Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Jesus Loves Righteous People

Thanks to Dave Wainscott at holy heteroclite for these links to Elevation Church in Idaho. The website is set up like a ski resort.

These are great clips - they'll make you laugh or cry or get mad. They are part of series entitled Misconceptions of Jesus:
click to watch: Jesus Loves Righteous People
as well, check out:Jesus Sells Insurance.
There are others at Elevation Church click near the middle of the page: "Services/Resources."


The Righteousness of God said...

What a scream! I love it. Down with 'club' and up with 'j's homeboys'!!!

Kevin Flatt said...

While there is obviously supposed to be a serious point to the videos, surely there was a way to make that point without what can only be described as jokes at Jesus' expense. I'm fine with satirizing old films for laughs; satirizing Jesus for laughs, not so much. I would not feel right making that kind of video about my academic supervisor, much less my Lord and Saviour.

The Righteousness of God said...

If you knew Jesus like I know Jesus...this is right on. Jesus was not I'm sure your prim and proper Sunday School teacher!

Kevin Flatt said...

If I knew Jesus like you know Jesus? Isn't that rather presumptuous, RoG? As far as I know, we don't know each other, so perhaps you can explain how you're judging my relationship with Him.

My point is not that Jesus was "prim and proper" (as you stereotype Sunday School teachers). Rather, I don't like the fact that the videos go for laughs by using the shock value of giving Jesus silly features like a speech impediment and a propensity to use exaggerated MTV lingo. It smacks of a lack of the basic respect that I would give any other person, and certainly the Son of God.

pastor mike said...

A couple of observations:
1/ these videos were created in the context of a teaching series on Misconceptions of Jesus;
2/ it is also in the context of a very video conscious generation;
3/ it is also in the context of a generation that has far more misconceptions that accurate perceptions of who Jesus is;
4/ humour, can be a powerful tool - while recognizing that not everyone will appreciate it.

The scary thing, is the videos are not that far off what I have actually heard people (even some who say they are following Jesus) say about Jesus.

as we follow Jesus not misconception of Jesus

Elevation Church said...

Much discussion has flowed from these videos. Were we making fun of Jesus or getting a point across? One of the above comments can be turned into a video if you ask me...what is with the idea that Jesus CAN'T have a speech problem or use MTV lingo? Anyways, I was only leaving a comment to say that Elevation Church is NOT in Idaho as the original post says...we are located 20 miles north of Salt Lake City, Utah in Layton, Utah. Come VISIT!

the hilarity of god said...

For all the emphasis on getting rid of an "us and them" paradigm, churches of this type invariably create a new "us and them" that usually involves an exaggerated caricature of a rural fundamentalist mindset that very few people actually believe.

If we shouldn't be creating us-and-them paradigms with, say, theological liberals (I know, I know... we're in a "post-liberal/post-conservative" world), why is it OK to create one with people who believe that Jesus only loves righteous people?

My point is that even if others' ideas about Christ are wrong, it is disingenuous to only mock some people (i.e. the misguided fundamentalists) and leave other misconceptions, that would actually hit closer to home, alone.

Where's are the "Misconception: Jesus was a Hip, Sensitive Seeker Wearing Designer Clothes and Drinking Starbucks Lattes while People Starve to Death for Lack of Food" videos? Oh OK, it's easier to attack a very small segment of a demographic who is most likely fairly old already (read: won't be around much longer) than confront aspects of the prevailing youth-culture worship that might be harming the church.

The kicker is that this church, I imagine, is likely predominately made up of young people - people unlikely to believe these ideas that they mock. So what we end up with is a group of people, who probably have real misconceptions about Christ -- just not those addressed in the videos -- sharing a laugh about those crazy, "barely-Christians" who believe these crazy things, while their REAL misconceptions about Christ (i.e. that He isn't pissed off by all the energy they put into "emerging" and the lack of energy they put into, say, actually helping the "least of these" [sheep and goats] or spreading the Gospel) go unconfronted.

And besides, isn't the idea of "correcting" people's misunderstanding of Christ a tad bit "modern"? Oh, I see, these videos aren't "correcting", they are just inspiring "dialogue" and "conversation". Right. My mistake.

pastor mike said...

thanks for the correction, elevation church

The Righteousness of God said...

Kevin: You sound a tad wounded bros. by my comment - was not meaning to be offensive. Your still a bros in Christ and just think we have all of eternity to share it with the 'Real' Jesus! See ya at the finish line!!!

Signed one of those righteous people! RoG ~8)

The Righteousness of God said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kevin Flatt said...

RoG, thanks for your graceful clarification. I agree this sort of disagreement will pale in the light of an eternity as brothers in Christ. Keeping that in mind...

Mike, I think your observations are helpful, but please note I'm not criticizing the videos for being videos, tackling misconceptions, or being funny. My concern was with the aspects of the videos that treat Jesus flippantly or disrespectfully for no apparent reason. Maybe there is a serious reason for that (if elevation church comes by again maybe he can shed some light) but I doubt the cost justifies the benefit in this case. It seems to me that the same points could have been made without the speech gags, etc.

In response to elevation church's comment, it seems to me that the lispy voice and the goofy language are there for cheap laughs rather than a weightier reason. If not, go ahead and enlighten me -- although if you make a video featuring me as a target, I expect some royalties! ;)

Hilarity of God has made some other good criticisms above -- particularly that the elevation videos aim at the misconceptions they think other people (self-righteous Republicans who think Jesus sells insurance?) have about Jesus rather than the ones they might have themselves. But the bottom line for me is that the serious point behind the humour in the videos was overshadowed in my case as a viewer by the flippant treatment of Jesus.

Scott said...

Like Kevin and the Hilarity of God said....

Elevation Church said...

Great discussion. As I can spend so much time talking this through and typing tonight, I would rather point you to our podcasts. These videos were done within a SERIES that tackled the major misconceptions of Jesus that we felt unchurched people see when looking at Christians. 80% of the congregation of Elevation Church is made up of people have just given their life to God in the last 4-6 months or are still investigating if Jesus is the WAY.

Our podcast shows what we talked about in context with the videos. The videos were not used as entertainment, but as illustrations that made the whole point of the message stick.

Jesus is the only WAY to the Father. There is no other WAY to be saved but through Him. It is in our relationship with HIM that counts, not BEING part of a congregation, being conservative republican, or seeing miracles in our lives. Many people saw miracles during the ministry of Jesus, yet turned around and yelled "kill him" when Pilot asked the crowd what was to be done with Jesus. Jesus is NOT our back-pocket fix-all earthly problems key...He is our redeemer, savior, guide, leader, LORD, and Bridegroom.

And...just so you know, we spend more money on feeding the poor, clothing the naked, and taking care of the those that can't take care of themselves than we do on Videos or Media department....don't be too quick to judge.

Love you guys...hope you will come visit if you are ever in Layton, Utah and hope you will check out our podcast to hear for yourself that we were using the LANGUAGE that an emerging culture understands.

The Righteousness of God said...

Sounds like a form of 'Electronic Flannelgraph'

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