Here at Rambling Ever On, we love The Chosen. I think that is obvious based on how many articles we’ve written about the show. The Chosen is a lot of things. It’s great television. It is powerful, moving, funny, entertaining, and even convicting. But there are some things The Chosen is not.
All of our articles about the show have been well-received with overwhelmingly positive feedback. There has been some very minor criticism, though. We have disagreed with the attacks directed towards the show and towards us as fans. On the other side of this coin, we’ve encountered some very strong, and borderline, heretical praise being heaped on The Chosen. Loving this TV show is great. Holding it up to a level of spiritual authority no TV show could ever hope to reach, is something else entirely.
We love The Chosen. We think the makers of the show will agree with every point that follows. We hope you will too. Here are five things The Chosen is not.
The Chosen is not a replacement for faithful church attendance.
If you are not a believer and you love The Chosen, this doesn’t really apply to you, though it wouldn’t hurt you to keep reading. If you are a believer and you are not a part of a local, Bible believing body of Christians, do not use The Chosen as a replacement. While the show provides any number of commendable things, it cannot replicate what a solid Church will do in your life. It cannot offer you exhortation, challenge, encouragement, fellowship, instruction, and opportunities for service.
The example is clear from Scripture that being part of a church family is important to our walk with God. Watching The Chosen is good and inspiring, but it is not church. It can never be church. Find a local church and plug in.
The Chosen is not a substitute for daily Bible study.
If you are getting your “Bible” time from The Chosen, you are missing out. While the show does a fantastic job of fleshing out storylines, presenting powerful moments from Scripture, and staying very consistent with the tone and themes of Scripture, it pales in comparison to the actual word of God. Read God’s word daily. It will be a light to your path and lamp to your feet.
The Chosen is not the Bible.
This seems redundant but I see a lot of people conflating the two or even putting The Chosen’s interpretation of Biblical events on a higher level than Scripture itself, so I think it’s worth doubling down on this point. Here is what the show says about its version of events:
The makers of the show make no claim to be Scripture, as good as Scripture, or any sort of replacement for Scripture. Neither should we. Let’s appreciate the wonderful show for what it is and not turn it into a false idol that is more important to us than the very thing it is based on.
The Jesus of The Chosen is not more real than the Jesus of the Bible.
Jonathan Roumie is amazing as Jesus in The Chosen. He is warm, caring, loving, funny, wise, and authoritative. As I’ve said before, he is the best on-screen Jesus I have ever seen and there is no close second.
With all that said, it is a performance. An interpretation. Do not make more of his acting and this character than is intended. The Chosen is a TV show. It’s meant to be entertaining and dramatic and all the rest. Of course viewers are going to strongly connect with a character as wonderful as Roumie’s Jesus. That is only natural. The Bible is not trying to entertain us when we read it. It’s meant to change us on the deepest level possible. It’s meant to transform and give us life.
Yes, let this representation of Jesus point you back to the Gospels so you can encounter the true and living Jesus who came to rescue lost sinners. Appreciate the skilled acting and the incredible writing and direction but let Jonathan be Jonathan and Jesus be Jesus.
The Chosen is not offering spiritual redemption.
I’ve been convicted watching The Chosen. I’ve been moved emotionally and spiritually. And I am thankful when the things I watch, read, or listen to point me to the deeper truths of God. But that is the most they can do. Point. Movies can nudge me towards the truth. A song can reflect some mysterious truth of God. None can offer redemption. Not true, soul saving redemption.
As good as The Chosen is, and it is really, really good, it cannot and will not save my soul. That is not its purpose or mission. The makers of the show have been very clear about that. Do not put your faith in anything or anyone other than Jesus.
Allow The Chosen to entertain you. Allow it to move you. Even allow it to teach you at times. (Yes, naysayers, the show has many great teaching moments that perfectly align with orthodox beliefs.) Let it point you to the living Jesus. The Jesus who is the Word made flesh. The resurrected Savior of the world. If the show plays a small part in opening your eyes to the only source of salvation, then it will have done enough.