With such provocative headlines as “Which Of These Celebs Might Secretly Be Jesus?’ and ‘Jesus 2.0: What Can We Expect? and a picture showing “Jesus”, with a sub machine gun with a large strap of ammo, the Singapore FHM magazine withdrew its latest magazine after complaints from the National Council of Churches in Singapore. They were accused of making fun of Jesus and causing serious offence and hurting the sensitivities of Singaporean christians.
Whilst the FHM magazine was offensive, the Christians in Singapore shouldn’t have been reading such racy magazine with semi nude women posing front cover. They should have called for a ban of the magazine because of its semi nude photos since they were perturbed by the male upper torsos at Orchard in the giant ads by Abercrombie and Fitch
Alas, the male bodies in the ads were giant angelic beings and so they should not have criticed them.
In the days of Noah, and later at Sodom and Gomorrah, the beautiful women on the front covers attracted even the angels until they had affairs with the women creating strange flesh and giants, a religious abomination. Rampant heterosexuality and religious worship of a sexual nature was the issue and not homosexuality.
The FHM Singapore magazine was an insensitive attempt at humour but yet revealed a tinge of truth. Jesus was depicted as coming back as rock stars that we worshipped. How true is it that many mega church pastors have reached cult status where what they say is tantamount to the word of God. Other Christians probably understood it best with the Pope and Mary being the the bridge between God and man, and the co-deemer with Jesus.
The Jesus carrying weapons of war has a great irony as the greatest support for gun rights in the US is the religious right coupled by their generally war mongering hawkish attitude. In Uganda, Christianity was the prime motivation for new laws to hunt gays down and kill them under the death penalty. These laws was supported by the American Christian prophets/evangelist many of them frequent guest speakers in Singapore.
In the wake of the Rony Tan criticims of other faith, the Aware take over saga, and recently Campus for Crusade depiction of another faith, Christians have at last legitimate reason to claim a sense of righteous morality as victims. However, the magazine was not meant for religious reading and once we start focusing on publications, there is issue with the freedom of speech. Surely, we don’t want others to peek into our Christian bookshops to read what we published!
What would Jesus do? I don’t think He would be particularly perturbed or insulted. He would be more concerned of our worship of the church, the pastors, business wealth and power, rather than the humble Jesus of Galilee journeying together with us through this lives difficult journey of faith. He would be more concerned when we ill treat the poor and the outcasts such the gay community, or harm the unborn child.
Lastly, Jesus came to proclaim the Gospel message of salvation in the kingdom of God through His own death and resurrection. Let us stay focused on the kingdom message for others will depict Jesus to their liking to pour scorn on the Gospel, but who do you say I AM? We are to pour love and grace on our enemies that we may call the Sons of God rather than banning their publications.