Lifetime is showing that a movie can be faith based without having to depend on big scenes set in a church or long passages of prayer. The cable channel found ratings success last year with the first two movies “Lust” and “Envy” in what is being called the “Seven Deadly Sins Anthology.”

The movies – based on the series of books by Victoria Christopher Murray – are being produced in association with T.D. Jakes Enterprises.  T. D. Jakes is one of the most influential spiritual leaders in the country through his work as a bishop, author and filmmaker.

“Seven Deadly Sins” is a way to get across a spiritual message wrapped up in the woman-in-danger format that has become a trademark of the Lifetime cable channel. That continues when “Greed: A Seven Deadly Sins Story” debuts at 8 p.m. April 23.

Monique Coleman (“A Christmas Dance Reunion”) plays successful Interior decorator Zuri Maxwell. She has found success in a career she adores, loving family and friends and a good man in her life, artist Stephon Gardner (Nathan Witte). But greed threatens to destroy everything when Zuri meets handsome benefactor and entrepreneur Godfrey Anderson (Eric Benét) and his fabulously wealthy aunt Miss Viv (LisaRaye McCoy).

They have everything Zuri thinks she wants. As Godfrey romances her, she compromises the values and morals that should guide her in an effort to be part of the moneyed world she so desperately wants.

The approach used in this faith based film is a way to get a strong message to the masses without it sounding like a sermon.

Coleman says, “So often with faith based we think about things we have to eliminate in order to still be of God. I think having someone like Bishop Jakes enter the film space really shows us that we are well-rounded people and that people are flawed.

“And even inside our flaws there is so much potential for redemption.”

The way Coleman looks at her movie is that it is a mirror that allows viewers to see themselves in a way that comes across as being very authentic and not just the presentation of the idea and concept of what it means to be a faithful person. The way the film is presented the idea is not to condemn those who are sinning but to feel compassion for what they are facing.

LisaRaye McCoy (“A House Divided”) understands that the term “faith based” can work against a production. She has in the past shied away from such productions because they would have a tendency to beat a person over the head with the message.

She was happy to discover how Lifetime and Jakes found a way to make serious points without distracting from the entertainment elements.

“The message is just nestled inside the project,” McCoy says. “It is not a beat-you-over-the-head. You are being entertained in a way that will allow you to watch the story, enjoy the movie and get the message at the same time.

“This is something that everyone has to deal with – seven deadly sins. We have encompassed that energy, synergy and spirit. When you see someone else has gone through it – you are not alone – you find power in not being alone. You don’t have the shame that comes with that when you feel you are alone.”

McCoy is certain that the film will come across like a form of therapy as it shows a different way to face your problems. It offers guidance as to how to be uplifted and move in the right direction while still being an entertaining tale of the battle between good and evil.

Witte (“Famous in Love”) adds the film is a great reminder that while there is a desire to obtain more, it is important to take a moment and be thankful for what we have at the moment. Many times that is enough.

“Once we are happy with where we are and what we have, that is when it allows for more to come into our lives,” Witte says. “If we are not coming from a place of abundance but coming from a place of lack, then that’s going to lead to this place of greed.”

Benét praises the approach taken with “Seven Deadly Sins” as each ends up being a cautionary tale. That was one reason he was willing only to be an actor in this production and not participate musically. The R&B singer has been performing music since the late 1980s and has earned four Grammy nominations.

He didn’t contribute any music to “Greed” but Benét points out there are a few more sins to go. He has a studio and is ready to help if music is needed to tell those tales.