Friday, December 08, 2006

Getting It All Wrong

I was rather irritated with last night's episode of ER.

Actually, this entire season hasn't been all that great, but I've been watching the show since it's inception, so it is hard to give up, you know? Anyhow, if you don't watch, they introduced this character this season who is supposed to be a Bible-believing Christian. And, of course, they decided to cast this character as a stereotypical dumb-blonde. I've tried to tolerate that, because it is, after all, ER.

But last night made me mad. Because we got to "sit in" on a Bible study.

Apparently, the writer's of ER have never actually been to a Bible study. Because generally speaking, a Bible is involved. Here, it was more like a group therapy session. And while there isn't anything wrong with that...there is when the supposed leader of the Bible study is offering advice that is counter what the Bible says.

And then further, it is most frustrating when the one character who is sitting in who doesn't believe any of it sort of lies, making up a bunch of stuff about "purity of spirit", and suddenly everyone in the Bible study is swayed to his way of thinking, accepting the fact that everything they have been studying (presumably, even though they didn't really show it) is "antiquated".

I felt a bit ill at that moment. I mean, it was a blow to Christians who truly believe, who turn to the Bible, and yet have this show that just tried to imply that everything they believe is antiquated and irrelevant, etc.

One major flaw I saw was when the leader went around the room to talk about how you should deal with various sins. So, for the sin of pride, offer up humility, etc. Good. Fine. Then comes the issue of "lust". This is where, of course, the non-believing character says to offer up "purity."

Okay. Except the leader said, "Well, I was looking for chastity..."

Right there. That's where things went bad. Because, guess what? Chastity isn't the Bible's answer to lust. Chastity and "sexual purity" are not the same thing. (Oh, and when the guy said "purity", he wasn't talking "sexual purity", but this ambiguous "purity of spirit", which was meaningless, but apparently everything in the room loved because it meant they could go and have as much sex as they wanted or something.)

Anyhow, believe it or not, the Bible encourages sex. It celebrates it (Song of Solomon) in fact, and Paul actually instructs the church that they should get married and have sex! Why? Because of lust!

Sex is the answer to lust, not chastity. Of course, the Bible expects sexual purity, meaning that sex is kept within the marriage. But within that marriage, you're supposed to be having a grand old time in bed!

You know, I don't really have a problem if people don't want to believe that. What I have a problem with is ER making fun of the Christian belief, and even goes so far to get that belief wrong. Yeah. It's easy to poke holes at a belief that isn't actually accurate.

In the end, the Bible-believing Christian doctor decides that it is okay to have sex any old time as long as there is "purity of spirit", and the non-believing doctor decides, for the first time in his life, not to have sex. (Which is a portrayal I don't necessarily have an issue with, since that happens. Plenty of Christians fail to live up to sexual purity. It is one of the reasons, in fact, we believe...because we fail!)

Next time, get it right, ER. Why not actually show Christianity, for once, how it actually is rather than trying to insult us with misrepresentation? I don't know. Maybe it wasn't intentional. Regardless, count me as one who found the whole thing offensive.


MileMasterSarah said...

I would find that offensive as well. This was very well-written and explained.

Keith said...

I get nervous anytime I see Christians portrayed on TV. Very rarely do producers come anywhere close to getting it right.