My wife and I recently sat down to watch a video. It was called “Oh God” and starred George Burns and John Denver. The acting was great. John Denver, in particular, did exceedingly well. George Burns played the part of “God”. Of course, this was a comedy.
At one point during the movie, George Burns (a.k.a. “God”) makes it rain on the inside of the car that John Denver is driving. The police pulls him over and John Denver opens the door and out comes a flood of water! This was an hilarious scene. My wife and I could not stop from laughing. It was so funny – it hurt.
However, what was not so hilarious were some direct or perhaps not so direct attacks on Christianity. First, the “bad guy” in the movie is an evangelical preacher. This man is a smooth talking, deceptive, person, who is offended that God should talk to John Denver, an otherwise “untheologically” educated person. The “bad guy” is portrayed as simply wanting money. Indeed, the message that you hear him giving is one of arrogance, false hopes, manipulation, and greed.
I wonder – where did the movie producers ever get the idea that a Christian preacher could act that way? We can thank that to the sins of our fathers. How many people have turned away from the true faith on account of this? It is awful to think about it. If you are person who truly loves the Lord, it should make you deeply grieve on the inside. You will remember when David sinned with Bathsheba. God’s word to him was, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also [that is] born unto thee shall surely die.” (2 Samuel 12:14) David’s sin gave the enemies of God a reason in their own mind to blaspheme God.
So, too, it has happened as a result of the sins of greed and immorality on the part of Christian leaders. Like David, God made them powerful and successful. But, like David, they abused their power and gave the enemies of God a chance to blaspheme his name. Thus, we have movies like “Oh, God” (made in 1977, when the enemies of God were mounting their arguments against everything biblical, e.g. Roe vs Wade – the legalization of abortion – in 1973). The movie really is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, if you are not swayed by the subtle or not so subtle nuances and are able to separate the “humor” from the “lies”, it can allow you to unwind. On the other hand, this movie contains poison that one needs to watch out for, because, in it, one sees blasphemy towards God.
Of course, you may be wondering, “What is so blasphemous about exposing false preachers for who they really are?” Nothing. That should have been done a long time ago, of course, and we would have avoided some of the scandals that we, as the larger church, have been through. No, but rather, in the movie, the “bad guy” and his chums present John Denver with a list of questions that he is only supposed to be able to answer with God’s help. George Burns (a.k.a. “God”) does help him. And on the question, “Is Jesus Christ really God’s Son?”, we hear George Burns’s (a.k.a. “God’s”) response: Yes, he is. And so is Mohammed, and Buddha, and everyone else that God has created. Now this is blasphemy.
So you see, the movie is more than a comedy. It is a comedy that carries with it a deadly message, if you choose to believe it. The first deadly message is, “Man can do it on his own if he just tries hard enough.” The solution is “just stop killing and start loving.” This is a lie because God is portrayed as a distant God, who has left man to manage his own affairs – kind of like starting a car, putting man in it, and waving goodbye. This could not be further from the truth. God is intimately involved in the affairs of man, daily, hourly. And he does not expect us to manage our affairs on our own.
No, but rather, like Daniel the prophet, God expects us to come to him on a regular basis, bringing our petitions and needs before him, so he can “help us” manage our affairs. (In reality, he is doing more than “help us”, he is indeed working through us, if we will but yield to him completely and unreservedly. Thus, Paul said, “nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” in Galatians 2:20.) You will remember that Daniel prayed three times a day, thus indicating his complete dependency upon God for his every need.
The second deadly message is like it, but seals your destiny for an eternity separated from God forever – again, if you choose to embrace it: The message is, “Jesus Christ has no more authority than anyone else does. He is not the eternal Son of God who paid for our sins by shedding his blood on the cross. But rather, he is just like everyone else, a created being similar to Buddha, or Mohammed, or you and I.” This is a lie that will doom your soul.
To those who struggled with the whole concept of Jesus actually being God come in the flesh, he said, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24) If you struggle with this, I advise you to read the book of John so that you may come to a fuller understanding of who exactly Jesus is, and why he came to this earth.
Indeed, Jesus was more than just a man. Throughout the Scriptures we cannot help but be confronted by his claims – claims that no mere human being could possibly make. For example, Luke 9:29, where Jesus says, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Have you ever heard a mere man claim this?
Or, how about Matthew 25:31, in which Jesus says, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.” This one is similar to the previous reference, but also mentions a eternal, heavenly throne that Jesus will sit upon! Have you ever heard a mere man claim this?
Or, how about 2 Timothy 4:1, in which we read, “I charge [thee] therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” This verse is stating that this “man” Jesus Christ is the judge of the living and the dead! Not only that, he’s coming back and he has an (eternal) kingdom, which means he is the king of that kingdom!
Jesus Christ, a mere man? I think not! If you have been accustomed to treating him as such, I challenge you today, investigate the Scriptures to see that he is not a “mere man” but that he is actually the Son of God, God the Son, come in the flesh! Today is the day to turn a new leaf over in your life and claim Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord, if you have not done so already.
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” (1 John 5:1)
“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:31)
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26)