ISSUES OF FAITH: Seeing the Savior a different way

THE AWARD-WINNING TV series “The Chosen” has had over 400 million views and has been popular among many different Christian faiths.

“The Chosen” is an episode-based portrayal of Jesus Christ now in its third season. The series was financed through crowdfunding with viewers contributing $40 million towards its production in 2021.

I’ll be the first to admit, I do not like many TV or movie portrayals of the Savior.

I have a certain expectation in my mind, and if it doesn’t meet that, I’m disappointed.

Furthermore, I am cautious with interpretations of the gospel and doctrine.

This series is not produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so not all of its ideas and storylines match up to my beliefs.

This is likely true for many Christian faiths since the show takes liberties to create backstories to give the stories more depth.

When I first watched it, I wasn’t compelled to continue watching the series.

I’m a believer. I love the Lord, Jesus Christ, but it just didn’t resonate with me. However, my daughter encouraged me to keep watching it and I kept hearing from many other people, including my father, that they loved it.

So I gave it another try. The more I watched it, the more engrossing the show became.

It’s available on many platforms. I’ve always watched it online for free at BYUTV.org.

One of the ways “The Chosen” differentiates itself from other depictions of Jesus is that you see Him through many of His followers, making it more intimate and personal.

You see some of what Luke described as Jesus “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”

You also see how the gospel of Jesus Christ really stirred up religious and political groups making discipleship difficult.

The series isn’t completed yet, so I can’t tell you that I will love how the rest of it goes, but I can say that I’ve enjoyed it thus far.

It has caused me to reflect upon the teachings of the Savior.

It mentally puts me there among His disciples and I’ve pondered many times, “How would I have responded to His words?”

The stories are told in an impactful way, such as when Nicodemus was perplexed and torn between holding on to tradition and following the feelings of the Spirit to follow Jesus.

There is no doubt that this series has resonated with millions of people.

In a world where many have turned away from God, it gives me hope.

Back in the 1950s, a Gallup poll showed that 98 percent of Americans believed in God. That has recently dropped to 81 percent and it’s even lower with the younger population.

So, for someone who believes that Jesus Christ was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father, paid for our sins through His Infinite Atonement, died on the cross and was resurrected, overcoming death and paving the way for all of mankind to be resurrected, I find it very encouraging that “The Chosen” has been so popular in an ever-increasing secular world.

It’s not easy to find time to worship on Sunday, to pray or to read the scriptures. There are countless things to do other than devote some of our personal time to the Lord. The fact that millions are spending some of their personal time learning more about Jesus Christ, albeit in an entertaining and sometimes less-than-accurate historical way, I’ll take it.

It inspires goodness and draws us to Christ. Many of the words of Jesus found in the New Testament are shared in a poignant way.

The ancient prophet Moroni said, “Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God.” He goes on to say, “Every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God” (Moroni 7).

I love that “The Chosen” has seemed to unify Christian faiths.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. Bishop Jason Bringhurst is the leader of the Mount Pleasant Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Port Angeles. His email is jasonbring@gmail.com.

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