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Movie Review

For the Bible Tells Me So

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Reviewed by: Jennifer Constantine
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Genre:
Documentary
Length:
1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
2007
USA Release:
October 5, 2007
DVD: February 19, 2008
Copyright, First Run Features Copyright, First Run Features Copyright, First Run Features Copyright, First Run Features Copyright, First Run Features
Relevant Issues
Copyright, First Run Features
Homosexuality

What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer

Can a gay or lesbian person go to heaven? Answer
If a homosexual accepts Jesus into his heart, but does not want to change his lifestyle, can he/she still go to Heaven?

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

Church

What should be the attitude of the church toward homosexuals and homosexuality? Answer

Hypocrisy in the Church—“I would never be a Christian; they’re a bunch of hypocrites.”

Bible

How do we know the Bible is true? Answer

When we say that the Bible is the Word of God, does that imply that it is completely accurate, or does it contain insignificant inaccuracies in details of history and science? Answer

How can the Bible be infallible if it is written by fallible humans? Answer

Answers to supposed Bible “contradictions” and puzzles

Featuring: Imogene Robinson, Victor Robinson, V. Gene Robinson, Isabella “Boo” McDaniel, Brenda Poteat, David Poteat, Tonia Poteat, Randi Reitan, Phil Reitan, Jake Reitan, Britta Reitan, Jane Gephardt, Richard Gephardt, Chrissy Gephardt, Mary Lou Wallner, Cathie Talbert, Judith Esmay, Robert Strauss, Nora Demenus, Mel White, [more]
Director: Daniel G. Karslake
Producer: Bruce Bastian, Karen Ellis, Bob Greenbaum, Sandra Hartness, Michael Huffington, Daniel G. Karslake, Nancy Kennedy, Michael A. Leppen, Keith Lewis, Helen R. Mendoza, Robin Voss
Distributor: First Run Features

When I submitted a request to review this movie, I did so primarily because I have a dear friend that no longer speaks to me because he identifies himself as a homosexual and knows that I identify myself as a Bible-believing Christian who views homosexual activity as sinful. I wanted to see this movie because I know that, as a whole, there is an entire community that we as the Church have failed to love as Jesus does. There are exceptions, of course, but we have largely treated this group with, at best, painful uncomfortability, and at worst, well, hate.

I don't think that I am alone in my reasons for wanting to watch this movie, but, having seen it, I want to warn well-meaning Christians to use extreme discernment and pray about whether God wants you to watch. It is a subversive movie that attempts to distort Scripture to say something it doesn't. I had to go back into Scripture and reaffirm what I believed, after seeing this movie, because it is VERY effective at manipulating emotions and quoting Scripture out of context. This movie is marketed as a “must see for everyone,” so it targets our youth as well as adults. I don't recommend it for anyone.

What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone's business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

What about gays needs to change? Answer —It may not be what you think.

This documentary follows a few families that have a homosexual member and shows how the families have shown various degrees of acceptance, most notably the Robinsons, who's son was recently ordained by the Episcopal church as the first openly gay bishop, and politician Richard Gephardt, whose daughter Chrissy identifies herself as a lesbian.

But, this movie doesn't just present a defense of homosexuality; it goes on the offensive to attack Dr. James Dobson as a dangerous hate-monger, as well as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as capitalists. It also states that most people who break free from the chains of homosexuality are only changed outwardly and experience only a temporary victory. (To know the REAL truth, go to Cross Ministry).

The makers of the documentary then go on to interview doctors and psychologists who give us their “scientific” view on homosexuality. But they can't have it both ways—first they misquote Scripture as the justification for homosexuality, then they want science to be the basis for justification. Which one is it?

The music used in the documentary should also give us a clue as to what influences are being subtly inserted in the background: in the opening we hear Enya, a New Age musician, and later lyrics from a song that says that just because something is in the Bible it “ain't necessarily so.”

On a final note, besides showing how the Church has fallen short of loving homosexuals, the documentary makes another great point: many Christians don't know why they believe homosexuality is wrong. They can quote a few Scriptures but can't go beyond that. Here is a direct quote from the film:

“Most Christians haven't read the Bible, so do they really know what it says and what the true intent is? Probably not. So how do they know? What do they base their Bible beliefs on? Someone else tells them.”

While I think that quote is an exaggeration, it is not too far off the mark. We as Christians need to know why we believe what we believe. It is imperative, for Paul says we will be swept away with “every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:14).

  • What does the Bible say? Answer
  • What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
  • What about gays needs to change? Answer
  • What should be the attitude of the church? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—"For the bible tells me so" was an extremely poignant film, the purpose of which was to eliminate Christian misconceptions of homosexuality. I found its message extremely moving and morally sound, demonstrating the love Christians should show to other humans.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jane, age 26 (Canada)
Positive—The documentary “For The Bible Tells Me So” provided a beautiful representation for what us as a church community should strive to be. The thought of homosexuality is a rather daunting and scary topic within the church community, and this film took a long hard look at why we feel this way. Many may question the morals behind the movie as being “sinful” and “wrong,” but I feel as though this film is a real eye opener to those who are against homosexuals. This film’s goal is to teach about acceptance of those who are deemed to be sinful because of scripture. I think that watching this film will only grow your love for God and for all the different people he has put on Earth.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Anna, age 22 (USA)
Negative
Negative—For the Bible Tells Me So—A biased presentation of the case for homosexuality based on the fact that nowhere is an advocate for monogamous marriage and the biblical view of sexual activity ever interviewed. All opinions regarding the unacceptability of homosexuality are presented in a caricature “sound byte” type of portrayal, and the only reason ever given for opposition to homosexuality is in the title of the film. This very uneven presentation implies that biblical authority is the only reason anyone can bring, ignoring significant research into sexual behavior that contradicts the film’s premise, and failing to allow those who believe in biblical authority to adequately present their case.

The discussions of biblical passages and data contain clear factual errors: the word translated “abomination” is used for things that are not ritualistic, for a wide range of things, and of both homosexual and heterosexual activity; the claim that there is not specific biblical vocabulary for homosexual activity is also simply not true, especially since the Greek language had many such terms, and several of them appear in the New Testament.

The film also seems to say that loving someone requires having sexual activity with them, confusing the biblical concept of love with the issue of permitted and prohibited sexual activity. Further, the argument that the Bible must be interpreted in the light of the culture and background of each section is a tenet held by virtually all biblical interpreters, whether favoring homosexuality or not. Can hardly be called a documentary without a more even-handed presentation.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Glenn J. Kerr, age 59 (USA)