September 16, 2008

New U.K. program asks, "Can you make someone a Christian?"

*In continuing coverage of 'Christless Christianity' (aka religious teaching by moral example and devoid of terms like sin, blood, redemption, depravity, etc.) I bring you this story from last month about a new t.v. program in the United Kingdom on which hosts try to 'reform' participants by 'turning them' into Christians.

Please note a couple of items before reading:

1) The reformation time for contestants is set at 3 weeks.
2) This is the follow-up to last year's "Make Me a Muslim."
3) The participants are shown how to "live like Christians;" what does that mean to you?

I urge you all to comment on this and other posts relating to this phenomena of false reformation.

Lesbian, atheist, Muslim all attempt Christian life
Reality program follows people for 3 weeks of holy reformation

Posted: August 10, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily (italics and boxed commentaries are mine)

A new television program being broadcast this month follows a group of 13 non-Christian volunteers, who, on camera, attempt to "live by the teachings of the Bible for three weeks."

"Make Me a Christian," broadcast in a three-part series, asks the participants to be mentored by four pastors from a variety of backgrounds – Anglican, Catholic, Evangelical, and Pentecostal – as they attempt to live like Christians, an effort that runs in stark contrast to many of the participants' backgrounds.

The 13 volunteers who will make the effort include a tattooed militant atheist biker, a man who converted from Christianity to Islam, a lesbian schoolteacher, a lap-dancing witch with a lust for expensive shoes, a middle-class yuppie couple that can't find time to spend with their children and a party animal who claims he's slept with over 150 women.

Whether people can be made into Christians by a three-week crash course in discipleship, however, remains a matter of debate.

The Rev. George Hargreaves, one of the four mentor pastors featured on the show, was quoted by The Christian Post as saying, "Viewers will be deeply moved by the participants' personal journeys. I believe that a major nationwide evangelism initiative could be launched on the back of the series."

A review by Charlie Brooker of England's Guardian newspaper, however, expressed severe criticism of the show's depiction of Christianity.

Brooker wrote sarcastically, "The broadcast will doubtless be accompanied by the percussive sound of thousands of Christians enthusiastically smashing their foreheads against the wall with delight at the way they're represented."

According to the C4 (channel that airs the program)website, the first episode sends the participants to York Minster, "an awe-inspiring cathedral that's almost 1,000 years old, where they are asked to participate in a communion service."

After that, the four mentors – Pentecostal minister and leader of the Scottish Christian Party Rev. George Hargreaves, Church of England Curate the Rev. Joanna Jepson, Catholic Fr. John Flynn, and the World Harvest Christian Centre's Pastor Wale Babatunde – visit the volunteers in their homes and make specific recommendations on how to conform to a Christian code of conduct. The lesbian is asked to throw away her porn, the witch is encouraged to toss her Tarot cards, the womanizer is instructed not to look lustfully at women and so forth.

The show's website concludes with the teaser line, "All this is just the start of their three hard weeks. Can they embrace Christian ideals and learn to live in a different way or will their old lives prove just too strong to resist?"

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