Monday, May 22, 2006

Jesus Christ, Superstar

(Note - I wrote this Sunday night, but didn't actually post it until Monday night...)

At the service at Foothills Lutheran this morning, Pastor Laverne talked about the Da Vinci Code, and how its mistruths are a subtle persecution of Christianity. (It was an excellent sermon, and if you’re interested, I can try and get you the text of it.) But it really made me think about the other hoaxes that are floating around out there – false religions, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the recently “discovered” Gospel of Judas, the James Ossuary, the Shroud of Turin, the Black Madonna, and so on and so on.

And then tonight I discovered another thing to add to the list – I went to Stage West and saw Jesus Christ, Superstar. I had no idea what I was getting into, and I’m just reeling. What a blatant mockery of what our Saviour suffered! So many misquotations and outright lies – I’m just stunned.

The entry into Jerusalem and then a song just after that were full of “hallelujahs” and “you get the power and the glory” were hard to listen to, because unless those words are sung to Jesus with your heart behind them, it’s blasphemy, really. They were sung as empty words that to me are full of meaning.

I think the worst part was, when after a wrenching scene with a flogged Jesus dragging his cross off stage, a bunch of half-dressed dancers in go-go boots came strutting out to sing about how Jesus’ timing was off in coming when he did – “if you’d come much later/you’d have picked up a nation/Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication”. Then after that, the lights slowly came back on to light jazz music – to reveal Jesus hanging on the cross. I couldn’t help it – I just cried. It cut me to the heart to see such a thing. Then the actor playing Jesus said “forgive them, for they know not what they do”, and I thought of all the people around me, watching this terrible scene, and not understanding – not knowing – just there for entertainment.

There were a couple things I notice the play had in common with a few of the “conspiracy theories” floating around out there – it alluded to a relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and it made it look like Jesus told Judas to betray him. They had a scene where Mary was rubbing Jesus’ shoulders, and he was saying “Oh, Mary, that’s so good” – it was just so wrong!

Speaking of just so wrong – when they take Jesus to Herod, he was surrounded by cast in bikinis – guys and girls. It was raunchy, and while Herod was supposed to mock Jesus, I really don’t need to see that much of the actors to get the point across!

Caiaphas was singing about how Jesus was drawing unwanted attention to the Jews from the Romans, and how “for the sake of the nation, Jesus must die”. I found that so ironic! It was so much bigger than just the nation, and so different from the way he meant it, you know what I mean?

A pretty common refrain thought the show was “he’s just a man”, and there was no mention of Jesus’ divinity as fact at all. There wasn’t any resurrection scene, just a glimpse of him through the stage curtain. Even the movie the Passion down played the resurrection when really; I think that’s the most important part of the story!

There were a lot of subtle comments taken just enough out of context to not quite sound the way Christians commonly believe, but there were some things that Jesus supposedly said that I’ve never seen the in the Bible!
Like, supposedly Jesus said the following things:
- I look for truth and find that I get damned (to Pilate during the trial)
- Stick with fishing from now on (to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane)
- There may be a kingdom for me somewhere (to Pilate during the trial)
And they portrayed him as being in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to God to show him his “omnipresent brain”, because Jesus’ death was all God’s idea, and Jesus had no idea what was going on, which is complete hogwash – Jesus and God are one in the Trinity – of course Jesus knew the big picture! Why else would He have gone through all the crap he did if not out of love for everyone who’s ever lived and ever will live?

Grrrrrrr! When I was watching the play, all I could do was cry, and then when we left I was too emotionally stunned to know what to do, but now after writing this all out, I’m just plain mad! This show is a big Broadway thing that millions of people have seen, from Broadway right down to school plays, and this terrible, mocking display might be the only exposure they have to the Name of Jesus, and it’s twisted almost beyond recognition – it doesn’t bear much resemblance to the Jesus I know and love.

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