Tell the World movie by SDA Church

Review grade=C (first part A, last part F)
Recently someone sent me a link to the movie telling the early history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church “Tell the World”. It is produced by the Australian Union Conference and is 2:27:52 long. It is reported that they spent 6 million dollars (Australian?) in its production, as it was done by a professional company, and mostly shot in Canada.

I watched the whole thing on this Sabbath and Day of Trumpets. The first part had me crying in several places, as it is a powerful presentation of how tenuous, or fragile, the beginnings of the Advent movement had. William Miller, Joshua Himes, Joseph Bates, the Harmon family, they are all shown in a very realistic manner, and the events speak closely to anyone who is interested in the beginnings of the SDA faith.

I decided to sleep on the first half overnight, right after the Great Disappointment. I was very excited, thinking how I would be happy to help promote this movie. To be truthful, I did have very minor odd feelings with the depiction of the Great Disappointment, as Ellen was just standing all alone in a field for hours, but that was extremely minor compared to the amazingly good story of William Miller and the Advent movement up to the Great Disappointment.

The next day I eagerly looked forward to watching the last half. It is mostly about the prophetic gift of Ellen White, and her and her husband’s work to build up the church. Somehow tho, the feeling was different. The whole spirit of the second half seemed odd, and not according to the excellent spirit of the first half. Many things in the last half were not according to the historical record, either. It seemed somehow “Hollywoodized”, with no Holy Spirit giving guidance.

The last 7 minutes are credits, and at 2:21:11 it says: “Its (SDA Church) core mission, as captured in the prophetic message of Revelation 14:6-12, is to proclaim the good news of God’s love and forgiveness as revealed in Jesus Christ and to tell the world of His Promised soon return.” This is just wrong. The core mission of the SDA church is to give the Three Angels’ Messages. Of course that includes the promised return of Jesus. The 3rd Angel’s Message especially is all about warning us to keep the Sabbath to give glory to God and escape the wrath to come.

I started looking for more info on the movie on Youtube, and saw a video by Adrian Ebens. Now I disagree with him on his anti-Godhead doctrine, but he had a sermon directly on this movie, and showed how some of the workers in this movie had connection with demon possession in other movies they’ve worked in.

Sadly, the casting for the film makes me think that this film should be rejected outright. Tommie-Amber Pirie, who plays Ellen White, has starred in: “How to plan an orgy in a small town”. She also played the part of a possessed woman in a different movie called “Bitten”. OK, maybe playing the part of Ellen White caused her to repent? Well, since she played Ellen, she has top billing in a movie called: “Clusterxxxx”. The last four letters are very vulgar. No wonder the last half of the movie, largely featuring Ellen, James, and Bates, is discomforting to watch.

Timothy Paul Coderre, who plays Joseph Bates, starred in “Rulers of Darkness”, which is about a “terrifying entity in the woods.”

Also, Aaron Hartzler, who did the screenplay for this movie, “is an actor and writer, known for Gay Propaganda (2002).” According to the description for that short movie, it basically does what the title says – spread the gay culture.

I watched the entire movie. While the first part is fantastic, and true to history, the last part has a different spirit. Perhaps the fact that several of the stars (like the woman who plays Ellen) have appeared in Satanic possession movies, has introduced an evil spirit into this film?

I recommend everyone thinking of watching this movie to BEWARE! Perhaps small snippets could be used to good effect, and God could bless, but I really don’t think the movie as a whole is giving glory to God.

10 thoughts on “Tell the World movie by SDA Church”

  1. I have watched the movie twice. I was touched by the emotions of the characters. I appreciated understanding more about the historical details and the values of the pioneers.

    I watched the movie with caution, but I’m not sure I have as strong objections as those given in this article.

    I thought it was interesting that I experienced goose bumps each time I watched the scenes of Ellen White in vision.

    Still making up my mind about the movie…

  2. Further, I too shed tears while watching the movie. It is certainly a soul-stirring narrative. However, I assumed that I was watching believers act the parts of the pioneers and Ellen White. It is only since reading this article that I have learned otherwise.
    If I had known that they were worldly actors, perhaps my emotional response would have been more reserved.
    Why couldn’t actors who actually believe the Sabbath doctrine and Adventist theology be used for such an important project? Wouldn’t they communicate emotions, attitudes and values better than worldly actors?

  3. I said earlier that I watched the movie with caution. One of the things that made me wary was the DVD cover which depicts the character of Ellen White standing in a field with the sun behind her and a single tree in the field. The lone tree, I understand is a pagan symbol. It could be completely neutral but if, as Mr Ebens points out, the producers also make horror movies, it is quite possible that they have coded their beliefs and values in the movie.
    One more thing that made me uncomfortable was the ‘spooky’ music which accompanied some of the visions.

  4. Yes, Shireen, knowing the background of some of the producers/writers/actors in the movie, does play a part in understanding how they are trying to condition us to “feel” about the movie.

    We need to be on our toes with our truth antennas up, even with (especially with!?) our own SDA organizations’ works.

  5. In this particular case does “being on our toes with our truth antennas up” entail a) rejecting the movie outright or b) redeeming parts of it? Can we watch the movie with ‘our eyes wide open’?

  6. For me, movies are just another form of media. Just as we should be careful in which books we read, we should be careful in which movies we watch. Movies are very powerful, so we must be extra careful when watching them.

  7. Your comment is spot-on, Curtis.
    Shows how little some of our Church leaders cherish the Spirit of Prophecy.

  8. I do admit I did enjoy some parts of the movie, and having seen the original movie about our church history,some parts were not totally accurate,I do feel that the producers should have given E.G.W more respect as God’s prophet,as far as the actors/actresses they chose to play the part of such important founders of the Seventh day Adventist Church.I hope maybe it will have a positive impact on thair lives in some way.God bless.

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