The Prince of Egypt - Adding To God's Word





The Prince of Egypt

(Movie Review - by Hughie Seaborn)

A Contemporary Account Of Moses And The Exodus.
Would God Be Pleased?


The recent release of the animated movie "The Prince of Egypt" from the Dreamworks SKG studio has caused unprecedented approval to come forth from a great number within the professing Christian community. Even before its release, leading Christian groups were acclaiming its value as a tool to steer un-believers to the Bible and, ultimately, to bring them to Christ. With joyful praise Christians are enthusiastically affirming that the unsaved moviegoers will be exposed to the Biblical account of Moses' life and his role as deliverer of the Hebrew people out of the hands of their oppressor, Egypt, and that these unsaved moviegoers will be compelled to take up a Bible and begin to read. We are encouraged to rejoice that such a valuable production has at last come out of Hollywood, something that supposedly promotes the truth of the Word of God, that is devoid of violence, sexual scenes, alcohol, drugs and tobacco, which is the norm for entertaining today's corrupt society.

But how does this movie rate when weighed in the balance of God's Word? When we arrive at the answer to this question let us then ask ourselves the next question of whether the Christian community should be so enthusiastic in their approval and endorsement of the "The Prince of Egypt"? Let's test this movie in the light of Scripture to see if we should or should not endorse it or hold such high expectations as to its value as an evangelistic tool.


Changing the Word of God

As far as I am aware, there are at least four specific and ominous prophetic warnings in the Word of God, the Holy Bible, against tampering with Scripture. These warnings against adding to or subtracting from the Word that was given to divinely chosen men to write down, as they were instructed by God, can be found in Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:1-4, Deuteronomy 12:32 and Proverbs 30:5-6. For the sake of brevity I will not copy the Scriptures here, but I would encourage the reader to go to the quoted Scriptures, read them in context, and see God's severe warnings against such misbehaviour.

One of the obvious reasons for God's warnings against tampering with the Scriptures is to protect us from becoming subtly enticed to follow gods that, in reality, are only gods that we have fabricated in our own imaginations. Exodus 34:14 tells us that

"... thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."

Our God is very serious about anything or anyone that would entice His people away from Him by tampering with the pure and unadulterated Truth as found in His Word.

"The Prince of Egypt" begins with the disclaimer that the producers (worldly, non-Christian people) took "artistic and historical license" to change the truth and accuracy of the Biblical account when producing the movie. They actually confess to the most serious crime of re-writing the account as recorded in Scripture. They have done this with either full knowledge of the curse that that entails or in outright ignorance of it. This boggles the mind when taking into account that respected, high profile, Christian leaders were consulted before the movie's release, leaders, whom I would have to presume, are well versed enough to be aware of God's requirements when presenting the truth of God's Holy Scripture.

There will be, of course, a number of reasons given to justify what has been changed by these non-Christian producers, but the question must be asked, and a valid reason given in response as to why it is that the 'Christian' community is so excited and gives the film such high rating when God is absolutely clear that there is a horrible curse upon anyone who tampers with the truth of His Word, to whatever degree and for whatever reason.

According to a review by Tom Neven which appeared in a Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family magazine late in 1998, the producers

"sought to ensure that the tale was told faithfully, and they went out of their way to make sure the retelling of the familiar story did not insult religious sensibilities."

They actually consulted leading figures in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities to arrive at a common, non-offensive consensus.


Who Were The Christian Leaders?

A review of the movie entitled "Keeping Your Kids On Your Team" was included in the December 1998 edition of "In Touch Ministries" Christian magazine.

The reviewer is quoted.

"Early indications are that it will be ideal viewing for Christian children."

He then goes on to quote Dr. Ted Baehr of the Christian Film and Television Commission who said,

"The Prince of Egypt is a magnificent animated feature focusing on the highlights of the story of Moses. Having brought 18 top theologians together prior to the project to ensure its Biblical integrity, I am totally convinced that The Prince of Egypt is one of the great movies, in terms of entertainment and content, of the twentieth century." (Italics mine).

The reviewer continues:

"Dream Works has gone to great lengths to assure leaders from a variety of religions that The Prince of Egypt stays true to the fundamentals of Moses' story in the book of Exodus. By mid-September, the company had invited 558 people of various religions to view the film. Among the Christian leaders to visit Dream Works' Hollywood studios were Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Rev. Billy Graham, Dr. Brandt Gustavson, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. Richard Land, Dr. Pat Robertson, and (Dr. Ted) Baehr." (Italics mine).

In the same review, Lorna Cook, co-chief of the storyline is quoted.

"The challenge is to present the story in a respectful manner, not shortchange its dramatic value, and still satisfy everybody with the outcome. It's a tall, tall order. Yet there's been such a desire to be true to the needs of the story and be respectful to all concerned that I feel we've managed to do it." (Italics mine).

A Faithful Representation?

Let us now examine and evaluate some of the scenes in this much accredited 'Christian' movie to see if Ted Baehr's claim of "Biblical integrity" is valid. Let us also exercise the God-given gift of discernment as we seek to know the reason behind some of the subtle and not so subtle alterations to the original account as found in the Book of Exodus.

Moses Found By Pharaoh's Wife - Not Pharaoh's Daughter

According to the Focus on the Family review quoted above,

"Dream Works has made a few alterations to the story for what it describes as artistic reasons or for production purposes, as stated in a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie. The largest such change involves who finds the baby Moses in the river. In the Bible, it is Pharaoh's daughter. In the movie, it is Pharaoh's wife so, as the producers say, they could add the dramatic tension of Rameses and Moses growing up as brothers."

In other words, they changed the original Biblical account so that they could fabricate their own account and make the movie more interesting, from their perspective, which happens to be non-Christian. Nowhere does Scripture suggest that Moses and Rameses grew up together in a friendly, family environment in the same house as brothers. Nowhere does the Bible even suggest that they were perhaps of the same age grouping.

Is there perhaps something more sinister than "dramatic tension" in the reason for the substantial change from the Biblical account? According to an E-mail I received on this subject I was informed that

"the reason that Pharaoh's wife and not his daughter adopted Moses in the movie was so that it would not contradict the Muslim faith which dictates this."

I am not aware of Muslim doctrine so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this remark but we need to bear in mind that leading figures from the Muslim community were consulted for input before the final draft was released. Whether the reason given by my contact is accurate or not, the movie's description of the very beginning of the story of Moses is drastically altered from the Biblical account.

Why does a Christian reviewer attempt to assure us of "Biblical integrity" when the producers themselves confess that alterations have been made?

The Burning Bush Incident

Al Dager of Media Spotlight viewed "The Prince of Egypt" and in his review had this to say.

"When Moses, trembling before the burning bush, asks YHWY, 'Who are you?' YHWH replies, 'I am that I am. I am the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.''

"Nothing like putting words into YHWH's mouth so that he meets the politically-correct feminist criteria for an acceptable god."

