Monday, October 18, 2010

Glee tackles God

Those of you who read my blog entitled, 'Gleeful', know that I have enjoyed this program as one of the only shows on TV that seems to have a soul. Well, a few weeks ago, with their episode entitled, 'Grilled Cheesus', Glee revealed, like never before, the god of it's soul.

Did it have moving moments? OH yes... This is a very carefully choreographed series on many levels, not least the emotional level. Once we find out that the atheist on the faculty lost her faith over her sister's Downe's Syndrome and later see that same handicapped sister profess her simple faith in God to that same embittered godless sister and tenderly promise to pray for her - have to see it to appreciate the emotional impact of that scene.

It is the scene earlier, when the faculty atheist describes the reason why she lost her faith, (a scene the show's writer describes as the one he's most proud of in his whole career (!) that the atheist defends her campaign against religious talk in school by telling her colleague how, in her youth, she prayed (in vain) that her sister, whom she idolized, would get better. Therefore she concluded that 'Asking someone to believe in a fantasy, however comforting, is not a moral thing to do. It's cruel' Furthermore, she goes on to say, it's arrogant. 'It's as arrogant as telling someone how to believe in God, and if they don't accept it - no matter how open hearted or honest their dissent - they're going to hell - that doesn't sound very Christian, does it?'

'Well, if that's what you believe, that's fine - just keep it to yourself' replies her colleague. And then the final word from the atheist is - you guessed it - 'so long as you do the same...'

Thus the writer of Glee reveals the anger and resentment against Christianity that lies behind this episode, if not the whole series. Glee may be a show that exalts the human spirit like no other, but it is also a show that does so at the expense of the Holy Spirit.

And that is the ideal bottom line in a public school, isn't it. 'Just shut up'. Because as soon as people start talking about religion, then the war of words begins. And in Glee's war of words, the unbelievers get all the best lines. The 'believers' only express their faith through ludicrously inept farce (praying to a burned cheese sandwich) or vague - though sometimes moving - appeals to Heaven for a 'Bridge over Troubled Waters'. 'We can't sing about faith, but we can sing about "losing my religion", as one Glee Clubber complains.

Fortunately most the characters who are 'believers' in this episode show none of the 'arrogance' that the Glee writers hate in religion. What is sadly lacking, however is confidence that the true God is capable of revealing Himself and His truth to people.

In one scene, these sincere, but misguided, characters from a variety of denominations and faiths gather to pray around the bedside of a man in a coma. One of them explains that they are doing this because 'one of us is bound to be right'.

As I have to keep telling people. One is, not only bound to be right, but bound to be obviously right. Yet it is not 'politically correct' to say this on TV - particularly when the God who is obviously unique - and obviously right - is the biblical God.

We today in the Western world, are just educated enough and just comfortable enough to think we know what we want in religion and that is all we will accept. But G. K. Chesterton spoke the Truth when he said, "We do not want a religion which is right where we are right. We want a religion which is right where we are wrong."

It is not to be dismissed as 'arrogance' when Christians, informed by God's Word, describe what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is in error.

Would the singers in the Glee Club know a wrong musical note, if they heard it (not that you ever hear a wrong musical note on this show)? Of course they would.

You know what I am going to say next; Right and Wrong exist in reality - so also in religion. That is not 'arrogant'. That is the Truth. That is the 'right where we are wrong' in a society that is in denial about it.

The Good News is that 'Hell' is not the only certainty the biblical God has revealed to us is it? There is also the certainty that 'the Word became flesh and dwelt among us'.

'What if God was one of us?' they sang in this episode.

It saddens those who really know the real Jesus Christ, that 'Grilled Cheesus' failed to include the Gospel in this episode. Would it have killed such 'educated', 'enlightened' writers of Glee to mention that, in Christianity, Jesus is not a cheese sandwich, but a historical person - crucified for the salvation of humanity and risen from an empty tomb, providing billions of people with faith in their own resurrection from the dead?

Could not one character have said, 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life'?