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Common Grace at Work in the Movie Studios

Even one who does not pay much attention to the movies and television shows being produced these days can’t help but notice an increase in biblical quotes, themes, and images found in the productions. Secular magazines such as National Geographic are devoting more space to discoveries, stories, etc. relating to the Bible. Millions of people are reading fictionalized interpretations of the Bible. Excitement and tension surrounds the da Vinci Code. There seems to be a growing interest in the Bible and material relating to the Bible.

Some are hopeful that we are entering an age of renewed spiritual growth after a period of history filled with atheistic attacks upon the Christian faith. David Bruce, explaining the role of an organization called “Hollywood Jesus” writes, “There is more spirituality being expressed in films than ever before. Something is going on. ‘Something is happening here, what it is I’m not exactly sure.’ But, I’m amazed by it. Hollywood Jesus is dedicated to this amazing interest in spirituality.” In fact, he goes so far as to say that the filmmakers today fill the same role as Jesus with the parables. He writes, “Jesus used parables about farming because he spoke to people who lived close to the earth. The country folk that Jesus spoke to of God’s love were agrarian people who would understand his stories using farm illustrations. Our modern day parables have to relate to our culture as we know and live it—this is the role of our filmmakers.” He gives the impression that the film industry is on the verge of realizing that they have been inspired by God to harness the power of the motion film for the ultimate modern version of the Bible. It would appear that this union of Christians with the culture of this world means that the triumph of common grace is at hand.

Such a “triumph of common grace,” has more to do with the kingdom of antichrist than a golden age for the kingdom of Christ. God’s word is stripped from most modern Bible translations, and unless the filmmakers themselves are directly inspired by God Himself, we can only expect the same from them. Reviews of the films from those who claim to believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God rate the factual accuracy of the films from “nice try” to “blasphemous.” Yet, millions watch and seem to be convinced that God’s word is to be heard through the entertainment. “Let the people believe they have the word of God while the Bible is thrown into the museum” is what Satan instructs his servants.

While some are convinced that common grace is at work in the movie studios, others are better able to apply some spiritual common sense to the trend. Dan Clanton, a professor at the University of Denver sums up his analysis in a paper where he writes, “Money, stories, characters, intrigue, conflict, ethical dilemmas—you name it, it’s in the Bible, and it makes for good entertainment and engaging media.” I don’t know how much more the truth can be distorted when the world, and even the nominal church imagines that God speaks in order to entertain man!

God warns the church that such delusion will come in this, the day of the Lord. We read in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” In fact, such delusion has been around in one form or another throughout history. The amazing wonder is that the church and the truth of God’s word is preserved through it all. May we continue to pray that God will preserve His church in our generations to the end.