Lead actress: Elizabeth Tabish explains how The Chosen shaped her faith and the catty drama in season 3.
Christian media is full of shills for The Chosen, and the latest media tour of its cast has publications like CBN and Christian Post misrepresenting the impact that the popular series has had on its actors. During an interview with Faithwire she revealed that she is a skeptic that had become “more open.” This is being hailed as a win and a profound spiritual awakening.
Yet the context surrounding this sentiment is suspicious. For istance, Christian Post titled their article ‘The Chosen’ actress Mary Magdalene says series is ‘life changing,’ opened her up to the Gospel.” However, the context of what was life-changing was purely in terms of her career. A struggling actress landed a lead role in a (literal) cult TV series. This improved her fame, fortune, and future prospects. This was the context of her words, but the media twisted it to be more spiritually profound.
As for opening her up to the gospel, this is a bit of a stretch, and it shows that the series is incredibly seeker-sensitive. According to Tabish, the Bible has always been too male driven:
“It was incredible to read the first few scripts and see how well they wrote women,” Tabish told The Christian Post. “The New Testament, the Gospels, are very male-heavy, male-driven. It’s the 12 disciples. Even the Catholic Church, it’s male dominated. And I’ve always wanted to know more about the women in the Bible, to be able to identify more with the New Testament.”
The vast expansion of implied or explicit female characters is a core feature of the show. The Chosen is most definitely feminist in its portrayal of modern gender dynamics into first century Judea. This appeals to Tabish but it’s not the gospel.
Additionally, Tabish talks about feeling the love of God and no longer feeling the need to be perfect. She describes how she relates to a “messy” character. The Chosen is highly seeker-sensitive which dilutes the gospel for mass appeal. Rich Wilkerson Jr. is a great example of this as he has taught that you trust Jesus in order to get you through difficult times. This distorts the message and purpose of Jesus: to atone for our unrighteousness.
Throughout the interview, seldom was said about the work of Jesus, as depicted in the show. But Tabish did share insight into how the Chosen is going to feature female infighting in what sounds like a CW show.
Characteristics of a CW show are good looking actors, hyper-emotionalism, and bad messaging. The Chosen has a good looking cast with Mancandy Peter being the lead. Catty female drama escalating into a sit-down and feeling share session is classic CW. And the seeker-sensitive biblically inaccurate plot meant to appeal to Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons is the bad messaging.