On Saturday 8th January, BBC2 screened “Jerry Springer the Opera”, which they recorded last December in London’s Cambridge Theatre. A more contemptible mockery of our Saviour has never been staged in a West End theatre, let alone broadcast on television. I have decided to start a private prosecution for blasphemy against those responsible. Almighty God brought around 1500 Christian brothers and sisters out on to the streets in a UK-wide prayer vigil when ‘Springer’ was screened that night. I believe He wants us to keep standing up for His precious name.
Jesus Christ portrayed as a sexual deviant
I don’t want to go into too much detail, but the Lord Jesus is portrayed in ‘Springer’ as an infantile sexual deviant. Satan tells Him ‘F--- you’, and Mary his blessed mother castigates Him for abandoning her when He died on the cross. His wounds are mocked, He says He is ‘a little bit gay’ and finally Jerry Springer tells him: ‘Jesus, grow up for Chr---’s sake and put some f---ing clothes on.’ On top of all that, Almighty God is portrayed as an ineffectual inadequate who needs Jerry Springer’s shoulder to cry on, and Springer himself emerges as the true saviour of mankind.
Costs of a prosecution could exceed £75,000
Clearly, if Jerry Springer the Opera is not found in court to be blasphemous, then nothing in Britain is sacred. We have to take a stand. A line must be drawn. However, the costs of the action could exceed £75,000. Would you pray for the Lord to provide at least that sum, and prayerfully consider a donation yourself? However, if you do make a donation, please only send what you can afford. Do not go into debt on this account. Our Lord God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and all the silver and gold is His. He will provide in answer to our prayer. He will also, if we pray in faith, provide the wisdom which I and the legal team will need to counter the machinations and lies of the devil.
The blasphemy law allows freedom of speech
Blasphemy in English law is defined as “any contemptuous, reviling, scurrilous or ludicrous matter relating to God, Jesus Christ, or the Bible, or the formularies of the Church of England as by law established.” The definition, supported by Lord Scarman in the 1970s ‘Gay News’ case, goes on to say: “It is not blasphemous to speak or publish opinions hostile to the Christian religion, or to deny the existence of God, if the publication is couched in temperate language. The test to be applied is as to the manner in which the doctrines are advocated and not the substance of the doctrines themselves.” It is clear from this that our blasphemy law, which has been upheld in the European Court of Human Rights (in the ‘Visions of Ecstasy’ case), allows freedom of speech but not the causing of gratuitous offence such as what was performed in the Cambridge Theatre and broadcast on the BBC.
Why not ask the DPP to prosecute?
The Director of Public Prosecutions has already declined to bring the case. He said it was ‘not in the public interest’. I believe the Lord said through that decision that it is better to retain control of the case within the Body of Christ. I do not think the DPP would have prepared a convincing enough case anyway. He would not understand the Christian faith well enough, nor would the DPP have appreciated the scale of the insult to Almighty God from ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’. As it is, if we fail to convince a jury that ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’ is blasphemous, it will be a sign of His judgment on our land. If they convict, it will be a sign of His mercy.
Can’t God look after Himself?
Why am I bringing a case when God is quite capable of looking after Himself? In truth, God could have struck the BBC electrical system with a thunderbolt as we prayed. He chose not to. I believe God is generous enough to involve ordinary believing men and women, with all our weaknesses, in His purpose. He wants us to share His victory. He graciously desires fellowship with us. After all, that is why He became human Himself as Immanuel, God with us, two thousand years ago. It is why Jesus shed His precious blood on the cross, suffering in our place, to reconcile us to God and restore our fellowship with our loving Father through sins forgiven. He triumphed over death itself and gave us life. He deserves our all.
Our judges sit under the authority of God Himself
Some people may object to our bringing a case for blasphemy in what they see as the ‘secular courts’. The truth is our Queen was anointed at her coronation to rule under the authority of God as a Christian monarch. She promised to ‘maintain the laws of God’ in her courts. She was given the Holy Bible as the rule for her whole life and government. Whether they like it or not, the judges she appoints through her Lord Chancellor sit in judgment in her name. That means their judgment is from the Lord of hosts. Our courts are not ‘secular’ at all. And no-one should fall for the line that ‘we are not to judge.’ We won’t. That’s for the judge and jury!
