Notes from Pastor Rick Fri, 06 Apr 2018 18:17:02 +0000 en Superstar? Fri, 06 Apr 2018 18:17:02 +0000 Administrator Jesus Christ Superstar came out in 1973, the same year I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. There was a lot of buzz about that production, but as a new believer in Christ it just didn’t sound right to me. Jesus wasn’t a superstar. He was a savior. And he was the Lord of the universe. I didn’t think Superstar was a very respectful title, so I didn’t bother watching it.
With the recent release of the new production the questions resurfaced after seeing long-time, respected, Christian friends, some ministers and pastors, raving about what a great production it was. Then talking with a friend who recently appeared in a local production, he offered to loan me his DVD of the original production. So I watched it and sadly my expectations were fulfilled. I tried to watch with an objective View, but it’s hard to be objective when your best friend is being depicted inaccurately.
So here’s my take on Jesus Christ Superstar:
1. The opening narrative has Judas challenging, questioning, and accusing Jesus of being unbalanced, going too far and sabotaging the whole project. Now, Judas was a bad guy. He betrayed Jesus in the end. And additional comments indicate that he was dishonest and misunderstood Jesus’ priorities. But I see no biblical evidence of him challenging or undermining Jesus except for the instance where the perfume was poured over his head, which was a minor incident. (John 12:4)
2. The second thing that struck me was Mary Magdalene constantly rubbing and draping herself on Jesus. And Jesus didn’t seem to be bothered by it. Now we must remember that Mary Magdalene was a reformed prostitute. As such, she would have avoided any suggestive behavior, especially toward the man who had informed her. It must also be noted also, that in this ancient Jewish culture, men and women did not touch each other unless they were married. It would have been very improper and offensive for Mary to have her hands all over Jesus and for him not to put a stop to it.
3. Throughout this production Jesus was unsure, questioning himself, discouraged and frustrated. Nowhere in the biblical account do we see Jesus unsure of himself, questioning whether he is the Son of God, or questioning whether his ministry is effective. This travesty has Jesus crying out to God. “I gave it my best for 3 years”, as if he had failed. In another scene, Jesus said to his disciples, “None of you will remember me 10 minutes after I’m dead.” Again he says, “None of you really cares if I live or die.” In The Garden of Gethsemane Jesus is questioning why he has to die.
I find these things very disturbing, because Jesus never questioned who he was. He never questioned his ministry. Sure, he probably got frustrated with these thick headed disciples. But he never suggested that he would be forgotten or that he was a failure. Jesus knew who he was and why he came. He knew his mission was to die, to give his life as a ransom for the souls of mankind. (Matthew 17:22-23) There was no question in his heart or in his mind. What we see in the Gethsemane account is his flesh crying out for survival. Nobody looks forward to torture and humiliation on a cross. Even though Jesus knew it had to be, his flesh still dreaded it. After 45 years of living and preaching the Gospel, I believe I can say with some authority that Jesus was not questioning whether there was another way. Rather, he was confirming that there was no other way to save mankind, to wash away sin. Jesus knew the price of sin and he knew the price he had to pay. And he know he was the only one who could pay it. He had already prophesied it and the prophets had spoken of it centuries before. (Isaiah 53:3-6) So there was no question or hesitation in Jesus, whatsoever.
4. In his frequent discouragement (in the play), it appears that Mary Magdalene was always there to encourage him and push him on. Where did that come from? Certainly not from the Gospels. Certainly not from the historian, Josephus, or anyone else. It was a Hollywood fabrication to add a little sex appeal to the production. To suggest that Mary Magdalene and possibly others followed Jesus for romantic reasons destroys much credibility.
5. Going back to Judas, it seems to me that he was the star of the show, not Jesus. Okay I can buy that they were telling the story from judas’s viewpoint. But if one wants to honor the Gospel and honor the Lord Jesus, why does the bad disciple have the leading role instead of focusing on all the good that the others did. The other disciples were pretty much depicted as a bunch of wimps. These were the men who turned the world upside down after the crucifixion and resurrection. (Acts 17:6) they suffered persecution, torture, and death for what they believe about Jesus
6. In yet another of the closing scenes Jesus says to his disciples, ‘Can’t you see that it’s all over? Just go back to fishing.” Jesus never said anything like that or suggested anything like that. The disciples obviously thought it was over and were confused by that. But Jesus never suggested it was over. He knew he was coming back.
7. Throughout this whole production Jesus refuses to acknowledge who he really is. I can cite multiple times in the Gospels where Jesus confirmed who he was, or others confirmed it, and he didn’t deny it. (John 10:36; John 5:19; John 20:28-29; Matthew 16:13-17; Mark 5:7; Matthew 26:63-64; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:69-70; John 18:36)
8. In one of the final scenes one of the leaders suggested the Jesus that he was the Son of God and Jesus said, “Your words not mine.” That is certainly not in Scripture. Jesus said, “You have said so”, is not the same as saying, “Your words not mine”, which suggests a denial.
9. Finally the production ends with no Resurrection. Without a resurrection, what was the point? Jesus Christ Superstar appears to be the story of a delusional man who failed in his mission and ended up dying on a cross. That is not the story of Jesus Christ. If Hollywood wants to tell Fairy Tales, let them stick with Pinocchio and Moby-Dick and leave my Lord and Savior out of it.

