It seems with every new television season a show that mocks Jesus Christ and the Christian faith gets a pilot. This season it is the CBS show ‘Living Biblically’ – a comedic take on the real life quest of a journalist to live his life “according to the Bible” for one year. From the preview scenes alone, it seems obvious that this show has no intention of representing the Bible accurately or bringing any actual serious discussion about the Christian faith. Instead it seeks cheap laughs and gags all the while mocking The Lord God.
Here is the trailer:
And the official synopsis:
“Chip Curry is a modern day man at a crossroads in his life, who decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible. A film critic for a New York Newspaper and a soon-to-be father, Chip wants to be a better man following the loss of his best friend. He decides to put his slightly obsessive temperament to use and start living his life 100% by the Bible to find direction. His smart, pregnant wife, Leslie, while both skeptical and entertained by her husband’s new passion, supports him completely. Knowing he’ll need some practical advice, Chip forms a “God Squad” with Father Gene, a Catholic Priest who helps Chip translate the rules of the Bible to a modern world; and Father Gene’s best friend, easygoing Rabbi Gil Ableman, who respects Chip’s chutzpah and is glad to serve as a sounding board when they meet at their local bar.
At Chip’s newspaper, he finds support from his no-nonsense boss, Ms. Meadows, who knows Chip’s self-penned story will sell newspapers, and his co-worker and friend, Vince, who is quick with a reality check and likes to wind Chip up for his own amusement. As he begins his sincere spiritual journey toward a more moral life with the help of his wife and friends, Chip wonders if he’ll be able to take a page – or every page – out of the Good Book, and if the effect will be of Biblical proportions.” (source).
From the preview clips alone, the show seems intent on turning the lead character Chip into a walking, breathing negative Christian stereotype. He is judgmental, hyper-critical and even violent, because “the Bible says so.” This attempt to highlight the view of the Old Testament revealing a God who is harsh, violent and lacking compassion is a common argument for critics of the Christian faith. Living Biblically seeks to make this argument in a more subversive manner by having its lead act out these negative traits all in the name of seeking to live a righteous, holy “Biblical lifestyle.” When Chip seeks counsel from a Roman Catholic priest and tells him of his plan, the priest laughs in his face – clearly mocking the fact that anyone would take the Bible literally.
“People need to start talking about religion again,” producer Patrick Walsh said. “I don’t buy the idea that we live in a ‘godless society.’ Eighty-four percent of the world aligns themselves with religion, and 9 out of 10 people believe in God, yet religion is never discussed because everyone is too scared to offend. In talking about it, you can erase so many misconceptions about it on either side.” (source).
The result is repeated scenarios where the Word of God can be ridiculed and mocked. The Bible is clear: God’s name is not to be taken in vain. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). Beginning And End covered similar sitcoms like “GCB” (based on the novel Good Christian B—-) which was filled with negative Christian stereotypes and NBC’s ‘The New Normal, which devoted an entire episode to mocking Jesus Christ and the Bible.
The Danger – Mockery Can Lead To Hatred Of God
“The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.” – Ecclesiastes 10:12-13.
In addition to being a blatant sin, the mockery of God can move a person deeper into resentment and hatred of The Lord. This type of attack was carried out in a more scathing, direct way by MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell – who has made several rants attempting to rip the Christian faith for its hypocrisy and “evil.” Here is one example:
In our article “MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Attacks The Bible – A Christian Response” we noted that while critics love to point out the punishments in the Old Testament, they conveniently ignore the numerous provisions to provide atonement – or a “covering” of sins of the people. The main task of the Levite priests in the temple was to ensure that they followed the Bible to make sacrifices to atone for the sins of the nation and individuals – allowing the punishment for the sin to be temporarily placed on the sacrificial animal:
Those who try to paint the God of The Old Testament as angry, harsh and violent, always seem to neglect this. But God made it clear that forgiveness was readily available to those who sin:
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” – Leviticus 17:11.
In order for there to be forgiveness, blood had to shed. And God gave specific instructions on the sacrifices of animals by the appointed priests to make atonement for the sins of the people. Here is one example:
And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock. And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.
And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar. But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering. – Exodus 29:10-14.
The shed blood of the bull was a substitute atonement. Yes, in order for forgiveness, something had to die and blood was shed. This too may seem harsh but sin is a messy, ugly business. And God being perfectly just, must see that justice is served. But rather than putting His own children to death, God provided a substitute sacrifice to atone and “cover” the sins of the people.
So how often were these sacrifices to be done? Every day: “Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at [evening]:” (Exodus 29:38-39).
There were also sacrifices for the Sabbath day, the start of a new month and for the feast days of the Jewish religion found in the Old Testament. All these sacrifices providing covering for the numerous sins of the people. All this was a demonstration of God’s mercy which He revealed Himself, even in the days of that oh-so harsh Mosaic law. Here is God, in that same Old Testament, describing Himself to humanity:
“The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression..” – Numbers 14:18.
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:18-19.
God Proved His Mercy Through Jesus Christ
The ultimate proof of God’s love and mercy is Jesus Christ. By allowing His own Son to be sacrificed and take the punishment of all people God put our souls above who He loved the most. This despite all of our sin, mockery and hatred toward Him. As believers, it is critical that we share the Gospel of free forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus Christ. Hollywood has gone out of its way to distort, mock and argue against the Bible and the Christian faith. Stand for truth and share it with a world that needs it so desperately.