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Family Bible Films
Not So Bible
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
Family Bible Films is focused on children to supposedly help them learn the Bible. They claim the films are,
Thorough, Accurate Bible Lessons (familybiblefilms.com/Our_Products___Family_Bible_Films.html).
But that is simply a lie. It is more fiction, fantasy (unrealistic),1 and twisted inaccurate Bible than anything else. They claim,
As kids watch our innovative animated Bible films, they'll have so much fun, they won't even realize they're learning the lessons of the Bible! (familybiblefilms.com/Home.html)
They call it “Bible films” but most of the films are fictitious stories with a little “Bible” story slipped in. Within the first three films, five out of the six “Bible” stories are so perverted they aren't even truly a Bible story. Plus, the films promote rebellion against government, contrary to the Word of God (Titus 3:1). So, what the children end up learning is a fanciful story, rebellion, and twisted Bible stories that will do them no good.
Family Bible Films states on their website,
Family Bible Films is working with an award-winning team of Bible experts, educators, writers, and animators to share the most fascinating stories of the Bible with children like never before! (familybiblefilms.com/Home.html)
That's where they went wrong. They are “working” with “Bible experts.” They know not the days in which we live (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4).
There is nothing new under the sun here in these films (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10). Fables (2 Timothy 4:3-4), rebellion (Proverbs 17:11), works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11), and the twisting of Scriptures are all par for the course for a wicked world (1 John 5:19).
I. Long Journey
In the first film, Long Journey, at the beginning Macky's father (Samuel) tells him to stay clear of the Romans (the ruling government) as Macky is going off to chase his parrot. Macky responds,
Very soon thereafter as he chases his parrot, he comes across a few troops of Romans and doesn't stay clear of them. He walks right through them to get the necklace his parrot had. Then, he turns around, speaks to the Romans, and then walks away.
So, the Long Journey begins with teaching children to disobey their father, and/or it's no big deal to do so. The child (Macky) isn't even so much as reprimanded for his disobedience, or even so much as put in a bad light for doing so. The story leaves the impression the father never finds out about the incident. It's never again addressed.
Immediately after this episode, two young children are in the lower part of a ship and the one tries to grab a rat off the stairs (from behind the stairs), and the other child grabs the one going for the rat and says,
Keep down, Leah. Don't you remember what Father said?
Don't worry – nobody saw us.
These two young girls, Rebecca and Leah, are daughters of a man (Daniel) who is identified as one who is fighting the Romans and a friend of Macky's father. Fighting the Romans in this series (at least the first three, Long Journey, False Heroes, and True Heroes) is seen as a virtue. Friends of the Romans is seen as not good, as the Samaritan slave woman, Eza, says as she's speaking to the two young girls in the lower part of the ship,
You won't find too many friends of the Romans in here.
“Here” is the ship cage where slaves are being kept.
In this scene the film also promotes superstition. The two girls ask Eza,
Are you going to be alright?
There's not much anyone can do for us. But here . . . - Maybe this will bring you luck.
Then Eza hands Leah a comb, and Rebecca says,
We can't take that. It's all you've got.
It's not just for you. It's also for your father. Fighting the Romans.
There's no correction given here or any where else in the first three films, like, “A comb doesn't bring good fortune,” or anything like that. It simply moves on to another scene. Children watching this film are left with, “Maybe this [comb] will bring” Leah and Rebecca luck, and even their father as he fights the Romans. This is silly superstition that should not be taught to children, as it is written,
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
A comb bringing luck is not according to Christ.
Later in the story, in the first “Bible” story of the film, Samuel (Macky's father) tells his family about the story of Daniel in the lions den (Daniel 6), but he makes it into something it was not. He says Daniel's enemies suggested to Darius a decree,
that for a whole month no-one shall pray to any other god except you, and if anyone does, we will throw them into the lions pit.
That is quite a twist. This makes it as if they are calling Darius a god, and men are only to pray to him for that time. That was not the decree. The decree was,
that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. (Daniel 6:7c)
There is a vast difference here with the addition of “or man” ( וֶֽאֱנָ֜שׁ [ve'enâsh]). Yet, this is not a mere slip of the tongue or pen, this perverted decree (“pray to any other god except you”) is what they are portraying, as it continues with,
And the king agreed to issue the order. But one man would disobey this order. Daniel. Now, Daniel admired Darius, but he also knew that Darius was just a man. So as a faithful Jew, he continued to face west toward Jerusalem, and pray to our God as he always had.
The concept that “Darius was just a man” isn't a part of the Biblical record, because that's not the issue at hand. But, Family Bible Films makes it one. They claim the film supposedly,
Helps your children easily understand the Bible. (http://freebibledvd.com/HOME.html)
This, if anything, brings confusion and deception, and certainly not understanding of the Biblical text, because it is not what the Bible teaches.
