Daily Devotional for Thursday July 6, 2006
NBC's The Book of Daniel
(Luke 6:11, John 7:7, 15:18)
"But they were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus." (Luke 6:11 NIV)
"The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil." (John 7:7 NIV)
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (John 15:18 NIV)
This past January, NBC's "The Book of Daniel" was the latest and boldest attempt by a TV program on a major network to mock and demean the Christian faith. NBC claimed that their new program was a "serious program about Christian people and the Christian faith." The message of this program was that Christians are hypocrites, that our faith does not translate into our daily lives, and that we live no differently from those who deny God, the Bible, and faith in Jesus Christ. This program was designed to mock and demean those who have given their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ by faith and embolden those who deny the Lord that they have made the right decision! Of course, while they were at it, they used this as another opportunity to reach the masses to promote and glorify those who choose to commit the sin of homosexuality.
The lead character was a drug-addicted Episcopal Priest named Daniel Webster. His wife an alcoholic, his 23-year-old son a homosexual Republican, his 16-year-old daughter a drug dealer, and his 16-year-old step-son was having sex with the Bishop's daughter. In addition, Webster's secretary was a lesbian having sex with his sister-in-law. Throughout the program, Webster was seen talking with a very unconventional and non-Biblical "Jesus." This was NOT a serious portrayal of Christian people and the Christian faith as NBC claimed, but a portrayal of those who call themselves Christians yet choose to live their lives in total rebellion to Christ and His Word!
Does a family like this fictional family exist? ABSOLUTELY! They are classic examples of people who claim to be followers and servants of Christ, yet do not live according to God's Word and their faith and whatever relationship with Christ they may have makes no real difference in how they live their daily lives. Jesus said, if you love me you will obey me. That means His Word! When we choose to live our lives in rebellion to the Truth of God's Word, claim to be followers of Christ but have no real relationship with Him, are led by the flesh and not the Sprit, then our lives end up an absolute mess just like these characters and we become the stereotypical hypocrites that non-believers will point to as their excuse for rejecting Christ and God's love.
Make no mistake about it, this was the ultimate agenda of this blasphemous TV program. It was designed to empower, embolden, and strengthen the resolve of those people who have made the choice to reject God, reject the Truth of the Bible, and reject His Son Jesus Christ. Programs like this tell the lost that they have made the correct decision in rejecting Christ and that Christians live no different than they do. The worst thing about a program like this is that it gives those who reject Jesus the false sense of security that they are right. It helps them to justify their unbelief and rejection of the Lord. Sadly, it makes their heart even more hardened to the Truth causing them to die in their sin and be lost for all eternity
The fact is, this is the underlying theme of most EVERY program on secular television today. Without being so bold to openly mock the Christian faith head-on with such characters and storylines as "The Book of Daniel," they send the message 24/7 that sex of any kind with anyone is beautiful, that drugs and alcohol are fun and enjoyable, that homosexuality is an acceptable and even commendable choice, that marriage is just a legal document, that truth is whatever you want it to be since there really is no right or wrong, and that those who make the choice to follow Christ and God's Word are unintelligent, intolerant hate mongers who are to be feared and loathed. These my friend, are the messages that secular television sends to the masses literally 24/7/365!
Some Christians were outraged by this new program. While they should have been, they should also be outraged by most EVERYTHING that is on TV today. I understood the passion of some to email the network and advertisers to try and stop this program from airing, but the reality is there are hundreds of programs just as bad on the air right now and there will be even worse ones in the future. You see, we can't silence those who reject Biblical Truth and hate the Lord. The way we attack them is by competing with them in the marketplace for the hearts and souls of men. As I have told you for nearly 7 years now, that is really what this is all about. This is nothing less than an all-out battle for the souls of men! We get so distracted by everything else that we have forgotten our number one job God has called us to, and that is to bring the lost to faith in Jesus Christ.