Al Dager concludes;

"The feminist approach, however, should leave a bad taste in the mouths of true believers in Christ. I, for one, am offended that the feminists had to take the biblical story of a strong man of God and turn it into a wimpy vehicle to promote their concept of strong women and, worse, changing God's words to suit their agenda."

I don't think I need to elaborate on Al Dager's remarks.

Aaron Depicted As An Idiot

In the Biblical account Aaron is Moses' spokesman. God spoke to Moses, Moses spoke to Aaron and Aaron spoke to the people. He functioned in a leadership role. However, Aaron was not portrayed in this way in the movie. Instead, he was falsely represented as some kind of bumbling idiot who, more often than not, was being reprimanded and admonished for his foolishness by his sister, Miriam.

The Biblical account in Exodus 4:16 has God instructing Moses that

"...he (Aaron) shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God."

Zipporah Included In The Exodus?

In the Biblical account, Zipporah did not accompany Moses on the journey to Egypt after God commissioned him to confront Pharaoh. She was not even present in Egypt to witness the Passover or the Exodus. However, the movie shows that she was with Moses, Aaron and Miriam and that she took a very active role in leading the Hebrews out.

In Exodus 18:1-8 we read;

When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt; then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, and her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: and the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.

And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: and he said unto Moses, "I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her." And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.

And Moses told his father in law all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the Lord delivered them.

Obviously, Zipporah was in the care of her father while Moses was in Egypt opposing Pharaoh on behalf of the Hebrews. The Biblical account shows that Zipporah, along with their two sons, was united with Moses at the Mount of God.

Could it be possible that this drastic change from the original account is also to appease the feminist movement, as Al Dager suggests above in his criticism of the 'Burning Bush' incident? Whatever the reason for departing from the truth, as God has recorded it in the Scriptures, it will not hold water when these people stand before our Holy God and attempt to convince Him that they had some justifiable excuse for disobeying the explicit command that they should not do what they have so willingly and readily done to the truth of His Word.

Moses 'Accidentally' Killed The Egyptian Guard

Perhaps only a small matter in the eyes of some, but for a rendering of the life of Moses, of which the producers professes to the reviewers that they "...sought to ensure that the tale was told faithfully", despite their disclaimer at the beginning of the movie, to what advantage is there in suggesting that Moses killed the Egyptian by accident?

We read in Exodus 2:11-12 that Moses made a calculated decision and intended to kill the Egyptian.

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

Again, the faithfulness of "The Prince of Egypt" to the Biblical account is shown to be nothing but empty words - whether spoken by the producers or the Christian reviewers.

And the mystery remains - why are the Christian reviewers of this movie acclaiming Biblical accuracy, downplaying the enormous contradictions to the original Biblical account, when the producers openly claim that changes were made here and there for "artistic reasons", "production purposes" or to allow for "dramatic tension"?

Sexual Innuendo

My interest in "The Prince of Egypt" was roused only after receiving an E-mail from some Christian friends to partake in a group discussion on the movie via the internet. We were encouraged to see the movie and offer comments to the group via E-mail.

Part of the original E-mail invitation that I received quoted another E-mail that stated that

"Ted Baher, Christian movie critic, and other Christians are pleased with a movie that the whole family can see and enjoy."

Within a couple of days I had the opportunity to see the movie and consequently offered my comments, part of which follows. Focusing particularly upon sexual innuendo within the movie and Ted Baher's above quote I tendered the following.

"I think that this statement could possibly be true providing the comparison is made between this movie and the rest of what is being dished up under the "General Exhibition" rating. However, when compared with the Word of God, which as Christians we are expected to do, it is weighed and seriously found wanting."

"Ted Baher's comment, "...some suggestive clothing, one shot up a man's tunic revealing underwear; one shot of buxom woman behind veil who turns out to be servant who was bound & gagged; no sexual activity..." is not entirely accurate nor complete."

"For example, the shot up the man's tunic revealing underwear, mentioned above, took place when Ramses and Moses were skylarking during a chariot race. Ramses was racing his chariot along a rampart that was at a higher level than Moses and he had pulled a bit ahead of him. As they raced along, they were shouting things back and forth to each other, goading each other on, when Ramses made the remark "You will always have to look up to me, Moses." (Or words to that effect). To which Moses replied that he was not that impressed with the view from where he was. He was clearly looking up at the buttocks of Ramses. So, this was not just a 'harmless' or 'innocent' "revealing of underwear" as the review suggests, but it had a comment to go with it which focuses the attention of the viewer. It was done with intention."

"Another example is when Moses arrives at his future father-in-law, Jethro's house. He is a bit worn out and filthy from his journey in the desert, so the women of the household dump him naked into a tub of water and proceed to give him a bath. After a while he tells the ladies, who are obviously enjoying the experience, that they should stop as they have already washed 'every inch' of his body. At this point the ladies are seen to focus their attention upon washing the lower part of his body, obviously, by the response from Moses, around his private parts. Moses makes a delighted comment that suggests that they had in fact missed something. He is then dragged out of the bath in full view of the women, including his future wife Zipporah (our view is blocked by various objects in the setting) and wrapped up in a towel by Jethro."

"So, in my opinion, the reviewer's comment, "No sexual activity" is not entirely correct. I personally do not endorse that this is a Christian movie that the whole family can see and enjoy. Compared with other movies, it's an improvement. Compared with the Word of God, it is suggestive in a number of places and not acceptable for Christians."

(Since writing my comments above I have found that the movie is actually classified as PG. Parental Guidance recommended.)

In response to my criticisms above, the friend who invited my comments made the following observation.

"... As for the sexual innuendo, I barely noticed it, probably because there was so much less than there is even in our most benign television programming. I am not surprised that they slipped some of this into the movie, but then there are plenty of Bible passages that can easily prompt a blush too."

Despite my friend's comment, I stand by my original assessment. As followers of Christ we are not to judge the worth of something by comparing it with worldly standards but by comparing it with the holiness of God's Word. The principle of this is found in 2 Corinthians 10:12 where we read the words of the apostle Paul,

"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

Paul's opponents (and any who sided with them) could be censured on the inadequate standard by which they evaluated themselves. The false apostles compared themselves not with the divine standard exemplified by Christ but with other men, using human standards. In doing so, Paul said, no matter how much they vaunted their human wisdom they showed themselves to be not wise, but fools.


Biblical Accuracy

At the outset of this article I asked the question, "how does this movie rate when weighed in the balance of God's Word?"

As I have demonstrated, the details of Moses' life, as portrayed in the movie, are a gross departure from the account recorded within the pages of Scripture. The fact that the details have been changed is confessed by the producers, as a disclaimer, at the beginning of the movie. However, at the same time, the producers also assure us that they

"sought to ensure that the tale was told faithfully, and they went out of their way to make sure the retelling of the familiar story did not insult religious sensibilities."

