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RightNation.US: Losing Her Religion on Friday Night - RightNation.US

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It's no secret that one of my favorite shows on TV is Friday Night Lights. Sure it has its soap opery elements that I don't particularly care for, but it has enough football drama to make it a great show.

That being said, the soap opera aspect in this week's episode had the promise of being interesting. Julie, the coach's daughter, and the coach's wife were coming out of church as the daughter remarks on how hypocritical everyone is about a situation involving a player being sent to another school. She basically indicates that if she didn't have to go to church, she wouldn't.
http://z.about.com/d...d-aimeetees.jpg
Now, I've seen this scenario play out on TV and in real life and I've never heard a parent or minister make the obvious point to the would be apostate: READ YOUR BIBLE! As even Homer Simpson once observed, "EVERYONE'S A SINNER...except this guy." The mom in FNL did point out that you don't have to go to church to find hypocrites, but she ends the whole thing later in the episode by explaining that going to church for her was about family.

Yeesh.

Yes, going to church is in a small way about family. But the Chrisitan faith isn't a self-help program. It isn't family therapy. It's about salvation. That's how a parent, fictional or otherwise, has to put it if they want their children to understand why they get up and go on Sundays. If little Julie doesn't want to go to church, tough. When she's out on her own, let her do whatever. However, if the parent has no better reason to go than it's a family outing, then it's their own stupidity they should be concerned with and not the child's.

Here's a nice little explanation as to why someone is a Christian that I came across this week. I'm not going to attribute it just yet because I don't want to prejudice the audience. Check back for attribution later... (it's later)

Quote

Regarding evil, I simply mean behavior that is described as evil or wickedness in the Bible as well as the influences, autonomous or otherwise, that encourage that behavior. I see it in the world and I see it in myself. I have seen it in the transparent lies of an almost-innocent child, in the irrational fury of a hysterical woman, in the maddened glee of a violent man, and throughout the blood-soaked pages of history. I have seen it in the rich and the poor, in the brilliant and the dim, and in the beautiful and the ugly. Once, like many an arrogant non-believer before me, I thought I could construct my own valid moral code and live by it. And, like everyone but the nihilists, I failed. Not spectacularly, but worse, ludicrously and unneccessarily.

As for evil, you know what it is. It is everything from the first lie you tell your parents and that senseless momentary impulse to smash your fist into an unsuspecting person's face as they walk by to the Ten Persecutions of Imperial Rome and the Killing Fields. I have no doubt that you have heard the little whispers in the back of your mind from time to time just like everyone else. There are two parts to evil, the temptation and the submission. When the submission finally comes, when the resistance finally fails, it feels absolutely liberating at first and it is only after a period of repeated acts of submission that one gradually discovers apparent how enslaving evil truly is. Hence the apparent theological dichotomy of finding freedom through bending the knee before the Lord Jesus Christ.


The character, Julie, is supposed to be of above average intelligence. Her mom, the coach's wife, is also the high school principle. You know, in charge of the intellectual and academic development of the community's young people. Could writers of FNL not have two intelligent characters discuss faith in the above manner? Or is my suspicion correct that those in the entertainment establishment, like the rest of the media, are astoundingly ignorant about the subject of faith?

For a television show about Texas football, you would think the writers of FNL would do a little bit more research about the only thing more important in small town Texas than high school football: Jesus.

My Mind is Clean
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8 Comments On This Entry

I am also a fan of FNL. It seems it was a vehicle to show Julie's subtle rebellion against her family and their ways. In the same way, Lyla going all "Jesus freak" after the breakup with Jason and her own family splitting up, was a vehicle to show that her religion was a "crutch" to get her through the hard times she was dealing with. How long did her faith last? Until she hooked up with Riggins, then she didn't need it anymore. I think the writers view of our faith is very surface level, either it is just something you do, or a crutch to get through the rough patches in life. I really didn't expect a theological discussion between Julie and her mother, I don't think the writers could pull that off and do it well without losing viewers who simply want to engage in a football "soap opera" and not have to think real hard. I don't expect much more, it seems our faith or Christianity is simply a plot vehicle to move the show along, nothing more.
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SonofThunder, on May 23 2010, 11:58 AM, said:

I am also a fan of FNL. It seems it was a vehicle to show Julie's subtle rebellion against her family and their ways. In the same way, Lyla going all "Jesus freak" after the breakup with Jason and her own family splitting up, was a vehicle to show that her religion was a "crutch" to get her through the hard times she was dealing with. How long did her faith last? Until she hooked up with Riggins, then she didn't need it anymore. I think the writers view of our faith is very surface level, either it is just something you do, or a crutch to get through the rough patches in life. I really didn't expect a theological discussion between Julie and her mother, I don't think the writers could pull that off and do it well without losing viewers who simply want to engage in a football "soap opera" and not have to think real hard. I don't expect much more, it seems our faith or Christianity is simply a plot vehicle to move the show along, nothing more.

I think if they're going to bring up a subject like that, it's valid for us Christians to point out the absurdity of the typical way it's handled.
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If Texas small towns are anything like Alabama small towns, you missed the OTHER important activity: Gossip.
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Mr. Naron, on May 23 2010, 12:11 PM, said:

SonofThunder, on May 23 2010, 11:58 AM, said:

I am also a fan of FNL. It seems it was a vehicle to show Julie's subtle rebellion against her family and their ways. In the same way, Lyla going all "Jesus freak" after the breakup with Jason and her own family splitting up, was a vehicle to show that her religion was a "crutch" to get her through the hard times she was dealing with. How long did her faith last? Until she hooked up with Riggins, then she didn't need it anymore. I think the writers view of our faith is very surface level, either it is just something you do, or a crutch to get through the rough patches in life. I really didn't expect a theological discussion between Julie and her mother, I don't think the writers could pull that off and do it well without losing viewers who simply want to engage in a football "soap opera" and not have to think real hard. I don't expect much more, it seems our faith or Christianity is simply a plot vehicle to move the show along, nothing more.

