One time I was talking to a friend about a particularly hilarious bit on The Colbert Report, she said that she thought that shows like Colbert and The Daily Show help young Christians laugh at ourselves and avoid some of the pitfalls of Christian hypocrisy. I had never thought about it that way before, but you know, she was right. It keeps us honest.
This is somewhat a generational thing. I know some older Christians who resent and condemn any attempt to poke fun at Christianity. Dismissing any person, TV show, or movie that criticizes Christianity, as Godless. But I think those days are fleeting. I struggle to think of anyone my age who thinks that way towards media, and I think that’s a good thing.
Does some media mock deeply held beliefs that are dear to me and rooted in our love for Jesus? Sometimes, but those are few and far between. Mostly it’s not actual Jesus following Christianity that is being jabbed, but hypocritical and ugly moves by Christians claiming to be motivated by God, or shameless profiting on the name of Jesus.
I found this little “gem” on the blog christiannightmares.tumblr.com I regularly read this blog and while sometimes legitimate Christian beliefs are the featured “nightmare,” it’s usually something terrible like this.
Earlier this year I posted a link to this article from theonion.com on my facebook wall. A dear friend of mine and my parents commented saying that she was surprised at me and thought I would be on the same side of this issue as her. I’m not sure what “side” she thought I was on, but this article is as poignant as it is hilarious. As believers we should cringe at the recent trend of politicians pimping the name of Jesus for their political gain, and we should call them out on it, not reward them. Is it within the realm of possibility for God speak to someone and urge them to enter a political race? I hesitate to tell God what he can and can’t do, but if God speaks that to someone, it’s inappropriate for that person to lord it over the electorate or to leverage it to gain votes.
Last week Mike Huckabee was on The Daily Show. John Stewart called Huckabee out on an infamous ad Huckabee made weeks before the election. Stewart pointed out that the ad seemed to insinuate that if you vote for Obama you’ll go to hell. Huckabee vehemently denied that and said that the images of fire were based on scripture in 1 Corinthians 10 (from what I can gather Huckabee meant to 1 Corinthians 3:13), where it says “fire will test the quality of each mans work.” I’ll give Huckabee the benefit of the doubt on his intentions, but I think it takes a large suspension of disbelief to say that Huckabee wasn’t aware that the religous references along with images of fire would conjure up thoughts of hell, especially considering the level of biblical literacy of many beleivers.
The best moment in the interview was when Stewart asked Huckabee “what if they vote for someone who they feel is good for poverty, is good for programs for the poor,” Huckabee has the sense enough to say that, that vote matters too, but it only sets Stewart up for the obvious question “Then where’s that commercial?”
To be fair, there are probably some points in which I would agree with Huckabee and not Stewart, but only one of them are claiming to represent Christ, so that’s the one that is the cause for most concern.
Should we embrace criticism, or rebuke it? Does it keep us honest? Have you seen a good/bad example of criticism? How about a good/bad response to criticism?