“The Book of Daniel,” a new television series featuring an Episcopal parish priest that first aired Friday, January 6, 2006 on NBC, is a travesty with no redeeming qualities. It is an affront to biblically faithful Episcopalians and Anglicans who have been devastated by the Episcopal Church’s abandonment of the apostolic faith. Tragically, it is not entirely inaccurate in its depiction of revisionist theology and doctrine adopted by a majority of Episcopal Church leadership. “The Book of Daniel” does not represent the average Episcopal Church across the United States, but it hits close to home with regard to revisionism espoused by numerous bishops, clergy, dioceses and congregations. While it is highly unlikely that one would find almost every sin and perversion of truth imaginable lived out in a single family as the show portrays, the program does offer an accurate representation of the downward spiral of the Episcopal Church over the last 30 years. The script even gives a wink and nod to the “current crisis,” with references to “a slap on the wrist from Canterbury” and “an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.”
In the two-hour pilot, heterosexual adultery (between two bishops), homosexuality (gay and lesbian), “threesomes,” premarital sex, prescription drug addiction, possession and distribution of illegal drugs (marijuana), alcoholism (Webster’s wife is rarely seen without a martini shaker in hand), teenage sexual encounters, embezzlement, and Mafia extortion via Roman Catholic connections are glibly characterized as almost amusing foibles dismissed with a smile and head-shake by a non-confrontational, powerless and indulgent hippie-mode Jesus. The concepts of sin, repentance, forgiveness, restoration and Christian morality in general are completely absent, and in fact, the behavior of characters in the show is projected as normative – typical of the average, all-American Episcopal clergy family. Clearly this appears to be the perception of the show’s writers and producers.
While early secular press reviews and Christian leaders have panned “The Book of Daniel,” the fact is that the Episcopal Church has abandoned the clear teaching of Scripture on issues of sin and repentance as well as sexuality and morality. Some Episcopal leaders simply turn a blind eye to behavior such as adulterous relationships, homosexuality and drug abuse, while others openly defend the “right” to personal choices and glorify “experience” over Scripture, tradition and reason. The real question the show raises is, who would want to be part of a church that embraces such lifestyles, theology and doctrine? And it is disturbing to note the response of the Episcopal Church. National Episcopal Church staff seems to have been caught unprepared for the fallout of the show, and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington has created a weblog for discussion, hoping it will draw people to the church – “The Book of Daniel” as an evangelism tool!
We encourage those who have watched “The Book of Daniel” to consider the church it presents and join the thousands of Episcopalians and Anglicans who uphold Scripture and stand against such clear assaults on mainstream evangelical Christianity – not only by NBC but also by revisionist leaders within the Episcopal Church. If you are displeased with “The Book of Daniel’s attack on Christianity, contact your local NBC affiliate and sponsors to convey your thoughts.
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