This blog addresses a few criticism I received on a play I wrote and produced called, “The Cup.” The drama ran on Thursday and Friday of Holy week (Easter). This year marked its second year in production. I am thrilled to report it was packed house on both nights.
The play depicted Jesus time and agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. I unpacked the figurative ‘Cup’ that Jesus asked God to remove from Him – exploring the types of sin that was in each of the cups with special attention given to the last cup that brought Jesus down to His knees making Him sweat drops of blood.
God really showed up as we attempted to display Jesus’ love, His compassion and ultimate sacrifice for you and for me.
Of course there is always a critic – and that’s okay!
Now let me say it this way, I (we) received many compliments about how great the production was. It warmed my heart, as well as the cast of plus 60 and all those who worked behind the scenes.
But there were those who found fault with the production. Let me me first say that “We won’t grow if everyone is constantly saying to us, “How Great Thou Art.” You can not improve upon perfection because perfection is the ultimate. And I admit I am no where near perfection.
Constructive criticism is always helpful because the motivation behind it is that the person really wants to see you do better. But then there are what I call ‘Modern Day Pharisees – MDPs.’ In biblical times Pharisees gave Jesus a hard time rebuking Him for not washing His hands, not making His disciples fast or healing people on the Sabbath Day.
In other words, they were sweating over the small stuff!
There were some MDP’s who came to me regarding the costumes on some of the cast being inappropriate, the demon portrayal way too scary for kids, wrong type of outfit for the holy men especially the head wear. One woman talked to me some 20 minutes on a 2000 year history on religious attire.
Why am I saying all of this? I just want to point out that it is good for us to share as ‘Theologians,” I am one too, but we need to check the motivation behind our criticism. ‘Are we tearing down a thing, making a mountain out of molehill or is our intent truly to help one another achieve better?
The average religious movie, play or drama production performed at churches, on TV or at Movie theaters do not have Theologians as their main targeted audience. These productions and shows main targeted audience is the ‘everyday person of faith, the UNchurched and the nominal Christian.
Let me prove my point, I also received a call from a woman who said she was really bothered that a little boy had asked his mom who were the other two men on the cross by Jesus and the mother did not know. The mom tapped the caller on the shoulder and asked her who they were. I asked the caller, “Well, did you tell her?” She replied, “Yes.” I replied, “GREAT! It’s a win, win. Don’t get mad, get glad!”
Our church seats to capacity 450 people packed full. I told the caller that if I had my choice, I would have preferred 449 others sitting in those seats just like this mom and her son.
It warmed my heart to be able to be given such an opportunity to introduce the Gospel in a drama exposing people who had never heard.
I mean no harm, but this should make us theologians happy to be used by God in sharing the story, not sad. Further, it should reinforce that we all have a lot of work to do in sharing the Gospel.
If we are to get upset — get upset with the fact that we are not doing enough to get out there and share God’s Word with a lost world rather than picking a part the attempts of others who are using creative ways to introduce people to Jesus.
Another recommended blog, – Criticism – The Great Teaching Tool