Today, I saw the most recent movie depicting the Biblical account of the Exodus. The best and most concise summary I could give is that the movie truly was an “Exodus,” but it was an “exodus” from God’s word.
I never cease to be amazed at the liberties taken with reference to the Bible. No other piece of literature would be treated in the same way. The changes are needless, and offensive to the very people for which the movie is made.
This movie is no exception. I’ll share just a few of the deviations from the Biblical text to give you a sampling of how loosely the movie is based on the Bible.
- In the movie, no one spoke to Moses out of a burning bush. Instead, a little boy representing God or a messenger from God stood near the burning bush and spoke to Moses.
- In the movie, Moses did not kill an Egyptian whom he saw beating an Israelite slave. Instead, Moses killed an Egyptian who questioned him while walking through the town one evening.
- In the movie, instead of crossing the Red Sea on dry ground as the Bible teaches, Moses led the Israelites through waist-deep water at times, and at other times through muck and mud.
- In the movie, not only did the wall of water fall on the Egyptians, drowning them, but it also fell on Moses, but he was able to swim to shore.
- The Bible records that God wrote the Ten Commandments with his “finger.” but the movie showed Moses chiseling out the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone.
These are just some of the unnecessary changes to the biblical account, so once again, I’m left asking the question, “Why?” Why change the biblical, historical record? Would anyone make a movie about Pearl Harbor and have the Japanese bombs miss the U.S.S. Arizona? Would anyone make a movie about Abraham Lincoln but instead of being shot, they have Lincoln being poisoned? Such trifling would be unacceptable. Even if one did not see the Bible as historical, but merely a classic piece of literature, would they treat other great pieces of literature like they do the Bible? Would anyone dare tamper with Shakespeare by moving Romeo and Juliet’s balcony scene to a café instead? Would anyone edit Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” in such a way as to have the old man hunting a giant squid? Of course not.
But when it comes to the Bible, it just doesn’t seem to have any respect of movie makers as an historical record or as a classic piece of literature. So for me, rather than being captivated with a reenactment of an amazing working of God, I feel insulted by the lack of respect the movie demonstrates for the word of God.
I think marking in one’s Bible is a great idea. Highlighting certain verses, certain words, or writing short points in the margins of one’s Bible are all good ways to jog your memory or emphasize various important truths.
Unfortunately, the picture to the left is a caricature of how some people mark in their Bible. Christians and non-Christians alike can probably quote Matthew 7:1. If there’s one verse in the Bible that is closest to being universally known, it would be this verse.
But if I may remove the “markings” from this picture, you will see that this passage is actually stating that only a certain kind of judging is prohibited, and a different kind of judging is expected.
If we remove the markings covering verse 5, you’ll see that before we judge another, we need to remove the “plank” from our own eyes…but keep reading. Jesus said, “then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Did you see that? Jesus isn’t opposed to “speck removing.” He’s opposed to “speck removing” from people who haven’t removed the “plank” from their own eye.
So what this passage is teaching is that people who haven’t removed planks from their eyes don’t need to judge others. Therefore, Jesus tells us to remove our planks so that we can see clearly to help remove the speck in the eye of others.
Context really does matter, doesn’t it!
This is the truth…more or less.
- We need more passion and less apathy.
- We need more soft hearts and less hard heads.
- We need more open ears and less open mouths.
- We need more busy bodies and less busybodies.
- We need more back-patting and less back-biting.
- We need more seed-slinging and less mud-slinging.
- We need more faith in action and less faith inaction.
- We need more accountability and less excuses making.
- We need more abhorrence of sin and less tolerance of sin.
- We need more focus on the cross and less focus on our cross.
- We need more love for the world and less love for worldliness.
- We need more pursuit of holiness and less pursuit of happiness.
- We need more love for the truth and less love for our preferences.
- We need more foresight in planning and less hindsight in regret.
- We need more concern over direction and less concern over speed.
- We need more struggle against temptation and less surrender to it.
- We need more thanks for our blessings and less murmuring for our trials.
- We need more joy in sharing good news and less joy in sharing bad news.
- We need more who pray without ceasing and less who have ceased praying.
- We need more who seek to be hidden in Christ and less who seek to be hidden from Christ.
Do you have others you’d like to add? Leave them in the comments section.
Kevin Kelley is the head football coach for Pulaski Academy, located in Little Rock, Arkansas. But Kevin Kelley is not your ordinary high school football coach. He has made his mark on High School football by never allowing his team to punt.
Coach Kelley read the research of a Harvard professor who analyzed 2000 high school football games and came to the conclusion that a team is statistically better served if they never punt the ball away. Coach Kelley embraced his statistical research and so his team never punts.
So, how successful has he been? He’s won three state championships, has an 86% win percentage, and is playing for his fourth state championship on Saturday night.
But now, here’s the point of this article and how it applies to you: Don’t be content to do something just because everyone else is doing it. Be an independent thinker. Think outside the box. Get out of your comfortable ruts. Don’t be pressured to conform when you are convinced something else is right and expedient.
The Lord needs such people in his church…people who will think, plan, brainstorm, and take calculated risks to effectively inform the world of the good news in Jesus! Be one of those people!
P.S. Here’s to wishing coach Kelley a successful game on Saturday night!