|Photo Credit: Aquired from Advindicate.com|
The GC has officially cancelled The Record Keeper. After reading the news article which gave a vague reason as to why it was done I have 4 things to say.
1) I am glad the cancellation has nothing to do with the artistic creativity of the project. Ted Wilson said, “Seventh-day Adventist world church leadership is committed to using and developing creative methods of outreach that are faithful to Scripture and Seventh-day Adventist ideals to reach segments of the population that will never be impacted by traditional evangelism”.
2) The Biblical Research Institute (BRI), whose opinion I highly value and trust, questioned the theological problems inherent in the film. The BRI is neither conservative nor liberal but instead promotes centrist (mainstream) Adventism. Being a firm supporter of centrist Adventism myself I conclude that if the BRI found the material questionable then I support their evaluation. The news article states that "church leaders were looking for a much stronger portrayal of the love of God, the creation of a perfect world, the Plan of Salvation and the final renewal of heaven and earth as recorded in the Bible." If the BRI found these lacking in the film then perhaps it is best to cancel it. As a church we need to preach the love of God and not allow anything to taint others understanding of that love.
3) The article states that "While Bible studies were to be prepared to accompany the series and encourage further study, according to the Biblical Research Institute, the content of “The Record Keeper” would have put the church in the difficult position of endorsing the misrepresentation of biblical truth while at the same time offering studies that conflicted with the dramatic presentations. This would invite misunderstandings and cause confusion." While I haven't seen the series I agree that we cannot make an theologically inaccurate film and then have Bible studies that contradict it. That will create nothing but confusion.
4) I would appreciate a more detailed evaluation of the problems and also an explanation as to why the problems could not be fixed. Throwing away the entire project seems a bit much but it is also possible that the theological discrepancies were too embedded in the plot to be fixed. Either way, I am requesting that the BRI release a detailed statement that explains what the problems were and why they could not be fixed.
At the end of the day, if the Lord wants this project to go forward he will see to it that it goes forward in a way that glorifies him. If he does not want it to go forward it will not, and if we forced it too we would cause untold damage. While I disagreed with the GC when they opposed the project due to its creativity and artistic elements I support their evaluation and concern over the theological problems. My only hope is that they consider, if possible, re-writing the script instead of throwing out the entire project. If this is a possibility I also pray that Big Puddle Films would be willing to make those changes.