Of Course the NY Times Is Going to Hate "The Bible" Mini-series", It Is Faithful to the Truth
It should be no surprize that the NY Times has published a review panning "The Bible" mini-series running on the History Channel. It goes against everything that the Times stands for & runs contrary to the usual hit pieces that expected to run this time of year that attack & undermine Christianity. Instead, we have a series that accepts what the Bible is as truth & challenges people to accept those truths instead of denying them.
1 of the things that really impressed me when I checked out the website fort he series was how they showed the various people from the Bible as real human beings who sweated, got dirty & actually lived full lives.
That having been said, it is clear that the critic & the Timesn general are simply doing what they can to impliment their agenda. This is the same Times that has been leading the attack on the Catholic Church & the eternal truths it proclaims. (Read a recent article by Bill Donahue of the Catholic League documenting some of them here. Other exapmles here, here & here)
Of course the article doesn't come out & admit that. Instead it tears the series apart by complaining that it "doesn’t serve the source material." OK, it doesn't cover everything in the Bible, it wasn't meant to. They make that clear. It is intended to cover some of the most significent episodes in the Bible, not the entire Bible. So obviously a lot will have to be left out.
But what it really hates is that the series shows us that Christianity is not this feel good, happy, happy, joy, joy, as long as it feels good, it is OK, New Age, no sin version they want to change God's Church into. "The mini-series certainly seems unlikely to be much of a recruitment tool for Christianity, putting the emphasis on moments of suffering rather than messages of joy, and not just when it comes time for the Crucifixion." The ariter forgets that Jesus made it clear that those who followed Him would suffer. That much of the Bible talks about those who go through suffering because they chose to follow Christ, chose to speak out against the sins of the time & refused to bow to the spirit of the times (& not just that of the NY Times). The Catholic Church has never been about winning popularity, or in tune with the times. The Church exists to help those who want to turn away from what the world has to offer. It is there to bring them God's saving grace, providing people with the truth & the means to live it out.
In the 1st few centuries, the Church refused to bow to the false gods of the Roman empires, just like it refuses to bow at the altart of abortion etc that Obam & the media are promoting today.
So what does the Times reviewer think does serve the source material. Well, they claim that "Those looking for something that makes them feel the power of the Bible would do better to find a good production of 'Godspell' or 'Jesus Christ Superstar.'” Sadly, he is serious.
Before I look at either, let me say that I am not totally condemning either. There are some good things I can say about both, but as you will see, neither is an accurate reflection of what the Bible actually teaches.
Let us start with Jesus Christ Superstar. I would like to know how something that, as Tim Rice admited, was written from the viewpoint of Judas, serves the source material. Superstar does get a few things right, like the way the Sanhedren viewed what was going on. But how does the viewpoint of someone who was possessed by Satan (Luke 22:3-4, John 13:27) accurately serve the matrial that was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? It can't light & darkness cannot mingle. Satan is the father of lies, so Judas' viewpoint is 1 that denies Jesus was God & that he was supposed to be another religious leader on the same lines as Buddha & Mohamed.
Now on to Godspell. Granted, the text does have a strong basis in the actually words of the Gospels. & the songs are mostly old songs that were often sung by various denominations. It does even talk about conversion as well as, by using the clown theme, point out that the world sees us as fools. But, it doesn't treat Jesus as God, just a good man who tried to get his followers to lead better lives. & the ending leaves it open as to whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. The movie version in 1972 had a new song written, Beautiful City, that has now become a part of most productions. The problem with the song is that it extols man in a way that reminds me of the attitude of those building the Tower of Babel, building a monument to man. The song refers to building the city of man, not the city of God. Nothing about seeking what God wants or doing it under His power, just man doing it. It ignores the clear admonition by the Bible, that unless the Lord does the building, all efforts well be in vain (Psalm 127). & the updated lyrics used in the modern productions is even worse. They often have Jesus singing them, supposedly as what to do now that He has risen from the dead. No relying on the Holy Spirit.
As I mentioned at the beginning, what the Times is really POed about is that this series isn't the usual hit piece that comes out arround Easter & attacks either the Resurrection, the accuracy of what Jesus said & did or Christianity in general. This series doesn't rely on people from The Jesus Project whose goal is to demythologize the Bible & find the real human being made in their image instead of the God-man that IS the real Jesus. They didn't rely on John Dominic Crossan, the co-founder of the Jesus Seminar, ex-priest & dissident against Catholic teaching. The series doesn't show Jesus as married, gay or any of the other blaspemous versions that they want.
Instead, the series presents it as what it really is, the Word of God that reveals Jesus as Lord & Savior who was fully God & fully man.
That is why the Times hates it, & why, even if not perfect, it is achieving what it set out to do, proclaim the truth. & even worse, it is drawing huge ratings in doing so. In doing so, it proved the writer wrong when he said in the 1 March article that Mark Burnett & Roma Downy were "serving up a rickety, often cheesy spectacle that is calculated to play well to a certain segment of the already enlisted choir but risks being ignored or scorned in other quarters." 13+ million isn't exactly playing to a segment of the choir, but is reaching far beyond that. In doing so, it is getting people to talk about the Bible, to look at what it actually says, & horror of horrors to those at the Times, to actually consider & accept the truth of the message found there.