DJesus UnCrossed and What Should Really Disturb Us

I wasn’t going to write about this.

But then I read the Christian responses. And then I read the Christian responses to the Christian responses.

So to ensure I am completely irrelevant here is my Christian response to the Christian responses of Christian responses on the Saturday Night Live sketch this past weekend.

Djesus Uncrossed

Saturday Night Live did a little tongue in cheek sketch allegorizing the life of Christ as a Quentin Tarantino film (Django Unchained style). In “Djesus Uncrossed” Christ was displayed as a vengeful mob boss going on an explicit revenge murder spree of his Roman enemies. I actually saw it live and chose to change the channel. I knew it was just satire yet it didn’t sit well with me.

Like any Tarantino work it was completely over the top. Mind you, this was a spoof of a Tarantino movie so exaggerated and ridiculous violence should be assumed.

It was intentionally irreverent.

There was a slight reek of blasphemy.

Some Christian commentators decried the silly portrayal as a borderline hate crime to Christianity. Their rationale: SNL would never dare portray Mohammed (who actually was a warrior) in such a manner, for fear of retribution.

I can sympathize a little bit with that; but since when did the world accurately portray Christ? That’s not the commission of SNL producers. That’s the church’s gospel work.

The whack job emperor Nero blamed Christians for the burning of Rome. He stuck a stake through the innocent boys and girls and lit them afire for his dinner parties. When others falsely accuse you, “be thankful” the most falsely accused Man in the world said.

And from SNL’s side, the joke wouldn’t work unless you partnered a subject notorious for peace and love (Jesus) with a subject notorious for über violence and gore (Tarantino). Shows that rely on press and viewership are going to go for shock value from time to time to drum up their brand. So, my panties aren’t quite as wadded as they first were over this.

Others have said that this portrayal proves that modern Christianity has militant and violent overtones. Slow your roll.

Jesus very well may need better PR, but I say the response to this spoof proves Christianity is not, even in its fledgling American context, a violent religion. SNL poked irreverent fun at the historical Christ on primetime TV and the only backlash was some cheeky articles and ticked off blogs?

A cartoonist in Denmark could even illustrate Jesus the Prophet in an unfavorable light and I guarantee you flaming riots would not permeate the whole Bible Belt because of it.

There still may have been some relevant truth I believe the SNL clip exposed. The tarnished image of God in Hollywood minds can’t help but get it partially right some times. And that sliver of truth is enough to disturb me rightly.

Jesus did come as a stricken Lamb then.

He will soon come as a roaring Lion.

The world saw a beat down unimpressive Jewish dude with no following.

The world will soon see a risen royal King of countless angel armies.

It won’t look like a trite and cheesy SNL skit. It will look like the invincible unfolding of an eternal Kingdom where an Enthroned Monarch reigns with perfect love and authority.

Until He makes all things right side up, our simple upside down command from Him is unchanged for all ages: Love Him and love the people He has entrusted to us.

Especially the scoffers.

The scoffing masses didn’t bother our humble Master on the way to His death tomb. Let’s not presume we are above such dishonor as His servants.

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

20 thoughts on “DJesus UnCrossed and What Should Really Disturb Us”

  1. Haven’t watched SNL for about 20 years or so. Even back then, I seem to recall being disgusted by it each week (not only for the skits which smacked of blasphemy, but others that were more sick than funny), and finally wondered why I was watching it in the first place. As a result, I don’t harbor that many bad feelings toward them, ’cause I just don’t think about them that much. In my humble opinion, anyone who bases their view of Christianity on SNL skits, probably wouldn’t listen to more legitimate sources informing them on the subject anyway. The people who want to know truth are far more fertile ground for my efforts. Thank you for this thought provoking article.

  2. I fully recognize that the Church has never really portrayed Jesus particularly well, given as she is to all manner of miscommunication, misinterpretation, mis, mis, mis….However, at the risk of sounding like one of the bad guys, whenever I watch SNL or Southpark or Family Guy or___spoofs of Jesus/Church, they tend to be a fairly accurate portrayal of overall impressions, albeit with sinister and borderline blasphemous overtones, of the Jesus WE have first served up to a watching culture. That culture of course is hungry to laugh at anything anyone loudly campaigns about or squeezes, kicking and screaming, into the political sphere where everybody lives, not just Christians.

    So, I suppose I’m saying to SNL, yeah, I get it. If I wasn’t a part of the “in” crowd, this is often the impression one is left of the Jesus to whom conservative, “Christian” America affixes itself. Is it appropriate? Not really. Is it accurate? Probably, at least to some degree. Is it necessary? Hmm, now there’s a good question.

  3. While I agree with your comments on the whole, I admit I am uncomfortable with the parallels you attempt to draw between Christian American and the Islamic Middle East. Not all Muslims are militant (though yes, of course, many are and have governments backing). And some Christians, no doubt, would envy a violent lynching of the SNL staff (and, if we remember a time when the church did have more government backing it led to things like the crusades). I’m not saying Muslims are “just like us” or anything like that, but we do need to be careful when we generalize from the worst examples. It happens to Christians too often for us to be doing it to others. (For the Record: I am an evangelical Christian and believe that salvation is in Christ alone)

    1. I agree mostly, certainly not all Muslims are militant. My first mention of Mohammed was coming from another’s “voice” not mine (probably wasn’t clear) The Denmark remark was just by way of illustration, I haven’t heard of Christians rioting in the streets over this portrayal of Christ.

      I don’t personally know of any Christians who have said they wanted the SNL cast violently lynched.

      I definitely agree we don’t want a theocracy Christian or otherwise, King Jesus will set that up in His timing alone. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I hadn’t heard about this SNL thing until now but I have to say it’s par for the course with the unregenerate. After reading your summary of the skit I had the same thought you expressed: “The tarnished image of God in Hollywood minds can’t help but get it partially right some times.” Yes, even in their blind state they stumble upon fragments of truth now and then. There will be a day when He comes as a Lion, as a King of armies with His robes dipped in blood, and those He has come to destroy will wish the mountains to fall on them rather than face His Holy wrath. Very sobering.

  5. Great post. Haven’t watched SNL, except for a moment here and there, for years because I felt it grieving my spirit and the Holy Spirit. It can’t help but get worse because everything is headed that way barring revival. I heard someone say that there’ll be a day when a person can’t own a tv and call themselves a Christian. Not sure about that but I am definitely guarding my heart!

  6. I saw the skit. Consider this. If as a Christian I am part of the body of Christ, everything I do affects the body. And if I publicly say I am a Christian then I represent Christ to others. With me? Then if I kill another person whether it be illegally or legally then I kill using the hands of Christ. Would Christ kill for any reason? That skit though quite irreverent represented what some Christians wish Jesus was really like. They wish for vengeance rather than grace. Violence rather than peace. Judgment rather than forgiveness. It is the Christ they enact. That is probably more than some stoned comedy writers intended to communicate, but who knows.

  7. I like how you discuss some of the more controversial things going on today! Great job at showing how it may well be a bit prophetic, for when He comes again. God bless you!

  8. This is great. I don’t watch SNL but heard about this skit. I appreciate your viewpoint about this, especially appreciated this part: “Jesus did come as a stricken Lamb then. He will soon come as a roaring Lion. The world saw a beat down unimpressive Jewish dude with no following. The world will soon see a risen royal King of countless angel armies.”

    Amen!

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