By Wen Xin, Finland
Today, I’d like to recommend you a sketch, My Dad Is a Pastor. It tells us a story of how a pastor debates with her daughter to assert the authority of the. In a humorous way, the actors present us a heated family debate on the belief in God and discuss the topic about spiritual life.
At the beginning of the sketch, it simply shows the two sides in the debate. On one side is Xinming, the daughter who has just accepted God’s work of the last days; she plans to preach theto her parents and try to persuade them to investigate Eastern Lightning by fellowshiping with love and patience; on the other side is Chi Shou, the father who intends to exhort her daughter to get out of Eastern Lightning in cooperation with her wife. Then a family debate ensues. Relying on the experience gained during years of preaching and working as well as intimate knowledge of the Bible, Chi Shou feels confident of the debate, while his daughter, Xinming, clear-minded and sharp-eyed as her name suggests, offers well-organized and rational arguments. Their fierce debate perfectly interprets the words “with the truth you’ll walk the entire world; without the truth, you’ll get nowhere.”
On the whole, the plots are tightly interlocked. The director specially designs the scenes of Xinming fetching her father tea to link up the whole sketch. The questions arising during the debate are meaningful and sobering.
The father takes the initiative and expresses his viewpoints: “The Bible is the foundation of our belief in the Lord. All who believe in the Lord do so based on the Bible. A belief in the Lord is a belief in the Bible, and a belief in the Bible is a belief in the Lord. Therefore, the Bible represents the Lord.” As we all know, the religious world has held fast to these viewpoints for two thousand years. But what is the relationship between God and the Bible exactly?
Then the daughter offers well-organized, rational arguments and successfully refutes the views of her father; a series of questions she fires at her father catches him by surprise: “God is the Lord of creation, He is who He is, both almighty and wise. How can the Bible be placed on the same level as God? God can create all things, and He holds sovereignty over all things. Can the Bible do this? God can lead mankind and save mankind, and He holds sovereignty over mankind’s destiny. Can the Bible do this? Therefore, the Bible cannot represent God.”
Comparing their viewpoints, we could easily judge who is right.
“Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life” (John 5:39-40). From thewords that Xinming quotes, we can clearly see that the Bible is merely a record of God’s work in the past, which is only a drop in the vast sea of God’s life, so how could it represent God? Apparently, God is God, and the Bible is the Bible; the Bible cannot represent God, nor can it replace God’s work.
This just reminded me of Feng Jiahui, the heroine of a Christian movie Disclose the Mystery About the Bible, who has many similarities to Chi Shou but produces different results. In the movie, Feng Jiahui, after listening to God’s words and the fellowship of the witnesses, finally awakens and feels remorse for her holding on to the Bible and following in Pharisees’ footsteps; thinking of how she refuses to investigate the true way and resists the returned Lord, she sheds the tears of repentance. By contrast, the pastor Chi Shou, after the family debate on the Bible, still chooses to hold on to it. At this point, you may ask: Both Feng Jiahui and Chi Shou are the servants of the Lord who have read the Bible for many years, but why do they make such different choices? The passage of Almighty God’s words which Xinming reads offers us the answer: “Those who only care about the words of the Bible, who are unconcerned about the truth or seeking My footsteps—they are against Me, for they limit Me according to the Bible, and constrain Me within the Bible, and so are blasphemous in the extreme toward Me. How could such people come before Me?”
In the final scene of the sketch, Chi Shou’s soliloquy shows the thoughts deep in his heart: “Every word of Almighty God pricks my heart. They are indeed the truth, and what they talk about is reality! It’s just … How could I keep being a pastor if I deviated from the Bible? Who would regard me as a pastor if I didn’t preach the Bible?”
From his soliloquy, we see that though he has recognized God’s words, he still refuses to investigate the true way for the sake of his status. In fact, God’s words in the Bible are His instruction for Christians and the principles which we should follow in life to attain His praise. But somehow, it has become the tool used by pastors and elders to protect their status and establish their own images. So, I couldn’t help doubting: “Could this kind of people lead believers to step on the path of doing?”
The sketch revolves around the debate on the Bible, in which both sides represent two different views. All the characters, especially the conservative and intractable pastor, are lively and interesting, leaving the audience with a lasting impression. The director portrays Chi Shou as an epitome of those who walk the same path as he does in real life to present their wrong views on belief in God. In merriment, the audiences gain some discernment and begin to reflect on whether they themselves hold the same views. In this light, this sketch is a really meaningful work.