Shouldn’t we just forgive those responsible for ‘Springer’
I have wondered whether we should simply forgive those responsible for ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’. I realise we can and should forgive ‘those who trespass against us’ not least because only then will God ‘forgive us our trespasses.’ I dearly want my trespasses forgiven! But although we have the duty to forgive those who sin against us, for us to forgive those who sin against another is not within our power. And when that sin is against the Lord Jesus, what arrogance it would be for us to forgive on His behalf!
Don’t let us confuse the roles of state and church
It has been said that instead of prosecuting those responsible for Springer, we should reach out to them with the Good News of Jesus. The trouble is, we could extend that principle to any crime and so confuse the purpose of God’s institutions of church and state. The job of the state, from Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2, is to safeguard peace and order, uphold righteousness and punish evil-doers. The church is there to minister the holy things of God, witness to the truth and preach the Gospel. It is not a matter of either prosecute or preach. It is not either/or, it is both/and!
Worse will come if we do nothing
The law of the land is a statement of what is permissible and what is not. It we allow this blasphemy to pass, worse will come, even though at the moment it is difficult to see how any blasphemy could be worse than that in ‘Jerry Springer the Opera.’ Our blasphemy law, so detested by secularists, is a statement that the United Kingdom sees God, not as a private lifestyle choice, but as the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, and Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. It protects what remains of our sense of the sacred.
We have appeared not to care about our faith
It has been well said that if ‘Springer’ had portrayed Mohammed or a Hindu ‘deity’ as deviant, or rubbished the Sikh religion, it would never have been written. Christianity seems to be ‘fair game’, through a combination of political correctness and the fact that Christians are peaceful people. Indeed, not only are we peaceful, but we have become passive and pietistic, shutting the door on the world outside as we gather in our holy clubs on Sunday. We have taken our Christian heritage for granted and we haven’t bothered to defend our faith. We have appeared not to care. And we wonder why our society is falling to pieces and our Saviour’s name is dragged through the gutter.
We stood up for Jesus but now Springer tour is planned
I pray that Saturday 8th January was a new beginning for the Church in this land. Brothers and sisters found that coming out and standing up for Jesus, praising God and praying in public is a wonderful experience with a huge spiritual dimension. Those who came felt blessed just to be there. God touched us that night, as He did when we witnessed after that at the Cambridge Theatre until ‘Springer’ closed last month. Now the producers plan to go on tour around the United Kingdom from the autumn. Many theatres have dropped out as a result of Christian Voice prayer and action so far, but others still want to go ahead. We have already been busy praying and writing to local theatres, and I pray God will raise up Christians to mount prayer vigils in every town and city where there is even a thought of this anti-Christian wickedness taking place. God will send success, of that I am sure, especially as we shall also be bringing the prosecution I told you about earlier.
Your prayers and donation will make all the difference.
As I said at the start, we need, between us, to raise at least £75,000 to fund the prosecution. I have no doubt that the Lord will provide through the generosity of His people. I have already instructed solicitors to start the action, taking a step of faith. I also need your prayers. Our most effective weapon is well-informed prayer. If you respond to this appeal, as I hope and pray you will, I shall keep you informed of prayer targets every step of the way. Your prayers and your donation - of whatever size - will help protect our Saviour’s name.
Please support us and help us carry the fight to the enemy
Please support me in prayer, and please send whatever you can prayerfully afford. We do not waste money on big offices and glossy publications, as you can see! All the money we raise goes into effective campaigning and providing the information our members need for prayer and action. Every gift - £500, £100, £20 or £5 - will carry the fight to the enemy. Time is of the essence, so please do not delay. If you care about Christ and His Holy Name, and have a burden for this sad nation of ours, please send me back the response form today. I am really counting on you for a quick and positive response. May God bless you for standing up for Him at this vital time.
Stephen Green, M.A.
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