Where in the world is the world?

Published by Rob Skiba December 12, 2014 at 10:25 PM

I often hear one of the excuses for justifying X-mess and Ishtar Day: “But these are the times when the world comes to the church. It’s when we have the best chance of reaching them.” On the surface, that sounds great, doesn’t it? Good opportunity for out-reach, right? Well… let me ask you a question:



Most of the time I CAP only for emphasis, but I’m going to tell you flat out, I was yelling that time. Why have we allowed ourselves to come up with a mentality of getting the world to come to us, when Scripture clearly tells us to GO TO THEM (yelling again)?

Matthew 28:

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

You may be tempted to think crazy Rob is about to go off on X-mess again here. Well, that’s not really what prompted this note (though it is part of it). This note is being written because this afternoon, I went where the world is going (daily) in droves:

I went to see Ridley Scott’s EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS. [sigh] Folks, we really do need to step up our game if we actually want to reach the world. Sure a few pop in to church buildings on X-mess and Ishtar Day to get truth mixed with lies (to our shame) twice a year. But they regularly go to the movies, where they get the same mixture, only heavier on the lies side. And I’ll tell you this, I’m really getting sick of the WORLD butchering “our stories” (really YHWH’s) with great actors, fantastic special effects and hundred-milliondollar budgets, which gross BILLIONS so that they can just repeat this cycle over and over again. this year, there was Darren Aronofsky’s tragic waste of $150 million and Academy Award winning talent. I, like many, were shocked at how far Aronofsky’s Noah movie actually veered away from the most popular storyline of all time; one known by virtually every culture on the planet. For instance {Spoiler Alert}:

  • Methuselah died before the Flood not in it.
  • There were three wives ( one for each of his sons) on the ark, not just one.
  • Noah was not an axe murderer!
  • Though not always overt, YHWH is essentially depicted as the primary bad guy (largely because the actual point of the Flood is never correctly addressed… and then there’s Noah with the axe believing YHWH told him to kill his family).
  • And the Watchers are the bad guys not the good guys of the real story.

Still, even with all of that (and a lot more) wrong, it grossed over $362 million in 84 days (according to Great, so they more than doubled their money. Investors are happy and studios can now make more trash. Good job! we have Ridley Scott’s Exodus movie. Is it “good”? Sure. Good acting, great special effects, epic scenes, etc.. What else should we expect from the Aliens and Gladiatordirector, but excellent production value? The movie was made for about the same amount of money as Aronofsky’s Noah: $140 million. It just opened in theaters early this morning and already the numbers are coming in: $32.5 million. If that’s any indicator, the movie is going to do quite well. The secular world and Christians alike will go and see this film for obvious reasons.

But {Spoiler Alert}…

  • Don’t expect to see/hear a powerful God in the burning bush telling Moses to remove his sandals and proclaiming who He is (instead you get a young boy with an English accent and Moses getting knocked out by rocks in a landslide).
  • Don’t expect to see Moses and Aaron teaming up for a rod throw-down with Pharoah’s magicians.
  • Don’t expect to see or hear Moses approaching Pharoah with warning after warning, demanding “Let my people go!”
  • Don’t expect to see the pillar of smoke/fire going before and guarding the Israelites.
  • Don’t expect to see the full manifestation of YHWH passing Moses by, while covering him with His hand (this is completely missing from the story).
  • Do expect to see some epic battle scenes.
  • Do expect to see massive sets and a bunch of Egyptians showing off their greatness and lots and lots of Hebrew slaves being abused as they work on statues, temples, pyramids and such.
  • Do expect to see completely naturalistic explanations for the plagues, totally removing the miraculous from the narrative (though I will address this further shortly, it’s not necessarily a bad thing the way they did it).
  • Do expect to see some of the most powerful moments of the Exodus story either downplayed and/or completely omitted.

Anything good about it? Yeah, I actually really enjoyed the first half of the movie. It started to go down hill for me from the burning bush forward though there were still a few good moments. One line in particular I really liked, was when Moses told the Israelites to kill the lambs and put the blood on the door. When questioned about this, he replied, “Pitty the lambs tonight if I am wrong. But if I am right, we shall remember them for eternity.” I thought that was a great line, well played by Christian Bale.

As a little sidebar here: I personally think Christian Bale is a really good actor. I like him a lot and think he did a great job, playing a kick-butt awesome rendition of Moses in Ridley Scott’s Exodus movie. But think of the irony in this:

“Christian” “Bale” is an interesting name don’t you think? Christian – Baal – playing a Hebrew? Perhaps this is telling because concerning his role as Moses, he is quoted as saying: “I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life.” This is not unlike Russell Crowe totally dissing both Noah and God, based on an equally flawed understanding of both characters. But what do you expect? These guys “don’t get it.” Why? Because like most, they have not been reading the WHOLE BIBLE in its complete context from Genesis to Revelation. And neither do most Nimrod/Baal celebrating Christians understand Moses any more than this actor does. In fact, reading the usual responses I often get to just about anything I post concerning Moses (and his writings), you’d get the impression that the average Christian has the same EXACT view of Moses. Sad.