This was quoted in the review published in the "Focus on the Family" magazine. Obviously, the producers are attempting to accommodate a number of camps.

It was also revealed that a number of leading scholars from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities were consulted for their opinions and that these opinions had a great influence upon the finished product that is being presented to the general public.

Consequently, this movie has been produced, not with the accuracy of the Word of God in mind, but with the intention of being all things to all people, even people who are openly hostile to Biblical Christianity. The story line has been drastically altered from the original, and as I have previously pointed out, God is absolutely opposed to such malpractice. The motive for making the movie was not to present the Biblical account of the life of Moses to a Biblically ignorant world, but to present an acceptable story to the masses for the purpose of making millions of dollars in profit. Therefore, the answer to my leading question is that "The Prince of Egypt" is weighed in the balances and found wanting.


Christian Endorsement, Promotion And Propagation

Having arrived at the answer to our very important question of Biblical accuracy we now need to ask ourselves whether members of the Christian community should be so enthusiastic in their approval and endorsement of the "The Prince of Egypt"?

In the same review which appeared in the "Focus on the Family" magazine and from which the above quote is taken, Tom Neven also said,

"It is important to hold to the fire the feet of those who produce our entertainment when they turn out morally offensive, degenerate or just plain bad work. But when they do the right thing, when they turn out a good product or go out of their way to ensure fairness and accuracy to the biblical worldview, they should be applauded and supported."

According to the Focus on the Family organization and a number of other prominent Christian groups, "The Prince of Egypt" is a good product that should be supported by Christians, despite the producer's disclaimer that they have altered the truth of the Biblical account for a number of different reasons.

God tells us in Scripture that a curse is upon anyone who "takes away from" or "adds to" His Word. Read the warnings once again and see for yourself. The Scripture references are listed at the beginning of this article. God is speaking to everyone, Christian or not. Movie producers are not exempt from the warnings simply because they don't believe in God, or they think that His Word is not important, or because they consider their version to be more interesting to the general public. There are no conditions or exemptions. Do not "add to" or "take away from" the Words of Scripture is a serious warning leveled at everyone.

Neither is there exemption from the warning just because the movie has been produced by un-believers for the purpose of entertainment. Furthermore, even if the movie is aimed exclusively at an un-believing audience, it still does not qualify the producers for exemption from God's warning.

As Christians, we are unconditionally excluded from endorsing and promoting this movie based simply upon the grounds of inaccuracy. If we knowingly promote and propagate this false portrayal of the account of Moses, we stand the very real chance of coming under the same judgement as those who have committed the offense against God by changing His Truth for a lie.

2 John 1:9-11 very clearly warns us,

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

There is a certain principle presented in this portion of Scripture that needs to be applied to the situation currently under discussion.


Why Are Christians Promoting The Movie?

From my observation I believe that one of the primary reasons that a great number of Christian organizations are promoting blatantly unscriptural products is because of money. Vast amounts of money are required to service the organizations, and when things are tough, the end justifies the means. The 'Christian' music industry is a prime example. There is a multitude of unsuspecting and Biblically illiterate Christians out there waiting to be plundered with anything that names the name of Christ or that mentions God or the Bible. In the case of "The Prince of Egypt" the dollar signs are flashing and there is money to be made. The 'Christian' businesses have quickly jumped upon the band wagon, falling over themselves in their enthusiasm to promote the movie and rake in their share.

In 2 Peter 2:1-3 we read of groups who will come proclaiming the Name of the Lord, but who secretly introduce error, their messages more designed for the purpose of relieving their un-discerning followers of their money than promoting truth.

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

"And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."

"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."

As an example, the latest sale catalogue from a leading 'Christian' bookstore in Australia has devoted one whole page to "Prince of Egypt" products, including story books, colouring books, movie scrapbooks and music CD's. All of the fourteen products advertised, except the music CD's, are aimed at children.

Can you hear an echo in the distance of Someone's warning about causing 'little ones' to stumble?

One of the products promoted in the catalogue is entitled the "Prince of Egypt Deluxe Storybook" and includes a message that states,

"This faithful retelling of Moses' story includes full lyrics from the film's songs and artwork of favourite scenes. Ages 5+."

I have to keep asking the same question at the risk of sounding like some old broken record, but how can a 'Christian' bookstore promote "The Prince of Egypt" as a "faithful retelling of Moses' story" when it is plainly stated, by the producers, that they have changed the story? Even without that warning, should any Christian who has even an elementary understanding of the Book of Exodus view the movie, they will soon discover that the changes in the story are not just a "few alterations" which have been made to accommodate "dramatic tension" or for "artistic" or "production purposes", but the changes are gross departures from the Biblical account.

I have come to the conclusion that, along with the opportunity to make a lot of money to support the monetary hunger of their burgeoning businesses, there is another very frightful reason for professing Christians to support and promote "The Prince of Egypt". The movie is supposed to be based upon an historical Biblical story, but the details have been flagrantly altered, in direct disregard of God's warnings, in such a way as to appease belief systems that are openly hostile to Christianity. The movie also conforms to contemporary political correctness and contains sexual innuendo, yet Christian organizations endorse it as faithful to the Biblical account. I think I understand why.


Turning Unto Fables

Despite the repeated proclamations of revival and great hoards of un-believers being converted to Christianity in our day, my Bible paints a very different picture as to what the world will be like just prior to the return of Christ to set up His Millennial Kingdom.

One Scripture says this;

"...as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all."

"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." [Luke 17:26-30]

As in the days of Noah and Lot, so shall it be in the day that Jesus returns! And in the days leading up to His return, things will become progressively worse. Despite their claims of allegiance a great multitude of professing 'Christians' will reject Christ and the truth of God's Word. In the days of Noah there were only eight people in the whole world who thought it wise to live for God in obedience to His instructions.

A Scripture that could explain the reason why Christians are promoting a movie like "The Prince of Egypt" says;

"...that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." [2 Thessalonians 2:2-3]

This Scripture is pointing out that before Jesus returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom there will be a "falling away" from faith in the one true God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the Truth as found in the Scriptures. The Greek word used for "falling away" is apostasia. In other words, an apostasy which is a forsaking of and a defection from the truth. Does that Scripture seem to describe what is happening with regards to Christians and the movie, "The Prince of Egypt"? It does to me!

Another Scripture that could explain the strange behaviour of a great number of leading organizations in the Christian community is found in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 which reads,

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

We are informed in the prophetic Word of God that there will come a time when the professing Christian community will not worry about whether something agrees with Scripture or not. In fact, the above Scripture indicates that, for some reason, professing Christians will not even tolerate Biblical truth. However, they will allow themselves to be taught fairy tales and myths and embrace them as truth. They also have the idea that God will endorse their misrepresentation of His Word, that He won't really mind.

