I published this over at Reformed Chicks but I thought you guys might be interested in it.
I've been watching Studio 60 and each week it's getting harder to watch. I think Matthew Perry is a great comedic actor but his character's hatred of Christianity is making it hard for me to watch the show. And the fact that the writers know absolutely nothing about Christianity doesn't help. A recent episode demonstrated that. They did a sketch about taking Jesus' name in vain (I'm assuming that you don't live in a box and that you know that the show is a combination West Wing meets Saturday Night Live). And in the sketch, which was truly unfunny and painful to watch, Jesus doesn't care if they take his name or his Father's name in vain because "caring for the weakest among us is my thing." That would be news to anyone who has read the Bible:
Exodus 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.Though the Bible is filled with many verses about God's care for the "weakest among us," Jesus came to glorify the Father and to set his people free from sin.:
John 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 "I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.It's not just about you being able to do what you want to do without any regard to sin. And that is the main point of the sketch. The writers thought it would be funny to have a Jesus who doesn't really care about what men do, he loves them and wants them to do their own thing. They have to be able to take his name in vain because they get frustrated, that's just the way they are. They think that God understands our weakness and excuses it but that's not the case. He does understand our weakness and yet still expects us to live up to his standard but in his grace he came to pay the penalty for our weakness, not to excuse it. He takes the penalty freely, without payment, it is a gift. But if you reject that gift, then you will pay the price yourself. That includes taking the Lord's name in vain -- which is part of the Ten Commandments. Pretty clear. If you're going to mock the religion you might want to learn it first. It might make for funnier comedy.
But what is worse (a whole lot worse) is that Jesus says he forgave his Father for the cross. Why in the world would you write something about Jesus when you haven't a clue about the Jesus you are ridiculing. Comedy is funny when it's based in truth, it is so clear that the don't have the slightest clue who Jesus is.
Jesus would never say something like that because God the Father is perfect and has no need to be forgiven. Jesus laid His life down. God didn't force the cross on Him, He picked it up. He made the decision to be obedient to the Father, He did it willingly:
Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will."Sheesh, people read the Bible, it's pretty clear.
One final note to the producers and writers of this show: do you really think this is edgy? Beating up Christians has been done to death. How about doing something really edgy, how about you beat up sanctimonious writers of liberal shows who beat their viewers over the head with their propaganda. So much so that they lose viewers week after week, now that might be funny.