Yet, somewhat surprisingly, Samuel does get one particular detail here correct. He says,
So as a faithful Jew, he continued to face west toward Jerusalem and pray to our God as he always had.
Daniel indeed prayed “toward Jerusalem” “before his God” (Daniel 6:10). Jerusalem is indeed God (Psalm 48:12-14 NKJV; www.atruechurch.info/jerusalemisgod.html).
Nonetheless, further confusion is given to the children when Samuel (Macky's father) says in this same story,
Darius was certain that his friend had been eaten by the lions.
No such certainty exists in the Biblical text. Note what Darius said to Daniel after he was cast into the den.
So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you." (Daniel 6:16)
Darius expresses a measure of faith here. He fasted that night, didn't sleep, and arose early that next morning.
And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, "Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?" (Daniel 6:20)
And, of course, Daniel was still alive and safe from the lions.
In the second “Bible” story of the film, Macky recounts Luke 5 and says,
Lots of people were coming to hear Jesus speak, and the Romans didn't like that.
There is no record in any of the gospels that the Romans didn't like the people coming to hear Jesus speak. This is pure fantasy from fictional Macky. It fits the anti-Roman theme of the films, but it doesn't fit Scripture. Macky continues,
They thought he was a trouble maker like his cousin John, who they'd just thrown into prison. But Jesus wouldn't stop, and as he was speaking one day the crowd just kept getting bigger.
There is nothing in Luke 5 indicating any reason, pressure, or otherwise for Jesus to stop. Macky's account isn't Bible. It is fable (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
The Jews thought Jesus was a trouble maker (e.g. John 8). There is no comment on what the Romans thought. Herod did indeed throw John into prison (Luke 3:20), not because he thought him to be a trouble maker, but because John had rebuked him (Luke 3:19-20). Herod knew John was a righteous man (Mark 6:20). This is what the Bible teaches. It is not the same as this “Bible” story.
In fact, this film gets Luke 5 all twisted up. They show some boats out on the lake, and then they have Jesus calling them in, and standing in the boat at the shore line as He speaks. Macky says,
Jesus asked Peter to anchor his boat so he could keep talking to the crowd.
None of this is true. The truth is, He,
saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. (Luke 5:2-3)
So, the film has the boats out on the lake with the fishermen in them. The Bible has the boats “by the lake” (παρὰ τὴν λίμνην) with the fishermen “gone from them . . . washing their nets.” The film has Jesus call the boats in. The Bible has the boats already in. The film has the boat anchored by the shore as Jesus speaks. The Bible has the boat out a little in the sea as Jesus speaks. The film has Jesus standing. The Bible has Jesus sitting. Is it really that hard to get such simple details right, or is there an agenda away from the Word of God onto the word of men (Jeremiah 17:5; Revelation 12:9)?
II. False Heroes
Consistent with the previous film (Long Journey), False Heroes begins with a rebellious spirit against governing authority (the Romans). At the very beginning, three soldiers walk by and Macky says,
They think they're on top now, but when those two rebels from Judea get here . . .
Then Samuel, his father, interrupts,
Ssh. Just pick them up at the docks the way I told you. And, Macky, be sure your friend Portia doesn't know anything about it.
She's all right. We can trust her.
Portia is the governor's niece. Even a Roman with a good heart is still a Roman.
Right, I understand. I guess.
Thus, via the main characters, Macky and his father (Samuel), the film promotes rebellion against existing authority (the Romans). This is antithetical to the Bible. Scripture says,
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, (Titus 3:1).
Family Bible Films reminds children to do just the opposite. Rebels in this series (at least the first three films) are seen as good guys, and so the films instill in children rebellion. Since children are born in sin (Psalm 51:5), they don't need any more encouragement to be rebellious, but that's what these films promote.
Later, Macky tells the story of Rahab and the spies, but he adds to the Biblical story (Proverbs 30:5-6). According to Macky, speaking of Rahab's house the spies say,
We'll be able to spy on the whole town from here.
The Bible doesn't teach that (Proverbs 4:27). Macky also says,
The king sent his soldiers to Rahab's neighborhood to search for the spies. But Rahab saw them coming.
This too is not Bible. The real story reads,
And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, "Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country." So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country." (Joshua 2:2-3)
In the true account, there is no searching of the neighborhood, and there is no “Rahab saw them coming.” The king sends directly to Rahab and demands for the spies. There is no telling whether Rahab saw them coming or not. Nevertheless, so says Family “Bible” Films.
