Meanderings of a Minister


Open Season
August 5, 2010, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Articles

Open Season

If you are a hunter, or you know a hunter, you probably have heard the term “Open Season”.  This is what hunters wait for and look forward to because it is the time when permission is given to hunt and kill whatever the season is open for.  It can be an exciting time and it can be an exhausting time, but it is great because the gloves are off, the safeties are off and it is time to kill something for dinner.

Why would I begin an article talking about killing things in “Open Season”?  Good question.  I guess it is because I had a person bring me a copy of a book from our local library recently.  The book was a new book and was being promoted and highlighted by our library.  The title of the book caught my attention right away.  The book is written by Philip Pullman and is titled, “The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ”.  Instantly excited (and not necessarily in a good way), I looked at the cover and found this to be promoted as a fiction book, which it is.  On the back cover, it is purported to have enough truth to be plausible.  When my blood pressure moved more towards the normal range, I perused the stories and pages found within and was deeply offended and even a little angered, although mostly saddened by the open and vicious attacks on the Savior that died for my sins. 

The premise of the book is that Mary and Joseph had twin sons.  One was Jesus (the good son) and the other was Christ (the evil son).  Everything that Jesus did was good.  Anything that was said that was offensive was Christ.  If feelings were hurt, it was Christ.  If people came away feeling better about themselves and their situation, it was Jesus.  In addition, Christ uses a copious amount of profanity and Jesus comes across as a Caesar Milk-Toast, weak-willed permissive person.

I guess what bothers me the most after looking at this book was how much we have created an environment of “Open Season” on Christians and their beliefs while making it sacrosanct to protect others.  For instance, if we were to have a book purporting Mohammed to be a child-molester because he married a nine year old girl, there would be outrage.  If we were to denigrate Buddha, Confucius or even Joseph Smith or Charles Russell, people would be up in arms.  We would be called bigoted, prejudice, insensitive and not politically correct, but when people attack us, we are supposed to remain silent.  There seems to be a double standard here. 

The longer I thought about it, I realized that people will always have a problem with Christianity because they will always have a problem with Christ.  That is why the Jews crucified Him, the Romans persecuted His followers and governments have been trying to do away with the movement known as “The Way” since its inception.  What bothers me is that we have enjoyed a time of freedom from these attacks in the history of our nation and, now, we have to face it.

So what do we do?  Do we run down to the public library and throw a fit?  Do we boycott the library and refuse our patronage?  Do we go on a smear campaign against them until they bow to our will?  Actually, as much as we might like to try some of these things, I think the better option is to pray for those who are responsible for its purchasing and presentation of books.  We should love them and attempt to explain the situation.  We should respectfully express our displeasure and make suggestions of other books that would present the truth.  We should also utilize the other freedoms we are afforded in our country to affect policies of the library, but we should do so with a sweet spirit and not with a vengeful spirit.  We should ensure we are bolstering the usage statistics on wholesome books so that those in authority understand the desire of their customers.

Lastly, we should make sure that we are spreading the truth of Who Jesus is and what He wants for our world so that, when people pick up a book like, “The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ”, they recognize it for the overt and vehement attack on the truth of Scripture that it is and the book will not find an audience.

One last note:  I did not check the book out of the library.  A person brought it to me.  I will not be a statistic for its usage.

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