The Secret Life of Bees, which opened at No. 3 at the box office last weekend, is being marketed to Christian audiences with a "Bible study" decidedly lacking in evangelical content—or even any Scripture references.
The PG-13 film, which explores themes of love, hope, courage, forgiveness, and redemption, is certainly ripe for discussion from a biblical worldview. But three faith-based marketing companies have prepared resources and teaching materials for church leaders that have left the Bible out altogether.
Grace Hill Media, Liquid Soul Media, and Motive Entertainment are partnering with Fox Searchlight to pitch the movie to Christian audiences. Last week, they sent e-mails to hundreds of thousands of church leaders alerting them to a website, BeesResources.com, with various free materials—including clips from the film—for pastors and teachers.
But some pastors are saying they wouldn't use the resources, especially the 6-page study, because of its lack of spiritual content.
"I wouldn't use it," said Mark Nelson, student discipleship pastor at Wheaton (IL) Bible Church. "There is no biblical content. There isn't even enough spirituality in this for Oprah."
The Bible study, written by Craig Detweiler, PhD, of the Reel Spirituality Institute and Fuller Theological Seminary, includes images, quotes, and descriptions of scenes from the film, but no discussion questions, no Scripture references, and no exploration of the questionable theology explored in the movie—such as the Black Madonna and the "sacred feminine" spirituality of Sue Monk Kidd, who authored the best-selling book on which the film is based. (The "sacred feminine" was also part of the heretical theology in The Da Vinci Code.)
The study's concluding ...1