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‘The Chosen’ Uproar: ‘We’re Not Produced by Mormons’; Seminary Professor Warns People Not to Watch

“I am a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (we don’t use “Mormon” anymore),” Jeffery wrote. “And I have devoted the last three years of my life to helping an evangelical, Dallas Jenkins, create his vision of the hit TV Series, THE CHOSEN. I have no control over the content of the show. And I don’t want any control.”

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Jeffrey, a former LDS church missionary, explained the differences between the LDS church and evangelicals, adding, “Many evangelicals see our doctrinal differences as enough to even make the claim we believe in a ‘different Jesus.’”

“We have received hundreds of messages and letters from people upset that ‘Mormons’ are part of this world-changing project,” he said. “Likewise, we receive lots of skepticism from Latter-Day Saints deeply concerned that we have given full creative control to evangelicals, who they think hate us.”

The Angel Studios’ Chief Content Officer gave the same reply to both LDS church members and evangelicals, “If Jesus can call His ancient apostles from a range of backgrounds, including an apostate tax collector on the one hand and stubborn, illiterate fishermen on the other, why can’t He call evangelicals, Catholics, Jews, and even Latter-Day Saints to the creation of a TV series about His life and ministry?”

Jeffrey’s advice to those who are skeptical of the show: “Just watch it.”

“The Chosen’s” creator, director, and co-writer has been interviewed many times and by many different types of outlets due to the success of the show. Some of those interviews have been with members of LDS church were he explains how he believes evangelicals and Mormons worship the same Jesus.

During of of those interviews, Jenkins shared that one of the most beautiful things about working on “The Chosen” has been his growing “brother and sisterhood with people of the LDS community that I never would have known otherwise and learning so much about.”

“For all the stuff that maybe we don’t see eye to eye on, that all happened,” Jenkins told Saints Unscripted host David Snell. “That’s all based on stuff that happened after Jesus was here. The stories of Jesus, we do agree on and we love the same Jesus.”

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Jenkins said that although that statement is controversial, he would “sink or swim” on his statement. “I don’t mind getting criticized at all for the show, and I don’t mind being called a blasphemer—I don’t like it when my friends are—and I made it very clear that if I go down, I’m going down swinging, protecting my friends and my brothers and sisters and so I don’t deny we have a lot of theological differences, but we we love the same Jesus and, and the guys at VidAngel are passionate about this show.”

“‘The Chosen’ is about Jesus,” Jenkins explained. “And it’s an accurate portrayal of Jesus, I believe. So maybe, just maybe, we love the same Jesus. I know that may be controversial, but I think that’s true.”

The conservative evangelical Jenkins recently doubled down on his comments during an interview with Ruslan KD. “One of the things that I have said in the past that caused the most controversy was I was referring to a few LDS folks that I’m partnered with that I know and I said, ‘We love the same Jesus.’”

Jenkins said that a lot of people have taken those words out of context and quoted him as saying, “Dallas Jenkins says that all Mormons are evangelicals/Christians or believe the same Jesus.” Jenkins explained that he made it clear in an earlier interview that he doesn’t speak for any group of people. “I was speaking for a few friends that I have—a couple of my partners—[and] I stand by the statement. I don’t speak for an entire LDS or Catholic church just like I wouldn’t speak for the entire evangelical church.”

Ruslan KD pointed out that “The Chosen” wasn’t created as an apologetic but as a piece of art—a series that shows Jesus in a different form—to which Jenkins agreed. The director isn’t a theologian or an apologist, but a creator.

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Jesse is the Content Editor for ChurchLeaders and Site Manager for ChristianNewsNow. An undeserving husband to a beautiful wife, and a father to 4 beautiful children. He serves as a deacon, a growth group leader, and is a member of University Baptist Church in Beavercreek, Ohio. Follow him on twitter here (https://twitter.com/jessetjackson). Accredited member of the Evangelical Press Association.