In the following Scripture we read what happens to Christians who are a bit slack in standing for the absolutes of God's Word, who don't think that it is important to contend for the faith and challenge false teachers who carelessly or intentionally alter the Word, for whatever purpose. Perhaps this Scripture will explain for me why it is that leading Christian organizations would support the propagation of "The Prince of Egypt" when it is obviously contrary to the account as found in the Word of God.

"...and then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." [2 Thessalonians 2:8-12]

As previously stated, a great number of prominent Christian organizations are promoting this movie. They are endorsing it and actually giving the impression to their followers that there is nothing wrong with the movie and that, in fact, it is Biblically sound. These well known and respected organizations, who should know better, have not even bothered to warn their followers that it is unacceptable, according to the Word of God, to change the Scriptures either by adding to or taking away from what is already written.

Some names of these respected leaders are mentioned at the beginning of this article. I, for one, do not understand how it is that they could be involved as advisers to the producers and come away feeling that they had done the Christian community a great service, unless the prophetic Scriptures mentioned above are, in fact, being fulfilled.


Just A Thought

In closing, permit me to ask a couple of questions based upon Scriptures found in Acts and Jude.

Does anybody think that it would have been acceptable for Paul, when he preached to the synagogue of the Jews in Berea, to have changed the Scriptural account of Moses as recorded in the Book of Exodus? For whatever purpose.

Does anybody think that the Bereans would have still been considered more noble than those in Thessalonica if they would have accepted, from Paul, an account of Moses that wasn't true to the Biblical account?

What would be God's attitude towards us if we were to view this movie and then not check how it lines up with His Holy Word?

What would be God's attitude towards us if we were to find that the movie is a gross misrepresentation of His account as recorded in the Book of Exodus and we did not speak up and warn our brothers and sisters in the Lord?

"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." [Acts 17:10-11]

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." [Jude 3]


Conclusion

We are living in the very exciting days leading up to the promised return of our Lord Jesus Christ, a period that the Bible portrays as one of enormous blessing for those who would abide steadfastly in the truth of His Word, serving Him acceptably with reverence and Godly fear (see 1 Peter, chapter 1), but it is also a time characterized by unprecedented apostasy and Biblical indifference (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3; Luke 17:26-30). As in the days of Noah, so shall it be...

We who are living in the final days of this age can expect to see an increase in tolerance, by professing Christians, of the Word of God being abused and even abandoned as the ultimate authority in all things pertaining to life and Godliness. We can expect to see a great number of ministries that will appear to be Godly organizations that will, in fact, be deceived and sowing deception - for the sake of profit - drawing near to God with their mouths, with their lips honouring Him, but having hearts that are removed from Him, honouring man rather than God (Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:7-9).

We can also expect that anyone who would stand up and defend the purity of the Scriptures will immediately be denounced as unloving, bigoted, self-righteous, judgmental, proud, etc., etc., and they will be persecuted for defending the Truth (Matthew 24).

"The Prince of Egypt" has come along at a time when the leaven is already permeating the lump. Things that would have been unthinkable in the Church of the living God only fifteen or twenty years ago are now accepted as normal Christian practice, and the situation is progressively worsening. Apostasy!!!

"The Prince of Egypt" is not a truthful rendition of the Biblical account of Moses and the Exodus. It is a contemporary version that has been changed in major ways, not for "artistic purposes" or to allow for "dramatic tension" but to suit an audience that is being progressively schooled in religious tolerance, political correctness, unity at expense of truth and acceptance of all things ungodly.

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump and I, for one, in obedience to the Scriptures as I understand them, will not assist the leavening of the Body of Christ by promoting "The Prince of Egypt".

Yours for contending for the Truth of God's Word,

Hughie Seaborn

Sunday, February 28, 1999

rseaborn@ozemail.com.au



E-mails re "The Prince of Egypt" follow:


-----Original Message-----
From: "US" (1 Jn.4:6)
To: The Midnight Herald
Date: Friday, 18 December 1998 3:10
Subject: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt" - sounds great- I'm taking my kids!!!

And I must say - that if the below is true, one can only wonder at how God manages to get something like this presented to the world through a new-age gang like Disney. Perhaps they are simply trying to rescue their "wholesome" image. In any case, I ask all who see this movie for themselves to send me a reveiw. If anyone I know and trust also recommends this movie, I will begin to "push" it myself. If this movie IS good, and becomes a success (money), perhaps they will make more like it. It sure is grand to hear about something like this after hearing about nothing but the bad and sad from most people.

I liked the Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston, but was always annoyed by their turning it into a civil-rights saga, instead of leaving it as a conflict of religions - which it ultimately and actually was.

Bro. Dean



-----Original Message-----
From: Jim & Hilary Farquhar
To: Recipient list suppressed
Date: Thursday, December 17, 1998 6:36 AM
Subject: MISC-62: (fr. Paul K) The Prince of Egypt 12-16-98

[EDnote: I haven't seen this new movie, but here is one report on it. Any others?]

Here is a Christian guide to movies. "http://www.movieguide.org/" Crosswalk MovieGuide - your place for the best quality movie reviews.

Ted Baher, Christian movie critic, and other Christians are pleased with a movie that the whole family can see and enjoy.

The following is a review by Dan Wooding taken from Ted Baher's "Movieguide" publication:

Very clear God-honoring, theocentric, false-religion rebuking, biblical worldview where God is the hero behind the scenes & false-religions are exposed & rebuked; no language problems; violence done very effectively but tastefully so that the audience knows that the first born are being killed & that the angle of death is passing by but don't see the gruesome act of violence, water turns into blood, & many plagues & boils; pictures of children being thrown into the river clearly showing that they are little baby boys, but nothing excessive or salacious; some suggestive clothing, one shot up a man's tunic revealing underwear; one shot of buxom woman behind veil who turns out to be servant who was bound & gagged; no sexual activity; no alcohol use; no smoking; and, clear portrayal of Egyptian religion & a little suggestive humor.

Review: I laughed; I cried; and, I was inspired!

THE PRINCE OF EGYPT takes animated movies to a new level of entertainment. Magnificent art, music, story, and realization combine to make THE PRINCE OF EGYPT one of the most entertaining masterpieces of all time. This movie is so far beyond what has come before that it must be seen to be believed. THE PRINCE OF EGYPT tells the biblical story of Moses in a dramatic way.

The beginning credit informs us that certain aspects of the story have been slightly changed for dramatic purposes but the essence, the truth and the majesty of the story have been honored. The credit also tells us to read the full story in Exodus. Having arranging for many top theologians to give their advice on the movie, it is a joy to see that the movie is so entertaining and so theologically sound!

In the beginning, the Israelites are slaves in Egypt. From God's perspective, as the Egyptians kill the first born infant sons of their Israelite slaves, as Moses' mother, sister and brother rush to the river Nile to t him afloat in a basket so that he will have a chance to survive the bloody holocaust. Miraculously, little baby Moses escapes all of the tribulations of the river and is rescued by the Queen of Egypt. Thus, he is brought up in Pharaoh's home, as one of his sons, competing with his brother Ramses in a wonderful, lighthearted, thrilling, yet telling way.

