The Jesus Christ Show? What blasphemy!

Has anyone heard of this?  I was scanning the AM dial during my drive between churches this morning (from St Paul’s Episcopal to Salem Evangelical) and stumbled across this guy conducting a call-in show pretending that he was Jesus.  The callers call him Jesus, and refers to himself as Jesus.   Rarely has anything I’ve heard on the radio upset me so much.

When I first tuned in, he was giving a rather poor explanation of original sin, comparing the difference between Calvinist and Arminian views. Then, some poor guy called in asking what he should do, as he claimed he kept trying not to sin, but sinned anyway. This “Jesus” impostor began berating him “Dr. Laura” style.  I’m sorry, but nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus berate and belittle sinners. Jesus saves that for the self-righteous.  This phony Jesus’ words were, “If you really cared, you would stop sinning,” going on and on to make the caller feel as bad as possible – I can’t really express how bad it really was.  There was none of the love, forgiveness, grace or power that are evidenced by the Jesus of the New Testament, just this voice of self-righteous condemnation calling himself “Jesus.”  Wow.

Whatever happened to, “Neither do I condemn you?”  Or, “Go, your sins are forgiven?”  This legalistic bullshit really pushed me over the edge.  If teachers are warned to be careful, this should go many times over for someone actually representing himself as Jesus.

I looked online and sure enough, found The Jesus Christ Show.  I expected to find some wacko group behind it, but see that it’s apparently considered mainstream evangelical and been on the air for several years. Nowhere did I find any evangelical leader speaking out against this blasphemy.  Why?  I’m telling you, if I didn’t really know the Gospel, what I heard today would be enough to make me an atheist.

If anyone is confused, here is what Paul had to say in response to this specific situation (which he outlined in Romans 7), from Romans 8:1-4,

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

That’s the real Gospel.  No condemnation. Set free from the law of sin and death.  What part of this does Neil Saavedra (who “plays” Jesus) not understand?  Has he read Romans?  Or Galatians?  Here’s what Paul had to say in Galatians 1 about those preaching a false gospel (which adds human effort into the equation):

Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

I should not be out of line, then, by calling up this false Jesus and telling him to go to hell, not that it would do any good.  I’m sure I would be branded a liberal and summarily dismissed. That doesn’t bother me; what does bother me is this:  where are all of the other voices calling for the end of this show?  If they’re out there, I’d like to know. I couldn’t find anyone through Google.

I should know better than to even consider listening to Christian radio, but my neighbor Randy is on sometimes, and he’s good.

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18 Comments

  1. Steve Martin wrote
    at 7:51 pm - 5th April 2009 Permalink

    A woman in my congregation who has heard the show said she too thought it was blasphemous.

    Another guy said he has heard the show and the guy was a “free will” Baptist/non-denominational Evangelical type, with terrible theology and terrible advice for people calling in.

    I will look him up to see when he’s on the air and ask him a few questions of my own.

  2. Noel Larsen wrote
    at 7:25 pm - 26th April 2009 Permalink

    I heard about 5 minutes of one show…where this clown quoted Paul, read from Corinthians and then said “And remember what I said…” ” and quoted Jesus Christ.

    Sorry folks, Christ doesn’t appear in the form of an ill educated talk radio goof. Yet another example of the degeneration of American society.

  3. Tina Bird wrote
    at 10:41 am - 3rd May 2009 Permalink

    Anyone claiming to be Jesus Christ is insane…
    From Matrya to Hitler. Give up on finding your reality on the radio. Get real, run from these wackos and find your own inner peace in your own intentions…
    God is All, God is Love, Love is all there is… Our Power is our choice, Our impact the amount of love we apply to all we experience, Amen… Choose well, ya all…

  4. Jerry Crow wrote
    at 3:58 pm - 28th June 2009 Permalink

    A refreshing way to present ideas without having to resort to a history lesson from something that happened thousands of years ago. I read that the first few years were rough as he fine tuned his image, position, and style. Compare that to 45 minutes of “What I thought God wanted me to tell to you this week from what He inspired me to say…”
    Still, the juxtaposition is very interesting.

  5. Gerry wrote
    at 7:43 pm - 14th July 2009 Permalink

    Ah… how ironic! In your rush to hate (a sin, by the way), many of you have either deliberately lied about the host of the show, or didn’t pay enough attention to warrant your anger and to sit in judgement – sin number 2.

    When I first heard the show, my initial reaction was also, “BLASPHEMY!” But then I recalled the scripture that says, “Judge not, lest ye be judged!” So I did something some of you critical of the CONCEPT of the show didn’t take the time to do: I listened CAREFULLY.

    Several times throughout the show, the announcer states VERY CLEARLY that what you are about to hear is INTERACTIVE RADIO THEATER and that the host DOES NOT CLAIM TO BE JESUS CHRIST.

    Sorry Adenswan, but you LIE when you say the host refers to himself as Jesus Christ. In truth (which doesn’t serve your goal here), he refers to himself as “Your holy host.” The Callers almost always refer to him as Jesus, but that is part of the theater (which is why he does not correct them). YOU are the ones acting in judgement here. Shame on you.

    If you were to speak to any of the callers afterwards and ask if they REALLY thought they were talking to Jesus Christ, they would laugh at you for even ASKING the question.

    I’m glad it’s on. There are countless people out there who are lost and searching. Maybe they’ve been away from the church so long, they feel awkward about returning. Here, on the radio, is a friendly voice who warmly offers them guidance in a non-judgemental fashion, welcoming them back into the fold. Count me as one who has returned to the church as a result of this show. What have any of YOU done to do the same?

  6. me wrote
    at 9:32 pm - 14th July 2009 Permalink

    Gerry, I wasn’t hating anyone. I don’t care if it’s “interactive theater” – the people call him Jesus, and he responds in that role.

