"Editorial" means opinion. What I'm about to say to you about the new mini-series, A.D.: The Bible Continues, is my own opinion and does not reflect the opinions of our management. Ready? Christian, STOP filling your minds with this counterfeit tripe that is opposite of biblical truth of God's breathed-out Holy Word. Even if your pastor says it's wonderful and has purchased the sermon/small group kit for your church. (see, AD: Will your church be buying the Roma Downey sermon kit?)
You're probably asking, how do you know it's not biblical if you haven't watched it? Great question: One of the writers I follow has done the comparative legwork for us so that we don't have to slog through hours and hours of A.D. to understand what lines up with Scripture and what doesn't; what has been added and what has been left out. The following is an excerpt of an article written by Sunny Shell over at her Abandoned to Christ blog. Check it out and head over to her site to read it all:
Review: 'A.D.' The Heresy Continues By Sunny Shell The holy Bible is authored by God Almighty, and He has unequivocally denied anyone "artistic license" concerning His Word. In the holy Scriptures, God reveals Himself as—Savior to those He graciously and mercifully grants the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ alone, and the Righteous Judge who will forever cast into Hell, all those who disobey and deny Him.
In the holy Bible, God reveals that only those who've been granted new life in Christ can actually understand the Bible, and alone are empowered by Christ to do what it says (Phil 2:13, Heb 11:6).
"Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." ~1 Corinthians 2:12-14 (ESV)
Which is why everything Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett have produced about the Bible is full of blasphemy and heresy. They can't help it. They're not saved. That's why we need to pray for them and share the true Gospel of God's grace with them. If Christians continue to support their work, they will only be led further into their delusion.
Demonstrate the true love of Christ, and urge them to repent (Mk 1:15).
Though there's a grave misconception in the Christian community, the truth is, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett are not Christians. They don't even profess to be true Christians. They profess to be a mix of New Age and Roman Catholic religions—by their own words and by the rituals they choose to follow.
Roma Downey graduated in 2010 from the University of Santa Monica, a private, New Age, unaccredited graduate school where she received her master's degree in Spiritual Psychology. She's also proudly connected with necromancer John Edward, who, to her joy was able to "channel" her dead mother so she could talk to her on February 3, 2002 of "Crossing Over With John Edward".
The title of Burnett and Downey's latest project "A.D. The Bible Continues", similar to their previous work, is inaccurate. A more suitable title for what the television show conveys would be "A.D. The Bible As We'd Like It To Be".
This show is no different from not-"The Bible" miniseries and not-"The Son of God" movie. Just as these previous productions created new scenes and dialogue that are not found in the real Bible, with dramatic music and excessive, mystical imagery, 'A.D.' proves to flop in facts, but succeeds in fallacious depictions of Christ, His apostles, His disciples and other people who played a role in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the true Son of God.
Because television shows and movies have to tell their story in an established period of time (between one to two hours, generally) producers have to decide to either stick with the facts, or interject their own interpretations of what they'd like to see happen in each scene. If the makers of a movie decide to interject their own interpretations, for time-keeping sake, they must remove some truth.
In the case of 'A.D.' due to Burnett and Downey's infusion of an exuberant amount of scenes and dialogue from their imaginations about God, there was less room in this production than the previous ones, for actual facts. Similar to my review of not-"The Bible" miniseries and not-"The Son of God" movie, there were too many errors in 'A.D.' for me to list everything they left out. So I made a short list (and yes, this is actually short) of true and necessary facts that were ignored in the first episode of 'A.D.'
Below are some of the scenes that are crucial to the Gospel, yet omitted from 'A.D.'
- No Gethsemane where Jesus surrenders His will for the Father's will, proving selflessness and perfect obedience;
- No rooster crowing, a sign to Peter that Jesus knew He would deny Him;
- No bitter weeping of repentance from Peter after he denies Christ, but rather he's quite happy to be "able to get away";
- No Jews saying, "We have no king but Caesar." (Jn 19:15) showing their betrayal to God in order to kill someone they were envious of (Mt 27:18);
- No choosing of Barabbas (an insurrectionist and murderer) over Jesus who is the Christ;
- No salvation of one of the criminals hung alongside Jesus, an essential demonstration that repentance and faith in Christ alone saves, not the works of man;
- No crowds, chief priests and scribes jeering at Christ while He suffers on the cross, proving the utter depravity and wickedness of men even in the midst of horrific suffering;
- No asking for forgiveness of those jeering at Him (Lk 23:34) or His last words, "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit." a necessary demonstration of Luke 6:35-36 and proof that He willingly gave up His life and chose the time of His death rather than have His life taken from Him—because he is God and God is sovereign (Lk 23:46);
- No water and blood flowing from Jesus' spear-pierced side;
- No centurion proclaiming "Truly this man was the Son of God." (Mt 15:39).
However, some of what was irreverently inserted were the following scenes.
- The high priest Caiaphas' wife rudely tells Joseph of Arimathea (another council member) to hush up and often rebukes him harshly (as he cowers and submits to her), though this kind of behavior is considered highly inappropriate for women of this time, and an especially vulgar behavior for a wife of a priest; Claudia, Pontus Pilate's wife knows more than Pilate and rather than desire to set Jesus free (as it's written in the real Bible, Lk 23:20-22), in this Hollywood-hyped version of the Bible, Pontus Pilate wants Jesus dead;
- The apostle John says in one scene after Jesus' crucifixion, "He [Jesus] understood our weaknesses. He loved us for it. He died for it." This preposterous and heretical statement completely denies why Christ came and what He died for and what He loved. Jesus loves the Father, He loves the holy commandments, He loves righteousness and He hates sins. But He loves those He came to save, so He took on what He hated in order to save those He loved.
- A comical, comet-like fire ball descends from the sky and lands in a form of a man in armor, supposing to be an angel who unsheathes his sword in order to roll away the stone from Jesus' tomb.
I highly recommend you read the rest of Sunny's article here.