Moses instigates mischief, and Ramses gets blamed for it. The Pharaoh explains that Ramses is going to have to accept the responsibility of the crown and the Egyptian kingdom that goes with it, a burden that Moses does not have to bear. Pharaoh explains that he is tougher on Ramses because there cannot be a weak link in the dynastic chain. Moses, in turn, asks only that Ramses be given a chance to lead.

At the ensuing banquet celebrating the Pharaoh's passing of more authority to Ramses, the Egyptian priests present Ramses with a beautiful Midianite slave. When she proves too independent, Ramses rns her over to Moses, and, when she escapes, Moses goes searching for her, only to meet his real siblings Miriam and Aaron and to find out that he is, in truth, born of the Israelites.

Confused, Moses confronts Pharaoh. Realizing the truth, Moses tries to protect one Israelite slave, only to kill an Egyptian in the process. Distraught, he escapes into the desert where he eventually rescues three little Midianite girls from brigands. Thus, he stumbles into Tzipporah's tribe, the Midianite slave who fled from Egypt.

Tzipporah's father Jethro, high priest of the Midianites, teaches Moses that every person is valuable, and that he must look at himself from God's point of view. Eventually, Moses and Tzipporah get married.

Years later, while searching for a lost sheep, Moses comes face to face with his destiny and with his God, in the burning bush. God sends Moses back to Egypt to free his people and gives Moses the ability to do wonders so that Ramses will know that God sent Moses.

Ramses is happy to see Moses back. Amused by Moses' request to let the slaves go, Rameses treats Moses' displays of God's wonders as simple parlor tricks, which his high priests can replicate.

Eventually, however, Ramses understands that Moses is serious, as he recalls that he cannot be the ak link in the dynastic chain of Egypt's Pharaohs. Thus, the power of God confronts the false powers of Egypt to free His chosen people. The rest of the story is more magnificent and powerful than can be described. The artwork in THE PRINCE OF EGYPT is beyond what has ever been done in an animated film before. Jeffrey Katzenberg, who used to head production at Disney, wanted to do it better, and he has. The music is Broadway quality, uplifting, powerful, singable, memorable, enjoyable, and relevant. The direction has brought many fine acting voices to a new level of excellence.

There are some frightening scenes in the movie: the plagues, the angel of death visiting the first-born Egyptians, and the hieroglyph showing the death of the first born of the Israelites. The Egyptian priests are dark and sinister. Their gods are frightening. The confrontations with the true God are awesome in the traditional sense. Therefore, this is an animated epic aimed at an older audience. However, in light of all my years of studying cognitive development, I don't think there is anything here that a younger audience can't watch as long as there is parental involvement.

The good news is that, at a time when false religions are rampant, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT proclaims the sovereignty of God and His miraculous intimate involvement with mankind. THE PRINCE OF EGYPT shows the need for virtue, integrity, character, and the Ten Commandments. The movie clearly shows God acting in history. Best of all, it foreshadows the work of the Prince of Peace, who leads all those who asks out of their contemporary bondage into wonderful freedom in the kingdom of God.

Many books will accompany this movie. Many sermons can be preached about it. But, the bottom line is that THE PRINCE OF EGYPT is entertainment at its best.

SUMMARY: Magnificent entertainment, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT takes animated movies to a new level as it dramatizes the biblical story of Moses and his call from God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. THE PRINCE OF EGYPT combines magnificent art, music, story, and realization to make one of the most entertaining moral masterpieces of all time.

DISCLAIMER: Any information passed on from another source is not necessarily the belief of the sender.

Jim & Hilary Farquhar
32 Tibradden Circle
Ascot, 6104
Perth, WA
Home phone number (08) 9478 4669


-----Original Message-----
From: Jackie Alnor
To: "US" (1 Jn.4:6)
Date: Friday, 18 December 1998 4:27
Subject:Re: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt" - sounds great- I'm taking my kids!!!

Al Dager of Media Spotlight just reviewed the "Prince of Egypt" and had a different impression. Here's a small portion:

"When Moses, trembling before the burning bush, asks YHWY, 'Who are you?' YHWH replies, 'I am that I am. I am the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the God of Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.'' "Nothing like putting words into YHWH's mouth so that he meets the politically-correct feminist criteria for an acceptable god."

And Dager concludes;

"The feminist approach, however, should leave a bad taste in the mouths of true believers in Christ. I, for one, am offended that the feminists had to take the biblical story of a strong man of God and turn it into a wimpy vehicle to promote their concept of strong women and, worse, changing God's words to suit their agenda."

For anyone interested in seeing Dager's entire review, contact him at:

Media Spotlight P.O. Box 290 Redmond, WA 98073-0290

In the service of the Master,

Jackie Alnor http://www.cultlink.com



-----Original Message-----
From: R H Seaborn
To: "US" (1 Jn.4:6); The Midnight Herald
Date: Monday, 28 December 1998 21:44
Subject: Re: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt"

Dear Dean and Richard

Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ

I have just viewed the animated movie "Prince of Egypt" and I would have to agree with Al Dager's criticism that it promotes a wimpy Moses who needed the 'strong' leading of his wife and sister to assure him in God's call upon his life to lead the people out of Egypt.

The movie also portrayed a friendship between Moses and Ramses that supposedly began when they were children growing up together in the household of Pharaoh. Even as the plagues were taking place, Moses was portrayed as continually attempting to appease Ramses for the purpose of continuing their affection for each other. Moses had a serious inner struggle taking place that reminded me of Lot's wife who looked back in fondness at what was being left behind.

Having got that off my chest, I would like to comment on a couple of statements from the E-mail that I received from you on 18/12/98 regarding the review by Dan Wooding, taken from Ted Baher's "Movieguide" publication: . "Ted Baher, Christian movie critic, and other Christians are pleased with a movie that the whole family can see and enjoy."

I think that this statement could possibly be true providing the comparison is made between this movie and the rest of what is being dished up under the "General Exhibition" rating. However, when compared with the Word of God, which as Christians we are expected to do, it is weighed and seriously found wanting.

Ted Baher's comment, "...some suggestive clothing, one shot up a man's tunic revealing underwear; one shot of buxom woman behind veil who turns out to be servant who was bound & gagged; no sexual activity..." is not entirely accurate nor complete.

For example, the shot up the man's tunic revealing underwear, mentioned above, took place when Ramses and Moses were skylarking during a chariot race. Ramses was racing his chariot along a rampart that was at a higher level than Moses and he had pulled a bit ahead of Him. As they raced along, they were shouting things back and forth to each other, goading each other on, when Ramses made the remark "You will always have to look up to me, Moses." (Or words to that effect). To which Moses replied that he was not that impressed with the view from where he was. He was clearly looking up at the buttocks of Ramses. So, this was not just a 'harmless' or 'innocent' "revealing of underwear" as the review suggests, but it had a comment to go with it which focuses the attention of the viewer. It was done with intention.

