As NBC prepares to launch a new miniseries, "A.D.", churches are being marketed to. Hard.
It'll be an easy sell for many, as this series is very entertaining and visually beautiful.
"Millions will be watching, including people in Your Church," advertises uber-popular Outreach.com, urging pastors to "plan a 12 week series starting Easter Sunday, April 5th, through June 21st," using the pre-packaged sermons, graphic arts, videos and congregational study guide. "Outreach is the exclusive provider of church resources for the A.D. TV series, so every order includes vivid images from the series not available anywhere else!"
The film is produced by Catholic mystic New Ager Roma Downey (who recently emceed We Will Stand United, a concert of 33 well-loved popular Christian music artists, reaching millions worldwide). Downey produced The Bible Miniseries as well as The Son of God miniseries (see, "Something Huge Is Missing From The Last Supper"), with her husband Mark Burnett, and A.D. follows up with stories from the Book of Acts. Will it follow Scirpture, or will there be major discrepancies as with the first two?
Here, Roma Downey has a special plea to pastors to get on board:
"Hello, Church Leaders!"
You can read the endorsements from famous seeker-mergent pastors to celebrity authors: Rick Warren, National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson, Assemblies of God Supt. Dr. George O. Wood, Joel & Victoria Osteen, Ed Stetzer, Bishop TD Jakes, Cardinal Donald Wuerl (Arch Dioceses of Washington DC), Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Craig Groeschel, Francis Chan, Perry Noble and a host of others.
Of interest: In your $30 sermon DVD kit, Mark Batterson (author of The CircleMaker) preaches about The Grave Robber, based loosely on John 11:25-26. The synopses reads:
Main Idea: Everyone wants a miracle. But here's the catch: No one wants to be in a situation that necessitates one! Of course, you can't have one without the other. The prerequisite for a miracle is a problem, and the bigger the problem, the greater the potential miracle. He is the God who can make your impossible possible!
Which is better: A 12 week sermon series based on a movie by a person who learns from universalists like Deepak Chopra? Or studying the actual teachings of the Bible directly? What could we learn from Downey or others that we cannot learn better from the Word directly?