Becky and I decided to watch the new ABC and Hallmark Entertainment presentation of The Ten Commandments over the past two nights with our kids.
It’s extremely rare for me to take the time to rate a made for television movie, but since there was so much fanfare surrounding how great this remake was going to be, and how it would be better than Cecil B Demille’s original motion picture, with superstars Charton Heston, Yul Brynner, Edward G. Robinson, Vincent Price and John Carradine, I had to give my two cents.
The ABC website at The Ten Commandments describes the movie as follows:
“This is the story of Moses — one of the most revered figures in our world’s religions — the man who rose in power to defend a people, to free them and to live in history like no other…”
As a Christian, I couldn’t believe how pathetic this new make believe rendition of the supernatural story of Moses was. If I were a Orthodox Jew I would be ticked off and offended. This film was so filled with errors of what happened according to the Bible that it was absurd.
The first night’s showing, of this two part “epic” special, was better than the second night, but not by much. I called a Pastor friend of mine and asked if he was watching it. He said that when he saw the Nile River turn to what looked like “KoolAid” he turned it off.
The special effects didn’t bother me as much as the liberties that were taken with God’s Word. They actually had Moses tell a famous joke as part of his lesson plan to Joshua to help define the character of God to the viewing audience. Get real! How incredibly stupid can you get? I just sat there stunned in disbelief. It was as though someone had tuned into a late night televangelist, “trying to learn about them Christian folk”, and heard him tell a joke and decided to add it to the script of the television special as a teaching of Moses. I was amazed.
The whole message of the Hebrews being miraculously delivered from the Egyptians according to God’s design and going into the Promised Land was pretty much lost in this latest film. After all the miracles that God performed for the Hebrews, Moses ended up with a message that “God helps those who helps themselves”. Which by the way, you won’t find anywhere in the Bible. A good website to visit for some additional information on God’s plan for Moses and his people is GraceThruFaith.com.
Now back to the review of this movie: It was so bad at times that our eight year old son kept saying, “Dad, that didn’t happen and that didn’t happen, did it?” It was embarrasing how many liberties they took with this remake. Several times I wanted to shut it off, but our kids wanted to watch it and I figured I would let them since they were at least learning something about the story. Maybe we should lend our eight year old as a historical consultant for these filmmakers who keep trying to reach the Christian demographic. Ever since the success of powerful movies like “The Passion of the Christ” and “Narnia”, Hollywood has been jumping on the Bible bandwagon.
As hokey as the special effects are in the original “Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston, the famous Director at least made God out to be the powerful and wise God of the Hebrews. Even in 1956, they had enough sense to read the parts of the Bible where God was involved in delivering, protecting and judging His people and tried to give a more accurate Biblical account of the story.
In the original film Moses is portrayed as a man of God with power and authority. In this new version you would swear that Moses needed to see a pyschiatrist as God came in and out of his head. In this movie, Moses went around lost in the desert hoping to hear from the disappearing God that delivered His people from the Egyptians only to leave them to their own devises. This is hardly the reality.
According to the Bible, God never left or forsook Moses or the children of Israel, nor does He ever forsake His people. The fact is that He guided their every step in the wilderness and into the Promised Land even when they complained and rebelled against Him. In Exodus 33:11 we are told the kind of relationship that God had with Moses “And Jehovah spoke with Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. “That is hardly a relationship, like this movie presented, where Moses walked around like a drunk on the street wondering if he would ever hear God’s voice again. You may also want to read Numbers 12 and see how God protected Moses from anyone who spoke against him. When you spoke against Moses you might as well have been speaking against God Himself.
In conclusion, we’ll be introducing our kids to the “original” Ten Commandments on Saturday Night as we celebrate The Passover together. Our advice is to skip ABC’s rewriting of God’s word, read the story for yourself, you can find it in the book of Exodus and don’t be easily influenced by Hollywood’s versions.
Of course, you’ll also want to add to your reading of the Old Testament the Gospels to discover how Jesus became the Passover “Lamb of God” who took away the sins of the world. You’ll learn how He was crucified, died and rose again from the dead on the third day according to the Old Testament scriptures and is seated at the right hand of Almighty God. What a great way to celebrate The Passover and the Resurrection.
As far as The Hallmark Entertainment / ABC Ten Commandments remake goes…
John – * Don’t Bother
Becky – * Don’t Bother
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