Monday, 11 August 2008

Make me a Christian? TV Show

I watched this TV show last night on channel 4, and found it all rather irritating.

A good review is found here.

It felt like a list of rules and regulations being presented.

I never read Jesus say "Come to me, and you will have no sex, no abortions and all will go well with you"

For all the talk of the christian faith being about Jesus, rather than a list of rules and regulations, sometimes the rules and regulations do seem to get highlighted above all else.

I don't think anyone should "fix" someone and "make them a Christian" by teaching them a set of outward behaviours. If anything that would be teaching them a lie that they just need to fit in as best they can with a moral ideology and they will be ok. Jesus had harsh words for the pharisees who did that.

I think faith in Jesus brings a strong moral ideology that we need to defend - but on the basis of faith in Jesus rather than maintenance of external behaviours.

The woman at the well had an encounter with Christ that had huge implications for her moral behaviour. I want to see people have an encounter with Christ - the rest follows.

And yet this show was a brilliant opportunity as I watched it with two friends who are not Christians and it led to a great opportunity to explain what I believed and why I believed it. They were the first to pick up and say "Just saying he isn't going to go out drinking won't change anything", and they were right.

Because everyone knows you can fake external behaviour - "if it doesn't matter in your heart then it doesn't matter."


dave bish said...

Glad you appreciated my review.

Frustrating programme... partly I'm sure that's down to the TV guys, but equally the Christians involved genuinely come across as thinking that this pharisaic moralism is what Christianity is, which is deeply disturbing.

Mickey said...

The reason that the christian teachers on the show talk so much about the faith and what sins bring you away from christ is because they want the people on the show to get closer to God and a good way to do that is to stop sins that you do. If they took the aproach that the people just need to start praying and find God then the people wouldn't see why christianity is so wonderful and pure

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

I guess the real question is whether you think christianity is about making yourself pure, or realising you're sinful and in need of the saving power of Jesus.

That encounter with Jesus means the holy spirit inside you helps you to become and to stay pure, but it is a process that starts on the inside by the grace and power of God, not the outside by your own effort.

Jongudmund said...

A very misguided programme. I gave up half way through and went off to write a freelance theology article.

I thought it was odd that they started off with a tour of York Minster and a communion service. Surely a better way to start would be for the four vicars/priests involved to talk about why they became a Christian and what Jesus means for them.

But then the show might have been eidted tobe all about rules and regs, because they did seem to be hyping up the fact that the participants were smokers or drinkers or lesbians or witches etc, which presumably makes for better telly.