Two more responses to the Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s production of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” have been released to The Oklahoman.
The play opens Thursday night at the Civic Center Music Hall.
Pastor Steve Kern of Olivet Baptist Church offered reasons for the prayer vigil organized by pastors from around the metro area.
The vigil is to be Friday night, the play’s official opening night.
Pastor Kern wrote:
“Bible believing Christians are to be salt and light in a lost world, calling people to repentance and salvation.
“Because the play uses the Bible as its story line to present sinful themes as acceptable and to be celebrated, Christians have a responsibility to speak against this sacrilege in a way that calls for repentance and a return to God for forgiveness and restoration.
“This play being presented in a public forum calls for a public response by Christians who are to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them as Matthew 5:44 commands.
“The presentation of this play is a form of persecution to those of us who hold the Bible to be the sacred word of God.
“Our message to those involved in this play is God loves you and will forgive you when you repent.
“The LGBT community has been demanding since the beginning of the ‘Gay Rights’ movement on June 28, 1969, that they be tolerated and accepted into the mainstream community. The putting on of this play tells those of us in the mainstream community who disagree with their lifestyle that they will not tolerate us or accept the fact that we cannot affirm their lifestyle.
“We understand they have the right to live the way they choose.
“They need to understand that we have the right to disagree with them on religious grounds and the freedom to tell them so. We do so because we believe God loves them and has a better life for them when they choose to accept it.
“We pray for God’s mercy on them for putting on this play and on us for not being the salt and light we have often failed to be.
“We pray for God’s mercy on our state and nation as we continue to turn our backs on God and lose His blessings.”
The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City issued this statement on Thursday afternoon:
Archbishop Coakley on “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told”:
“The play offends any reasonable sensibility”
OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 5, 2013) – “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” a play billed as “a theatrical offering for the holidays that challenges the norm and appeals to an alternative audience,” opens today in the CitySpace Theatre of the Oklahoma City Civic Center.
Presented by the Oklahoma City Theatre Company, the play has drawn advance criticism from concerned Christians who object to the script, an intentionally perverse rewrite of the Bible.
The Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, today said he, too, is troubled by the contents of the play.
“I am deeply disappointed, saddened and disgusted that the Oklahoma City Theatre Company is mounting ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,’” the archbishop said. “It’s painful to realize that there are some in our community who feel compelled to mock and delegitimize our sincerely held beliefs to advance their own.
“It is my ardent hope and prayer that those who decided to bring this play to Oklahoma City will come to see that, far from advancing the arts, its production serves merely to lower community standards and to gratuitously offend reasonable sensibilities.
“In the future, especially given that the Oklahoma City Theatre Company receives taxpayer dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council, its leaders would do well to avoid even the appearance of purposely alienating any part of its audience.
“Yet, as Christians, we should not be surprised at this new and unexpected expression of animosity toward us. In this world, we will have trouble, as Jesus told us, but we can take heart, knowing that Jesus has overcome the world. To bear this affront patiently and prayerfully is to witness to the peace of Christ – a peace the world cannot give. Even as others try to provoke us, we rejoice in the incomparable worth of Christ.
“Fortunately, in the United States today, we may still choose to support uplifting and original literature, movies, mu¬sic and art – like the recent ‘Of Heaven and Earth’ exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art or ‘The Christmas Candle,’ a movie that is in theaters now – and to ignore self-evidently inferior art like ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.’ I encourage all men and women of good will to do exactly that.”