Is this over the line?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Molly, Apr 24, 2003.

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Is this over the line?

  1. This is clearly over the line!

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  2. This is fine as long as others are reached for Christ.

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  1. Molly

    Molly
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    We discussed on another thread about a pastor using a real knife,stabbing himself to illustrate the breast plate of righteousness...there was a big discussion whether this is okay or not a correct way to exposit scripture. Then the question came up about using illustrations and most agreed that that's okay as long as they are used correctly and did not take away from biblical truth.(and not the emphasis of the teaching) I gathered that most do not feel *anything goes*,but where do people draw the line as to what is okay or not.

    I have an example:

    I recently heard of a church that presented a dramatization about Jesus,His life,and death,etc(the gospel basically). Jesus was protrayed as a clown and the 12 disciples were also clowns.This is true by the way. I think this was a take off on Godspell(Broadway). The pastor said the gospel was clearly true to the Bible...nothing was in error scripturally...and he said,when the clown died on the cross it was so moving. :eek:

    My question...to me,this is clearly not a correct vehicle to present the gospel,it is clearly absurd...many people may say it made an impact and many were saved...my question is,if churches allover are allowed these kind of crazy illustartions,dramas,and impact makers...is it wrong to stand against such things? It seems some here thinks that it is....(we shouldn't judge what others are doing that works!) :eek:

    So,where do you personally draw the line...how does a believer stand against these things without appearing unloving or a lack of concern for the lost? I desire for the lost to know Christ as much as anybody,but don't you think there are correct measures to take.

    Which are correct and which are incorrect and who decides these things? I know,for us,what we can not accept,but what about the rest of you?

    Just opening a can of worms...don't mind me....

    Molly [​IMG]
     
  2. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Statements 1 & 2 seem to contradict each other.

    IMO methods that intentionally distort the essentials (who Christ is being one of them) are illegitimate.

    At the same time, I recognize that any portrait of Jesus (usually a Caucasian sissy) does not fully represent who Christ is. I do not think all visuals should be eliminated, but in this particular instance, the visual itself seems to diminish the reality of what happened.

    I would also like to know what type of "clown" was portrayed -- was it a Bozo type or was it more of a dramatic, hidden behind the mask type. Perhaps the story itself could be communicated in an art form in the latter of the two.
     
  3. Molly

    Molly
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    I agree and the sad thing is,many are resorting to this as an attempt to share *Christ*. I realize this is a way over the edge example,but it really happened,and I wonder where,we as believers,should draw the line...how can one like this be wrong,but other more subtle things be okay?

    I'm glad we agree,SBC!
     
  4. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    IMHO the criteria is simple: does it distort the essentials of the message?

    BTW, I did not vote in the poll w/o knowing the full details of what happened.
     
  5. mozier

    mozier
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    I remember during my teenage years in the Roman Catholic Institution, where they would do these "clown masses," in which a priest or some youth ministry would dress up as clowns and participate in the mass.

    Apparently, this was during the experimental time after Vatican Council II, and there was this very misguided idea that mass had to somehow be "entertaining" and more "meaningful." So taking a verse from Paul, where he says that we must be fools for Christ, some took it mean that they had to dress as clowns and do the mass.

    I wish I were making this up, but I am not. This really did happen. And apparently, it still does.

    http://www.tradcath.com/www/images/clown.jpg


    mozier
     
  6. Istherenotacause

    Istherenotacause
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    I don't go for the clown routines, or the puppets either.
    I suppose a clown could be used to win other clowns. Call me orthodox in this area if you want to, but the Gospel doesn't use clowns, puppets, etc.
     
  7. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Why not? If God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, then why not?
     
  8. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    You don't say anything about what ws presented in the play so I can't tell whether it was OK doctrinally or not.

    "Godspell" wasn't an evangelistic piece. It was adapted and presented as one by churches in the 70's. A lot of people were introduced to the gospel through it and even though I was too young to grasp some of the things in the movie, it was my first real introduction to the gospel.
    You mean like a camel going through the eye of a needle or walking around with a beam in your eye?

    Jesus used absurdities in His preaching.

    I'm wary of the idea that we need to make the gospel hip or that we have to do things to draw people in. The gospel either stands on it's own or it doesn't.

    On the other hand, assuming they don't pervert the gospel, I'm all for presenting it in innovative or artistic ways.

    I draw the line perverting the gospel or being disrespectful to God.

