Samson: the Movie vs. Samson: the Bible Truth

Free Stuff

On the official website for the movie, under “Free Resources”, one finds the following things listed:

Discussion Guide;

Movie Event Guide;

Social Media Memes;

Ministry Event Information Brochure.

To all which we simply ask: why?  The answer, of course, is that they have to attract people to see the movie; and to do that they have to make it attractive enough for people to go and see it.  Offering a whole lot of “free stuff” always helps to do just that.

To all of this we say: even if this movie was biblically accurate (and it’s not, as we have seen), it is still just a movie!  Even if a movie is biblically accurate, do Christians really need to spend hours poring over a “discussion guide” of it?  Here’s a novel idea: study the Bible directly!  In the case of Samson, study Judges 13 to 16, where the life of Samson is recorded by divine inspiration!  Discuss what God’s Word teaches, not some movie!

Catering to Roman Catholics

On the official website, under “Event Resources”, there is the following advertisement: “Catholic Discussion Guide PDF download.”  This is an obviously ecumenical gesture, designed to attract Roman Catholics to the movie.  But why are Roman Catholics singled out like this?  Why are they shown this singular favouritism?  If the movie is not a specifically Roman Catholic movie, then why are the makers catering to Roman Catholics at all?  And if the movie is actually a Roman Catholic movie, why are the makers not being forthright and saying so?

The Roman Catholic Discussion Guide starts like this: “The following four-session Discussion Guide is designed for small groups and classes that want to go deeper in learning and applying the rich lessons found in the biblical story of Samson.  As well as in the motion picture about this amazing man: Samson.”  Note how those Roman Catholics who will use this Guide are being told that the Bible’s account, and the movie, will both teach and apply “rich lessons”.  The movie version is being placed on an equality with the biblical account!  But there is actually nothing unusual in this for Roman Catholics, as Rome has always claimed that the Bible is only a part of the revelation of God to man: Tradition is considered of equal authority with Scripture.

Again we see this equality between the Bible account and the movie being stressed when the Guide states: “We would urge the members of the group to read the story of Samson in the Bible for themselves” – one would think this would be obvious and would not need to be said!  But of course, very few Roman Catholics are avid readers of the Bible, and even though Rome no longer officially forbids the reading of it, it does not exactly massively encourage Bible reading either.

“Also, it would be highly beneficial for your entire [Roman Catholic] group to see the Samson movie together at some point before, during, or after using this Discussion Guide.”  Note the equality between the Bible account and the movie which is being stressed!  And considering that for many, many centuries the biblical account of Samson has been highly beneficial to those who have read it – before there was ever such a thing invented as the motion picture! – it is very arrogant to claim that watching the movie will be “highly beneficial”.  Ah, but there is one group for whom it really will be highly beneficial if large numbers of Roman Catholic groups and classes go and watch it – and that group is the movie’s makers!  They will keep on raking in the money.  No wonder they were pushing entire Roman Catholic groups to go and see the movie!

The bottom line.  Again.

On page 4 of the Roman Catholic Discussion Guide, on the left-hand side of the page, there is, firstly, a quote by C.S. Lewis – an Anglo-Catholic, immensely popular author whose teachings were extremely unbiblical, as I have shown elsewhere;[9] then, secondly (note that –secondly), there is a quote from the Lord Jesus Christ in Jn. 10:27; thirdly, a quote by the Roman pope, Francis I; and fourthly a quote from Jeremiah (Jer. 1:5).

On page 5 of the Discussion Guide it says: “If you know the story of Samson, you know that he resisted God’s calling for much of his life.”  That is an outright falsehood.  We see nothing in the Bible to indicate that Samson resisted God’s call!

On page 7, after describing what it calls Samson’s “betrayal of himself” and mentioning that others do the same thing, the Guide poses the question: “Have you brought this to the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist for the grace to overcome this pattern of sin?”  This is a direct reference to these two unbiblical and antichristian Roman Catholic “sacraments”, whereby Roman Catholics actually believe they earn their own salvation.

On page 9, it says: “Have any of you had the opportunity to lead someone else into making that decision [of “trusting in Christ’] or to help them through the catechumenate and reception into the Church?” – again, a very Roman Catholic statement, and an encouragement to Roman Catholics to go out and make proselytes to their false “church”.

And on page 11 it says: “In the sacrament of Confirmation, we are given the sanctifying gifts of the Holy Spirit…”  Confirmation is yet another unbiblical “sacrament” within the Roman Catholic religion.  It is very evident that a trained Roman Catholic, very likely a priest, prepared this Roman Catholic Discussion Guide.  If so, this is another indication of the level of Roman Catholic involvement in this movie.

And yet another excellent reason to shun it.

Conclusion

The Samson movie is inaccurate and unbiblical.  It is an attempt, by the makers, to take the well-known, exciting account of this man of God, keep the general outline of his life, but make additions which, clearly, they believe will make the story even more exciting for moviegoers.  If a Gospel minister added to the biblical account in this way as he was preaching through the life of Samson, and made the kinds of errors and inaccurate statements which are to be found in this film, he would be justifiably reproved by all who love God’s Word.

We ask, in conclusion: why should filmmakers be held to a lower standard?

March 2018

Available from Bible Based Ministries

Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.  For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.

ENDNOTES:

[1]. “Pure Flix Releases Official ‘Samson’ Trailer.” Christian Post, January 5, 2018.  www.christianpost.com.

[2].  “Pure Flix Releases Official ‘Samson’ Trailer.”

[3]. The Life and Ministry of Samson the Strong, by Shaun Willcock. Bible Based Ministries, 2013.  See the website for ordering details.

[4]. The Life and Ministry of Samson the Strong, pg. 5.

[5]. The Life and Ministry of Samson the Strong, pgs. 11, 204.

[6]. “Pure Flix Releases Official ‘Samson’ Trailer.”

[7]. The Life and Ministry of Samson the Strong, pg. 190.

[8]. “Pure Flix Releases Official ‘Samson’ Trailer.”

[9]. “The Chronicles of Narnia”: Occult Fantasy of a Closet Roman Catholic, by Shaun Willcock.  Bible Based Ministries, 2005.  Available on our website as a free download.