Three Reasons I Am NOT Watching The Bible on the History Channel

I know this might strike you as odd, but I have no intentions of watching the The Bible on the History Channel. Besides the fact that I’m a stick in the mud and I hate going with the crowd on such things, I do have reasons for not doing so. Here are my reasons:

1. First, this show is going to be someone’s interpretation of the Bible and what it means. Most of those on the list behind the series are not those I would give a lot of credibility. There are a few that I might have lunch with, but Joel Osteen is not one of them. As one member of my church put it, “Joel Osteen is a step in the right direction, considering that these programs typically quote John Dominic Crossan and Bart Ehrman, but you are still much closer to Egypt than you are to Jerusalem.

For those of you who don’t know, John Dominic Crossan and Bart Ehrman are favorites of the liberal media because both men have fully affirmed the lefts unbelief by not believe in Scripture either. They are like a group of blind idiots sitting around affirming their blindness to one another, thereby worthless to humanity in the long run.

2. I am a stick in the mud! The way I figure it, if it is a trend and popular in Christianity, then there is probably something wrong with it. For instance, I still haven’t seen Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ, even though there were pastors every where saying that if I didn’t go see it, I could not be a good Christian. I kept trying to tell people that we are to preach Christ crucified, not movie Him. Considering I get that from Paul, I think I’m in safe company. Nonetheless, people flocked to that movie and supposedly millions were saved. The only man I know who got saved from that movie is now more pagan than Gibson himself.

I also failed to jump on the WWJD bracelet band wagon. The message of Christ is not: what would He do? It is: what did He do? He died on the cross because we cannot do what He did. Only He can. That is the point of the gospel, not trying to mimic Him in some cheap, tawdry form of moralism. If we could do what He did, then we would need the gospel.

I’ve also noticed that a lot of those who were wearing those bracelets are now jumping on another trendy exercise in the church, that of getting tattoos. I also happen to know that Jesus WOULD NOT GET A TATTOO! It was against the Law, which He came to fulfill, not make it OK for us to break.

I also failed to jump on the Promise Keepers, Purpose Drive Life, Purpose Driven Church, Purpose Driven Calendars, Purpose Driven Pencils, Purpose Driven Toilet Paper, Purpose Driven T-shirts, Purpose Driven Youth Rallies and lady’s groups, and the Experiencing God, bandwagons. Those things are trends and trends are dangerous in the church because they can be very misleading. I know, many people were “helped” by these things, but for the most part, you could reduce the all that these things said that was true to Scripture to a page of information. It would have been better for people to get together under someone called to preach the gospel, and listen to them, say, 52 Sundays out of the year. If the pastor is faithfully preaching God’s word on Sunday, you don’t need Purpose Driven Promise Keepers on Saturday. By supporting such groups, the church inherently ends up propping up men who should not be given such authority in the church, especially Rick Warren. Your typical small-town pastor who faithfully preaches every week does far more good in a year than someone who is as misguided as Warren does in 15 years.

3. I don’t watch these programs because people expect me to. I know as a pastor I’m expected to watch it and give my critique of it. But truth be known, I would much rather just do my job and teach/preach the Bible so that if you want to watch the show, you can determine on your own whether or not the show is being truthful to Scripture. There are far too many books, shows, blogs, web sites, movements, etc., for me to become an expert on all of them. I will comment on those I do learn about, but for the most part, I have to be faithful to my calling and trust that the Holy Spirit will work in your life for you to be able to determine if something is worthy.

Allow me to also say that that I’m not going to get the DVD and teach it in Sunday school. I already have a perfectly good Bible that I can use to teach the truth with. There are books and DVDs I will use in Sunday school, but if something appears on the History Channel, I suspect that there will be a great deal of compromise on the part of those who make it.


25 thoughts on “Three Reasons I Am NOT Watching The Bible on the History Channel

  1. Pastor Timothy, a few comments, if I may.

    This show is going to be someone’s interpretation of the Bible and what it means.

    That’s all you ever get. Hopefully the interpretation is thoughtful, accurate, coherent. But that’s all you ever get is interpretation.