    You don't. As long as the gospel or the essentials of the faith aren't compromised, you allow others the liberty to see things differently.

    It's largely in the eye of the beholder.
     
  9. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    When I want to worship God I go to church... If I want to see clowns I go to the circus... Those who put up with this... shows what fools they really are :eek: ... Even clowns in the circus know what church is for?... God is not laughing :( ... Brother Glen [​IMG] & [​IMG] Sister Charlotte [​IMG]
     
  10. Artimaeus

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    I am a conservative and thus my first reaction to anything different is to be negative about it. I will however, give things an opportunity to be evaluated. Example, I attended a church service in Hawaii once and was told there was going to be a hula dance and my first inclination was to get up and leave but I said to myself that I would give it a chance. This young lady comes out in a very modest but attractive full length dress and proceeds to "tell" the song of Amazing Grace in the language of the hula dance and to my surprise it was quite good. There were no sensual movements, just the artful gesturing somewhat like a smooth flowing sign language. I said all that to say this. Jesus = Clown = Over the line.

    Mike McK, Your said, "I draw the line perverting the gospel or being disrespectful to God." How much more disrespectful can they get than to call the Son of God a clown.

    You also said, "God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise,". That's true, but, what He uses is the "apparently" foolish things of this world like the poor are rich to God, the lowly esteemed are highly esteemed of God, (That supposed foolish thing is in actuality true) but clowning around (pun intended) irreverently with the personage of Christ is just plain blasphemy. What next, let's have God protrayed as the head weasel in an extended family of forest animals. I like some analogies, poetic license, and fiction but a CLOWN, come on.
     
  11. Molly

    Molly
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    Jesus + Clown = Way over the line! :eek:

    To,me it is very disrespectful,to put it mildly! People in favor of such things would argue...but the message hasn't changed...that's crazy...the actual person of Christ(God in the Flesh) has been changed.

    This is way over the top in my opinion,but what about more subtle changes in the gospel? The downgrade had to start somewhere.
     
  12. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    You're missing the point. They're not calling Him a clown. If they were, I'd be the first to condemn it.

    They're not clowing around with the personage of God.

    So then, are you equally as outraged that C.S. Lewis would portray Christ as a lion? A literal lion, not merely the metaphorical "Lion of the Tribe of Judah"
     
  13. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    Then I would ask you the same thing. Are you as outraged that C.S. Lewis would portray Christ as a lion?

    If this is Godspell that you're talking about, and it sounds like it is, then there's nothing in the play that I remember that says that Christ isn't "God in the flesh".
     
  14. Y'Israel

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    Apparently the Bible is not well known here...
    or you would know this...

    And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Rev. 5:5

    Jesus is the LION OF JUDAH!!!

    portraying Jesus...as a clown boarders on blashhemy...and is totally unexceptable...in any arena...

    tis a pity more people are not willing to stand firm in the Word...for as the man said...the true Word of God is like a lion...all one has to do is let it loose...it will stand on it's own...

    The Word is a mighty sword...
    and cuts two ways...both for Salvation and Judgement...

    It does not need entertainment to make it effective...It is the Word of God...

    Did Jesus and the Disciples...sponsor plays and baseball games to draw crowds...No!!! ...did they dress up like clowns and strut about...NO!!!The Word will draw a crowd on it's own...and Who is the Word?...Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior...He is the Word....


    it is a pity people prefer to accept rather than challenge such garbage as portraying Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior as a clown...

    Makes my blood boil...and my hair stand on end...
     
  15. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    "For it pleased God by the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe."

    One greek word is used to translate "message preached" (the KJV uses "preaching"). It refers to both the content and method.

    This is the God-ordained, God-sanctioned METHOD to reach people with the Gospel.

    People that resort to such tactics do so because they are unskilled in the word and only twist it to their own destruction. I am not surprised. Lazy preachers are always looking for shock value and emotional highs.

    Paul warned that the days would only get worse and that false teachers would multiply, deceiving and being deceived.
     
  16. C.S. Murphy

    C.S. Murphy
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    I don't like the sound of the "clown" gospel but I don't know all the details so I will refrain from calling names such as Lazy, Fools, Unskilled as well as caling the effort "garbage". I know I would not wish to use clowns to dramatize the gospel in church but I can't say that others might feel it worthwhile.
    Murph
     
  17. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    But this is metaphorical. Jesus said that He longed to take Jerusalem under His wing. Does that mean He's a chicken now?

