Friday, April 5, 2013

My Final Assessment of "The Bible" T.V. Mini-series.

Saint John Climacus who wrote in the late sixth and early seventh century said: "Do you imagine plain words can precisely or truly or appropriately describe the love of the Lord . . . and assurance of the heart? Do you imagine that talk of such matters will mean anything to someone who has never experienced them? If you think so, then you will be like a man who with words and examples tries to convey the sweetness of honey to people who have never tasted it. He talks uselessly. Indeed I would say he is simply prattling."

I guess I've prattled often, a huge temptation on social media to express the "philosophy of Christianity" as compared to the philosophies of humanism, socialism, marxism, etc.  People are hugely offended when I talk of the great noise of evangelical T.V. as, massive prattling and all but completely worthless, some of it extremely dangerous - like the great confusion of the heretical Prosperity Gospel and the massive Judaizing that is presently happening on the airwaves.

Who is converted by this? and to what saving/health?

I know that some have been drawn to healing/salvation by the media, I'm sure they exists, but I have NEVER met a convert to Christ's love, who gained that experience through ANY T.V. evangelist. Every convert I've ever met was won by friendship, personal witness of Jesus' Love in ACTION and finally by words. Usually when they would say, "I don't understand why you care." "I don't understand why you are doing this?" "I've always trusted you and I don't understand why." My favorite one, "What do you get out of this?" These are the little ones who if we offend in little ways or Love properly, our action will have enormous implications for the rest of their lives, here and in the world to come.  What is the saying the disputed quote of Saint Francis, "Preach the Gospel always and when necessary use words."

So, the Grand Epoch "The Bible" did not hold much power for anyone with an inkling of (1) Sacred Theology and (2) experience of Jesus' love, (the two cannot be separated). In some places it was offensive in what it left out, but then as a condescension to the level of the culture, it may have planted seeds, which to hear the motivation of the makers, that was their only goal - a crack in the wall of consciousness for those who hold little or no knowledge of the Bible.
This seems a worthy goal, yet sadly "being (1) Biblically literate" and (2) "having an inkling of Sacred Theology having tasted the Love and restorative power of Jesus Christ" are two different things. The culture that created (degenerated) into THIS pagan culture was very literate in the Bible, but obviously something was very lacking at the CORE of American Christian-Civil Religion - detached as most of it is from "The Church." Good fruit does not produce hedonistic paganism. Will "The Bible" series prove to be anything for the whole? A restorative for the culture? No. Can it prove pivotal for a few? Yes. The Father can draw by the power of the Holy Spirit, using the New York Times or any off-handed remark of a stranger, those whom he draws.

Having said all that, it was a very good way to fill cable broadcast time. The actual stories of the Bible, even with some distortions was a huge improvement over the heretical prattling that passes for "Christian Television."  I'm no fan of Frank Schaeffer, but years ago he wrote that the media could have enormous impact on the culture, if drama reflected moral principles.  I think this idea is a no brainer. But what are we talking about but civil society?  Yet, better than this is the creative expressions of Jesus' love, by individual Christians, because "The Body" is organic, not electronic, not mechanical, not philosophical, not political, is enlivened as one healthy cell divides and creates another new cell. It is NOT created nor can it grow by forces outside the body itself, nor by the use of popular media or civil statute.

If you "style yourself a Christian" look around at the people you know, the people with whom you associate. If they cannot benefit from the expression of Jesus' love, if they are not in need, if they are not sick body and/or soul, if they are not sinners, if they are not "on the edge", you need to find some new friends.  When if ever has someone said to you, "I came to know Jesus, because I first got to know YOU"?  The Gospel is spread from fleshly heart to hearts of stone that are then turned to fleshly hearts also capable of crushing stone.

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