Bill Maher’s Religulous, A Bit Ridiculous?

     Indeed, I think it is safe to say that the time has come yet again for another documentary to enter the mainstream entirely with the purpose of making religious people look, shall I say, stupid! His name is Bill Maher and his brand new baby is called “Religulous”. He gets this word from combining the words religion and ridiculous to get a fictitious made up word that he has coined. While Maher himself says that this is not a full blown documentary but just a comedy film, he makes several outrageous claims about many world religions and specifically calls out Christianity.

     While, I have not actually seen the movie (its release date is today, Oct. 3, 2008) I have had the “honor” of seeing Maher in an interview with John Stuart on The Daily Show (for the link to the video, click here). I must say that Maher does know how to make a scene. Maher proceeds to make fun of just about everyone, including his own country. At times, he can be somewhat funny, but this is because he is so engaging and not afraid to say anything. In the interview with John Stuart, he makes the claim that when approaching religion, if you just explain different religions as they are, they sound “silly”. In the interview, Maher talks specifically about Scientology and Christianity. Now, while I will not go into the details with Scientology (that may be for a later theological discussion and I have no intentions of making fun of them, but a simple theological dialogue about that belief) I do however want to focus on the claims he makes about Christianity, which I think Maher has a poor theological understanding of, (you can see this in the interview with John Stuart). There is a video on Youtube that I think is a good one to watch to see what kind of questions he is asking (click here to see the Youtube video).

     The questions that Maher is asking really are not that difficult to answer from a Christian perspective, at least they shouldn’t be. He asks questions such as, “how important is faith?” or “If God and the devil are real, why doesn’t God just defeat him and make himself known”? To me, and I may be wrong, these questions should be fundamental knowledge to a Bible believing Christian. I am reminded of 1 Peter 3:15 where Peter states that we need to set Christ apart in our hearts as Lord and be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope we have in Christ, but do this with gentleness and respect. The Bible commands us to be ready!

     Although I think Religulous is itself a ridiculous attempt to discredit Christianity, there is a thread of truth that Maher makes readily apparent. While asking mostly fundamental questions to Christian faith holders, it may unfortunately portray the state of general Christian believers of today. One thing that you will see in several of these videos with Maher are clips from the film itself. When talking to Christians in the film you can see this sense of “Christian pop-culture” come out. I am not going to take center stage with the idea of Christian pop-culture, but I do want to mention it a little. I am deeply in love with the church of Jesus Christ and I pray and am a part of the universal church, but there are times when we do nonsensical things at times. It gets ridiculous to see the latest Jesus fads take hold in the culture. It seems that there are times when Jesus is considered cool because he can rap and spin disks on turn tables. Now know that I will be the first to admit that some of those “Jesus is my homie” shirts and things are really funny and cool, but is that the right presentation of Jesus? Are people going to be saved because of the message on the Jesus is my homie shirt? I’m not sure, but probably not. The gospel is not presented clearly enough sometimes. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our propitiation and our righteousness before God is totally on account of Jesus who died in our place (2 Cor. 5:21). As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to have a strong motivation to take the gospel into this world and proclaim Jesus as Lord while enjoying the fun and freedom we have in Chirst.

     In conclusion in all of this, I want to say that this film is something that Christians should take concern with. Not because it discredits our faith, but because it issues a challenge to the church. know that going into this film, Maher already has made this documentary to discedit religion and even more, Christianity specifically. It would be wise to see the film if you are interested and take into consideration Maher questions about Christianity and then compare them to Scripture. Maher clearly does not have a real knowledge of Christian theology. Remember church, Peter told us to be ready and that is exactly the challenge we have to meet. To Christ be the glory forever! If you have anymore questions on this issue you can check out the following resources:







4 Responses to “Bill Maher’s Religulous, A Bit Ridiculous?”

  1. 1 Chris
    October 3, 2008 at 2:44 PM

    Pardon my language but Maher is a sensational douchebag.

  2. 2 Brandon Smith
    October 3, 2008 at 6:47 PM

    Good post, man. I wrote a little article about Religulous, too if you’d like to check it out. Let me know what you think.


  3. 3 Brandon Smith
    October 3, 2008 at 8:24 PM

    Definitely a Driscoll fan. Have you heard Matt Chandler? He is a friend of Driscoll and I heard of him first, he pastors a church out here in Dallas. I like Driscoll’s personality, but as far as flat out preaching the Scriptures, I truly believe there is no one in Christianity today better than Chandler.

    I’ll put you over on my blogroll if you put me up on yours, I’d like to let people read your stuff as well.

  4. 4 Brian
    October 12, 2008 at 4:15 PM

    Is it just me, or are you basing your dislike of the movie completely on faith, not having actually seen it?

    Maer brings up some good points, and it would do you well to watch it objectivly, rather than religiously.

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