Saturday, January 14, 2006

Conflict with "The Book of Daniel" (Jan '06)

If you have not read about the conflict with the new NBC show "The Book of Daniel"... you should take a few minutes to sit back and look into it. Take just a few minutes to look at the true conflict here...

The main character is a pill-popping Episcopal priest with a gay son and a daughter selling drugs, a wife who drives away daily problems with regular martinis, and a recently widowed sister-in-law who has also just "come out of the closet". The priest has a regular visitor - Jesus. Like a cartoon character Jesus pops into the scene to confront the priest and apparently the priest is the only who seems Him. They appear to have regular chats - even cynically laughing at the way things are and making light of the ironies in the priest's life.

What's the conflict? Due to thousands of complaints about the show many affiliate stations across America have cancelled the airing of this show and replaced it with re-runs of something else. According to Yahoo! news the complaints are being submitted to NBC via phone, email, fax and some of them on church letterhead.

But my initial question is "How much more real can you get?!" When I was growing up my dad was a pastor. And while we didn't deal with THESE types of issues in our home, some of these issues were present in our home churches. I know that the reality of our home was a lot like this priest's home in the sense that we all had our own short-comings, our own set of temptations, our own "drama" - after all, NO ONE is perfect nor completely righteous.

And as the TV priest, played by Aidan Quinn, deals with problems in his family, his church and his own person he shows that the Grace of God gets Him through every day. Doesn't man - even those called to be priests and pastors and biblical teachers - all have issues of our own?! And isn't that why we believe in the Grace of God to start with?! The fact that Christ still loves us ... and that after "falling short" of others' expectations of what a Christian should be we can turn around and chat with Jesus. And while Jesus might have done it differently - Jesus is not condoning the behavior. He's showing the priest (and the tv viewers) that grace is there to comfort everyone and to show that He's not abandoning us because of our personal issues or how we react to them.

While my caution to this show would be - let's make sure they continue to do their best to be Christ-like (humble, gracious, holy even in persecution, acknowledging sin and where it stems from and how to be free of it, etc)... and in the meantime let's sit back and see just where we fall on the "holy scale"... this priest's life may not be far from our own.

In my humble opinion - this TV show may end up to be the best witness of Christ's love - ON TV!!! Do you think NBC knows what they are doing with the airing of this show?! I say "AIR IT!" If nothing else, it's getting people to question the authenticity of their own beliefs - and the depth of love Jesus has for all of us!

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