The hottest show on television the past two weeks has been “The Bible”, History Channel’s 10 part miniseries executive produced by Mark Burnett, the reality television mastermind behind “Survivor” and “The Voice”.
Burnett has been vocal in his passion for bringing the story of God to television. His gamble is paying off big time, bringing in record-setting numbers to watch the trials of Moses, Noah, David, and more.
So, as Christians, shouldn’t we all be behind “The Bible” – watching it, recording it, tweeting about it, having parties and inviting our friends over to watch it?
I don’t think so.
Why am I not watching “The Bible”? Because I don’t think we have to settle.
I don’t think we have to settle for B-level British accents on every Bible character. I don’t think we have to settle for SyFy Channel-level special effects. I don’t think we, as Christians, have to settle for falling in line.
To be clear, this is not a rant against Mark Burnett. Nor is this is a criticism of people who enjoy “The Bible” series. I think it’s fantastic that people are watching and discussing and arguing about “The Bible” rather than “The Vampire Diaries”.
But I also think it’s ok for different Christians to like different things. I don’t think just because there’s a show with Abraham and Samson and Jesus as the main characters we all have to be fanatically in support of it.
This is not a protest. It’s just a matter of personal taste.
You see, God created each one of us uniquely and intimately, weaving us together stitch by stitch. He created us all to be individuals, not one of us the same. There’s not even one person out there who shares your exact same DNA.
Part of that unique creation is the way we all interpret art differently. The great beauty of art is in the way it hits every person in a different fashion.
It’s why one person listens to an Adele song and hears a symphony and another person listens to the exact same song and hears a cat squealing. There’s nothing out there universally loved by everyone. Even Adele. And I think that is beautiful.
I don’t believe our unique cultural palette has to disappear when it comes to Christian entertainment.
Jesus never said, “Hey guys, when they start making movies about me, you all need to band together and be avid supporters of them no matter the quality.” Nothing in the Bible commands us to support the same art, to conform our tastes into one giant Christian conglomeration.
It also doesn’t mean a song or a tv show is automatically terrible if you don’t like it. Far from it. It just means it’s not for you.
If you enjoy “The Bible”, I’m happy for you. I truly hope “The Bible” touches millions of people’s lives and hearts. It’s just not my thing.
It’s not the interpretation of The Bible I would have made. Personally, I’d love to see a more intimate interpretation. One that doesn’t just rehash the big stories even non-Christians know by heart. One that digs into the emotions hidden on the margins and in the pauses. One that recognizes the Bible is more than epic; it’s also painfully intimate.
I think it’s ok to see the Bible as a more intimate book. I think it’s ok to dislike something, even if it has good intentions.
God created us to experience art differently. And that’s incredible. And we do a disservice to God when we blindly support things we don’t believe in.
If you’re a fan of “The Bible”, I could not be happier for you. For now I’m just going to watch “All Star Celebrity Apprentice” instead (also produced by Mark Burnett). And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either one of us.
Have you been watching “The Bible”? What are your thoughts so far? What stories would you like to see in a Bible adaptation? I’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below: