscience, the seeker is now in a position to cry out to this true God to reveal Himself. The precise steps and circumstances and inner convictions through which God will reveal Himself vary with each individual. It is through His Word, however, that the fullest and clearest revelation of God comes. And in this Word, God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, who declared, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John:14:9). Jesus also said, “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John:14:6). Whoever wants to know God must get to know Jesus. He is revealed in God’s Word, and He reveals Himself to those who open their hearts to Him. As He said, “Behold, I stand at the door [of every human heart] and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation:3:20).
—  An excerpt   from  In Defense of the Faith (pp. 47-49)  by  Dave Hunt

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Bible According to Hollywood

July NL cover.jpg Hollywood has a long history of making Bible-based movies, including epics by Cecil B. DeMille and John Huston; Italian directors Pasolini, Rossellini, and Zeffirelli; American Martin Scorsese, and Australian Mel Gibson. Broadway musicals have also been made into “biblical” movies and videos such as Jesus Christ, Superstar and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat . Smaller productions abound including the Visual Bible’s Matthew , Acts , and The Gospel of John , the TV presentation Judas , Campus Crusade’s The Jesus Project , and Johnny Cash’s The Gospel Road . Then there are upcoming movie epics with proven box-office stars. Noah , for example, features Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins, and there are other offerings planned by two major studios. Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox are planning productions on the life of Moses, with Steven Spielberg being sought to direct one of them. Randall Wallace ( Braveheart, Secretariat ) will direct the upcoming film version of the New York Times bestseller Heaven Is for Real (see May 2011 feature article ), which, although not a biblical story, claims to give the first-hand experiences of a young boy who visited heaven.
It seems that Hollywood has been attracted to the Bible more than ever, thanks in large part to the financial success of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ . The History Channel’s recent 10-hour miniseries titled The Bible did nothing to dampen the ongoing enthusiasm as it broke viewer records, making it “the most-watched cable entertainment telecast of the year.” It played to more than 13 million viewers. Many Christians might conclude that much of the interest from secular entertainment companies is reason to rejoice. Of course, that would prove to be a hasty conclusion, especially for those who would call themselves biblical Christians.
Let’s start with a definition of true biblical Christians. They would be individuals who regard the 2 Peter:1:21). They believe that all the words were without error as they were given to and written down by the writers of Scripture. Both Matthew and Luke proclaimed that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word…of God” (Luke:4:4; Matthew:4:4). Paul commended the Thessalonians for receiving the “word of God,” which they had been taught, “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (I Thessalonians 2:13). Jesus prayed to the Father that His disciples be set apart by God’s “truth: thy word is truth” (John:17:17). Luke writes to his friend Theophilus that he had “perfect understanding” in all that he wrote and that Theophilus could receive certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed” (Luke:1:1-4). The point of all those verses (and many more) is that they are a support for a biblical Christian who believes in the supernatural accuracy of the Scriptures.
them with confidence: “That thou mightest know the
Bible as God’s direct communication to mankind. They believe that Peter’s words were inspired of the Holy Spirit when he wrote, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (
For those who aren’t on that page, let’s reason together. There are three possibilities regarding the sources of information found in the Bible: 1) The words came directly from God; or 2) They came from men, that is, the words are based upon man’s speculations, opinions, and guesses about God; or 3) The words in the Bible are a mixture of 1 and 2. Biblical accuracy would suffer greatly under possibilities 2 and 3 but not under 1, the belief that the Scriptures came directly from God.
God’s claimed attributes of omnipotence and omniscience support His ability to produce a book that is without error—that is, if the claim is true. We believe that the claims of God in the Scriptures are indeed true and that they are supported by the amazingly detailed prophecies that constitute nearly 30 percent of the Bible (see TBC 11/01 ; 6/09 ; 7/09 ; Q&A 3/04 , etc.). Prophecy is the astounding device that God uses to verify that He alone is God and that He alone knows the future. In numerous chapters of the Book of Isaiah, God declares His sovereignty, challenging the worshipers of the idols and false gods of the pagans to ask their gods to produce accurately fulfilled prophecies. They can’t—although down through history there have been continual bogus attempts (fortune tellers, crystal ball gazers, wizards, astrologers, psychics, channelers, etc.) to prove that the God of the Bible has made a false claim regarding His uniqueness.
