Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

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Monday, 7 November 2011

Protest against Jesus Christ Superstar

A Free Presbyterian protest was held outside the Grand Opera House in Belfast on Saturday afternoon 5th November 2011 against the production entitled: Jesus Christ Superstar. Over 20 people took part in the protest. Other ministers in attendance were Rev. John Woods [John Knox Mem. FPC], Rev. Philip Gardiner [Carrickfergus FPC], Rev. David Priestley [Bangor FPC], Rev. Graham Middleton [Donaghadee FPC], Rev David McLaughlin [Carryduff FPC] and myself.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first production for the stage in Broadway of this opera whose lyrics were written by Tim Rice and the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

Around 400 specially prepared leaflets highlighting the slanderous attack upon the person and work of Jesus Christ contained in this 'rock opera', were distributed to people attending the final day's performance.

After the leaflets were distributed a short service was held following the protest. After the singing of the hymn: I am not ashamed to own my Lord or to defend His cause, Rev. David McLaughlin (Carryduff FPC) led in prayer. I then spoke on John 5:22,23: For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

Two opportunities arose during the protest to highlight our concerns to those involved in this production on the Grand Opera House.  One of the show's producers approached Rev. Priestley concerning the reasons behind the protest. When Rev Priestley objected to the content surrounding the portrayal of Christ's relationship with Mary Magdalene this Directer acknowledged that they had removed these scenes and replaced them with scenes from the resurrection. Another conversation took place with the chief Executive  of the Grand Opera House, who also took one of the leaflets.

A sermon was preached in Newtownabbey FPC on Lord's day evening 6th November detailing the objectionable nature of the 'rock opera'. Click here to link to the sermon


Update - Letter carried in Belfast Telegraph by Rev Ian Brown against Jesus Christ Superstar & in the Belfast Newsletter


Jonathan Trimble said...

I read recent comments of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church trainee minister Jonathan Abernethy-Barkely on this Blasphemous show. He couldn't speak more highly of it! Boasted to some of the congregation of Fitzroy of his wonderful visit to the show!

Jibber-JABber said...

Jonathan - What I highlighted in this production was the fact that it ends with an empty cross for the first time - demonstrating the full divinity of christ .... you can see my full reflection here http://jibberjaber.blogspot.com/2011/11/jesus-christ-risen-star.html?spref=fb

Rev Brian McClung said...


The very fact that the end of this production has been altered testifies to its blasphemy. It is an acknowledgement that it presented a offensive/distorted/slanderous view of Jesus Christ.

Altering the end does not suddenly make it acceptable. What about the other objectionable content that has been highlighted about this 'rock opera'?

Jesus Christ can only rise from the dead if He is a sinless Christ upon which the justice of God has no claims because He never broke its precepts. But this is not the 'Christ' presented in Jesus Christ Superstar.

A house divided against itself cannot stand! You cannot present contrary views of the same person and expect them to be honouring or glorifying.

You and others may think it is entertaining to present Jesus Christ in this way but we are reminded in Galatians 6:7:
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Mock God the Son and God the Son will laugh at your calamity, Proverbs 1:24-28:
Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.

Not only is this 'rock opera' offensive against the person of Jesus Christ but it is eternally harmful to those who engage in its promotion.

Brian McClung