When I was young I remember that one of the three TV channels back then we had would show a movie in the late afternoon around 4:30. They were typically low budget movies like Godzilla, Godzilla vs Mothra, Godzilla and …… well at least those were my favorites. Around Easter, that channel would turn to more inspirational shows like the Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, King of Kings, The Robe and more. I enjoyed watching these inspirational movies and still do.
I was excited to see that the History Channel was doing a four-part series on Jesus. I anticipated this would be an inspirational series around the Easter Holiday like yesteryear. I hoped for a Biblical message. The show started out well. It depicted the story of Mary and Joseph. Mary learning she was chosen by God to bear His son. Her telling Joseph about what has been revealed to her and his wrestling with disbelief. Joseph than getting his own message and accepting Mary’s condition. I thought good. This is going in the right direction. I forgot that it was the History Channel doing the series.
We came to Jesus’s birth in the story. The narrator explained the need for the couple to go to Bethlehem for the Roman Census. Then the “expert/scholar” pops in and starts explaining that the Roman Census was ten years after Jesus’s birth and that Luke was most likely trying to force the prophecies from the Old Testament into Jesus’s birth narrative. This is typically what the History Channel and CNN and current media do. They bait you for the first few minutes and then start populating the show with alternative views and commentary on how this or that is not possible. What you thought would be a good message around the build-up to Easter Sunday, turns out to be a hit piece on Christianity. Maybe this ended differently but I could not listen to another minute.
At that point, my wife and I, turned off the show and deleted the recording. We really did not want to watch this hit piece on what we know to be true. Notice I said, “know”. I have been studying Christian Apologetic so I feel better equipped than I would have years ago.
I did wonder in the days that followed how many people saw the show about Jesus? How many people began to doubt their faith because of those subtle little snipes at the accuracy of the Bible? Did their thinking begin to twist? Could have this show planted seeds of doubt in the watcher’s mind? Allowing an unprepared mind to begin to think the Bible is just a bunch of made up stories. Perhaps it is inaccurate. Can it be trusted as inerrant?
The “expert” did not explain that Luke has been credited as being one the most accurate historians of his time. Luke has stated much in great detail; dates, names, places, titles etc... When some thought he had it completely wrong eventually some piece of history has been uncovered to back him up. This topic is no exception. Other accredited experts have also wrestled with this topic and at least have an alternative answer as to what actually happened. Based on Luke’s pension for accuracy around other historicity, perhaps on this one he deserves the benefit of the doubt. This is not the goal of this blog, you can search on the internet or read one account here:
My point is there are many movies, shows, books, so-called documentaries like this. They make a false or misleading statement and treat it as fact. I am sure that you can name more than a few these media sources that characterize Christians as nuts or dumb.
There is a saying, “death by a thousand paper cuts”. Meaning these seemingly little things in totality have an effect. These add up and take their toll on people’s beliefs. As adults, we may not be affected as much. We look the other way. Remain silent but resolute. Our children hear the opposition, and see our indifference and they lose their faith. We become shocked that they would walk away from what we have tried to instill. We simply must arm ourselves with the facts that God has given us. Be willing to defend our faith as it has evidence and is not blind. Yes, there is much to learn. But we must learn as if our and our children's eternal life depended on it.
Author - Guy Yasika
Looking to profess my faith to anyone that will listen.