What Went Missing in the Passion Play?
Political correctness is destroying both Europe and America!
In 2000, my wife Rebecca and I had the privilege of enjoying the Passion Play in Germany. Recently we returned for this summer’s repeat performance. The Passion Play has been performed in Oberammergau since 1633, when the residents promised to put on a play about Jesus every 10 years if God would rid them of the plague. The plague ended, and their promise has been kept. Today the famous play attracts visitors from all over the world.
But there is a problem. The directors of the play have bowed to political correctness and minimized one of the central doctrines of Christianity—namely, the physical resurrection of Jesus. We see Jesus realistically crucified, but we do not see Him laid into a tomb. The explanation for this is given in the introduction of the text which reads, “Jesus is laid to rest, but the tomb is not visible. This eliminates having to show the guards at the tomb.” This is surely a weak excuse, for there are dozens of soldiers in earlier parts of the play; to have shown guards at a tomb would have been a very simple matter, comparatively speaking.
To be sure, the risen Christ appears briefly but says nothing. An angel speaks on Christ’s behalf and says to Mary Magdalene, “Mary! Go to your brothers and tell them: ‘He has not yet ascended to His Father. But He will ascend to His Father and your Father, to His God and your God.’” Mary then says that her Lord is risen, but she does not see Him or interact with Him as she does in the New Testament account. An angel has taken His place.
The writers claim that they wrote the script based largely on John’s Gospel. Imagine how powerful it would have been to end with the story of doubting Thomas! But as it is, we are left with the impression that the resurrection is simply a mystical, spiritual event.
Why? Political correctness! The stated philosophy was to make the play of universal appeal, apparently to not offend other people such as the Muslims and Jews. So, the resurrection is thus left mired in ambiguity, subject to the interpretation of the personal preference of each person.
Because political correctness is also destroying Christianity in America, I want to help you understand its background and how it works. Arm yourself to resist the insidious attacks of this deadly philosophy.
Political Correctness: Its History and Consequences
Presenting the resurrection of Jesus as an inconsequential ending to the drama of the crucifixion, undoubtedly gives it more diversity, more tolerance, and more general acceptance. But in doing so, political correctness erodes the heart of Christianity and undercuts the only truths that can save us.
Political correctness began with the “Frankfurt School,” a group of German thinkers committted to Marxism and the eradication of Christianity (1864-1993). They created an educational theory that would advance Marxism, not by revolution, but step-by-step simply by changing the language.
When Nazism arose in Germany, many of these thinkers came to America and took critical positions in our universities and media. A committed Marxist, Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), a member of the Frankfurt School regarded as the father of America’s cultural left, emigrated from Germany to the U.S to teach in several of our universities. He taught that “repressive speech” should not be tolerated…and of course, “repressive speech” was anything the radicals didn’t want to hear.
The New Code Words
The goal of promoting Marxism through the educational system was wildly successful! U.S. News and World Report noted in January 1982 that there were 10,000 Marxists teaching at America’s colleges and universities. I’m sure the number today is much higher. They invented or redefined code words designed to destroy Christianity and bring about a Marxist/Socialistic political philosophy.
Relativism teaches that there is no objective standard of right or wrong by which morality or political theories can be judged.
Tolerance insists that all radical ideas should be accepted since relativism undercuts anyone’s right to be critical of another’s point of view. However—and this is where it gets sticky—we should be intolerant of anyone who does not agree with this view of tolerance.
Multiculturalism/Diversity should be approached not as a study of many cultures, but rather as the criticism of Western culture with its Christian roots. This meant rewriting America’s history to give preference to other cultures and other histories.
Feminism was no longer simply equal rights for women, but redefined to mean destroying the family by eliminating the husband as leader and provider. This would make families look to the state for their entitlements and support.
The New “Tolerance”
This view of tolerance is now being enforced in America through the courts and the policies of the educational establishment.
For example: The administration at Hastings College of Law (part of the University of California) declared that the Christian Legal Society’s chapter cannot make its leaders sign a statement of faith to abstain from “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle.” In the interest of tolerance and diversity, the school says that leadership positions must be open to all students, even to those who would join in order to destroy the very purpose of the group! (Christianity Today, May 2010). Clearly this new form of tolerance insists that the Christian Legal Society’s convictions should not be tolerated.
Sidra Qureshi, a Muslim student, is campaigning to have the phrase, “In the year of our Lord” removed from the diplomas of her San Antonio school, Trinity University, arguing that not everyone believes in Jesus Christ (Christianity Today, May 2010). No doubt if she wins this campaign, the next taget will be the name of the university itself, since not everyone believes in the Trinity!
Political correctness is much more than just an attempt to be “fair” or “tolerant.” It demands our unconditional surrender to the notion that all opinions are equally good, all choices equally valid… and all statements of right and wrong are only the personal preferences of intolerant bigots who hate their fellow man.
Political correctness pretends to make us all equal… but only the Gospel really does! “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, ESV), so we are all equally guilty and deserving of punishment before God… and in need of a Savior whose claims were absolutely true.
Political correctness purports to remove the risen Christ from His rightful place but in doing so undercuts all hope of our salvation. Thankfully, those who trust in Christ stand on a rock that no clever twist of language can move.