Monday, February 20, 2006

Finding Faith the Hard Way

The Scottish TV presenter and journalist Dominik Diamond is considering undergoing physical crucifixion as part of a controversial television documentary about Christianity.
Diamond, once a committed Christian, will try to rediscover his faith in a journey from Scotland, via the Vatican and Italy, to the Philippines, where Christians celebrate Easter by re-enacting Christ's ordeal on the Cross.

Diamond said; "I'm in my mid-30s, I've got three kids and it's about time I did something that didn't involve cheap gags. You might as well aim high so I thought I'd try to find God."

The documentary, Crucify Me, is being made for the Five channel by Ginger TV, part of the Glasgow-based Scottish Media Group…
(Excerpted from The Scotsman.)

I am seriously skeptical about the pursuit of holiness by media types, but if this guy is really serious about rediscovering his faith, then I think he should be in our prayers. I would seriously question his approach, however. After all, one of the main points of Christ’s crucifixion is that we don’t have to do it ourselves! (NOTE: The Filipino custom of re-enacting the crucifixion with live volunteers is not supported by the local Church!)

There is definitely a lesson here, though. How frequently do I think I need to jump through some penitential hoop in order to find my way to God, when in reality He’s the one that jumped through a hideous hoop in order to find me. I know better, but I don’t always believe better. Rediscovery of faith is better done in the quiet of prayer and sacrament than in having myself nailed to a cross on live TV. Real penitence follows the touch of God; it doesn’t precede it.

And he said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Eli'jah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Eli'jah?" (1Ki 19:11-13, RSV)

I hope this god-awful (no pun intended) show doesn’t just produce an atheist with holes in his hands.