Monday, May 2, 2011

Why I didn't go see the musical

This past weekend the theater department at our high school presented their spin on the musical "Godspell". Mr. Well Rounded had auditioned for the musical and had made the cast. Upon further thinking, based on the way the director was presenting the musical, he decided to drop out of the cast. This was not an easy decision for him. This would have been his last performance on the high school stage. He did not agree, however, with presenting the gospel as a circus which is how the director had chosen to do the play. There was also the issue of some of the cast members who are so liberal in their thinking yet call themselves Christians...Mr. Well Rounded had run-ins with a few of them in the month prior to the musical auditions. All those factors combined influenced his decision to drop out. He decided to run track for his final spring season of high school.

As opening week approached, the local newspaper ran a feature on the musical as they always do. I happened to pick up a paper that week to see if there were any news articles about track that I would want for Mr. Well Rounded's graduation party. I began reading the write up on the musical. It described the plot and the circus theme and then said what would ultimately keep me from supporting this production. I do not have the exact quote since I have since recycled the paper but in essence it said that the musical portrays Jesus as the loving and tolerant person that he was. Excuse me, but Jesus was NOT tolerant.

That word "tolerant" has been thrown around in the last few years mainly to bash Christians who, most others see as non-tolerant. They are right. Christians are called to be like Jesus and Jesus wasn't tolerant. He called out the Pharisees every chance He got; he rebuked sinners by telling them to go and sin no more; he overthrew the moneychangers in the temple. Jesus loved sinners. We know this because He healed them and forgave their sins and spoke and hung out with them, but He was NOT tolerant of their sin. He called out the woman at the well for who she really was. He was saddened when the rich man refused to sell all he had to follow Jesus, yet Jesus did not make an exception for him. It had to be 100% Jesus or nothing at all...He did not tolerate wishy-washyness (to borrow from good ol Charlie Brown). No, Christians are not nor should they be tolerant. Loving, yes. Tolerant--absolutely not.

I, for one, am very glad that Godspell is done. I asked Mr. Well Rounded yesterday as we were eating if he thought he had made a mistake. After all, facebook was a buzz with glowing reports of how wonderful and God-honoring the musical was. He did not hesitate when he answered, "Absolutely not...not for a second have I ever second guessed my decision. I am enjoying track and the people in track are often nicer and easier to get along with then the theater people. The people praising that show are not looking at it through the right lens. I am very happy with my decision." I guess that says it all.

So, the last musical for my son is over and it was strange to not go and see it. I am glad it is done and I am glad I didn't spend the money to go watch a production where the disciples were dressed as clowns and Jesus was tolerant of whatever came His way. I personally do not believe Jesus was pleased with this production. Of course, we are dealing with a public school so I shouldn't be surprised.