In 2018 Samson, the latest screen version of the biblical hero and judge of Israel, was released. It purports to bring the story of Samson to life for the big screen. But it fails miserably, because it does not stick to the biblical account. In typical filmmaking tradition, those who made this movie felt that they could improve on the Bible. Essentially this was saying, “The account in God’s Word is good, but we can do better. We can flesh it out, add lies to the truth, and basically re-tell the story in a more exciting and believable way.” Of course the filmmakers did not actually utter these very words or anything like them, but in essence this is what they did.
Pure Flix Entertainment was the production company which released the film. This has become a well-known and very popular professedly Christian filmmaking company – or rather, as so many prefer to say these days, a “faith-based” company. Not strongly, uncompromisingly Christian. Not outright Evangelical. Certainly not Protestant. Not Bible-based either. Just “faith-based.” It could mean anything.
There is no need to see the film to know that it is an inaccurate portrayal of the life and times of Samson. The website, and the trailer on the website, provide sufficient information to be able to judge.
Isn’t it amazing that, almost inevitably, within the first couple of sentences of any review or description of “faith-based” films like these, including those released by the production company itself, we are told which big-name “stars” acted in the film? This is always so important to the producers, even though they profess to be Christian – they are so “starstruck”, so in awe of the actors and actresses who they were able to entice to act in their movie. They describe them as if they are somehow above mere mortals, men and women who should be held in great esteem because of their previous illustrious careers in the film industry. The official Samson website does this very thing: it gives a description of the main actors and actresses in the movie, listing their previous roles in other movies – Hollywood movies. If the writers of these “praise pieces” were speaking instead of writing, one would not be surprised to hear them utter the names of the “stars” in hushed, awed tones.
But why do the makers feel the need, on the official website of the Samson movie, to rattle off the previous roles of these Hollywood “stars”? Should this be even remotely important to professing Christians? Since when are they to make idols out of anyone, let alone men and women who have earned their living acting in vile Hollywood movies which Christians should not be watching anyway?
And why do the film’s makers feel the need to hire such “stars” at all? Why is it so vital?
The answer is all too obvious: drawing power. Today’s professing “Christians” are so immersed in the cesspool that is Hollywood, so taken with movies and actors and all the rest of it, that they salivate over the details of who is acting in a movie. The makers want their movie to succeed at the box office, and they know that in order for it to do so, it needs the draw card of certain big-name “stars”. This brings in the crowds, and crowds bring in more money.
Money. The bottom line. Always.
Two examples will suffice, from the official website’s synopses of the “stars” in the movie. The virtual reverence with which they are described stands out clearly. Example one: “Iconic actor Rutger Hauer has worked with world-class filmmakers”, who are then named. Again: why should professing Christians care? And iconic? Is this actor an icon to them? Should he be an icon to them? Apparently so, according to the makers. And even if the filmmakers with whom this actor worked previously are “world-class” to the worldly, what is that to those who love Christ and are called to separate from the world (2 Cor. 6:14-18)? It just goes to show that the majority of today’s professing “Christians” are Christians in name only. They are as much in love with the world and its “heroes” as the people of the world are. There is no difference. The actors’ details matter to them, because they are part of the world – and, sinfully, they love the world (1 Jn. 2:15-17).
Example two: “[Jackson] Rathbone is best known for his role as Jasper Hale in the film TWILIGHT, based on the best-selling novel by Stephenie Meyer.” But no true Christian should care two hoots that Stephenie Meyer is a “best-selling” novelist, considering that the Twilight story is a vampire story! Why is the official Samson website, supposedly created by professing Christians, playing up the fact that one of the main actors in their supposedly biblical movie was best known for playing in a vampire movie? Why are professing Christians in the least bit interested in who played in a vampire movie?
The answer is obvious. They watch this garbage. They make no distinction. They derive their entertainment from movies, whether about vampires or Bible heroes. It’s all the same to them.