    What’s blasphemy is that he was preaching a gospel of works. Read Galatians 1, then read the rest of the letter.

    I’m glad God used it to return you to the church. I still think what I heard was awful.

  7. MiMi wrote
    at 1:02 pm - 23rd November 2009 Permalink

    I just heard this show and people call him “Jesus” and he speaks about things in the Bible as if he were really “Jesus?” It confuses me as I was told there should be a disclaimer since the music is secular and I don’t find this Biblical in that we only have one Saviour. Am I wrong? I don’t understand it at all.

  8. JM in San Diego CA wrote
    at 10:44 pm - 22nd December 2009 Permalink

    Although I’m an atheist for many good reasons, I frequently hear portions of this program. The performer “plays it straight” and obviously has great reverence for his subject. If this is blasphemy, you hyper-critical haters could use a good dose of it. At least he’s not advocating mass shoplifting by his flock. Instead, he speaks of redemption and the forgiveness of sins.

    JM

  9. me wrote
    at 9:41 am - 23rd December 2009 Permalink

    JM, You’ve an interesting point of view for an atheist. What I find objectionable is that the performer speaks as Jesus, but presents his own particular theology.

  10. You wrote
    at 4:50 pm - 24th December 2009 Permalink

    I believe 1 John 4 speaks directly to this point,

    “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    I was pretty confused myself at first, until I heard them mention that this is an interactive theater. Basically no difference than the guys that dress as historical characters and answer questions in the first person.

    I’ve listened to Niel and I can say only this. He very consistently directs his audience to the redemptive work of Jesus’ death on the cross, the grace and love of the Father, and that the only way to the Father is through Jesus. He consistently counters popular modern doctrine, even in the modern church, that says do whatever makes you feel good because you’re saved by grace. He positively reinforces the importance of personal purity in being able to connect to the Father.

    Regardless, I think it’s important the regardless of theology, Niel is directing peoples hearts to Jesus. He is encouraging the longing in peoples hearts to connect with God. He is reminding people of their accountability to and dependence on a higher power. Far be it from me to cast judgment on Niel for this! If it is true that the Holy Spirit is involved in Niels program and is at work – would it not be blaspheming the Holy Spirit to call the work of the enemy? Wasn’t Jesus very combative with the Pharisees when they challenged Jesus while he was about his Father’s business?

    So, I say we are certainly to test the spirit. Fundamentally I cannot argue with a spirit that points to Jesus’ finished work on the cross as the only way to salvation and the kingdom of the Father. Even demons will admit they believe in Jesus, but I find it hard to believe they would declare him Lord and reinforce the foundational teachings of salvation.

  11. Jaffee wrote
    at 1:59 pm - 14th January 2010 Permalink

    This program is now airing in my area as well and I’ve listened two or three times. I, too, think it’s blasphemous for this guy to act as if he were Christ answering these questions, especially since he doesn’t seem to know the answers.

    This past week some guy asked why God would allow some to suffer or die or live in poverty or squalor while others live in luxury. The on-air “Jesus” rambled on for several minutes totally lost in his own misunderstand or lack of understanding. He never once even got near the answer that the Bible never mentions that all men on earth should have equal rewards or that this life is not the final reward.

    In the parable of the talents, the master gives one slave five talents, and another two, and another one, each according to his ability. The test is to see what each does with what he has been given, not to make sure that each has the same as the others.

    I don’t have a problem with the intent of the program, to give counsel and advice and even comfort to callers, but the form and execution is abhorrent.

    Galations 6:7 tells us “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

  12. Danny wrote
    at 2:07 pm - 15th January 2010 Permalink

    http://www.ocweekly.com/2007-03-22/culture/you-re-on-with-jesus/1

  13. D.Brown wrote
    at 5:54 pm - 16th January 2010 Permalink

    I am a truck driver and listen to the show every week. I and every thinking person out there knows that the host is not Yeshua (Jesus). I find his explanations of the Christain faith insightful and honest. He is reaching people, many of which have turned away from the church. Quite honestly the church has not done a very good job. Just look at the condition of society. I have had to go outside the church to find answers that would not or could not be answered in a church. From my own research I have grow in my faith. This show is just another venue in which to explore the mysteries of god and the meaning of the gospels. Seek ma and you shall find me…. That’s what people are doing.

  14. Saul wrote
    at 1:22 pm - 18th January 2010 Permalink

    This show is amazing give it more then 5 minutes! He helps so many people understand the bible and brings hope to the hopeless. I highly recommend his show just bring a open mind.

  15. me wrote
    at 9:55 am - 19th January 2010 Permalink

    I heard enough to know that they guy doesn’t understand the Gospel. ’nuff said.

  16. Edward wrote
    at 8:09 am - 24th January 2010 Permalink

    There are a plethora of religious institutions, even within the Christian faith, each with it’s own perspective. Would the critics call all those outside his/her particular doctrine “blasphemy!”? The core truth and beauty of this show is one of God’s pathways to enlightenment and salvation. If the host’s particular interpretations vary from your own, then condemn him at the risk of showing your own bias and ignorance- a truly unchristian practice.

  17. Laurelishishnish wrote
    at 1:24 pm - 7th February 2010 Permalink

    You guys just do not “Get IT” do you? He does not claim to actually be Jesus Christ. He just dispenses basically practical advice to life’s perplexing questions and this practical advice is based on scripture. I find the show interesting, inspiring, and puts me in a good mindset for the upcoming week. Right on, NEIL!!

  18. me wrote
    at 9:12 pm - 7th February 2010 Permalink

    What?? No one thinks it’s really Jesus, okay? The problem is, the guy who’s “playing” Jesus doesn’t even understand the Gospel.

    I won’t say this again (and I’m closing comments).