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.” – Jesus Christ (John 5:46)

Back to Scott’s Exodus… Regarding the naturalistic explanations for the plagues, it is clear the filmmakers did their research. Immanuel Velikovsky put forth some ideas in the early 20th century explaining how the plagues may have occurred “naturally.” Of course, the timing of the plagues and how they benefitted the Israelites cannot be ignored. So, it still has to be YHWH’s doing, even if he chose to use natural processes (through the natural laws He established) to make these things happen. That said, don’t expect to see the walls of water on either side as the Israelites go through on dry ground. What is shown is plausible though in my opinion. It’s just not the scene we are used to seeing. My biggest complaint is, all they had to do was show Moses giving the Biblical ultimatums, Pharoah ignoring them and the plagues happening on cue, and there would have been a much bigger sense of the miraculous in this movie. YHWH is still in it though – albeit as a young boy – but there is no question who is calling the shots. I just wish that Scott would have called his shots even just alittle bit closer to the actual text we are all familiar with.

But herein lies my main beef: why are we letting the world tell the stories that we should be telling with extreme excellence? The world cannot help being wrong. They are following the father of lies. We, as children of the King of kings, Lord of lords, Creator of the Universe, should be totally outdoing the world in these venues! We have the Greatest Story Ever Told, but what are we doing with it (in terms of being culturally relevant and brining it to the world)? Sadly, not much.

Funny, as I am typing this, my son is at the Prestronwood Baptist Church X-mess play. Now, mind you, this is a 23,000 member mega-church here in Dallas. So, this is not your usual low-budget X-mess drama we’re talking about. This is BIG! Their monthly operating budget is in the millions, yet here is what you see around 3pm on an average mid-week work day:

Now let’s compare (both pictures were taken the same day, within about 15 minutes of the other):

Back to my son… so, some of his friends invited him to go to the annual Prestonwood X-mess presentation called, “The Gift of Christmas: Featuring The Living Nativity”. As I am typing this, Sheila comes in and shows me some pics Jeremiah had just now sent to her by phone. What is being depicted there? A live Santa flying though the congregation!

And dancing Santas on stage:

Great. So, no matter where the world goes they are getting truth mixed with LIES! And when the church should be going out into the world, what is it spending its money on instead? This?? This yearly disgrace costs about $1 MILLION to produce! Don’t believe me? Read:

Guys, we have GOT to wake up! The world spends BILLIONS every year on making movies. They spend the same on TV shows. The average American watches 4-5 hours of TV per day. Americans spend about $10 BILLION per year going to the movies. Where is the world? Here’s a good place to start looking for them:

Let’s compare some numbers to see who is having more of an impact on the world – the world or the church:

Clearly the numbers are heavily in favor of the secular media having MUCH more influence on our culture than the church (that the world was never commanded to go into in the first place). And who owns the media? Six Luciferian run corporations:

When it comes to multimedia production, here’s the problem as I see it: The world has NO PROBLEM contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to produce Biblically themed movies like Noah and Exodus. And you know what? They gross BILLIONS in return, so they can just keep on doing it. Christians? LOL! What a disgrace by comparison! Where are all the Christians contributing hundreds of millions to produce movies and TV shows to actually reach the world (where they are sitting) with the truth in excellence??? Instead, all we get is Kirk Cameron putting out more trash and others putting out a ton of cheesy, low budget Christian movies that no one (except the church) goes to see.

Christian, we have GOT to get out of our poverty mentality. Most Christians I know are flat broke. And the ones who do have money are either not giving any of it away toward culturally relevant projects or they are wasting it on preaching to the choir. What good does that do?

Meanwhile, I have people going off on me for charging $25 to get a full day of teaching from me after I have spent weeks and months worth of studying and preparing such material. Seriously? You’ll spend $25 eating out (and on junk food at that). You’ll spend $25 going to see Exodus and eating pop-corn, but you are going to complain about actually getting fed something from the Word of YHWH all day long? The usual response is, “Well freely you have received, so freely you should give, Rob.” I have to laugh at that because as I sit here thinking about the $350 electric bill I just paid to keep the lights on and this computer running, and I consider the dozens of books I paid for sitting on my shelf beside me, the Bible I paid for, the computer and all it’s software, the food I had to eat, the gas I had to use, the costs of printing books and producing DVDs, shipping expenses and a whole lot of other stuff that I had to pay for in order to A) learn what I’ve learned and B) share it with the masses, I guess I’m really confused as to what exactly it is that I allegedly got for “free.” SMH

Guys, I am trying to actually reach the world through various forms of secular media (because they do not go to the movies, nor watch episodic television to be preached to, they go to be entertained). My goal is to plant “seeds” that you can water. As Mel Gibson said regarding the Passion of the Christ, “My job is to put compelling images up on the screen. YOUR job is to do the follow up.” Salvation comes through relationship not video picture frames. We’ve been called to produce something that can actually reach the world with truth. Will you help us do this?

I’ve spent the last 4 years laying the non-fiction foundation and this past year trying to take SEED to the next level. It has cost tens of thousands of dollars and a whole lot of time, but we are finally in a position to go after some real investment money. Our investor Units begin at $10,000 a piece and we’ve structured the profit-sharing R.O.I. to continue for 10 years. You will never see a better financial return on investment than what we hope to achieve with this series. It’s not about the money. But the fact of the matter is, it costs money – and lots of it – to produce quality productions on par with what the world is producing and used to seeing. Will you help us? Consider:

We have got to become as good at telling the truth as the devil is at telling lies! In order to do that, we’ve gotta step up. So, whether you get behind our project or not, please do something to GO into all the world with the truth they so desperately need. Stop expecting them to come to you. They are out there! Let’s go get ’em!

– Rob Skiba

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