We westerners find it unthinkable when Muslims use a questionable depiction of Muhammad as a reason to act out in violence. And we are right to be taken back by such things. However, sometimes we should be a little more offended when our Lord is depicted in a blasphemous ways within our culture. No, we should not take up arms and cause violence. That would be unthinkable. But we should make it clear that we hold our Lord precious are offended when he is depicted in ways that are quite blasphemous. Take this skit from SNL last week.
Jesus depicted as a violent avenger of his crucifixion should be particularly offensive to us. When the skit says, "He is preaching anything but forgiveness," we should be offended since we know that forgiveness is the center of Jesus’ kingdom message. Should we simply laugh at the skit? I think not. This is our Lord’s name taken in vain in a rather extreme way. We should instead in whatever nonviolent ways we have, make clear that mocking the One who saved us is not acceptable.
And not only should it bother us because our Lord is portrayed in such a light, but we also must not miss the real reason this skit was ever penned or performed. This skit is meant to be a not so subtle shot (excuse the pun) at the Church in our day. It seeks through humor to suggest that while Jesus was all about forgiveness (you know, the ultimate never judging happy guy), his Church in this day is intolerant, racist, and violent. We should not let these lies go unchallenged. Such stereotypes once thoroughly entrenched in our culture will be used to persecute Christians. Those of us that hold to biblical teachings will be assumed to be all of these things and therefore deemed worthy of oppression if we do not challenge them constantly.