The Chosen – Why Doesn’t It Matter?

Galatians 1:8-9 NASB
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

One would think, with a clear directive like this, that the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Galatia, that his words would be taken seriously, by all of the Christian church at large, even to this very day.

Unfortunately, such is not always the case. Case in point is the current hugely popular, multi season, crowd funded, TV drama series, “The Chosen”, based on the life of Jesus of Nazareth, which was and is created, directed and co-written by Dallas Jenkins.

I know, I know, there will be some who get to this part of this post and they will start to roll their eyes, thinking, “Surely he is not serious!” I can appreciate that perspective, but before you write me off as someone who is just generally down on anything that might further the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which I might add is definitely not true, what I would ask you to do is take the time to seriously consider the following noteworthy observations that have come to the awareness of myself and many others, and then re-evaluate your own decision making process, to see if there are valid reasons why the Christian church at large, should at a bare minimum, be concerned about what “The Chosen” is representing as the “authentic Jesus”.

And you might want to grab yourself a coffee first, because this will probably take a while.

In one of my previous posts, I have already provided areas of concern raised by Ingrid McCullough, which can be viewed here, but, if you haven’t already read through Ingrid’s post, I would strongly encourage you to do so, before proceeding further in this post. Also please bear in mind that Ingrid originally authored her observations back in May of 2021.

The anonymous Christian who originally posted the “guest post” of Ingrid McCullough on his blog (https://pilgrimdrewbert-blog.tumblr.com/), has also authored a follow-up post which I also strongly encourage all to read. It can be viewed here.

I happen to agree with the vast majority of Ingrid’s observations and the stated petition of the anonymous Christian’s follow-up post. But there are more concerns, considerably more.

This is the disclaimer that precedes all episodes viewed on the series:

The Chosen is based on the true stories of the gospels of Jesus Christ. Some locations and timelines have been combined or condensed. Backstories and some characters or dialogue have been added. However, all biblical and historical content and artistic imagination are designed to support the truth and intention of the Scriptures. Viewers are encouraged to read the gospels.

I would like you to keep this disclaimer in mind as we proceed, noting in particular that “all biblical and historical content and artistic imagination are DESIGNED TO SUPPORT THE TRUTH AND THE INTENTION OF THE SCRIPTURES.” The emphasis is mine. It is the portrayal of which “truth” and the portrayal of whose intentions of what Scriptures, that concerns me.

I’d like to provide you with a little primer on the background of the LDS or “Mormon” church, as provided by Marsha West from The Christian Research Network, as it relates to Dallas Jenkins’ association with the LDS church. I would strongly recommend you read her ENTIRE post here , which includes direct dialogue between Dallas Jenkins and a concerned Christian. The following is but one paragraph from her post:

“Is this information concerning Joseph Smith, the angel Moroni, and the supposed golden tablets important? You bet it is. Mormons are not and cannot be true Christians for the simple reason that their view of the essentials of the Christian faith do not reflect historic orthodox Christianity – not even close! What they believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the Atonement and Salvation, is not only unbiblical, it is pure fiction! And speaking of salvation, LDS Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188 states that there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. So, it is easy to understand why I labeled The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a pseudo-Christian cult.

Do you think that Marsha West is exaggerating? The answer to that question is categorically no. If you would like to read a once over lightly, click here to see what gotquestions.org has to say about Mormon doctrines. If you are interested in a more detailed overview of the differences between Mormon doctrines and orthodox Evangelical Christian doctrines, may I suggest the following three links (please note that the last link has multiple articles):
https://probe.org/mormon-doctrine-of-jesus/
https://www.4mormon.org/library/books-about-mormonism/hidden-doctrines-of-mormonism/
https://coldcasechristianity.com/?s=mormons

And just so there is no misunderstanding on Dallas Jenkins’ stance that the Jesus of the Mormons and the Jesus of orthodox Evangelical Christianity are basically the same, please read the dialogue of this interview with Dallas Jenkins on a Mormon podcast LDS Living, where Dallas was asked this exact same question here. Yes, you do really need to hear what Dallas says. For your convenience, I shall include some of his direct quotes in this podcast directly below.
Dallas Jenkins ;
Great, so you’re starting off right out of the gate with that one. Well, it’s a tough question. I am happy to answer that and I just say that because I recently have gotten a little bit in trouble in certain circles because I was on another LDS podcast, and I said that LDS and evangelicals love the same Jesus. I got some heat from people who suddenly didn’t want to watch the show anymore because of that. Apparently it’s a controversial statement, which I guess I would have known that a few years ago, but now that I’ve been working with my LDS brothers and sisters over the last couple of years and gotten to know them so well, I’ve learned quite a bit. I come from a strong evangelical background, and I want to say this, and I’ve said this in a few conversations with LDS people, that there are reasons why I’m an evangelical and not LDS. I do have things theologically that I disagree with or things that even just in kind of practice that aren’t quite my speed in the LDS faith. However, one thing that is unabashedly true and unarguably true is that in getting to know some of my LDS friends here on this, especially through “The Chosen,” you’re passionate about Jesus Christ, and it’s Jesus of Nazareth. When I hear people say, “it’s a different Jesus”—and I’ve heard that, by the way, from both… I don’t know what term, I know you guys don’t use the term Mormon anymore, but it’s too long for me to try to say…”

Jenkins goes on to explain how if a man describes a third party as being 6’3 tall and someone else says ‘no, he’s 5’10’ but otherwise the rest of their shared knowledge of that friend is agreed upon, then whether or not a few details are off, it’s still the same person that is being referenced and understood. He says in the same way, Mormons and Christians may have a few different ideas about the biblical Jesus, with some of the details being off, but it’s still the same Jesus, and therefore he considers them his brothers and sisters in the Lord and will die on that hill. He concludes:

“So even if you are listening to this right now as an evangelical and are horrified to hear me say some of these things, consider that even if you disagree, even if you think that, “No, it’s two different Jesus’s, and they worship two different Saviors, and what you’re saying is wrong.” Fine, believe what you will. I’m not gonna have these arguments with youI don’t like it when my friends get attacked. So that’s why I tend to be pretty defensive of my friends, even if not always defensive of the theology on which we sometimes disagree...I don’t really care because I can’t be cancelled unless I cancel myself. So I’m totally fine with it. But I’m happy to say, “Yeah, we disagree on some things, but I’m going to die on the hill of, we love the same Jesus, and we want the same Jesus known to the world.” Emphasis is mine.

If Dallas Jenkins doesn’t see why the doctrinal differences between the Mormons and orthodox Evangelical Christianity truly matters, and you don’t either, my question would have to be “why”? Has Dallas Jenkins’ association with LDS Church members influenced his reasoning? I would have to say that it is pretty hard to say that it hasn’t.

My response to this LDS influence is more than adequately stated from a quote I have taken from the following source post at thebereancall.org.

“For those who are still not seeing the problem with this, let’s consider a program that makes the highly publicized claim that it’s helping people get to know Jesus better and to recognize similarities with the “Jesus of different faiths.” What if the Jesus we are being introduced to is not the biblical Jesus, but rather a spirit that was produced in heaven? Suppose he was the spirit brother of Lucifer, and his earthly birth was not by a virgin but came about through sexual intercourse with Mary by his father god who resides on a planet near a star called Kolob? What if this “Jesus” worked toward becoming a god by taking Mary, her sister Martha, and Mary Magdalene as wives, and thereby producing children necessary for him to become a god? And the godhood that this Jesus achieved enabled him to become the god of this world, taking his place among the multitude of gods ruling over numerous other worlds?

Hopefully you’re thinking, “That’s not the Jesus I know from God’s Word!” However, it is the “Jesus” that the executive producer of The Chosen, Derral Eves, believes in, as do most of the other series’ producers such as Ricky Ray Butler and Jeffrey and Neil Harmon. Neil Harmon, as co-founder with his brother Jeffrey of VidAngel (now ironically titled Angel Studios—see Galatians:1:8), the Utah-based distributor of The Chosen, declared that he and his brother Jeffrey are “faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We love Jesus and we love our faith in Christ.”

Additional LDS Influence

Consider that VidAngel the distributor of The Chosen, is owned by Mormons.

Consider that “The Chosen” is owned by The Chosen LLC, and the terms of the agreement of the LLC give them (five owners- Derral Eves, Dallas Jenkins, Earl Seals, Ricky Ray Butler and Matthew Faraci – Derral Eves and Ricky Ray Butler are both Mormons) exclusive and perpetual rights to the series. In Dallas Jenkins case, he has signed a Work for Hire Agreement with The Chosen LLC where he has been hired as a writer (1099 Service) and as such under article 6 of the agreement, signed a grant of rights which states that he is a writer and creator of the content, however he grants all his rights to The Chosen LLC. In other words, The Chosen LLC collectively can do what ever they want with it, they can change it, add to it and take away from it. And no, Dallas Jenkins does not have the majority ownership, he has 49%. They, the other four, have 51%.

