Can we evangelize with "The Chosen"?
With the broadcast in France of the series The Chosen, many Christians were excited to see a series produced by evangelicals with such success.
What should we really think about it?
First of all, the series is quite close to historical reality. The costumes, the different religious branches, the practices... Everything puts us in the context of the New Testament era.
I want to make it clear : I have not seen this series except for a few excerpts. But the many comments made on it and the questions in some of you force me to talk about The Chosen series trying to be fair and find out if it is pleasing to God.
The answer is no, in my opinion. Indeed, the Gospel message is distorted by the constant staging of the apostles or Jesus in extra-biblical additions, necessary to keep the viewer in suspense. Thus, the apostle Peter is depicted as a violent man, who even seeks to fight with Matthew. Nathanael is staged as an alcoholic while the Gospel of John presents him to us as a pure and upright man... If you want to know in more detail what is reproached to this series, I invite you to read some reviews made on this subject.
All these inconsistencies distort the biblical message that is put in the background in favor of the entertainment provided by the twists and turns of the synopsis.
Which brings me to my main comment: do we do evangelism by truncating the Gospel message, as some claim?
Unfortunately, as is often the case, entertainment takes precedence over the gravity and solemnity of the biblical message. To evangelize today, we use all kinds of modern techniques: music, films and series, shows... This also applies to the deepening of our faith. Some Christians fall into this trap and prefer to watch such a series rather than read and study the Gospels... Conversion can only come from the pure and uncompromising Gospel message.
If you wish to evangelize someone, I doubt that advising them on this series will lead them to conversion. Instead, offer them a Bible or a New Testament. It may be cheesy, but the biblical message is the same yesterday and forever. It is not up to us to modify it or give it a modern appearance. If someone really seeks the Lord, he will find him in simplicity and silence and surely not by watching a movie or in the middle of a concert, in the middle of the noise, the lights, the smoke...
Everything that is image only provokes sensations, transient and fleeting emotions. While God speaks by the word, the word; it is she who works hearts in depth and touches the being in the most authentic way possible.
Paul, to persuade his contemporaries, did not use the artistic and visual techniques of the time, namely, the theater, very popular with his time. He knew very well that he could not have attracted lost souls to the Lord; it was by means of speech alone, persuasive and filled with the Spirit of God that he was able to make proselytes and true converts...
Sadly, today, in the church of spectacle and entertainment, the image has taken precedence over the word. And one is astonished that the so-called converts turn away from the church so quickly and return to the world! They never converted, quite simply! They felt one or more emotions and adhered to a message, to a movement...
So let us be aware, not to be attracted by the sirens of this world and to remain simple and faithful in our faith. Let us know how to discern what is right and good, thanks to the Holy Spirit, so as not to be attracted to this world of madness, which seeks to entertain us – which, literally, means "to divert" – to distance us from the essential, namely, the true relationship with God.