Reviewing Joan of Arcadia

I sat through my first full episode of Joan of Arcadia today. The verdict? Okay, but definitely not perfect.

Joan Girardi is a teenage girl whose family moved to Arcadia so her father, Will, could become the town’s new police chief. She is very much like a normal teenage girl, except for one thing: God appears to her as different people. An interesting premise, but I was a little concerned that the God the show portrays is often unfamiliar to me.

As could be expected, CBS makes no reference to Jesus Christ. However, the other attributes of God sometimes seem a little fishy too. I doubt, for example, that God would take the physical form of a person with more body piercings than I can count on both hands. Other factors ring alarm bells too. The episode I watched, “The Fire and the Wood,” contained some sensuality (mild, by today’s standards – at least it was between a married couple), and occasional profanity.

Cinematically, the show is first-rate, and the music is clean yet themely. The message of obeying God to bring positive changes into the world is also a good one. I just worry that like CBS’ other Christian targeted show, Touched By an Angel, the lack of focus on the important beliefs of Christianity may cause confusion among viewers.

Joan of Arcadia is probably one of the cleanest family programs on the air today, and it is also a first-rate drama. As long as you don’t make the mistake of supplementing or replacing the Bible with it, you should be fine.

The True Meaning of Xmas

While many criticize Xmas as a way of removing Christ from a holiday honoring Him, the “X” actually stands for Christ. Read about this here.

I did know about this already, but I agree with Doug – it’s better to spell out Christmas for the people who are unaware of its significance. I think doing this is similar to, but not the same as, 1 Corinthians 8:13.

(Link via blogs4God.)

God Bless Humanity

Bene Diction recently discussed the state of spirituality in Canada. “God Bless America” is indeed a very beautiful song, but I think in recent years, some nationalistic sentiment has creeped into the phrase.

Shortly after 9/11 (or 11/9, depending on where you live), the members of Congress that sang for the press were singing mostly for the healing of the country. However, as time progressed, the use of the phrase by President Bush and friends has definitely changed from idealism to nationalism.

To borrow another American phrase, I think “One Nation Under God” should become “One People Under God.”

The United States was created with the loftiest goal I can think of. It was designed to be a Christian nation, but the Christian founding fathers, in their wisdom, designed our core legal document to prevent the suppression of other religions.

This is exactly how God treats humanity: he provides us His way, the only way, but He loves us so much that He gives us the freedom to choose a different way.

I think we humans can learn a lot from Him.

God’s Work in the Trenches

A recent post by Lee Anne got me thinking about how the world, and often how Christians, tend to understand Jesus Christ. Her words were profound:

Satan doesn’t care how much people talk about Jesus – speculating on His sex life, searching for the historic Jesus or debating about whether He really said everything the Gospel writers attribute to Him. In fact, he probably loves it…What really makes Satan tremble is when people start focusing on Jesus Christ and the cross.

Without consciously realizing it, this has been a constant struggle for me. God gives everybody particular gifts and talents to serve Him. For people who minister behind the scenes in a church community, it can be difficult to remember that the application of your gifts needs to result in souls finding Christ.

People who maintain church facilities, set up before services, and handle sound and video equipment live by the maxim, “the greatest compliment is none at all” – if you’re doing your job right, nobody notices you. However, if my personal experiences are any indication, people who handle these important tasks can lose sight of their purpose.

I think I’m going to need to be a little more aware of how I’m using my gifts in the future. They need to point people directly to God.