Another example is when Moses arrives at his future father-in-law, Jethro's house. He is a bit worn out and filthy from his journey in the desert, so the women of the household dump him naked into a tub of water and proceed to give him a bath. After a while he tells the ladies, who are obviously enjoying the experience, that they should stop as that have already washed 'every inch' of his body. At this point the ladies are seen to focus their attention upon washing the lower part of his body, obviously, by the response from Moses, around his private parts. Moses makes a delighted comment that suggests that they had in fact missed something. He is then dragged out of the bath in full view of the women, including his future wife Zipporah (our view is blocked by various objects in the setting) and wrapped up in a towel by Jethro.

So, in my opinion, the reviewer's comment, "No sexual activity" is not entirely correct. I personally do not endorse that this is a Christian movie that the whole family can see and enjoy. Compared with other movies, it's an improvement. Compared with the Word of God, it is suggestive in a number of places and not acceptable for Christians.

Another point that I would like to make while splashing cold water upon the enthusiasm of excited Christians who have high hopes that somehow the 'world ' is going to get a good dose of the Bible from this movie and somehow, miraculously become converted, or at least become more accepting of Biblical values. Nowhere is the Gospel presented! The world has simply taken a Bible story and used it, out of context once again, to make a whole heap of money.

What's all the excitement in the Christian camp??? More delusion. The story isn't even true to the Scriptures. Aaron was presented as some kind of twit and wasn't even involved in the dialogue with Pharaoh. Fire falling from heaven was one of the most prominent judgments sent by God against Egypt. I could go on and on about this. Mind you, they do qualify at the beginning of the movie that they did depart from the original version found in the Bible and that if you want the real story go and read Exodus. Very honest of them. However, the Christian community needs to heed the warnings (plural) in Scripture that sternly warn against changing the Word of God. Does that only relate to what we speak and write? Surely the warning is for the presentation of God's Word in whatever form?

Should we be excited about this movie? I don't think so. Thumbs down, brothers.

Yours in Christ for warning the sheep.

Hughie Seaborn.


-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Engstrom
To: R H Seaborn
Date: Wednesday, 30 December 1998 10:28
Subject: Re: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt"

Hello Hughie,

I read your review, and I saw the movie.

I didn't actually focus on the details you picked up on and I was frankly so taken by the story and what was in my opinion a remarkable presentation for having been produced by wicked men and unregenerate hirelings that I found very little to criticise in it.

No, I wouldn't suggest the movie as homework for someone who was looking for an accurate and spiritual exposition on the Biblical account, but. . . it was good enough to be called a small ray of the light of God's Truth in a very dark world. It was a reminder of the Bible, it was a reminder of one of the most pertinent and momentous events in all history, being surpassed only by the incarnation and vicarious sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour.

I know that the Bible says nothing about the interaction between Pharoah and Moses that would give authority to the speculative presentation of the movie, but I thought that their presentation was insightful and plausible. I was not offended. The fact is that if Moses and Pharoah grew up together in the same palace as children (likely) that there was indeed some pathos between them at the confrontation. Is there no pathos between you and your childhood friend who refuses to believe the same Gospel that saves you?

As for the sexual innuendo, I barely noticed it, probably because there was so much less than there is even in our most benign television programming. I am not surprised that they slipped some of this into the movie, but then there are plenty of Bible passages that can easily prompt a blush too.

All in all, I am glad that they made the movie, and consider it better than many they have made in the past.

It is still true that to the pure, all things are pure. We had the children with us when we saw the movie and I don't think that they picked up on anything untoward.

I'll tell you this: When I saw them putting the blood on the lintels and doorposts, I was in tears in the realization of what our Saviour has done for us.

Our Lord bless and keep you and your's. I trust you had a blessed holiday season?

Richard & Harriet


-----Original Message-----
From: Rev. Carolyn A. Hennig
To: R H Seaborn; "US" (1 Jn.4:6); The Midnight Herald
Date: Tuesday, 29 December 1998 3:53
Subject: Re: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt"

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have not seen the movie, but, I was told that Dr. Dobson and others recommend it highly. I was also told that the reason that pharoah's wife and not his daughter adopted moses in the movie was so that it would not contradict the muslim faith which dictates this.

It is for this and the reasons Brother Hughie mentions that I would not promote the movie by viewing myself.

Sincerely in the love of Jesus,

Pastor Carolyn

PastorCarolyn@childrensbread.org


-----Original Message-----
From: R H Seaborn
To: "US" (1 Jn.4:6) ; The Midnight Herald
Cc: Jim & Hilary Farquhar ; Alan Morrison ; Tony MacCormack ; Tom Lamb ; Susan Andrias-Kauba; sue.m ; Steve and Terri White ; Stephen Pratel; Stan & Vicky Dillen ; Shane Hammond; 'Rob Ward'; Rickie Racer; Rev. Carolyn A. Hennig, Pastor; Paul Reeves; Paul Anthony - Jones Trust ; Ninbob; Nicholas Kunich; Neville Christensen; Nancy Klass; Mrs. Jackie Alnor ; Mike Oppenheimer ; Mike Nathan; Michael Haines; Mark Bell; Litendrk; Ken & Sue Burg; Harry Woodward-Clarke ; Gavin-Israeli Affairs; David Cloud; craig and ginger williams; Chris Morkemo; Chris and Kim ; Bob Yaussy; Barbara Reinhardt; Ann Berry; Angelyn Ingram; Andrew Strom; Andrew Palm ; Andrew Craig ; Chez & Janina Watts; Kevin Burge; Tricia Tillin
Date: Wednesday, 3 March 1999 12:06
Subject: Re: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt" - Leaven In The Lump

Hello all and greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ from Hughie and Colleen Seaborn, serving the Lord in Cairns, Australia.

With regard to our previous discussions on the movie "The Prince of Egypt" I believe the Lord placed upon my heart to write and share the short article that I have attached to this E-mail. The article is in MS-Word 95 format. If you are unable to read this format please advise and I will send it in Text format or something more suitable. Please feel free to comment on what I have written, however, it you do NOT agree with what I have said in the article I invite you to ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Has God explicitly commanded in His Word to us (including movie producers) that we should not alter His Word by adding to or taking away from what is written? Yes, or No!

2. Has someboby changed God's Word by adding to or taking away from what is written when producing the movie "The Prince of Egypt"? Yes, or No!

3. Are there any qualifications in Scripture that allow that some special group of people or some special circumstance has license to alter God's Word? Yes, or No!

God bless you as we contend together for the Faith and rescue those who have been seduced by wolves in sheep's clothing who HIDE leaven in the flour.

Hughie Seaborn.


