Last evening (February 24th), Seth McFarlane, host of the Oscars said:
“It’s Sunday, everybody’s dressed up,” he told the glittering crowd. This is like church, only with more people praying.”
Sadly, McFarlane’s joke cuts to the bone because it is probably true, but it did not stop there, the Oscars had a ‘sermon’. First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise ‘visit’ via satellite on the Academy Awards show and said,
“(This year’s movies) taught us that love can endure against all odds and transform our lives in the most surprising ways. And they reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage to believe.”
In other words: movies teach and so create belief, and “transform our lives”. This is a pale imitation of the Word of God by which the Holy Spirit creates true faith, see Romans 10:17. But what kind of idolatrous belief? Answer: belief in the number one god which is the self. McFarlane rightly said everyone is praying…but not to the one true God. If that is the belief then what is the “love”. Answer: sexual immorality. Idolatry and sexual immorality go hand in hand down the wide and easy path to perdition (see 1 Corinthians 10: 1-3).
I guess what the Mrs. Obama wants us to dig into is our “lives”. It sounds to me, dig into your self and this is the message from the First Lady. The self is closely tied in with the other idol vying as number 1: mammon, or money. It all looks so good but the Oscars are white-washed tombs, all glittery on the outside, but inside filled with dead bones and rot (see Matthew 23:27)
Just looking at the picture above from last night awards ceremony, it sure looks like a pagan temple which the idolaters of old would be envious. Their sign is a golden statue. Psalm 115:
4 Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
5They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see.
6They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
7They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
8 Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.
9O Israel, trust in the LORD!
And the Word became flesh: mouth, ears, hands, throat, heart and soul and true God. ”Oscars” do not save nor do they love. The Lenten message is simple:
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The Cross of Jesus Christ is the sign, bar none, of true faith and true love. It is obvious we need His Word now more than ever in these dark days.
1. When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.
2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that harm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
3. See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
4. Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a tribute far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
The Lutheran Hymnal Hymn #175