So when it comes to portraying the “authentic Jesus” in The Chosen, do you think that there is valid concern with regard to how some doctrinal aspects might be deliberately overlooked or possibly misrepresented?

Are you aware that a Mormon singing group was included in The Chosen Christmas Special? Check this link for more details.

And what did the Apostle Paul say again in Galatians 1:8-9 NASB:
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, even now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”

Correct me if I am wrong but Paul’s statement would have me believe that deviations from the Gospel that the Apostles preached are NOT to be entertained and as pertaining to those who preach a gospel contrary to what the Apostles preached . . . well, that’s pretty clear too, isn’t it.

Spiritual Advisors for “The Chosen”
This from CBN: “Very early in the production process, Jenkins saw the critical need and value of having an ecumenical group of pastors, professors, and theologians to dissect and analyze each episode of the series for theological accuracy and cultural relevance. Among that group are Rabbi Sobel, Father David Guffey, a Catholic priest, and Dr. Doug Huffman, an evangelical college professor who specializes in Old and New Testament.”

Rabbi Jason Sobel
One of the three “Spiritual Advisors” for The Chosen TV series, is Rabbi Jason Sobel. Rabbi Sobel went on Sid Roth (click on link) to share all the secrets of the future that Jesus told him in Heaven. Mr. Sobel claims he first met Jesus as a Buddhist Jew during a Buddhist meditation and he has also been on Praise TBN sharing his secrets.

This same Rabbi Jason Sobel also had Bill Johnson lay hands on him because he thinks Bill is anointed.
https://sidroth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/IS1100Transcript_Sobel.pdf
Yes, that would be the same Bill Johnson associated with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement.

Father David Guffey
Father David Guffey is the second of three “spiritual advisors” on the Chosen. He promotes The Shack (https://www.catholicmom.com/…/shack-invitation…): In this interview, Father Guffey states, “The film offers a compelling and thought provoking vision of how the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit works in the lives of humans. I was moved by the powerful message that God is present and God loves us, even in the times when we feel most despondent and separated from God.” It’s strange Guffey thinks so as the film offers an utterly heretical vision of who God is and how He works in the lives of humans.

Father Guffey also thinks heretical artistic endeavors can bring people closer to God even when they teach falsehood. (See his full interview about The Shack).

Father Guffey promotes and helped to create a film called Pray which is based on the life of Catholic priest Patrick Peyton. In this link (https://www.ncronline.org/…/documentary-pray-recounts…), Father Peyton alleged he prayed to MARY and was subsequently healed of TB. Peyton was apparently quite committed to prayer, the rosary, and “Our Lady” (i.e. Mary). Guffey stated in the interview that he thinks Peyton reached the 10 million Americans he hoped to reach to say “thank you” to MARY when he set out on his prayer mission. Guffey went on to state that he believes people are rediscovering the rosary. He described the rosary as a meditation on Scripture, a CONTEMPLATIVE aspect of vocal prayer. The rosary focuses on Mary and Christ through the experience of Mary.

Two of the three Spiritual Advisors for The Chosen also cause me to have concern.

Artistic Imagination Utilized and The Chosen Filming Locations
There are arguments to be made, both pro and con, on the “artistic imagination” utilized within this series. The purpose of this post is not to be overly critical about some of the non-biblical based back stories and improvisation that have been added to the portrayal of the “authentic Jesus”. However, I do think that much greater care could have been exercised with some of the liberties taken, especially as it pertains to Jesus Himself, but these objections have already been voiced in links that I have supplied within this particular post. It is also acknowledged that after the completion of Season Two of The Chosen, which was filmed using the Jerusalem set in Goshen, Utah Count, a facility owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ongoing episodes will be produced at facilities that have been leased and are being built to accommodate future filming requirements at The Salvation Army’s Hoblitzelle Camp, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

LDS Influence
* My primary concern is the influence that the LDS has had on Dallas Perkins and the potential for additional influence.

The title of this post is “The Chosen – Why Doesn’t It Matter?” Evidently, from the many Christians from all walks of life who just love this series, the LDS association with the distribution and production of this series is not a concern. Nor is Dallas Jenkins defence of his LDS friends who he believes are saved and believe in the same Jesus that he does. Frankly, that boggles my mind, but such is the state of a large percentage of the Christian Church at large.