-----Original Message-----
From: R H Seaborn
To: Berit Kjos
Date: Wednesday, 3 March 1999 12:43
Subject: Fw: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt" - Leaven In The Lump

Hello Berit

Greetings in Jesus

I have just read your article on "The Prince of Egypt" in PropheZine Newsletter and am greatly encouraged by what you have written. Just a couple of hours ago I posted an article that I have written on this same subject to a group of people on an internet mail list. After reading your article I feel less afraid of the probable consequences of my actions. Thanks!!!

I have copied my post below with my attached review.

Yours in Christ's service

Hughie Seaborn


-----Original Message-----
From: berit kjos
To: R H Seaborn
Date: Thursday, 4 March 1999 15:09
Subject: Re: Fw: Review of the movie, "Prince of Egypt" - Leaven In The Lump

Dear Hughie,

Your questions are great! I really like your approach. I have downloaded your article and scanned it, and it looks wonderful. I have to wait until this weekend -- after finishing a project -- before I can take time to read it carefully. You are the only writer I know of that has shared my concerns. I appreciate your fellowship in this battle. I'm so glad our God reigns. Surely He will lead us in His wonderful triumph, no matter what happens. What an exciting time to serve Him.

With His love,

Berit





The Prince of Egypt

(Movie Review)

by Berit Kjos


"Did you see the Prince of Egypt," my son David asked a friend who called during Christmas vacation.

"No, and I don't plan to," Ron answered.

"Why not?"

"Because it's biased and religious, and I don't want to be influenced by it."

"But you saw Pocahontas and Seven Days in Tibet. They are biased toward Native American and Buddhist religions. What's the difference?"

"This is from the Bible. It's so blatant. I think it's wrong for parents to let their children see it before they have a chance to make up their own mind about religions."

Ron calls himself a Christian, but he resents biblical absolutes such as God's unchanging moral standards and the Ten Commandments. He "respects" David's right to his own view of truth, but as a fourth-year Education major, Ron has embraced the values of the education establishment. Its multicultural focus demands that children be protected from the biblical absolutes that hinder conformity to the new global beliefs and values.

If Ron had actually seen the Prince of Egypt, he might not have found it all that offensive. While the movie reminds us to see life "through heaven's eyes", the biblical bias has been tempered with a more universal focus which should be acceptable to most viewers. In light of the variety of spiritual advisers to DreamWorks listed below, that's not surprising.

Christian parents who take their children to this movie would do well to read the first 20 chapters of Exodus first and to alert their children to all the changes made. Use their desire to see the movie to stir interest in God's actual Word. They would surely enjoy the movie, especially the dramatic crossing of the Red Sea, which highlights the excellent quality of DreamWorks production. You will appreciate the fact that Moses does trust God and obey his command, difficult as that choice may be.

But you will also see Aaron portrayed as a doubting fool, not as Moses' spokesman 1, which could sway a child's perception of God's chosen high priest. And, unless your children know God's character and purpose from the biblical account, they may not understand how the God who leads Moses differs from all the "other gods" the biblical Moses warns us to shun.

Keep in mind, today's most dangerous deception is the distortion of the nature and purpose of God. Even if everything else lined up with Scripture, an unbalanced view of God would change the meaning of the rest. In His eyes, perhaps we depreciate His awesome holiness when we so readily condone tampering with His holy and unchangeable Word. For He told us in Proverbs 30:5-6 that --

"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. "Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."

While I sincerely appreciate DreamWork's willingness to invest millions in a movie based on a biblical story, I have three concerns about teaching God's truths to children by way of Hollywood.

It

1.undermines the absolute, unchanging quality of His Word

2.adapts God's eternal truths to fit our times

3.puts God's Word into a multicultural context giving new meaning to important truths

4.encourages group dialogue based on questionable study guides available through its website

You may not share my concerns, but let me try to explain how this well-done animated film fits into today's quest for unity in diversity -- a unifying global spirituality that allows each person to define their own god(s) but bans the "exclusive" and "intolerant" absolutes that could offend the masses.


1. UNDERMINES THE ABSOLUTE, UNCHANGING QUALITY OF GOD'S WORD.

Following in the wake of mythical Hollywood films such as Hercules, the Prince of Egypt may appear to many children as merely another story based on ancient myths or legends. The movie doesn't tell its general audience the biblical facts about God that children need to differentiate between the God of Moses and the Great Spirit of Pocahontas, the mighty Zeus of Hercules, and the ancestral gods of the Lion King all of which were given power to perform miracles. In fact, within this genre of entertainment, the line between truth and myth has been virtually erased.

DreamWork's story of Moses from birth to age 80 ends with a glimpse of the former prince descending Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments. But the actual commandments were never read, spoken, or even mentioned. Unlike the Ten Commandments in Hollywood's original version of Moses, they were merely suggested by fleeting pictures to those who already know the biblical account.

This is an important omission, because the Ten Commandments represent God's absolute truth. Since biblical absolutes tend to be offensive to today's world where "the only constant is change, 2" it's not surprising that there were few such absolutes left in the film to offend those who, like Ron, reject the Bible. God's unchanging truth simply doesn't fit today's emphasis on interfaith unity, good feelings, continual change, group consensus, and tolerance toward everything but biblical standards.

On the other hand, compromised Christianity, which leaves out God's absolute standards and our need for the cross, is acceptable. So is the story of Moses, as long as God's unique character and eternal truths are left out. No wonder, since "the whole world is under the control of the evil one" (1 John 5:19), who hates our God, His truth, and His followers. Turning biblical truth into entertaining stories suits him well, as does our human tendency to laugh along with the masses at man's clever and unholy interpretations of God's holy Word.

However, God gave us His Word as His standard for living, as a moral compass, as a plumb line or reference point, and as a mental filter that separates right from wrong. This truth doesn't change with time any more than God Himself changes. 3 When we rewrite His eternal Word into pleasing sentiments or politically correct stories, the words cease to be His Word. And if we become accustomed to adding, deleting, trivializing, or changing parts of His word according to our will and imagination, we will have traded God's clear, moral standard for the world's moral relativism. No longer would we hold truth as the mental filter needed to discern between right and wrong. We, like the world around us, would tend to drift, like ships without rudders, with every social trend and popular wave of thought.

That's one reason why the God who led Moses doesn't smile at our efforts to adapt His Word to our times. While people have always tried to soften or popularize truth, the following Scriptures show the seriousness of altering His immutable Word:

"You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. " (Deuteronomy 4:2) "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life...." (Revelation 22:18-19) "... if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.... Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." (Gal. 1:8-10) 4


2. ADAPTS GOD'S TRUTH TO OUR TIMES.

To conform the film to contemporary trends and a global marketplace, its makers used the basic framework of the biblical account, retold it in a multicultural context, and replaced many of its lessons with nice sentiments and suggestions that match the social climate of our times.

