Bible Answer

Is "The Chosen" beneficial for new believers?

I enjoy watching The Chosen series, as well as a lot of my family, and we see the benefit it has of offering a more personal perspective of the life of Jesus. However I have noticed a few things in the show out of order, or slightly misleading in seemingly non-critical areas of theology, as well as additional story content. Is a show like this dangerous for new believers who don’t have a solid foundation of what the Bible says, and/or even mature believers that may enjoy it as wholesome encouraging entertainment? Would you say it’s better to watch a show that has no religious content?

In a world where secular TV shows, movies and documentaries are streamed at the tips of your fingers, one may receive a breath of fresh air when a new series, depicting the life of Messiah becomes readily available to stream all over the world. The Chosen has gained much hype over its Biblical accuracy, wonderful acting, and great backstory added to each individual character.

A resource like this can be helpful in the life of a believer, as the Bible comes alive on the TV screen, however,  these materials can never replace a proper, in-depth study of the word of God itself. It is essential to understand that watching movies about the Bible can only complement the Bible; they cannot replace study of the Bible altogether. With that said, every Christian must understand and respect the difference between studying the Bible and watching movies about the Bible. 

When believers and unbelievers alike watch The Chosen they may gain a simple understanding of key biblical characters and events but a movie about the Bible can never impart the same spiritual wisdom and growth that comes only by studying the actual word of God. Simply put, there are no shortcuts to holiness and spiritual maturity. Therefore, we advise all Christians to seek to understand the full counsel of God’s word in an unedited form in addition to relying on supplemental Bible movies. 

Such a trend in todays "short cut, quick fix" world should be reversed by following the command of the writer of Hebrews:

Heb. 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 
Heb. 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 
Heb. 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. 
Heb. 6:1  Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 
Heb. 6:2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 

Moving ahead into spiritual maturity should be the goal of every Christian, and this goal demands a life-long study of the whole counsel of God’s word, verse-by-verse (i.e., the “solid food” of God’s word). 

Additionally, we must understand that a writer has the personal liberty to add creative content in order to make the show or movie flow seamlessly for a more entertaining watch. When creating a movie that will be fit for today there is always a tendency to insert our own modern ideology and personal opinions, therefore, it is very important to realize that these additions are not divinely inspired. Scripture is the only guide and ultimate authority on who Jesus truly is, not a movie.

As we ponder your question, this scripture come to mind:

Romans 14:19 pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

Paul is reminding Christians that every time we make a decision to act in our personal life, we should make a choice that offers the opportunity to encourage strong fellowship with other believers and which will build up others in their faith. Therefore, in our opinion, The Chosen does just that. Further, a movie like this may offer us an opportunity to conduct such a conversation with an unbeliever or child in our family who might not otherwise entertain such a discussion. 

As with all issues like this one, ultimately each believer should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in deciding what’s best for him and his walk with the Lord. If you seek His will, He will direct your steps.

JAMES 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.