Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Life Imitates Skit

When I write my skits, I sometimes come up with far-out and funny ideas that make a point with hyperbole, and I don't expect that one would ever see a similar situation take place. But I recently found this article online that proved me wrong!

One of the most extreme was a skit about a person who hauls around a cardboard image of Jesus, to depict how people are attached to certain Hollywood images without really knowing the Lord in a personal relationship. You can read that script, written in 2005, here: "The Guy With The Cardboard Christ." Go ahead, read it then come back here.

Okay, now that you have, here is the article where something similar happened in 2006...

By Paul Proctor
December 13, 2006

Click here to read original article: NewsWithViews.com

The Des Moines Register reported in its December 10th edition, that teenagers from Lamoni United Methodist Church recently took a life-size cardboard cutout of "Jesus" and rolled it through the Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines on a two-wheeled cart and into the movie theater on their way to see "The Nativity Story."

The Register's Religion Editor, Shirley Ragsdale, reported the triumphal entry this way:

"As they took turns pushing the cardboard Jesus on a two-wheeled handcart through the mall's festive decorations and Christmas music, the faces of the shoppers around them registered surprise and curiosity. Chatter at the food court quieted when the kids pushed Jesus by. Kiosk shopkeepers asked what was going on.

One older man burdened with shopping bags was so fascinated, he nearly blundered into a glittering Christmas tree.

"The cardboard Jesus is an exercise in living their faith and 'taking Jesus Christ with them everywhere,'" said the Rev. Steve McElroy.

Earlier this year, McElroy had talked to about 20 middle school and high school students in his church about the challenge in living as a Christian.

The discussion became more real when the pastor showed up with the cardboard cutout and asked the youth group if they would take Jesus with them any time they were together.

"It's one thing taking Jesus around local places. It's more difficult to be a public Christian when you're hauling him through the mall crowded with shoppers," Pastor McElroy said. "It's a good test."

"It's a chance to show people we are Christians and we're not embarrassed about it," said Agnes Ansong, 16, of Lamoni.

"We want people to know what we believe in and that we take the Christmas season seriously." McElroy said.

They want people to know they believe in what, cardboard? Well, these kids may "take the Christmas season seriously," but obviously their pastor doesn't take the Son of God or His Word too seriously.

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;" - Exodus 20:4-5

Have our convictions gone on Christmas vacation? What part of "Thou shalt not" is so hard for today's pastor to grasp? And who says we are we to take Jesus anywhere? Did He not command us to follow Him - which begs the question: Who is in control of the relationship here?

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." - Matthew 16:24

It's yet another example of absolute truth being sidelined by a pragmatic pastor teaching his youth that the end justifies the means - that love is a license to do whatever you feel is effective, as long as it's for Jesus - even when the Lord Himself says "Thou shalt not."

Now I don't really blame the kids here because, according to the Register, their pastor is the one who told them to do it - and obviously their parents aren't anymore discerning than the pastor or they would have refused their participation - but consider what they're really being taught by this egregious exercise.

Whether the pastor knows it or not, these kids are learning a cardboard christ-likeness - how to mutely make your way through a materialistic world without uttering a single saving word of truth or bearing witness to a living Christ with a changed heart and a renewed mind. Is there a more perfect illustration of today's "evangelism" than kids pushing a lifeless prop around the mall for spectacle? How Pastor McElroy translates that into "an exercise in living their faith," Ill never know.

-End of article excerpt-

And I thought the idea was too outlandish to be real! Anyway, it's a popular script on the site, and I hope you perform it at your church... but don't act it out in real life!

Below, the drama team of Karmen and Greg act out the script.

To see the skit performed by another drama group, watch this Youtube video as they do "The Guy With the Cardboard Christ." It was performed Feb. 7, 2010 at Garden Grove Church of the Nazarene. Here is Part Two. These fellows did a good job!


  1. Fred,

    We will be doing "The Guy With The Cardboard Christ" Sunday, April 27th at the Marple Presbyterian Church in Broomall, PA.

    I was very excited about finding this as I am in charge of the Contemporary Service this coming Sunday. This service is led by lay-people. We use a great deal of multi-media in this service. This skit is perfect! Thank you so much. I hope we can do it justice.

    -Cindy Sue Barbezat
    Marple Presbyterian Church
    Broomall, PA

  2. Hello, Fred!
    I wanted to let you know we performed two of your skits and they were very well received; "The Guy with the Cardboard Christ" (which is in your post this time) and "The Sheep's Clothing Store." Thanks so much for your online ministry!

    Also a big thanks for the soundtrack CD which really helped with the Sheep's Clothing skit. I sent in the order for the CD the morning of the performance, on the small chance that I could get the mp3 links. I know that's very last minute, but I thought I'd at least try, because I hadn't realized there was a soundtrack until then. You actually sent me the links within an hour and I was able to use them in the service. Thanks for going above and beyond! I'll definitely get the order in earlier for next time...

    Thanks again and blessings,
    Pastor Eric Hendrickson
    -Garden Grove Church of the Nazarene
    Garden Grove, CA

  3. Fred, The Light and Life Free Methodist Church in Cornwall, UK put on your script "The Guy with the Cardboard Christ" on Easter Sunday.

    My friend and I changed the characters to women and performed to a PACKED congregation Sunday morning! They totally LOVED it, it had them rolling in the aisles, The children watched the performance too before they went off to children's church and were enthralled by it also, which was amazing as we took around 20 mins or so to act it out.

    Overall comments were a brilliant mix of a strong message and humour, a lot of people said that with most Christian sketches you know where they're going from the word go but had no idea where this one would end up! Some people found it very touching. Someone also gave their heart to the Lord at the service, so who knows how much of a part of that the sketch played!

    You are an amazing sketch writer and we would love to use some more of the scripts over the coming months.

    Many many thanks!
    Kath Gibbons

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