Friday, January 07, 2005

Jerry Springer

This week I have recieved several emails inciting me to protest against tomorrow's screening on the BBC of Jerry Springer: The Opera. This despite the fact that I don't actually have a TV, and am therefore neither able to watch it nor do I pay the BBC License fee.

But let me offer a few observations nonetheless...

1. Talk about what you know - It strikes me that my fellow Christians are protesting about something on the basis of heresay. That is a little unwise, particularly as some of the Radio Times' original comments about the content of the programme are now reported as a little exagerated.

2. There's no such thing as a Christian country - Critisism is made on the basis that this is a Christian country. Whilst technically 70% (ish) of the nation call themselves Christian when it comes to census... the statement is patently false. Not primarily because it is obvious that the vast majority of that 70% aren't actually Christian, but because the term Christian country is thoroughly unbiblical. The only Christian country is the church. So, please lets have an end to that myth. I know the UK was once run on supposedly Christian values - but you can't legislate "Christian" values... because living Christianly only works when you have the Holy Spirit.

3. Don't moralise unbelievers - People who aren't Christians cannot be expected to be morally good. You can't make them be moral and it actually doesn't achieve anything. God isn't most concerned that people be moral and respectable, he's looking for sinners to repent and recieve grace. That is a different matter. Trying to make people whose hearts are fundamentally sinful act morally leads to legalism and a perversion of the gospel - according to the Bible. So, when the BBC (supposed christian constitution or not) or anyone else, Jerry Springer for that matter, acts immorally I am not even remotely surprised. Since the Bible tells me that Christians will sin, I'm not exactly shocked when people who aren't Christians sin. Non-Christians don't like being moralised anymore than Christians do, and it doesn't help them get to heaven.

4. Less pro-test, more pro-claim - External Moral Respectability isn't really the point. Whilst I concede that some things can me more explicitly anti-God than others, that isn't really the point. The big issue is that for most of that 70% and the other 30% of people in the UK they are utterly anti-God in thought, word and deed, by negligence, weakness or deliberate fault. That is because they are not Christians, and thus by definition they (explicitly or implicitly) declare the death of Christ to be meaningless. Whether or not a TV programme is shown doesn't really change that. What people need is to be told more about the Cross of Christ and their need to repent, than to be told they should be morally decent.

5. Less Anti and more Pro - It is high-time Christians started being known for being pro-God, pro-grace, pro-love, pro-faith, pro-forgiveness, pro-creation, pro-marriage, pro-mercy, instead of constantly portraying themselves as anti-everything. Christians more than anyone should know how great God's creation is, and how it is to be embraced and enjoyed with thanksgiving. How about we start acting like it! :)

6. TV is optional - TV has an off-button. And you don't even have to have a TV.