I think if they're going to bring up a subject like that, it's valid for us Christians to point out the absurdity of the typical way it's handled.


I understand what you are saying, Mr. Naron, but I don't think the writers are real deep theologically either, so that was reflected in the script. Basically they didn't know any better. And lets face it, a large percentage of Christians in America are not really deep in theology either. Think about it, how many characters, outside perhaps Julie's mom, is portrayed as a normal Christian? One who lives there faith out, day in and day out? I can't think of one. I tend to think that if you ask the typical believer in America why they go to church, you would probably get an answer pretty close to what Julie's mom said, as opposed to an answered based on Scripture.
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SonofThunder, on May 23 2010, 03:31 PM, said:

Mr. Naron, on May 23 2010, 12:11 PM, said:

SonofThunder, on May 23 2010, 11:58 AM, said:

I am also a fan of FNL. It seems it was a vehicle to show Julie's subtle rebellion against her family and their ways. In the same way, Lyla going all "Jesus freak" after the breakup with Jason and her own family splitting up, was a vehicle to show that her religion was a "crutch" to get her through the hard times she was dealing with. How long did her faith last? Until she hooked up with Riggins, then she didn't need it anymore. I think the writers view of our faith is very surface level, either it is just something you do, or a crutch to get through the rough patches in life. I really didn't expect a theological discussion between Julie and her mother, I don't think the writers could pull that off and do it well without losing viewers who simply want to engage in a football "soap opera" and not have to think real hard. I don't expect much more, it seems our faith or Christianity is simply a plot vehicle to move the show along, nothing more.

I think if they're going to bring up a subject like that, it's valid for us Christians to point out the absurdity of the typical way it's handled.


I understand what you are saying, Mr. Naron, but I don't think the writers are real deep theologically either, so that was reflected in the script. Basically they didn't know any better. And lets face it, a large percentage of Christians in America are not really deep in theology either. Think about it, how many characters, outside perhaps Julie's mom, is portrayed as a normal Christian? One who lives there faith out, day in and day out? I can't think of one. I tend to think that if you ask the typical believer in America why they go to church, you would probably get an answer pretty close to what Julie's mom said, as opposed to an answered based on Scripture.

That's kind of my point. They get the football stuff pretty accurate, but the even more important stuff not so much. As for that last part, I don't agree. Maybe the typical church goer, yes. But not the typical believer. At least not in a Bible believing church.
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cobalt-blue, on May 23 2010, 02:47 PM, said:

If Texas small towns are anything like Alabama small towns, you missed the OTHER important activity: Gossip.

That's not what I heard. :scratch:
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Zion's Paladin, on May 23 2010, 05:03 PM, said:

No need to check for attribution, because I already know who you're quoting. Still, I shall wait and let you reveal all...

:D

Oh yeah? Let's have it then. :scratch:
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Mr. Naron, on May 23 2010, 02:56 PM, said:

SonofThunder, on May 23 2010, 03:31 PM, said:

Mr. Naron, on May 23 2010, 12:11 PM, said:

SonofThunder, on May 23 2010, 11:58 AM, said:

I am also a fan of FNL. It seems it was a vehicle to show Julie's subtle rebellion against her family and their ways. In the same way, Lyla going all "Jesus freak" after the breakup with Jason and her own family splitting up, was a vehicle to show that her religion was a "crutch" to get her through the hard times she was dealing with. How long did her faith last? Until she hooked up with Riggins, then she didn't need it anymore. I think the writers view of our faith is very surface level, either it is just something you do, or a crutch to get through the rough patches in life. I really didn't expect a theological discussion between Julie and her mother, I don't think the writers could pull that off and do it well without losing viewers who simply want to engage in a football "soap opera" and not have to think real hard. I don't expect much more, it seems our faith or Christianity is simply a plot vehicle to move the show along, nothing more.

I think if they're going to bring up a subject like that, it's valid for us Christians to point out the absurdity of the typical way it's handled.


I understand what you are saying, Mr. Naron, but I don't think the writers are real deep theologically either, so that was reflected in the script. Basically they didn't know any better. And lets face it, a large percentage of Christians in America are not really deep in theology either. Think about it, how many characters, outside perhaps Julie's mom, is portrayed as a normal Christian? One who lives there faith out, day in and day out? I can't think of one. I tend to think that if you ask the typical believer in America why they go to church, you would probably get an answer pretty close to what Julie's mom said, as opposed to an answered based on Scripture.

That's kind of my point. They get the football stuff pretty accurate, but the even more important stuff not so much. As for that last part, I don't agree. Maybe the typical church goer, yes. But not the typical believer. At least not in a Bible believing church.


If that is the case with the believers in your assembly, I am glad for you. But, unfortunately, the 21st century believer, on average, is less astute in theology that in previous generations. This is not an indictment against all believers, I know many who are very theologically deep and well taught in the Scriptures, but more are not. Case in point, some time ago, I heard a piece on "The Whitehorse Inn" webcast. They did a survey at a conference of religious broadcasters. These are suppose to be believers who are well educated and will be influencing believers throughout the country. The questions they asked were simply, What is justification and how are we justified before God? All but one muffed it, some badly. That is concerning. The problem is that most Christians are not well taught in basic systematic theology or basic doctrine and the sermons they are hear are generally topical instead of verse by verse exigetical studies through the books of the bible. I wish it wasn't true, but that is my experience in talking and debating with other believers, both in person and on-line.
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