What ever happened to Biblical discernment? What ever happened to searching the Scriptures to see if these things are so? Do you honestly think that the Apostle Paul would be a fan of The Chosen, knowing the associations that are thoroughly entrenched within it? But this unquestioning acceptance is actually the norm for many now. It does not matter who a so called prophet is associated with, just latch on to the latest and greatest “just around the corner” decree or new revelation about what is coming and how great it will be. Don’t be bothered with “testing the spirits”, don’t consider their previous track record, just go with the flow and get on board. It doesn’t matter because Christians are not studying God’s Word, from cover to cover anymore. It doesn’t matter because the work involved with practising discernment isn’t viewed as a necessity anymore. It doesn’t matter because the Jesus who is revealed within God’s Holy Word isn’t enough anymore. The Gospel that the LDS preaches is “another Gospel” and the Jesus of the LDS is NOT the Jesus of the Holy Bible, not even close.

Dallas Jenkins says in his disclaimer, “Viewers are encouraged to read the gospels.” Really, encouraged to read the gospels? How about strongly admonished to read all of the Bible and take all of God’s revelation seriously to heart?

Worthy is the Lamb. Blessings!

28 comments

  1. Bruce, thank you for this excellent examination regarding the background of “The Chosen.” You obviously put a lot of work into this. I was encouraged to watch “The Chosen” a couple of years ago, but when I googled the project I immediately saw that Mormons were directly involved. Dallas Jenkins’ accommodation and compromise with Mormonism is representative of the declining overall lack of discernment among evangelicals. Thanks for pointing out that Roman Catholic priest, David Guffey, was a “spiritual advisor” on “The Chosen.” I wasn’t aware of that additional “red flag.”
    Pointing out the heretical roots and nature of “The Chosen” will get you relegated to the “fundamentalist fringe” by big tent, TBN evangelicalism.

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      • Yup, Apostle Paul had a lot to say about pseudo-Christian sects and their false gospels and he wasn’t “religiously correct” about it. Ecumenical evangelicals must purposely set aside all of Paul’s admonitions to ecumenical evangelicals.

        “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” 2 Cor. 11:4

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the effort you put into this. Fortunately, I do not have any clue about “The Chosen”. Perhaps this is a case of “ignorance is bliss” in my case. 🙂

    Blessings.

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  3. Thank you so much for this timely post Bruce! I am not up to date, thus I have not watched “The Chosen” series. I was pondering catching up with it when I heard rumblings on social media about the Mormon connection. Your post is the first full explanation of this film series and those behind it, and I am certain I have no intention of watching it now.
    I have had dealings with Mormons in the past and their fictitious doctrines. As time marches on I have seen how the organisation has tried to to deceive the world at large with lies claiming to be Christian; they certainly are wolves in the sheep pen!
    God bless your service of our Lord brother in this post, may the Holy Spirit guide many to read and share it.

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  4. Wow thanks for all your research and sounding the warning; can’t help but to think this was a trojan horse by LDS members from the beginning

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  5. This “Chosen” craze may be worse than we think. My Baptist church has embraced it as something wonderful. I knew in the first episode, season 1, that it wasn’t good and I refused to watch it. The fact that I won’t watch it and the pastors in my church “love it” has caused my adult daughter to be very upset. This is because she respects my discernment, but she has had to deal with a lot of peer pressure from church leadership and other friends and members. (There is such a stir and excitement about it.) She doesn’t know how to deal with it. The lack of discernment in the Church is heavy on my heart. If our leaders don’t have discernment, we’re in a heap of trouble. Thank you for writing this in-depth post. It is vitally important that people know the facts. Unfortunately, people don’t. There is a great push to accept The Chosen. There has to be push-back. Thanks again, for your in-depth research. God bless you, Bruce!

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    • Hi Cindy, it definitely can be disheartening. Even the mere suggestion that there could possibly be valid concerns causes immediate hostile kickback. Standards which adhere to sound biblical doctrines are not viewed as a necessity by most anymore and the reminder that they have been abandoned doesn’t sit well. I had a lot of reads but few “likes” for this particular post. Go figure. Anyway, not to worry, at the least, my post is but one of a good number that did raise concern. Blessings Cindy and thank you so much for responding, sincerely appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Bruce, I have been pouring over your post and the excellent links again today. I agree with you that the biggest concern is “the potential for additional influence”. With so little discernment being exercised now, what will they be able to accomplish? What is coming? I just want to shake people and shout, “Please read your Bible!” Everything we need to know is there, yet we neglect this precious gift.
    I am reposting this on Saturday, and presently working on my introduction.
    It can be very hard to stand up for truth when ignorance prevails. I mean, do most people even want to know facts that could rock the boat? Would they rather live in ignorant bliss?

