Feedback on the above article:
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Brian Ross (20/12/2010 22:22)
Having listened to part of this interview on the radio, and having read an article in yesterday's Sunday Express, I have already given a brief response on my blog:
under the heading "Whatever happened to accuracy?"
Having been out this evening (just arrived back a short time ago!), I have missed the first episode. I am unsure as to whether, or not, I wish to see the other ones but ... ... !!!
Peter Carr (21/12/2010 08:23)
No need to miss it Brian, you can catch it on the BBC iplayer.
Penny Lee (21/12/2010 11:12)
I watched the programme last night. It seemed very slow to get started and I could see how some might have lost interest quickly. However, it was starting to liven up a bit at the end so I'll stick with it.
There are always going to be some who won't like it since it is not being read like a Bible passage but Mary and Joseph were real people who I'm sure were not too different to us so to hear normal dialogue was refreshing.
Brian Ross (21/12/2010 20:04)
Thanks, Peter! However, having sat through the second episode this evening, I am unsure as to whether or not I want to watch the rest (I probably will, just in case it comes up in conversation!).
As always, Andrea, you provide a gentleness that is beyond a man like me(!), and I take your point about "normal dialogue". Unfortunately, from what I watched this evening, we are not being provided with just "normal dialogue", but with a re-working of the original story-line! It would take too long for me to list the discrepancies that I noted - some, I admit, of less importance than others. Personally, I'll stick to the original - it was provided by Someone much more knowledgeable than a scriptwriter for Eastenders!
By the way, I am currently in dialogue on two separate online newspaper fora/discussion threads - one on the good old Darwinian evolution theory so espoused by the secular humanists, and the other on the pagan origins of the Christmas period (started because of the claim that the Lord Jesus taught us to hate homosexuals!). May I recommend such involvement to those, such as Andrea and Peter, who are regular contributors to these threads? My attitude is that, although I am unlikely ('though what is impossible for man, is possible with God) to change the mind of the original writer, or of those who write in support of the particular article, my words may be of help to anyone who is seeking a different perspective. It is also good to let readers know that there is an alternative viewpoint that may be defended from an academic/scientific/philosophical position! The link to at least one of the articles is on my blog (see above!).
Blessings to each and all at this CHRISTmas-time. May the peace that comes from the Prince of Peace be your experience throughout the coming year. Hallelujah!
RF (Guest) (23/12/2010 21:59)
Good old Darwinian evolution theory indeed.It is just unfortunate that too many of the public do not appear to understand how scientists use the word theory. His work is supported by a mass of evidence that only the gullible or devious can fail to accept. Even the Pope accepts the evidence, not that I am remotely interested in what he thinks.
The nativity story has been portrayed to innocent children for a very long time but we need to remind ourselves that there is no evidence of a census at that time; that being the case there was no need for any journey to Bethlehem. There is also no evidence for the king's order for slaughter of children. And so it goes on.
I suppose I left the church because it did not engage with moderately intelligent people on a serious and honest level.They never introduced the now familiar objections to religion, rather they dealt with or commented upon those issues only when pressed; that is childish and defensive. As at least one other contributor has said - they put very damaging observations on back burners. They do indeed have a lot of back burners.
Whether Jesus commented on homosexuals or not he certainly encouraged people to leave their family and join him. He also felt there was no need to acquire much in way of possessions despite the fact that you cannot easily live without a few.
He felt kids were born in a state of sin and needed to be sorted; very simplistic and easy to understand but enough to make one blanch.
Martin Lisemore (23/12/2010 22:35)
Roland, good to hear from you again.
'I suppose I left the church because it did not engage with moderately intelligent people on a serious and honest level.'
After twenty five years membership of various outfits, I left the church too! Twenty years ago.
Maybe some common ground?
Penny Lee (23/12/2010 23:57)
I am not an historian so cannot comment on whether or not there is evidence of a census or intention by the king to kill children. However, there is plenty evidence of the crucifixion of Jesus yet 'moderately intelligent' people still reject that. We all believe what we want to believe and out brains will filter out or deny that which doesn't fit with these beliefs - and that's no different whether you are a Christian or an atheist.
There are plenty of issues in the Bible which I can't explain either but the difference with me is that because I firmly believe the Bible to be from God, I can accept that I won't have the answers until eternity itself. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like the answers and I am all for having an enquiring mind and continuing to look for the answers - I can still accept that I won't the answer this side of life.
There is much evidence in the Bible that, although children are born already in need of salvation that is not because they have committed some sort of sin - how could they when they were too young to have any concept of sin or ability to sin? If they went through their lives never committing a sin, they would still die like the rest of us but would not need salvation. However, none of us are able to do that. You only need to watch a young child and they will display nasty behaviour from early on, particularly if they are not corrected. Surely the God who made us knows what condition we are in. Babies are often born with disfigurement or disease. It may make you 'blanch' but if you don't admit there is a problem and address it then it will be no surprise to see that condition continue to deteriorate. It is the same with our spiritual state. I love my children too much to ignore their spiritual state because whatever they amount to in life, even at its best, is nothing compared to where they will spend eternity. I cannot make them a Christian because it is a personal change of heart that's required, but I know I have done what I promised God I'd do and that is teach them about Him and how we stand before him. I'm glad to say I have two very well-adjusted children who have a good understanding of the relationship between God and ourselves and that brings me enormous peace and the knowledge that they will be accepted into heaven too when their lives end. Who would not want that for their children?
Leaving a church because you felt it was not functioning well is one thing. Rejecting God because you felt you didn't need Him is quite another. humans are fallible and will always disappoint but to turn your back on God's love is terribly sad because one day, just after you breathe your final breath, your 'moderate intelligence' will change to complete awareness of everything and tragically you'll be separated forever from the God you denied but now know exists and you'll have the whole of eternity to be tormented by your choice. That's breaks my heart because I hate the thought of you, or anyone else, being in that position. I just wish you could see what we see, and what we see is only a fraction of what there is. That will be opened up to us when we pass from this life. I have no fears of it - only exciting anticipation.
Penny Lee (24/12/2010 00:16)
To comment specifically on the drama, I am a bit disappointed with it. Some parts I liked, such as the characters being more real and just like normal people. However, I feel there was much missed out which could have been included rather than other parts which had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. I also don't understand why Joseph was portrayed as having major doubts about Mary when the Bible clearly states that he was reassured by an angel in a dream and that he then took Mary to be his wife, although didn't sleep with her until after she gave birth. Neither is there any indication in the Bible that they were denied rooms because of Mary's supposed infidelity. It would be perfectly normal for the town to be full at such a time and the Bible clearly states "because there was no room at the inn". I'm sure Joseph and Mary got flak for the situation they were in from those who didn't believe the circumstances but Joseph definitely knew the truth before they travelled to Bethlehem.
The potential was there to offer a good interpretation of the nativity but it is a shame that it was distorted to the point of inaccuracy and I wonder why this was done as it didn't even add anything more to the story.
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