III. True Heroes
Near the end of False Heroes and a little over two minutes into the beginning of True Heroes, Macky justifies their previous escapades of stealing ice from the governor with,
Father we had to. They're freedom fighters.
In other words, Macky justifies stealing the ice, because the men were freedom fighters (rebels) and one of them was sick; and the ice was to save his life. So, the focus is not just to save the life of a man, but to save the life of a rebel.
Then later, about ten minutes into the story, Macky expresses wanting to fight the Romans himself, and then tells the story of Gideon and the Midianites (Judges 6-7). This is a twist of the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16).
Gideon was directed by God Himself to fight the Midianites (Judges 6:11-16). No such command is given for Jews or Christians in Macky's context (after Christ had come). Actually, just the opposite is commanded – to submit (Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14).
In 1 Peter 2:15 Peter calls this submission “to the king” “or to governors” “the will of God” and “doing good.” Thus, this film propagates the doing of evil, rebelling and fighting against ruling authority that should not be fought against or rebelled against. This well feeds the flesh of children and encourages them toward the path of an “evil man” who “seeks only rebellion” (Proverbs 17:11).
The titles “False Heroes” and “True Heroes” refer to two thieves that Macky and his father thought to be rebels (against the Romans), but really were just thieves. The true rebels are depicted as heroes (True Heroes). Thus, rebellion is lifted up as a virtue. But Scripture says,
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:23a)
This verse more literally reads,
For rebellion is witchcraft and stubbornness is iniquity and idolatry.
Family “Bible” Films deceitfully encourages children towards witchcraft. That well fits Satan's agenda, who wants children destroyed (1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 2:16).
Furthermore, in this True Heroes film near the end, Samuel (Macky's father) tells the story of Christ being born and adds several ideas to the story that simply are not Bible (Proverbs 30:5-6). He claims,
Joseph and Mary “looked for their family” in Bethlehem.
“That evening Mary's baby was born.” That is, the evening they arrived in Bethlehem.
“Meanwhile, shepherds tended their sheep in the hills above the town.”
“They [the shepherds] swore they heard a voice from the heavens speaking to them.”
“Then they [the shepherds] heard singing.”
“They were astonished! Nobody ever took notice of poor shepherds. They were nobodies. But they were the first to be told of this great news! They couldn't believe it.”
“The shepherds told Mary and Joseph what they'd heard. Everyone was shocked by what they said. But Mary said nothing.”
“A while later, as was the custom, Mary and Joseph took their baby to the temple. . . . The devout Anna and Simeon had prayed for a sign that would give hope to all the world – hope to rich and poor alike. When Simeon held the baby, he told Mary and Joseph that finally he'd seen the sign he'd been looking for all his life.”
None of the underlined is Bible truth. It never says Mary and Joseph looked for their family. It never says Mary's baby was born that evening. It never declares where the shepherds were other than “in the same country . . . in the fields” (Luke 2:8). It never says the shepherds swore to anything. Despite the Christmas carols, it does not say the angels were singing (Luke 2:13-14). It never gives any perspective of no one ever taking notice of the shepherds, or that they were poor, or that they were “nobodies,” or that they were the first to be told, or that they couldn't believe it. Nor does it say Mary said nothing. None of this is Bible.
Moreover, Scripture does not teach Anna and Simeon prayed for a sign. But, it does teach Simeon was given revelation,
that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. (Luke 2:26)
It also does not teach Simeon “told Mary and Joseph that finally he'd seen the sign he'd been looking for all his life.” That's not Bible. This is what Simeon said when he held the baby:
Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)
And this is what he said to Mary:
Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:34-35)
Family Bible Films claims these films are,
THE BEST WAY FOR CHILDREN TO LEARN THE BIBLE’S MOST VALUABLE LESSONS (http://familybiblefilms.com/Our_Products___Family_Bible_Films.html)
Children who watch these films will not know the Bible. They'll know fables (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4), preparing them to be “good” rebellious false Christians headed for eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
Finally, they say,
Family Bible Films is proud to offer the “Friends & Heroes” series. (http://familybiblefilms.com/Our_Products___Family_Bible_Films.html)
They ought to be ashamed, and they will be in the future.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2)
Family Bible Films is particularly contemptible, since they are targeting children. Their condemnation is and will be just (John 3:18; Galatians 6:7-8).
1The Romans are unrealistically depicted as clumsy fools and the main characters (Macky, Samuel his father, etc.) are abnormally skilled (and fortunate) in getting out of tough situations. For example, the first encounter with the soldiers in the first film (Long Journey) well illustrates the unrealistic nature of the films. Several troops all bash into each other and fall completely over simply because a parrot flies by. It's clearly an exaggerated fumble and fall.