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    • Hi Cindy, I was thinking about you and your daughter and the confusion that arises. It is extremely difficult and very frustrating, yet the very thing that frequently comes to the surface, when dealing with these matters, which is anger, is actually the last place where you want to go. I guess, in all my endeavours to emphasize the importance of being diligent to look at all the particulars that are available, so that an informed balanced biblical opinion can be made, is the fact the common sense is just not common. I have a couple of quotes that I could state, but I really can’t, because some of them just aren’t nice. A lot of people can’t be bothered, some just don’t want to know and others just want to enjoy what they enjoy without looking a little deeper. Whether Dallas Jenkins recognizes it or not, he is giving credibility to the Mormon doctrines by indicating that although they have disagreements, those disagreements are not sufficient, in and of themselves, for him to not consider these Mormons that he has come to know, as sufficient in nature, for him to state they are not his brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that is just out and out wrong and it’s not even close. His motives behind this decision of his could be many.

      There is no short cut to studying God’s Word and therein lies the problem. When you really get into God’s Word, God’s Word gets into you. Time and time again, one begins to fathom, the balanced reality of God’s revelation and until that actually happens, if readings are just superficial, then one can easily be prone to gaging on a gnat and swallowing a camel, like Jesus said to the Pharisees. All we can reasonably do, because you and I are just common believers, so to speak, is warn of the dangers as best we can, whenever we can, to whomever we can, as God leads us. The fight is not really ours, it is His. And even when we do this, without getting angry, most times, our efforts will be met with dismissal or just outright hostility. That is just the way that it is because these are the times that we are in.

      To answer your questions about rocking the boat or living in ignorant bliss, the answer is yes, most don’t want to rock the boat and yes, most do not want to know what will spoil their bliss. I liken it to tasting artificial orange juice and real orange juice. Someone may tell you how good the artificial orange juice is but once you have tasted real orange juice, artificial orange juice is just artificial orange juice, and the preference is set. Problem being, many have never tasted real orange juice.

      I am just a lay person like you are but I see the gift you have been given, the heart in you comes through. I know the frustration first hand, but truth does prevail over ignorance, to those who will listen. It could be one, it could be ten, it doesn’t matter, just be faithful and God will take care of the rest. The biggie is always prayer and staying in God’s Word. That is where the frustration is taken care of, smoothed over, balanced back in proper proportions so that it is still there, but you are not overwhelmed. If I can see what God is doing in you, which I do, then one can only imagine what God sees in you. You are doing as you should, keep going. Love you in the Lord Cindy, keep me in your prayers and I will continue to do likewise. Hope this helps. Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Bruce, Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I appreciate your insight and encouragement very much. It’s a true blessing to have brothers and sisters in Christ who understand you. It’s amazing how the Lord brings us together from all over the world to strengthen us in our faith. I thank God for your ministry. Blessings, my friend!

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  8. Thanks for the information, Bruce. I didn’t know any of that.
    “Has Dallas Jenkins’ association with LDS Church members influenced his reasoning? I would have to say that it is pretty hard to deny that it hasn’t.” Pretty sure you meant “hard so say that it hasn’t,” or “hard to deny that it has.” (Feel free to delete this comment when you’ve made the correction,)
    Blessings,
    Annie

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  9. Bruce,
    It is a hard pill to swallow that Dallas believes the LDS Jesus to be the same as the Jesus of the Bible,who is .. Very God, Very man. As the creeds declare.
    The christ of the LDS faith is Lucifer’s spirit brother.
    Please correct me if I hold this belief about the two in error.
    Mormonism is heretical.
    Plain and simple.
    David

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    • Hi David, the question that came to my mind, as I compared the differing doctrines of Protestant Reformation orthodox evangelical Christianity and Mormonism, especially about the deity of Jesus, is …. if that isn’t another Gospel, that Paul warns us about, then what exactly is? Because if that passes for Christianity, then virtually anything can pass for Christianity. So there will be no correcting you from me, because Mormonism is undoubtedly heretical, plain and simple and to deny that is to deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we have been given it, through the Gospels of the New Testament. That Dallas doesn’t see that is one thing, that there are millions who don’t also see it, is mind boggling. That is what is even more scary. Such is the state of a good portion of the Christian Church. And to infer that the product being produced under that mind set, will not and has not been doctrinally compromised, is wishful thinking at its best and downright lunacy at its worst. Hard pill to swallow . . . evidently not. Blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

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