    I would question your second reason. The suggestions that movies cannot present the Gospel and that all bandwagons are bad wagons are questionable. Consider, for instance, some revivals that have occurred where large numbers of people repented. (I’m thinking of Jonathan Edwards and the First Great Awakening.) I’m hoping you wouldn’t be standing off from that saying “It’s a trend, so it must be wrong.”

    Your second reason sounds like … well … me. I am a rebellious conformist. I do what I have to but prefer not to do what is expected. It’s a personality thing.

    All that without suggesting in the least that you should be watching that show. I’m not. But I am trying to “set no worthless thing before my eyes” (Psa 119:37). On the other hand, I am not required to provide guidance to a flock who might actually be watching something like it that may have possible good points. So, in the end, carry on.


    • Hi Stan,
      Some good counter points. However, I do believe there is a read difference between true awakenings, which began through the preaching of God’s word, and trendy movements. One started because God’s word was being preached, the others started because of less than pure motives. Even Passion of Christ was Mel Gibson’s interpretation of Scripture, instead of the declaration of God’s word. I would simply distinguish a movement of the Holy Spirit which is always centered on the preaching of God’s word, and the movement of people for other reasons. Hope that helps.


    • These are about the same thoughts I had when reading through. Any presentation or declaration of God’s word is going to be an interpretation, that’s not something you can get away from. Even if you’re doing the historical-grammatical method you’re still using a method of interpretation; the question is not “am I interpreting” but “am I interpreting faithfully.”

      There plenty of reasons for avoiding the things listed in this blog, but none of them for the reasons given which just make you sound like an angsty teenager rebelling against the cool kids because they’re cool (and who happens to be prone to logical fallacies and arbitrary generalizations against anything he dislikes).


      • Jeremiah, the point of not jumping on the bandwagon is that most of the things I pointed out, have significant problems in them. You can make your snarky comment about being cool, which is something that I have never aspired, with reasons other than the fact that I’m not cool. But the reality is that every movement that I have mentioned, did have terrible problems with them. Read the article again. You might see that I did mention that with the WWJD bracelets.

        Also look at the link provided for Rick Warren, again you will find there are troubling problems with his methodology and his message.


      • Sheesh. Expecting–even hoping–that the History channel (or any other secular source in 2013 AD) might present a God-honoring presentation on the Bible is like expecting MSNBC to do a respectful series on the Constitution or Al Jazeera a fair & balanced history of the Holy Land.


      • I didn’t disagree that there were significant problems with any of the things listed; my point was only that the three reasons you gave were very inane reasons, reminiscent not of anybody with any real depth of thought but with an angsty teenager. The point of the snarky comment was not to say that you aim at being cool, or even that you should aim at being cool, but that the attitude presented is of a similar type as the attitude said angsty teenager has towards the cool crowd – it is not meant as a direct parallel, but an analogy (though honestly I expected this to be a teenagers blog until I got to the third point).

        Again, I’m not disagreeing with you that any of the things you listed have serious problems with them, I’m only pointing out that your “three reasons” are not good reasons for opposing anything, and when we as Christians present such poorly laid out reasons for our views people get to thinking that we believe our position on the merit of these bad reasons. Then the rest of us have to go around convincing the public that the skewed view of the way Christians think that they have in the back of their mind isn’t really the way things are.


      • Jeremiah Dahl, it was FUNNY. It was just funny. Is it okay to enjoy some humor? Every now and then? Can you not just say, “I did not think that was funny,” and let it go?

        I thought it was funny. I did not agree with everything, but nowhere in this post does Pastor Timothy ask anyone for agreement.

        It was funny. It was not real funny, but all it was meant to be was funny.


      • Well thank you Imhavoc! I have never seen such ado about nothing. It is not a doctoral dissertation, JD, just off-the-cuff thoughts on a current event. His reasoning makes sense to me; I’m not a Rick Warren or Purpose-Driven fan and there’s certainly no mistaking the Bible’s position on the word vs. the image or vision. God is the Word, humans alone of all animals think & communicate in words, faith comes by hearing and not by seeing. If we never quite understood the reasoning behind this before the advent of holographic imaging, photoshopping, and virtual reality, we should now.