    The Bible also describes Satan as a lion. Is he then a lion? Or is it using imagery to get a point across?

    Some may see it as splitting hairs, but I believe there's a world of difference between portraying "Jesus as a clown" and using clown related imagery to share the story of the gospel.

    So then the Bible is a literal lion?

    On this, I agree but it's not about making the gospel "effective". The Gospel either stands or falls on it's own.

    Baseball and clowns weren't around then but Jesus did tell interesting stories to get His point across. Was He wrong for doing this?

    And it's a pity that some people are so narrow minded that they will not accept any way other than their way.

    Makes me sad for you.
     
  18. Istherenotacause

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    Why not? If God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, then why not? </font>[/QUOTE]Some have made the statement that portraying the Gospel using clowns is leaning towards blasphemy, I'd have to agree. Anything that makes the account of Calvary a form of entertainment in the guise of giving the Gospel is nothing more than Hollywood evangelism,just another form of entertainment.

    If you want to call entertainment foolish, that's your business, but people are only moved emotionally by it, and one is given a false perspective to the true account represented. If the Gospel is portrayed by clowns, then "Jesus Christ Superstar" was the most profound exposition of all times, NOT! The typical drama of the stage is just another fallacy to rendering truth, there is always the producers manipulation of the facts to insite and excite entertainment.

    I don't go to the house of God for entertainment, I go for worship and fellowship of the Spirit, to hear the Word of God preached with power and demonstration of the Spirit. I'll never go for this crowd turning the House of Prayer into an amusement hall! Be careful, my friend, Jesus is fashioning a whip of cords to drive out the sellers of doves and turning over the tables of the moneychangers and running them out as well!

    It's no wonder the ecumenical world laughs and scoffs at the church today, people have turned it into a social club and an amusement hall! A place to come and feel good in the flesh, with no reckoning of one's failure to exhibit righteouseness in the sight of God, thus never giving opportunity to receive the grace of God in turn. We sit around in our "easy chairs", pot-bellied on grace, failing to execute the Great Commision.

    Men have turned the House of God into a den of thieves, looking for a way to make merchandise of the Gospel, by bringing in the numbers for entertainment instead of worship. You aksed for it, now there it is!

    Go watch TBN if all you want is falseness and entertainment, maybe Benny Hinn or Paul and Jan might come to your church and have a healing service! (You could call Franklin Walden if you're local! He's ressurected a deer and healed a cow!)TOO BAD THEY DON'T HAVE THE FAITH TO GO TO THE HOSPITALS AND DRY-OUT CLINICS AND THE NURSING HOMES, BUT THEY DO EXPECT YOU TO COME TO THEM AND GIVING THEM ALL YOUR MONEY TO SUPPORT THEIR MINISTRIES AS THEY LIVE LIKE KINGS AND QUEENS. Maybe you can get Benny to dress up as a clown and pop people on the head and watch the enemies of God fall backwards, that's what they did when Jesus said, "I am he".

    ENTERTAIMENT!ENTERTAINMENT! That's all I want is my "Christian" MTV! [​IMG]
     
  19. Mike McK

    Mike McK
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    But nobody's talking about doing that.

    I don't think that's necessarily true.

    "Uncle Tom's Cabin", "The Grapes of Wrath", and several of Charles Dickens' works had major impact on the social climate of their times because they made people see things in a different light, one that they could understand.

    I don't see how you can equate the two.

    Or maybe they're laughing at us because God is dropping opportunities in our lap and we scoff at them.

    But when someone does try to carry out th Great Commision, you condemn them becasue they're not doing it the way you think they should. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    Do you believe that Christians can make art simply for the sake of making art?

    What is the responsibiliy of a Christian artist to incorprate the gospel into his art?

    Why would it be a bad thing to have a Christian alternative to MTV?
     
  20. All about Grace

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    Since I have spent too much forum time debating this issue in the past, I simply want to ask a question that I have yet to have answered in my many discussions on this topic.

    Daniel David writes: One greek word is used to translate "message preached" (the KJV uses "preaching"). It refers to both the content and method.

    And my question is this: if your reasoning is true regarding both the content and method (and all other methods being illegitimate), to what type of preaching method is Paul referring?

    Expository?
    Topical?
    Textual?
    Historical?
    Narrative?

    What is the one and only prescribed method? I will bring this point full circle when this question is answered.
     

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