If the Bible is of any value to mankind whatsoever, it must be accurate. Those who have no problem with a bible that includes the speculations and opinions of men, even in part, are putting their faith in something with contributions by fallen, finite people rather than the words of an infinite, righteous, and holy God.
Preferences for various Bible translations are issues of controversy among many Christians and are beyond the scope of this article, except in principle. In terms of scriptural accuracy, however, few would disagree that a literal translation would be the most objective and therefore the most accurate. Literal versions rely on prayerful biblical scholarship familiar with the most accurate data in translating the Hebrew and Greek words into English (for English Bibles). Furthermore, they are far less subjective, meaning they do not involve the personal biases of what men think a verse should say. The most popular Bibles today lean to the subjective. These would include dynamic equivalent versions, which feature the personal opinions of a translation committee as to what the sense of a verse is rather than a literal translation of the terms. More subjective yet are paraphrase versions—those that are based upon the ideas of an individual in declaring what a verse says and means. As one can clearly see, in the slide from a literal translation to a paraphrase version, the movement is from the objective to the personally subjective , and from God’s words to man’s suggestions, opinions, and guesses.
If you need an example of the kind of damage that the subjective departure from God’s words has caused, you need only to read Psalm:1:1 in The Message ( How well God must like you—you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon, you don’t slink along Dead-End Road, you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College ) to recognize that what Eugene Peterson wrote could never fit with the phrases, “Thus saith the Lord,” and “The word of the Lord came to me,” which occur thousands of times throughout the Bible. Those phrases would seem ludicrous when applied to The Message , which can only say, “Thus saith Eugene Peterson.”
Considering the blasphemy (“blasphemy” meaning a distortion of the character of God and His Word) of The Message , one might think that’s as bad as it could get in terms of inaccurate Bible versions. Yes and no. It may be the worst thus far (it’s used by more than 10 million evangelicals), but in terms of overall adverse influence, no written version’s effects can compare to the damage done to the Bible when its content is translated to the silver screen or television. Those numbers of viewers are incalculable, and the effect has been devastating beyond measure. Hopefully, most who are reading this are getting the picture (pun intended). If not, I recommend Showtime for the Sheep? (see resource pages), which gives many more reasons why much harm is done when attempting to translate the Bible visually. This brief article will focus primarily on the necessity of biblical accuracy.

Question: How does a biblical movie satisfy the necessity of biblical accuracy?
Answer: It doesn’t, and it can’t—and the reasons are many. Here’s a short list:
1) A movie takes what God has directly communicated in the Scriptures and makes the visual translation of what He said dependent upon what is in the minds and the craft of a film production crew (writers, director, cameramen, art director, actors, and a host of others).
2) Other constraints that determine what shows up on the screen have to do with budget, locations, weather, and the inevitable “Murphy’s law” of filmmaking, which states, “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Those are hardly “let’s be true to the Scriptures” considerations.
3) Any movie must begin with a screenplay. The Bible cannot be translated into a biblically accurate movie because nearly all movies need dialogue, which the Bible provides only in limited situations. Hence, the screenwriter (whether he is a believer or not) has to supply the dialogue to maintain story continuity, which means that he must add to the Scriptures, thus including false information. “Adding to the Scriptures” is forbidden by God’s Word (Proverbs:30:6; Revelation:22:18-19). A few such productions try to avoid some of the translation problems by incorporating only those words that are found in a particular Bible version. This is greatly misleading because it gives the false impression that the production is more accurate. More accurate than what? A movie is, first and foremost, a visual medium. When a person exits a theater after watching a powerful movie, I can almost guarantee that it will be the images that he will leave with, not the words.
