It is not enough for the world to deny that Jesus is the Son of God. They have to lower Him and make Him a dirty sinner in their own image to entirely discredit His Gospel. This new Netflix special is clearly a play off the 1988 drama film The Last Temptation of Christ by the celebrated director Martin Scorsese. In that older film, shot in a serious manner, Jesus is unsure of who He is and portrayed as a self-doubting weakling.
Unlike Scorsese’s older film, the new Netflix 46 minute special is not meat to be serious at all. It’s tagline is: “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family. A Christmas special so wrong, it must be from the comedians Porta dos Fundos.” This popular comedy Youtube channel depicts situations in “a satirically exaggerated manner. The parodies have been made on numerous themes, including religion, drug use, relationships, sexuality, political corruption and everyday frustrations” (Wikipedia). It is obvious and very course in what it does. This absurdist, satirical attitude towards life, if not the blatantly blasphemous content, is all too common around us, even among Christians. “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph. 5:4). Do we use God’s name in the best way, as He would have us?
We cannot avoid sinners and blasphemers in the world, nor did Jesus. Political activism is not a Christian way to fix the world or eradicate evil on earth, nor should that be our objective. We should not expect any media or entertainment to preach the truth of God’s Word—that is not its purpose or function. While people are free to protest and boycott, it is much more significant that blasphemous errors and attitudes be directly condemned by God’s law and that these sins are forgiven by Christ, through His Word. Media of any kind, even the best of it done by sincere Christians, will never replace preaching by a called pastor in the congregational setting.
How many protest when adultery is glorified as the pinnacle of human existence or sign a petition every time Christ’s name is used in vain blasphemy in a movie? You would have to spend your whole life in outrage and vengeance. The God-man Christ who died and rose lives to release those in bondage to sin, even the most hardened blasphemers. This is the heart of the Christmas message—which actually forgives these sins—and the purpose for which Jesus was born and allowed Himself to be the scorn of scoffers. –ed.