The Donuts Are Silenced
A friend of mine and I once had a running joke about Christian (and I’ll include Messianic Judaism under the “C” word) entertainment being nothing but “talking donuts.” This, of course, stems from me being unfortunate enough to flip past TBN and catching the adventures of a talking donut who flapped his frosting while teaching kids about ethics and morality. It was lame but I sat transfixed, absolutely in awe of the train wreck in front of me. It was then that I came to the realization of “so, that’s why they make fun of us.”
It was horrible and stupid and much of Christian entertainment is the same. It’s unrealistic. It’s frustratingly G-rated and family-friendly to the point that most normal human beings simply can’t relate. CCM bands have to find fifteen different ways to sing “I Love Jesus.” Christian movies, books, and comics end up as cheap, watered-down replicas of real world entertainment. If a Christian band is actually talented and unique enough to break through, they flee CCM like Lot fleeing Sodom. (Thanks for playing, Evanescence and POD!) And this pisses me off for one primary reason:
The Bible is so BADASS.
I don’t mean that ironically and I don’t mean that to be crude or disrespectful. For some reason, American culture has insisted on the feminization of Christianity (one of the reasons Islam spreads so quickly in the prisons) and I don’t understand it. Testosterone drips from its pages. We sing cute little Sunday schools about “Father Abraham,” but Abraham led troops into battle and fought fiercely against the kings of the land. If you stuck Abraham, Moses, David, Samson, and Joshua in a movie together it would be a prequel to The Expendables and the death toll would be immense. Jacob WRESTLED GOD and GOD CRIPPLED HIM in response. Most of the heroes of the Bible are real bastards who, through trials and tribulations, learn to be good people for God’s purposes. Once we get to Jesus and He tells us “no greater love is there than this, that a man would give his life for his friends,” it’s not something cutesy and sweet to put on Grandma’s sweatshirt. It’s epic and manly … like the end of FIRST BLOOD or BRAVEHEART. It’s okay for a man to cry … but only after he’s slaughtered thousands of people with a donkey’s jawbone.
And I’m making light, of course … it’s my style … but the point of the matter is truth. If the Bible was made into a film and kept true the source, it would be NC-17. A lot of that is illustrated in this particular Scripture portion. I really have no idea why we have insisted on taming the Scriptures. We’ve chopped it down into little cute stories that suit our purposes and then we ignore the rest of it. That’s my job … to present things in a way you may not have considered previously.
St. Augustine had the theory that creation had been broken down into the “Six Ages Of The World.” I find it curious that we’ve been through two and a half ages before the twentieth chapter of Genesis. This again affirms my suspicions that the Scriptures do not attempt to give an exhaustive account of human history. Instead, it hits the high points and tells us what we need to know. This is why we get three chapters on the creation of our universe and 21,849 chapters on how to build a tabernacle.
There’s not a whole lot I can add to the account of Noah and the flood. Everyone knows the story. We get some basic genealogy type stuff until we finally arrive at the story of Abram and Sarai. Each time I read this, I’m shocked at just how much of a dork Abram sounds like. Sending his wife off to have sex with Pharoah to save his own skin? Letting Lot have the Jordan Valley? Whining to God when He decides to turn Sodom and Gomorrah into smoldering heaps? Not cool. He does redeem himself by leading his trained men into battle against the kings of the land to rescue Lot but it’s too little too late. Later in life, he gets rebranded “Abraham” and starts to get his groove on.
Lot, on the other hand, sounds worse. First of all, he gets kidnapped. That’s weak. His house is attacked by a giant mob of horny homosexual assailants (who, I can only imagine, looked fabulous) and he offers his daughters to be raped as an alternative (boy, he was barking up the wrong tree). His wife turns into (kosher?) salt. His daughters get him drunk and rape him. Lot was made of fail.
But God promised to bless Abraham and make his descendents as numerous as “the stars in the sky.” And He did. From Abraham’s line comes the lawgiver Moses, the great king David, Solomon the wise, and the Messiah, Himself. The moral of the story is that, regardless of what our human weaknesses and faults are, God is more than capable of doing extraordinary things through us. All the world’s a stage and He is both the playwriter and director. We’re just His actors. Sometimes, the play is a comedy, sometimes a tragedy, but it’s always an adventure.