Yes, Big Brother is tragic. It's symptomatic of our society in the Western World - spying on the lives of others living alleged 'real lives,' because for too many people, their real lives lack purpose and focus. Others may watch just to chill out. Personally, I have better things to do! But, many young people watch it and at the least, know all about it. So here's a Big Brother sketch, with a twist - the characters are Christians, different types of Christians. Welcome to Big Xn Brother.
A DISCLAIMER. PLEASE - I'm not getting at anyone in particular in this sketch, just highlighting some of the differences, idiosyncrasies (strange little things we do), ways of praying, speech. Some of the characters are deliberately exaggerated to make a point. Let's not be so harsh to judge one another and the world, when there is much to sort out in the church. Jesus is coming back for a bride (church) that is pure and ready. Revival starts with us individually, and at home in the church..
The Sketch (requires up to 5 actors, and 1 narrator)
All the characters are currently male in this sketch. I'm not being sexist. Any character can be played by male or female. Well, you may want to change some of the names first ;)
Narrator - (In a Geordie accent). Day One in the Big Xn Brother household.. Let's introduce the characters..
First up, we have Anglican Alan. Alan is a straight-edged kind of guy, likes fishing and is strong on teaching the Bible. His chosen, non-Bible item he's brought into the house is his cross.
Next up, there's Catholic Carl. He was brought up in a Catholic home, has been to Rome to the see the pope and he likes to organise Catholic youth rallies. His item of choice is his picture of Mary.
Thirdly, we have Charismatic Chris. Chris enjoys writing prophetic articles in Charismatic Healing and Deliverance Magazine, believes in the power of the Holy Spirit and likes praise and worship CDs. His chosen item is a guitar.
Next up we have Brethren Barnabas. He is a strict kind of gentleman, loves his King James Bible as the only infallible version of the Bible, and believes in preaching the Gospel.
Last but certainly not least is Evangelical Evan. Evan is a balanced guy, enjoying both the Word of God, and believing in the Holy Spirit's power at work today. He writes theological books. His chosen item is a book, Evangelicalism for Dummies.
(The contestants, walk in one-by-one. Anglican Alan walks in, holding his cross to his chest as he walks in methodically. Catholic Carl comes in crossing his chest. Charismatic Chris dances in, praising God. Evangelical Evan consults his Bible before allowing himself to enter).
Charismatic Chris - Wow! It's amazing to be here. Praise God. Can I get an Amen? (Looks around at everyone else, who stare at him slightly shocked).
Anglican Alan - It is nice to be here, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Catholic Carl - Praise the Lord, hail Mary. It's nice to be here. Are you looking forward to it Evan?
Evan - (consults Bible). How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
Brethren Barnabas - (corrects Evan with a bold voice) - Wrong! Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Evan - Er, yes.
Charismatic Chris - Maybe we should just give this whole thing to God now in prayer? Lord, thank you for bringing us together to glorify you. You're our Saviour, our friend and love of our lives. (eyebrows raised among other members at the word 'love'). We worship you now. Praise you.. Everyone just feel free to jump in as the Spirit leads..
Anglican Alan - (rustling of paper, pulls out the 1662 Common Book of Prayer) - As the one ordained minister here, I shall read from the Common Book of Prayer. "I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of and earth: And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried, He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven, And sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body; And the Life everlasting. Amen."
Catholic Carl - And I will only read a Catholic prayer. "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was this morning. O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen."
Charismatic Chris - Come on guys, freestyle. God is a creative God. Express who you are in prayer. Go for it. Don't be held back and down by tradition. Let it roll, yeh..
Brethren Barnabas - (looks at Chris, horrified and disappointed at such a loose attitude). I cannot believe the irreverent and godless attitudes that seem to prevail here. (Speaks loudly and with a warbling voice, put on). "O glorious and fearsome great God of mine, I belong to thee. Thou art the heavenly King, exalted on high. At thy hand, the stars were made. You giveth and you taketh away. The name of the Lord is holy, to be feared and at thy name, every knee will bow. Let us come before thee with reverence, as weeds in thy presence. We are forever thine humble servants." (Turns and stares at Evan).
Evangelical Evan - (looks up, slightly fearful of Barnabas. Looks down). Amen.
(Characters all freeze).
Narrator - (Geordie accent). Day 2 in the Big Xn Brother household. Charismatic Chris is singing a worship song. There are different reactions from the household members.
Charismatic Chris - (sings 'The Stand' with arms stretched up and out towards heaven). "I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned. In awe of the one who gave it all.."
Brethren Barnabas - (explodes). Never before have I heard such blasphemy. Our Lord is a blazing fire. I will not have you taking his name so lightly. How dare you profane him!
Evangelical Evan - (nervously). I agree with Barnabas a bit. I mean, where are the Bible verses in your song..?
Anglican Alan - I am disappointed too. Why do we need to make up songs like this? Where all the truths? Why not simply sing songs from The Bible. There are many time-honoured hymns that we could sing. This is needlessly charismatic.
Catholic Carl - Well, we Catholics have our own songs.
Charismatic Chris - You all need deliverance from the demons of tradition and stuffiness. Where is the new wine, the new oil, the new songs that the Bible talks about. Jesus is our friend, he's my best mate.
