Despite its producers stated intentions not to be offensive, but to bring religion into primetime television, a blasphemous new sitcom on CBS called “Living Biblically” is being decried as a “Hollywood mockery of Christians” and in need of prayer itself.
The show is based on the book “The Year of Living Biblically,” written by A.J. Jacobs, an agnostic Jew who makes fun of certain parts of the Torah that he finds odd and concludes that “fundamentalists may claim to take the Bible literally, but they actually just pick and choose certain rules to follow.”
Producer Patrick Walsh told Fox News earlier this month that he met with Jacobs, who advised that he wanted to create a comedy show about religion. He expressed enthusiasm about the result: a story about a man who loses his best friend and learns his wife is having a baby, sparking the desire to try to be a “better man” and live by what he reads in the Bible.
He regularly meets with a Roman Catholic priest and a rabbi, referred to as the “God squad,” in a local bar to receive direction.
“That was the intent, to do a show that was not preachy and off-putting to people who do not practice religion, but also very respectful and welcoming to those that do,” Walsh explained. “A big part of my pitch was that 84 percent of the world aligns itself with religion, and yet there’s nothing on television for people of faith.”
“The only times you hear it mentioned is things like Bill Maher, which is extremely critical, and the other end of the spectrum are movies like ‘God’s Not Dead’ and ‘Left Behind,’ which are successful, but I think they’re so pious and solemn that they’re off-putting to a general audience,” he opined. “They’re usually just successful amongst religious people.”
However, in the broadcast, after the main character, Chip Curry, advises his wife that he wants to do a “soul cleanse” until their baby arrives, she exclaims, “I’m not throwing out my rap albums. You know how much I love my filthy, filthy sex rap.”
When he tells his wife, an atheist, that it’s important to have faith, she asks why God made super gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease. Moments later, Curry tells his wife that if his quest goes beyond the nine months, according to the Bible, he cannot touch her while she is menstruating and that if she gets “crabby,” he has to go live in the desert.
“You know, it’s just Bible stuff,” Curry says.
A laugh track follows.
The show also proceeds to make a mockery of Curry’s knowledge that an acquaintance is committing adultery, as he proceeds to throw a rock at the man’s head and runs away to avoid being arrested. Curry also believes that the Bible says not to wear mixed fabrics of any kind.
Visiting the confessional, he tells the priest about his accomplishments, and receives the admonition, “Go to church and be good. It’s enough.” When asked if he has anything to confess, Curry states that he swears a lot. The priest then provides several substitute curse words that Curry can use, but notes that it is “incredibly unsatisfying” to say them instead.
“If CBS were honest, the series would more accurately be titled ‘Living Blasphemously,’ as it is simply more Hollywood mockery of Christians, God’s word and the Lord Jesus Christ,” writes Joe Schimmel, pastor of Blessed Hope Chapel in Simi Valley, California and host of the documentary “Hollywood’s War on God.”
“The script for Living Biblically reads like it has been written by your typical, cynical, atheistic, internet trolls, as the story lines feed into almost every stereotypical caricature of Christianity that we find on the World Wide Web,” he said.
Schimmel said that the heart of the sitcom is contrary to the message of the gospel and does not point men to Christ. The Bible says that all men are utterly incapable on their own of walking in righteousness as their nature is inherently bent toward sin (Rom. 3:9-19; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 6:6; Eph. 2:3), and therefore, they must be born again—regenerated from death to life—through the work of the Holy Spirit, putting their trust in Christ alone for salvation (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:13; Titus 3:5).
“The show’s premise could not be more antithetical to the heart of the biblical message of salvation by grace through faith in Christ,” Schimmel lamented. “Chip’s conversion is not based on a confession before God that he is a sinner and embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior, but rather on a vain confession before the Catholic priest that he is actually ‘a good man’ and wants to live by the Bible.”
He said that the show reminds him of when he, too, once mocked the Scriptures.
“Prior to coming to Christ, I too mocked the Christian faith, until the Lord graciously unmasked the powers of darkness that were blinding me to Jesus,” Schimmel outlined. “We are called to remember that we, too, were once blind and lost before coming to Jesus, before experiencing His amazing grace.”
“Sadly, the wicked spend an awful lot of time undermining the gospel, perverting His word, and blaspheming His holy name! May the Lord Jesus give us grace to spend even more time sharing His great love and glorious gospel with a lost and dying world,” he declared.
Schimmel pointed to Titus 3, which reads, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”