        (JD writes: “Even if you’re doing the historical-grammatical method you’re still using a method of interpretation; the question is not “am I interpreting” but “am I interpreting faithfully.”. Isn’t our answer to ourselves pretty reliably “yes” ? :o)


      • Hi Phoebe,
        Thanks for the support and clarification. I do intend at times to be deep and thoughtful, but not this week, or month for that matter. This was something that I put together off the cuff, but it sure has generated a lot of responses. Funny how that happens. My thought filled pieces, no one says a thing. Something off the cuff, controversy ensues.

        Check back tomorrow for a really deep and thoughtful piece on … today’s lunch with Jody. 🙂


      • Yes, our answer to ourselves is often yes, but this does not mean that we can disregard the fact that we are interpreting or that we shouldn’t attempt self-awareness of our own potential errors. Any self-conscious reader of the Bible, if they care at all about being faithful to the text, will analyze whether they are interpreting faithfully. Only a fool will say “I’m not interpreting,” and I’ve met many ignorant pastors who will say just that and condemn you when you call them out on their interpretational method.

        I make a hub-bub about it because the whole “I’m not interpreting; you’re interpreting and therefore you’re wrong/irrelevant” is a very real and very widespread toxic error in many pulpits (though honestly, it usually comes from dispensationalists, not Calvnists, who are usually more self-aware of their own presuppositions – hence their affinity for presuppositional apologetics).


      • Tommy Nelson is the closest thing I’ve seen, and he’s pretty great (minus the dispensationalist part). 😉

        Granted, he doesn’t deny that he’s providing an interpretation.


      • Tommy Nelson was the first pastor I ever HEARD preach the gospel, in the spiritual sense. I heard him back in 1990 and was a believer only a few weeks later. He is a gifted preacher (minus the dispensationalism part). 🙂


  2. My family will not let me watch “The Bible” for one simple reason: during the commercials for “The Bible”, I pointed out where it was contradicting God’s Holy Word. They did not want me to do that during the show, so I am studying through 1 Corinthians instead.


  3. When I heard, several months ago, that this mini-series was in the works my heart sank into my socks. The target audience is Protestant Christians, its writers/producers devout Roman Catholic. The visuals and the music will be magnificent. The content will be an artful blend of true & false history, true & false testimony, true and false scholarship, true and false doctrine. The devil will tell a thousand truths to slip in his one big lie: in this case, that it was Mother Church who gave us the Bible and there is no hope of understanding it without the assistance of her Magisterium.

    I am torn between watching it so as to be able to discuss it with people it misleads and confuses, and spending the same amount of time in prayer that the Holy Spirit will guard the hearts and minds of Jesus’ little flock.


  4. Again, thankful we don’t have cable…as to watch this or not watch this is a moot point (we wouldn’t watch it if we did, just not interested in this type of program). Honestly, we’ve watched several classics such as Ben Hur, Ten Commandments, The Robe,…but we’re always quick to point out that much is dramatized fiction, distorted, or inaccurate. I’ve never seen The Passion of the Christ and won’t, can’t explain fully, just know it’s one of those movies I can’t watch.
    I feel this movie/series fills the need for the soft or carnal Christian to be entertained. I could say so much more regarding the whole seeker sensitive hogwash, but won’t.


      • OK, finished watching Ben Hur and now that it’s over, I’m glad it is over. I remember watching it as a non-Christian and being horrified that they left the chariot scene in the movie in which the actor actually got killed (could be urban legend). My thought for the rest of the movie: How could they?

        But alas, I’m older now and still have the same thoughts: how could they? I don’t think I will watch it again, or even the remake when Hollywood gets around to it… Hhm? I think I will come up with a post: Three Reasons I will Not Watch the Remake of Ben Hur…


  5. I agree with what you and Phoebe said. How can in the world can the history channel bring truth to anything? I have not had TV in about 20 years and have been informed without the trash of the TV. Why not just read the Bible for a change or go to the following website:

    and here it read. Much better to read the Bible and ask the HS to clearly show you HIS Truth than to listen to a secular TV station.


  6. Well, every time I write, I misspell a word. In the last paragraph, I meant to write “hear it read” instead of here it read. Sorry about that. Spelling is not my best subject!!!!!!


  7. Just a side note everyone: this post has generated more hits than the usual number one post for any given day, which is: Top 10 Blue Bell Ice Cream Flavors. 🙂

    This post, 80 hits so far.
    Blue Bell Ice Cream 41!


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