Reformed Reflections

Moral Decay 

What is happening to decency? You really wonder. Only a few years ago Denmark abolished censorship of pornography, and for now - until other nations have followed suit - it is reaping a rich profit.

Denmark has an established church, to which over 90 percent of the population belongs. But neither Christian influence nor a common respect for the feelings of Christians seem to have made any impact upon the government. From tax money collected from its citizens, it granted a subsidy to film director Jens Jergen Thorsen's projected hetero and homosexually pornographic fantasy to be called The Love Affairs of Jesus Christ.

How utterly shameful for a government to grant funding for such a film. Thornsen has already announced that the film will be "extremely obscene." 

Concerned Christians around the world have voiced their protests already. On August 11, (1973) several thousand Young Christians (a Danish evangelical group) held a march in Copenhagen to protest. They specifically condemned the financing of this yet unproduced film by the Danish treasury to the extent of a 650,000 kroner subsidy (approximately $117,0011). 

Some Dutch parliamentarians, representing a Christian political party, made official protestations to the Danish government. The Vatican issued a searing and lengthy attack. The Vatican Daily Losservatore Romano said that the Danish government was guilty of "gravely offending and violating the rights of those citizens who believe in these (Christian) values."

It said that a stage should rather protect the Christian faith from the "infamous slander of an industry" than finance such doings. The newspaper also charged that the experts who approved the subsidy were "members of those clans interested in the film's production or caught up in the taboos of a fatuous, infantile and iconoclastic pseudo culture . . while they make a ring for the multi-million dance." Christianity Today, a leading North-American evangelical bi-weekly, charged that "Thorsen's movie will have to be drawn from a depraved imagination not fact, for its theme, as he describes it, will run absolutely contrary to all historical truth. 

"Only a sex dominated age as ours can imagine that a man as portrayed by Thorsen could have passed himself off as the spiritual leader amongst first century Jews. 

I certainly agree with Christianity Today's statement: "Ordinary human decency would certainly hold a government back from ... outraging members of the Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu faith. But the fascination of mocking the Son of Man seems too great for even 'democratic' governments to resist today, just as it was for an authoritarian one in Jesus' day." 

Only an age so obsessed with sexuality as ours can stoop so low as to offend the spiritual sensitivities of the Christian minority – not the 90 percent who have been baptized in the state church. Ordinary human decency should have held the Danish government back from pursuing such action. For Christians who love and worship Christ as their Lord, Saviour and King, blasphemy pains and deeply grieves. Why should they have to accept it?


Furthermore, Democracy is not just the majority ruling the country and the minority having to abide with whatever the majority decides, even if it tramples upon the religious convictions of the minority. Democracy is more than a majority rule. It includes the protection of the rights of the minority, including the Christian minority.

What is happening to our society? Nothing seems to be sacred anymore. Vulgarity can be produced freely in the name of art. Never before in civilization has sex been so pervasively prostituted for financial gain for the technological possibilities were not present until our time. 

We need today the arousal of a tidal wave of righteous moral indignation. The Christians should speak courageously and precisely against the moral degradation of our times. Of course, for doing this they will be called Victorian or Puritan, not understanding the times. But so much is going on today that needs the reaction of moral indignation. 

The time for fiddling away, or whispering meek and mild protests, has gone. It is not enough to shake the head and say: "Isn't too bad. What is the world coming to?" Christianity can outshout all the sounds of modern communication if it finds its voice and in moral indignation lifts its voice high. It should stiffen its spiritual backbone and resist the blasphemy of the name of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings - Jesus Christ.

Johan D.Tangelder