4) “Biblical” movies are an assemblage of false images and scenes. Not one frame is accurate. Yet The Passion of the Christ was lauded by many highly regarded evangelical leaders as “the most accurate biblical movie yet.” Yet ?—as if the film medium were capable of a progressive movement toward truth? No! Suppose that I were to watch a video by someone who claims that he has produced a documentary featuring my family. After watching the video, I tell him that he has gotten a few things right but that everything else is wrong: yes, my wife’s name is Peggy; no, she doesn’t weigh 300 pounds. Yes, I have five children; no, they are not all girls. Yes, my kids are excellent athletes; no, they are not on the synchronized swimming team.                                                    
I’ve been told all too often that my concern for accuracy misses the fact that God can “use” these movies. Some have said, “Admittedly there are problems, but…but…the Lord can use a movie to get people interested in reading the Bible,” which, by the way, was a stated goal of the History Channel’s The Bible . Should I likewise conclude that the inaccurate documentary of “my family” might get some people interested in knowing my real family? Would they be disappointed that my kids are all very good runners but that my three sons are not huge fans of the “sport” of synchronized swimming? What happens when the multimillions who might be motivated to read the Bible because of all the Hollywood drama, effects, dialogue, and compelling music realize that it’s not in the “book version”?                                                    
A similar situation occurred when the Bibleman (a character playing off the popularity of super heroes Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, etc.) video series and tour, through the “wisdom” of marketing, attempted to get pre-teens excited to read the Bible. They found that if the kids even bothered to look at the Bible at all, they were disappointed at not finding the fleshly excitement in the written Word that they had loved in the video.
5) There are many more aspects unique to the medium of film that work against the translation of the Bible into that means of communication. Through this art form, one is attempting to convince the audience that what they are seeing is believable. Shooting a scene in the place where the actual biblical event took place may help its accuracy, but often, if that location doesn’t quite satisfy what the film director believes an audience will accept, then it’s “on to a more ‘believable’ location.” For example, The Passion of the Christ , featuring Christ’s crucifixion in Israel, was shot mostly in Italy.
6) This point may be the most serious error. Those who have played the character of Jesus in Bible-based movies from the last century on have all portrayed false Christs. Many spoke words that Jesus never spoke and misrepresented the character of the biblical Jesus. In a made-for-TV movie, as one example, Judas questions the Jesus character regarding his actions in clearing the moneychangers out of the Temple. Jesus’ reply was that he blew it. This is a misrepresentation of the perfect, sinless God/Man. Yet, tragically, that—along with all the other misrepresentations of Jesus—are the only representations that millions upon millions around the world may ever see or hear about the One who came to save them from their sins.
7) Finally, the problem isn’t only for the lost worldwide, but it is also a stumbling block for many evangelical Christians, even those with a reasonable amount of biblical discernment. I spoke at a conference about a year after The Passion of the Christ had its theatrical release. As I sat chatting with a group of young adult believers, Mel Gibson’s movie somehow became the topic of our conversation. I listened, somewhat uncomfortably, to their glowing praises of the film and wondered how I might make an important point without seeming to be “preaching” to them. Then the thought came to me, Why not give these somewhat biblically literate Christians a Bible quiz of sorts? Having seen the movie a couple of times and written a book on the subject, it was easy for me to describe eight scenes in detail. The quiz part was, “Tell me which of the scenes are found in the Bible and which are not.” The consensus of the group was that five were biblical and three were not. To their shock, they only got three correct; all eight were either from Mel Gibson’s movie-making mind or the mystical nun’s book ( The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ ) to which Gibson had looked for more content in creating his script. I have great concern for our upcoming visual generation.
Ignorance of the visual medium with regard to so-called biblical productions is a serious problem among evangelicals of all generations. Without the support of evangelicals, whose churches bought out theatres so that their sheep and guests could view the film, Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ would have been a box-office flop. In Showtime for the Sheep? , I could have filled nine pages with endorsements from evangelical leaders for this production that Gibson described to Christianity Today as “his very Marian movie.”
Yet the lack of discernment continues to abound. Here is a list of some of the advisors/endorsers for the History Channel’s The Bible , most of whom were thrilled with the series’ “biblical accuracy” or “bringing the Bible to life”: Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Nicky Gumbel, Luis Palau, Tony Campolo, Erwin McManus, T. D. Jakes, Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals, and Jim Daly of Focus on the Family (details of their endorsements, as well as more endorsers can be found at
As overwhelming as this lack of discernment may seem in the church today, it has only just begun as Hollywood continues with its mistranslation of the Bible for Christians. Pray that the Lord’s people will take to heart His words of warning: “Take heed that no man deceive you.” Only the habit of daily reading God’s Word and living it out will equip us with the discernment necessary to avoid being deceived.   TBC