In other words, the Prince of Egypt is storytelling at its best. It weaves in historical facts, but it makes subtle suggestions that change biblical truth. It introduces children to Moses but adjusts his biography to create a different personality. It wisely shuns token violence and sex, but it imprints lasting images on our minds that can confuse or reshape the actual message in the biblical account. (As Dean Gotcher - says, "The eyes are stronger than the ears.") It demonstrates animation at its best, but good entertainment doesn't excuse taking liberties with God's eternal, unchanging Word.

Unlike the Old Testament prayers, the prayers in the movie don't usually clarify which god is the object of the prayer. For example, Moses' mother rightly places the basket with her baby in the flowing Nile, but then she sings the following prayer: "River, 0 river....Such precious cargo you bear. Do you know somewhere he can live free? River, deliver him there...."

In the movie, the mother is not asked to take her child and nurse him. Yet Exodus 2:8-10 tells us that "the child grew" in her care, where he probably received a sense of his true identity, until "she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter."

In the movie, Pharaoh' wife, not his daughter, finds the basket and cares for the baby. Moses and Ramses (Rameses), the heir to the throne, grow up together as reckless and irresponsible brothers. However Acts 7:22 suggests that Moses was trained in the kind of princely disciplines that would prepare him for future leadership.

"Some of the changes in the movie have parallels in the Jewish or Islamic tradition," explains Rev. Bert F. Breiner, Co-Director for Interfaith Relations of the National Council of Churches, whose "Guide for the Effective Religious Use of the Film" is available at DreamWork's web site, . "In the Islamic tradition, Moses is found by the wife of Pharaoh, Asiyuah."6 At age forty (but still looking like a youth), Moses finally learns about his Hebrew roots through a chance encounter with his sister Miriam. Confused and upset, he runs back to the palace and confronts Pharaoh Seti , his wise and caring adoptive "father". The Pharaoh, together with the hieroglyphics on the wall, tell the story of his deliverance from death and his arrival at the palace.

"Why did you choose me?" asks Moses.

"The gods did," answered Seti.

This comment may seem innocent enough, but it sends a subtle suggestion that could mislead children who are bombarded with pagan stimuli. Since the storytellers make no moral judgment concerning faith in "other gods", a child would tend to see idolatry from a multicultural or approving perspective rather than from God's point of view. The unspoken fact is that God, not Egyptian gods, chose Pharaoh's court as a training ground for Moses. But since the contrary message came from a supposedly wise and respected ruler, it brings a strong and deceptive suggestion.

Hebrews 11:24-29 tells us that "Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." Yet, Hollywood's Moses sings a song tuned to the new story:

This is my home with my father, mother, brother Oh so noble, oh so strong. Now I am home, here among my trappings and belongings I belong And if anybody doubts it They couldn't be more wrong I am a sovereign prince of Egypt.... Surely this is all I ever wanted In response, the Queen-mother lovingly sings:

This is your home, my son Here the river brought you... When the gods send you a blessing You don't ask why it was sent...

The film shows Moses escaping through the desert as in the Exodus account, but he is saved through a miracle not mentioned in the Bible. He joins the family of Jethro, high priest of Midian, as told in Exodus, but the rebellious and assertive Zipporah whom he marries was first introduced in the film as a captive slave brought to Pharaoh's palace.

DreamWorks admits that it took liberties with Scriptures and suggests we read the Exodus account. That's good advice, but it may not be enough to correct the mental framework and faulty images left by a memorable movie that has altered the truth. Its subtle suggestions would prompt a person to conform future Bible study to the images in his mind - especially if using some of the study guides I saw at the Prince of Egypt web site. That the main story line sounds biblical doesn't help. A good counterfeit is usually the biggest rival to God's best.


3. PUTS TRUTH INTO A MULTICULTURAL CONTEXT WHICH CHANGES ITS MEANING.

That DreamWorks would compromise God's Word comes as no surprise. Unless film-makers know God, how can they understand His ways or appreciate the integrity of His truth?

They can't, which brings up the third concern: the politically correct message inserted into the framework of a biblical story. The story of Moses seems to be lifted out of its biblical context which shows that paganism is intolerable to God, then placed into the contemporary context which commends all religions as long as they renounce divisive absolutes that could hinder the quest for interfaith unity.

For example, when Jethro's family sits down to eat, the priest offers a prayer that reflects Christian traditions, not the pagan Midianite culture. 7 His words, "Let's give thanks for this bountiful food," sound like those of a devout church-going father, but they send the message that there is little difference between God's people and those who follow other gods and spiritual practices.

In today's multicultural context, children are taught to avoid moral judgments that could sound "intolerant". They must never offend those who choose contrary beliefs or lifestyles. So it's not surprising that DreamWorks presents Egyptian occultism as fun, exciting and empowering rather than as serious evil. In the movie, the entertaining Egyptian priests or shamans soften the evil of their ritual with their funny performance. Fun times are good for us, but the song inviting children to learn the names of pagan gods and sing along is no laughing matter:

"By the power of Ra, Mut, Nut, Khnum, Ptah.... So you think you've got friends in high places With the power to put us on the run Well, forgive us these smiles on our faces You'll know what power is when we are done Son... You're playing with the big boys now... Ev'ry spell and gesture Tells you who's the best.... By the might of Horus You will kneel before us Kneel to our splendorous power..."

From the multicultural point of view, pagan empowerment may well seem "splendorous." The movie-makers are careful to present all perspectives in as good a light as possible. But God calls both occult practices and those who participate in them "an abomination" and warns us to shun them. "Walk as children of light," writes the apostle Paul, "finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them." (Ephesians 5:8-11) The movie doesn't mention that the first and second commandment warn us to shun polytheism: "You shall have no other gods before Me.... For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God...." (Exodus 20:3-5) Nor does it remind us that the time of oppression in Egypt served to separate God's people from the gods and practices of Egypt and to prepare them to follow God as a nation into the promised land.

Centuries earlier, God had told Abraham what would happen. In Genesis 15:13-16, He said: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. .... But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."

From God's heavenly perspective, the Amorites and other pagan nations in ancient Canaan were not yet wicked enough to warrant His judgment. But by the time God leads His people into the land, that final level of "iniquity" would have been reached. The key to Israel's victory would be their obedience to God and refusal to compromise.

Children watching the movie without the benefit of biblical discernment are likely to hear a distorted message. They may think that there are many gods all gods can perform miracles miracles can happen when you believe in one or more gods and have learned the spiritual formulas the gods of Egypt are more fun and willing to do what their "priests" command, but the God who spoke to Moses is more powerful.


For more information about "lifelong" training in the new global values, read Brave New Schools (Harvest House Publishers) and A Twist of Faith (New Leaf Press - 800-643-9535) by Berit Kjos. Available through Christian bookstores

web site: www.crossroad.com 1 800-643-9535.

e-mail: andy-berit@crossroad.to




Click here to Email Hughie Seaborn - In Cairns, Qld., Australia


The "Lamp" Ministry Web Site Designed and Maintained by Hughie Seaborn - No copyright unless indicated.