What are you living for? Wed, 03 Jan 2018 04:37:58 +0000 Administrator Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
God created man, his final creation, and then rested - to enjoy His creation.
Our purpose, our reason for being, is to please Him.

Adjusting to the dark Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:20:19 +0000 Administrator Jesus said, “If the light that is in you is darkness, then the whole body is darkness.” When we stay in the darkness long enough your eyes begin to adjust and it can begin to look like light.
I spend a lot of time in the sanctuary at Crossroads in the dark praying because I don’t want to waste the electricity by turning on the lights. I’ve noticed that my eyes adjust to the darkness after a while and I can at least see enough not to bump into chairs.
the thing is the same thing can happen spiritually. and I believe this is what Jesus was preferring to. We tend to adapt to our surroundings. And in some ways that could be positive but in many ways it can be negative if our surroundings are evil. in our society today unnatural things have become natural. Abnormal things have become normal. Romans 12:2 tells us, “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may  prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Blessed is the nation… Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:03:04 +0000 Administrator Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,…
Modern philosophy teaches us that we don’t need God. Man can fix things himself. Man is perfectly capable of running this world without God. Well, look what we’ve done. We pushed God out, and now we’re faced with terrorism, famine, drug addiction, incurable diseases, violence in schools, epidemic suicides… Yeah. We’re doing a great job!

Does God need anything? Sat, 02 Dec 2017 23:32:12 +0000 Administrator If God needs anything, it would an object of His love. God created us for relationship with Him. He wanted someone to share His creation with.
Faith in God is a privilege. Yet, we are so distracted with other things that we deny God the very purpose of His creation.

What God wants Fri, 24 Nov 2017 21:41:33 +0000 Administrator In Hebrews chapter 11 we read about Enoch. The scripture tells us that God just took Enoch right out of this world. The reason given was that Enoch pleased God. We’re not given any information about Enoch doing any great things. He just please God and that was enough.
Apparently God is more concerned about relationship than he is about accomplishments.

Religion Wed, 15 Nov 2017 18:27:21 +0000 Administrator I realized in prayer, all religions point to self. The Eastern religions are self-consciousness seeking, seeking for that perfect self. Ither religions are based on law, which again focuses on self because, if I can be good enough I can go to heaven. True Christianity, on the other hand, points to God. Our only merit is in what Christ has done. It all centers around Him, not me.
Isaiah 64:6 … And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am …

All about God Mon, 13 Nov 2017 04:22:25 +0000 Administrator I was really struggling with my unworthiness and wondering how God could possibly use me. During my worship time God reminded me that it’s not about me. It’s about Him.
1 Corinthians 1:30 “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,”

Knowing Jesus Sat, 11 Nov 2017 15:28:13 +0000 Administrator One day it occurred to me - we have basically been rejected by the majority of the people we came here for (as missionaries). ‘Just like Jesus.’
As much as I want to have a successful and productive ministry, it is apparently more important that I identify with Jesus. Lord, please show me what this is about. I have always wanted to know you more. This is not what I expected.
I understand the heartache Jesus, and how you must feel after giving so much and yielding so little.

Luke 17:25 “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. (Like Noah)

1 Samuel 8:7 The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.

Spiritual warfare Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:05:06 +0000 Administrator The first demons that you’re going to have to face will be your own. That’s an angle I didn’t think about that the Lord recently showed me. Spiritual warfare starts with you and in you. You going to have to have a clean house, a clean temple, a vessel prepared for God to use. Satan will play on every weakness and flaw you have. That doesn’t mean that you have to attain perfection. It means that you need to be prepared to be attacked in these areas, because the devil’s name is accuser and adversary. Don’t give him much to work with. (Ephesians 4:27 NIV)