The world lies and tells people that it has what they are looking for and the answers to their problems. What they offer is the temporal pleasures of the flesh and this world. People eventually figure out there has to be more. The "more" they are looking for is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. We who know Christ have got to be as bold as those who hate Christ in taking our message to the masses the same way they take their message to the masses. Rather than wasting our time trying to silence those who hate the Lord, we should be busy competing with them in getting the Truth out to the very same masses they reach each day, since we know in the end the Truth will remain standing.
The good news, "The Book of Daniel" only lasted a few episodes. It was such a poorly written and acted program, it only lasted that long due to the incredible publicity it received by those who opposed it. Viewers is the ultimate measuring stick in secular television, and fortunately very few tuned in and it was quickly cancelled. The purpose of dealing with this today is to help you understand that there are people out there committed in their rejection of God, His Truth, and Jesus Christ. They are committed enough to spend millions and millions of dollars and use the secular media to share their rejection with the masses, helping others who have rejected Christ find strength in their decision as well as planting seeds of doubt in those who may be open to the Lord and His love.
You have a Swedish jean company today that is selling their brand of jeans to young adults, marketing their jeans as a way for those who wear them to make a statement against Christianity. You have a recent movie called "The God Who Wasn't There" that sets out to prove Jesus never existed and the Christian faith is nothing but a fantasy. Every day those who deny God, His Truth, and Jesus are pumping their message to the masses, helping to lead millions of souls into eternal damnation for their rejection of Christ. Now hopefully you can understand why I am so passionate about Liveprayer and what we are doing each day to reach those very same masses with the Truth on secular television. Hoping to take them off a conveyor belt heading straight for hell and reroute them to everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ! THIS IS A WAR FOR SOULS!
I love you and care about you so much. It is important to know that there are people in this world so committed to their rejection of the Christian faith, that they are out there marketing that rejection to the masses each day. These are people who live their lives in complete rebellion to God and His Word and are spending millions and millions of dollars to create vehicles to promote their hatred and rejection of Christ to this world. The sad fact is, they are very effective! Others who reject the Lord are always looking for anything to justify their rejection of Him. TV programs like "The Book of Daniel," fictional books like "The DaVicni Code," movies like "The God Who Wasn't There," all encourage and embolden non-believers in their rejection of the Truth.
Please understand that in these last days, there will always be programs on TV, movies, music, books, websites, created by those who live their lives in rebellion to God and His Truth, who have rejected the love of Jesus, and will use these vehicles to tell the masses that God doesn't exist, the Bible is a book of myths written by men, and Jesus was a joke. They are serious enough in their hatred for the Lord that they seek to use their gifts, talents, and money to encourage others who have chosen to hate the Lord. They tell their lies to the masses loud enough and long enough that people begin to accept their lies as the truth.
That is why now more than ever those us who possess the Truth of God's Word must become equally, if not even bolder, in sharing that Truth with this lost and hurting world we live in. That is why now more than ever, those of us who know God exists, that Jesus is the Son of the living God who died for our sins and rose on that third day to rules and reign for all eternity, need to get out into the marketplace and create programs for TV, movies, music, websites, that are not simply there to preach to the choir but specifically geared to reach the lost and hurting OUTSIDE the four walls of the church. It is time to come out of the "Christian trough" and be the "salt and light" God has called us to be in this world!!!
I will be praying for you today. Praying more than anything else that you will become emboldened by how bold those who hate Jesus are. If they can be as bold as they are with a lie, how much bolder should you be with the Truth? If they have no shame in telling people God doesn't exist, how proud should you be in telling people God is real? If they openly and defiantly live their lives in rebellion to the Truth of God's Word, how much more open and visible should you live your life in following the Truth of the Bible? If they can openly mock our Lord, why can't you just as openly stand up for Him?
Those who hate Jesus and deny the Christian faith are never going to be silenced and they are not going away. The question and challenge today is will those who love Jesus and have put their faith and trust in Him continue to be silent and hide in their "corner" leaving the lost and hurting masses to satan and his lies, or will we go boldly, visibly, without shame and compromise to reach the lost and hurting masses with His Truth and the hope and love that is only found in Jesus Christ???