Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Christmas Day TV Program Review

You could be forgiven in thinking that because it is a new year that I have changed direction, or even flipped by introducing this months subject from the standpoint of a TV Reviewer, but here we go!

From Christmas day on, the BBC have excelled in broadcasting three programmes (one in two parts) that have a Biblical content and presented by three well-qualified presenters. The first one was the Queen giving her Christmas message on Christmas afternoon. The second was Joanna Lumley in her ‘Search for the Ark’, and thirdly David Suchet, and his two excellent programmes ‘In the Footsteps of St. Paul.

In 1992 the Queen declared in her Christmas message that her year had been Annus Horribilis. Three of her four children had failed marriages and Windsor Castle had a fire and was seriously damaged. Hearing her 2012 message one could say that the year was Annus Mirabilis, which means, ‘Wonderful Year’. She commented upon the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Thames boat pageant, which was resplendent. Then she reflected upon the London Olympic Games and a Nation in unity of sporting achievements. Then she focussed upon the true purpose and celebration of Christmas. Of the coming into the world of the Son of God, she said, “God sent His only Son to serve and not be served” using His example to encourage us to serve one another. From Christina Rossetti’s Carol ‘In the Bleak Mid-winter’ she quoted the last verse, ‘What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart’. By that quotation she was exhorting the nation to give their hearts to Christ. When she had finished one of my family asked, “Do you think that the Queen is a born again believer?”

Joanna Lumley visited many places in her Search of the Ark programme and she consulted many academics and theologians about the man Noah, his Ark and the Flood. She went to Turkey taking the lead from Genesis 8:4  “And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.”
In consulting the varied views of Judaism, the Quran, Hinduism and the British Museum’s Cuneiform Tablets, the waters became somewhat muddied. She asked, “Where did it all happen? If it did happen?” Pushing her into an agnostic view of things.  

David Suchet began his two programmes stating that the subject of the Footsteps of St. Paul had interested him for twenty-five years, ever since he had first read the Epistle to the Romans in a hotel room. Was it a Bible that had been placed in the bedroom by the Gideon Society? Reading a copy of the scriptures placed in a prison, hotel, school, etc has led to many a person’s salvation. David Suchet said that when learning to act the part of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, he had to learn the walk. Travelling the Roman roads in Philippi Greece and Rome he learned to walk how Paul walked. He estimated that Paul had walked 10,000 miles in his ministry of preaching the gospel. When he was at Ephesus he saw what Paul had to contend with in relation to that city being the centre of idolatry, the worship of Artemas a multi-breasted image. An uproar was caused when the crowd responded to Demetrius the silversmith’s oration against Paul and the gospel, with their repeated shouting of  “Great is Diana of the Ephesians”. Then when he was at Philippi he saw where Paul preached by the riverside, and at Athens where Paul preached at Mars Hill, at Corinth and Cenchrae too. Each place a historic testimony to the fact that Paul preached that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians, ch.15 the importance of the resurrection of Christ and the fundamental truth, which is the bedrock of the Christian faith. David Suchet read this passage with conviction; he was not acting a part.

A few days before Jesus went to the cross He gathered His disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The Lord Jesus Christ began by explaining the difference of believing and believing, He said firstly, “Ye believe in God”, which was the essence of Judaism, they believed in Jehovah of the Old Testament.

Each one of the three dignitaries involved in the TV programmes above would unquestionably say that they believe in God. The God who created all things. Then Jesus said, “Believe also in me”. This is believing and believing for it is not sufficient to believe only in God, James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble” and the devils do not possess salvation. Believing in Christ is the difference between Judaism and Christianity, Jews believe in God but do not believe that Jesus is God the Son, Christians believe both, they believe that Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament. Paul said to Timothy, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” That is believing and believing!

God bless and a Happy New Year to you all.

Written by Stan Burdit for FTMP.blogspot.com


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