The creator of the extremely popular TV show about Jesus Christ called The Chosen has been under fire for rumors about his beliefs regarding Mormons and Christians. Now he's trying to clarify what he really believes.
The Chosen shared a YouTube video of its creator Dallas Jenkins with the following description: "Have you heard some things or seen some headlines that confused or even bothered you? Did I say 'Mormons are Christians,' or 'we love the same Jesus?' There's been a lot out there recently: some of it true, most of it false; or at best, willfully out of context. I address it for the final time."
In the video, Jenkins states, "I'm a conservative Evangelical. I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. I believe in the supremacy of God's Word. I believe in the Holy Trinity. I believe in God the Father, the Son of God, the Holy Spirit, and believe that Jesus is the Son of God and all of the core tenets of Scripture."
Then he went on to address the rumors by those who have accused him of claiming that Mormons, or Latter-Day Saints (LDS), are Christians too.
"It would be just as dumb for me to say that all LDS are Christians as it would be to say that all Evangelicals are Christians or that all Catholics are Christians or any other faith tradition," he continued. "It would also be dumb of me to say that none are! That's also a level of arrogance that I don't possess."
"When I've talked about my brothers and sisters in Christ, and when I talked about those LDS folks that I know who loved the same Jesus I do, I'm referring to some of the friends that I have who identify as LDS who I've gotten to know very deeply over the last few years, in particular. And I've had hundreds of hours of conversations with (them), and I stand by the statement that those friends of mine that I'm referring to absolutely love the same Jesus that I do," he said.
"You may still go, 'Well, that can't be true,' and that's your right to think that," Jenkins added. "But it's not fair to say, 'Oh, then you are now speaking about everybody.' I know plenty of Evangelicals who I would say don't know the same Jesus that I do and don't love the same Jesus that I do."
Jenkins says the ultimate source of truth is the Bible, and while viewers of The Chosen will glean truths about Jesus from the show, he says their pastors should be the primary figures in helping Christians understand the Bible.
"I believe (that is) my job in my personal life. I believe that is your job as well, to get to know the authentic Jesus and the real Jesus as much as humanly possible," Jenkins said. "When it comes to the content of the show, it's not my job in the show or outside of the show to try to give you all of the different versions of Jesus, or the wrong things that people say about Him. It's my job, both as a believer and as the creator of a show that is being seen by so many, to try to get that right, to try to portray Jesus accurately. Particularly also in our Bible studies and our devotional books, and our kids' books. We have tons of material that we're putting out; it's very important to get that right."
The series writer and creator also told fans of the series not to substitute The Chosen for reading the Bible or attending their local church for worship services.
As CBN News reported in April, critics of the series have been spreading rumors that the show is a Mormon production.
On April 26, the creators of the popular series addressed concerns in a Facebook post, making it clear that the series is not produced by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the official name for Mormons.
The post included a photo that has been making its way around social media with a message at the bottom saying, "This is not an anti-Christian show produced by Mormons. Be very careful about this show."
"They happen to be correct in the first sentence…we're not anti-Christian, we're not produced by Mormons," The Chosen's producers wrote. "But we're going to go out on a limb and guess there was a typo; which wouldn't be surprising, as most of our hate comments aren't written by English majors. That said, go ahead and be very careful with us—that advice is solid."
Christian Headlines reports the rumor about a Mormon connection with the series has circulated on blogs and social media in recent months.
As CBN News has reported, The Chosen, a production distributed by Angel Studios, is the first multi-season story about the life of Jesus Christ. Garnering millions of dollars in support, it has become the top crowd-funded media project of all time.
So far, The Chosen's worldwide audience has paid it forward to completely fund seasons one, two, and three with the hope of having a fully-funded season four in 2023.
During an interview in March posted to YouTube, Jenkins told Ruslan KD his series does not receive any funding from Angel Studios or any organization, including any religious organizations.
Angel Studios has LDS members within it, but the studio is a "distribution partner," and "they don't actually fund it," he said.
"I am an evangelical," Jenkins told the YouTube content creator. "I consider myself a conservative evangelical. I believe in the Bible. It is God's Holy Word. It's the inerrant word of Scripture."
He also explained that he alone is responsible for the series content, not any religious group.