Just weeks before the release of Fox's EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS, Christian Bale, the Hollywood a-lister who portrays Moses in the film, ridiculed the prophet who is a fundamental figure in both the Jewish and Christian faith.
"I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life," the Hollywood Reporter writes Bale said about Moses.
In the Jewish tradition, this "schizophrenic" to whom Bale refers, holds that Moses received the Torah from God (the first five books of the Bible) on Mt. Sinai.
In June a Christian News Service/NICAEA Movie poll conducted by American Insights found 79 percent of Christians and 71 percent of all adults say, "The Biblical accuracy of the story is important" when deciding whether to see a faith-based movie.
In yet, another article in Entertainment Weekly, the film's director Ridley Scott, foreshadows that "it's not Moses or God who will part the Red Sea, but that it will be caused by an earthquake."
According to the biblical Exodus account, Moses held out his staff and the Red Sea was parted by God to lead the Israelites out of captivity.
"Our poll is one of the most exhaustive surveys concerning religious themed films
available," said Russ Jones, Sr. vice president of news operations of Cross Platform Media Group, the parent company of Christian News Service. "Either Hollywood executives didn't review the findings or they don't care."
Jones asserts that the biblical characterization of Moses paints the Levite as neither a God nor a King or a 'barbaric' warrior suited for battle, but a servant of God who perceived himself as inadequate at best to lead the Israelites out of slavery.
"We want Hollywood to be successful and accurate when producing movies about God," Jones adds. "That's why we contracted this very thorough poll of moviegoers. It is our hope that Hollywood would end its days of courting disaster in regards to faith based films."
Charles Parlato, producer of NICAEA a film about the rise of Christianity slated to release in early 2016, partnered with Christian News Service and American Insights to conduct the poll.
Parlato commented on the recent words of the principals in "Exodus" and the Nicaea poll.
"The (poll's) respondents' instinctual concern with 'historical accuracy' is not some poorly formed and unnecessary concern with Biblical or historical dramas," said Parlato. "Their concern flows from the rewriting of history and the destruction of societal standards that result. Remaking Moses does more than simply change the profile of an ancient figure. It actually calls into question all Biblical recorded history. The result: History, like everything else today, is to be molded into modern digestible form. The ultimate end game of this process is that there is no ancient authority that controls our modern world. Modernity is its own authority. In this case, that authority lies with the producers of EXODUS, Those who win the battles of the past, win the battles of the present and future. Writing history, in all of its forms, is the front-line in all battles of the present and future."
U.S. Adult and U.S. Christian Market on EXODUS:
74% of all Adults would be likely (36% very likely) to see EXODUS if it accurately portrays the biblical account of Moses leading the Jewish people out of captivity. However, 68% of all adults would be unlikely (46% very unlikely) to see EXODUS if it does not accurately portray the Bible.
80% of Christians would be likely (41% very likely) to see EXODUS if it accurately portrays the biblical account. However, 69% of Christians overall would be unlikely (47% very unlikely) to see EXODUS if it does not accurately portray the Bible.
84% of Protestants overall would be likely to see an accurate EXODUS, while 70% would be unlikely to see an inaccurate depiction.
75% of Catholics overall would be likely to see an accurate EXODUS, while 67% would be unlikely to see an inaccurate version of the story.
84% of people for whom religion is extremely important would be likely to see an accurate EXODUS, while 74% would be unlikely to see the film if it does not accurately portray the biblical story.
For more information about the Christian News Service/Nicaea poll go to www.christiannewsservice.com.
Christian News Service/NICAEA Poll
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Methodology: The survey polled 1200 adults nationwide between May 1 - 8, 2014; 50% landline; 20% cell; 30% online. Margin of Error ± 2.8%.
About Christian News Service
Christian News Service exists to assist organizations, businesses and ministries in sharing information through media outlets across the globe using various content creation methods. CNS is a division of Cross Platform Media Group, LLC.
NICAEA joins together a world-class team of highly accomplished filmmakers from the United States and Europe to bring an important historical drama to life on the big screen. It tells the true story of Emperor Constantine's forever changing of Western Civilization through the establishment of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. This gripping and ultimately transformative story of religious persecution and warring factions that threatened to rip the Roman Empire apart lays the foundation for Christianity as it is known today.