Today is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, the moment in which the Archangel Gabriel gave the All-Holy and Ever-Virgin Mary the glorious news that she would give birth to the Son of God. This Good News ushered in a new era in human history. God, by His love and grace, became a human for our salvation. Truly, today is a great day. It is too bad today is also shaded by darkness on television.
Tonight is also the premiere of the made-for-TV series about the life of Jesus Christ. As I mentioned in my blog about Kolyva Faith and Miracles, I am encouraging Orthodox Christians NOT to watch this series. This series, produced by Joel Osteen, is created by Christians who do not share our understanding about Who Jesus Christ is, let alone why He came. It in fact can be worse for your Great Lenten spiritual journey to allow incorrect understanding about God into your heart and mind.
During adult catechism in our host parish, I recently reminded people of the importance of remaining faithful to the correct belief about God. The Church Fathers felt so strongly about this, they anathematized those who refused to change their beliefs to reflect the truth of the Church. On the surface you may ask, “Why should anyone allow the Church to force any belief on the people?” The Church NEVER forces ANYONE to do or believe anything. What the Church is committed to, is remaining faithful to the truth as taught by the Holy Apostles. This truth, handed down through generations of strict adherence to the teachings of the Holy Apostles, is the core of what it means to be an Orthodox Christian, and our loyalty to that truth is what keeps us united to the Church. We are free to change our beliefs, but we remove ourselves from the Church when we freely depart from these truths.
The danger of movies like the one tonight, is there is no Orthodox oversight to ensure what is taught remains faithful to the Holy Apostles. I will go so far as to suggest that the only oversight will be from the producer, whom is not Orthodox in his theology of Jesus Christ. You may think I’m just crying wolf in sheep’s clothing, but we’ve always known days like this were coming. Beware….for your soul’s sake.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. – 2 Peter 2.1-2