Brethren Barnabas - (unable to contain his frustration). Our Lord is not your friend, nor is he your mate. We do not need deliverance. He is holy, untouchable and we cannot even stand is his mighty presence. You would do well to read the Bible, the one true and holy version (pats his King James Version). You, sir, are a sinner. If you wish to sing, refrain from new fangled songs. I have a book of approved old classics, if you wish to sing. And do so in an orderly, restrained and reverent manner.
Evangelical Evan - I have Mission Praise if you like. And the Baptist Hymnal..?
Catholic Carl - And if you want to repent, I have some prayers and some rosary beads..
Anglican Alan - I do not think we need rosary beads, thank you very much. I would much rather use something Biblical, than any of your Catholic idols. As for you Chris. Deliverance, healing.. These do not exist today. These were only happening in the time of the New Testament.
Charismatic Chris - So how come I have seen people healed today? Your theology is wrong, mate.
Anglican Alan - My theology is perfectly correct, thank you. I cannot help people who respond to these alleged healings with some psychological manifestations.
(Characters all freeze).
Narrator - Day 3 and the household are discussing ways of preaching the Gospel..
Brethren Barnabas - What we need to do is simply preach the Gospel. If I see a group of young people, all I need to do is to preach the Gospel to them from the Holy inspired Word of God. Nothing more is needed.
Evangelical Evan - (pipes up). I think we would do well to get to know them first and perhaps have a prayer meeting before.
Brethren Barnabas - (stares evilly at Evan, who has dared to add to his words).
Anglican Alan - Well, I don't see why youngsters can't just come to church. We have a family service using the modern Common Book of Prayer. We have a band, instead of the early service which uses an organ.. If they won't come to that, then I give up. There must be something wrong with them..
Charismatic Chris - You're all nuts. You have to go and be where the young people are. They're not going to come into your church. You have to hang out with them, build relationship with them and do what they're into.. If we love them and demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit to them, they will learn that Jesus is alive and real and relevant.
Catholic Carl - Well, we have millions of young Catholics in the world. Every year or so, we gather for World Youth Day. It's in Sydney in 2008.
Brethren Barnabas - I despair of you modern types. There is nothing more relevant than the Gospel, straight. As for these churches who have dared to move away from the organ, you are despicable. I do not find a drum kit anywhere in the Bible. The noise these drums make is abhorrent. It is a loud, offensive noise. Heaven is a place where music is gentle, beautiful and reverent.
Charismatic Chris - Your argument sucks! There are no electric lights in the Bible either.. Or cars.. Computers.. Banks.. Yet I expect you use or have some of those. Organs are so 1900s. If you want to listen to that droning noise, fine. Just don't enforce your preferences on me couched in some pseudo-Biblical theology. It doesn't wash. Music is from God, it's how we use it, what we say, how we live that matters. If you like rap, then God digs that. If you like rock, God loves that too. He sees our hearts, not these outward shows of 'godliness'.
Evangelical Evan - Spring Harvest has some super bands and a lovely sound in the Big Top. It's nice middle-ground, the ground where we should all be.
Catholic Carl - I prefer mantras, chants.
Anglican Alan - Well, we're not listening to what you say. You worship the Pope. You've got that Biblical text totally wrong. Paul had more of a say in the early church than Peter anyway. Peter even got things wrong. And you have Mary as some kind of priest. Don't you read your Bible when it says there is one mediator, Jesus Christ. Don't you know that as Jesus died, the curtain between man and God was torn because of Jesus? Don't you read the Bible when it says we can boldly enter the throne room of God.
Brethren Barnabas - Well you can't talk. You people use the NIV - the alleged 'Nearly Infallible Version'. What rot. Only the King James Version of the Bible is right. There are so many errors in the other versions. The KJV is the only inspired version.
Evangelical Evan - (hesitatingly). Well, that's not quite true. I could point to many verses in the KJV where the authors misinterpreted or mistook the Greek and the Hebrew. Those people who promote the KJV seem to do so unlovingly and to accuse anyone who doesn't agree with them. And to be honest, may commentators consider the New King James to be the most accurate translation of the Bible. But there is a lot of debate about it.
Charismatic Chris - Yeah man. And that King James Version has over 300 words in that no-one uses. Surely the Bible tells us to spread the Gospel. To do that we have to speak the language people speak. Why do you go as a missionary to a tribe and speak their language, when you won't speak the English language in your own country?! Mate, seriously. If the KJV is your bag, fine. But no-one speaks like that, no-one out there wants to hear that your version of the Bible is the most accurate. You're like a Pharisee. Where's the love for people? Where's the showing that Jesus is relevant and speaks to every tribe and tongue in their own lingo.
Evangelical Evan - Well, to be fair, at least the Brethren know their Bibles inside out. I mean, most churches today especially some charismatic ones have people who don't even bring their Bible to church. If it's the inspired Word of God, then we need to read it, learn it and know it inside out - so that we have an answer for our hope and can give an answer to those who don't believe. I think we could all do with treating each other more lovingly and forgivingly, just as Jesus has done for us.
Anglican Alan - So, basically, we've all got part of the puzzle. Pity we can't all work together really..
(Characters all freeze. END).
Taking It Further
The Big Xn Brother household don't seem to be able to agree on anything much. What arguments and ways of behaving do you agree with and disagree with in this sketch? Why?
The Bible says in John 13.34-35, 'A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'
1 John 4.10-12 says, 'This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.'
So, your challenge today is this: do you love one another, is the truth of God in you, how will the world see the church if we don't love God and each other, how will we be as effective as we can if we don't have love? Does your 'correct theology' prevent you from loving and working with other people?