TV’s ‘Glee’ takes on religion

Many Christian viewers of the popular television show “Glee” may have felt rather uncomfortable during the Oct. 5 episode.

The episode was centered around the varying religious beliefs of the show’s characters. Entitled “Grilled Cheesus,” it began with a main character making a grilled cheese sandwich bearing grill-marks with the likeness of Jesus’ face.
For the next hour, the show was riddled with irreverent comments and jokes about the “Grilled Cheesus” and how he answers the characters’ trivial and immoral prayers.

The show’s disrespect towards God is truly wrong. However, simply because there is a negative attitude toward Christianity portrayed in the show does not mean that Christians should avoid viewing it altogether, as the show gave valuable insight into the mindset of today’s non-believing society.

At one point, the sandwich-maker of the “Grilled Cheesus” said, “It was sort of cool feeling — like I had this direct line to God. Now I just feel like everybody else. You know, like we’re all just floating around in space. I don’t like that.”
To which another character replied, “You’re not alone. The big questions are really big for a reason. They’re hard. But you know what? Absolutely everybody struggles with them.”

Then the sandwich-maker breaks into a rendition of R.E.M.’s “Losing my Religion.” Maybe he would not be so if his questions had been answered with truth.

Despite this discourse coming from a television show script, it is still a reflection of the answers for which the world is searching today.

Instead of boycotting the show because of its content, perhaps Christians should give a thoughtful, discerning ear to what the world has to say. Only then can they provide the appropriate answers for today’s questions from culture.
This is especially true for today’s young Christians, including Liberty University’s student body. Liberty students have been blessed with an incredible wealth of biblical knowledge that is waiting to be shared with the secular world. However, this cannot be done by ignoring the secular world.

Today’s Christians must engage and listen.  In an increasingly technological world, listening is going to happen through electronic media more than any other source.

Granted, the immoral content in much of media today does not coincide with the lifestyle of a Christian.

Believers are called to live pure and holy lives, but this is not done by turning away from the very ones who need Jesus Christ’s message. Rather, believers are called to be “shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves,” as it says in Matthew 10:16, in handling these cultural issues, not ignorant of them.

Christians should be uncomfortable with irreverence towards God. But they should not turn a blind, haughty eye towards those who do engage in that behavior. The church cannot expect non-Christians to act like Christians.

To do so would be unreasonable, a view echoed by 2010 Liberty graduate Collins Pace.

“Christians are called to reach the world with the message and love of Christ, not to be the judgmental morality police,” Pace said.

Junior Dionne Manos also found value in watching the show.

“The show definitely started out rocky,” Manos said. “When I saw the ‘Grilled Cheesus’ I just thought, ‘oh please, no.’ But I think they brought out good points by the end.”

Phil Cooke, a recent convocation speaker at Liberty, made his position known on the subject of Christian criticism of Hollywood in his blog, The Change Revolution.

“I have yet to meet a single person who has accepted Christ as a result of a boycott,” Cooke said.

While there are many Christians who already do pay attention to what is happening in popular culture, believers need to step up in this crucial area of society and engage those who are skeptical, critical or uninterested about Jesus Christ, rather than ignoring them.

Shoffner is an opinion writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *