I was flabbergasted last night when a television show about Easter appeared – one which had absolutely nothing to do with Easter. Indeed, the most amazing – and pathetic – thing about this program was that it was produced by Christians – or so we were told.
I refer to the “Celebrate Easter” show which Channel Ten aired at 1am this morning. Given what a lousy show it was, it was probably a good thing that the half hour program was aired when most people would not have been watching TV.
So what wonderful Easter message was presented on the program? Was the death and resurrection of Jesus powerfully highlighted? Were there testimonies of lives wondrously turned around by an encounter with the living Christ? Was there discussion of the most important event in human history?
Nope. Not a bit of it. Believe it or not, the entire program was about the Parliament of the World’s Religions which was held in Melbourne late last year. A female reporter and a film crew walked around the conference filming all the various religious goings on.
Thus all sorts of different religious groups were interviewed and featured. Every conceivable religious tradition and expression was given a good run. So was there a final wrapping up at the end, proclaiming the uniqueness of Jesus Christ? Nope.
Instead, we were told that the Parliament reflects the very spirit of Easter. Yes you heard me right. This ecumenical shindig with all its competing religious truth claims was somehow an expression of what Easter is all about. Really folks, I am not making this up.
Not once were we told that there is something unique about the claims of Christ. Not once was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ trumpeted. Not once was the biblical gospel contrasted with the other religious traditions.
Not once was the truth of the gospel proudly proclaimed. Not once did we hear that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). Not once were we told that the Easter event sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world.
And yet we were sold a bill of goods that this was somehow a “Celebrate Easter” program. So who was responsible for this travesty? A group called the Christian Television Association Western Australia. Whoever they are, they obviously think they are being open-minded about things.
But the truth is, a lot of open minds need to be closed for repairs. If a group calls itself Christian, and claims to be offering a show to celebrate Easter, then surely something about Jesus and his work at Calvary should be featured.
The last thing that should be promoted by such a group for such a show is the baloney that all religions are alike, and that the only thing which matters is that we all just get along in some sort of holy huddle. This has absolutely nothing to do with the biblical gospel and the teachings of Jesus.
I have written several earlier pieces on the PWR, warning against this attempt to reduce all religious truth claims down to the lowest common denominator. It simply cannot and should not be done. See here for more on this:
One expects secular television stations to run brainless interfaith drivel on their networks. But one surely does not expect Christians to jump on board with such nonsense. Sadly, this simply tells us just how far down the tubes so many Christian groups have gone.
They have renounced their spiritual birthright for a bowl of trendy PC porridge. They have decided that it is far better to be popular and non-controversial than to actually walk in the steps of their master. Jesus of course caused controversy and sparked deep divisions wherever he went.
And in the end Jesus was crucified for his efforts. Believers are told that they are not above their master, and Jesus promised that we can expect to receive the same sort of treatment that he received. But many church groups today want to be men-pleasers rather than God-pleasers.
Last century Dorothy Sayers wisely said, “Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ.” If there was ever a case of adapting the Church to men, it has to be this wretched program.
But of course the CTA is not the only group guilty of such foolishness and treachery. I recently quoted Peter Costello on the issue of climate change and the churches’ involvement. He said this:
“Our monthly Anglican newspaper broadly reflects the prevailing progressive left opinion. In December, in the lead-up to the government’s self-imposed timetable for securing the emissions trading legislation, it ran four extensive articles on the need for action over climate change. It published no contrary views. The Copenhagen summit was given more column inches than Christmas, quite an achievement for a religious newspaper. But the issue has hardly registered with it since.”
To which I replied: “Yes, an entire book could be written about the way some church groups have slavishly jumped on this bandwagon, elevating the issue to something higher than the gospel message itself. Indeed, it is exactly because so many church groups have abandoned the gospel message that they go all evangelistic about other trendy causes.”
It is clear that at least in respect to this particular program, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been abandoned altogether. The only questions remaining are these: Why does this group call itself Christian? And, Why in the world did they call this program “Celebrate Easter”?