restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


Jon Stewart Fails to Save the World

David Alan Black 

Jon Stewart bemoans the futility of his 16-year run as host of The Daily Show. "The world is demonstrably worse than when I started. Have I caused this?"

If you will, here's my take. We are a living at the close of one age and the beginning of another. It is a momentous hour in world history. The tragedy of our times is that we are failing to get to the bottom of our troubles. Nothing is so popular today as the intoxications of Satan. The unregenerate try to remedy the condition with temporary palliatives such as comedy and entertainment. It's like trying to cure cancer with an aspirin pill. Even in the church, modern religious fads such as the prosperity gospel only further the deception. In his final show tonight, Jon Stewart wants to come across as the neurotic pessimist whose "rousements" sadly failed to improve our lot as human beings. He is unaware that God has provided a true stimulant. All the well-meant comedians in the world cannot make us equal to the opportunity. Sin is our problem, and nothing less than the divine cure will alleviate it. There can be no revival in the land until we turn from amusement to amazement. We will first have to ask in wonder, "What must I do to be saved?" Chase fleeting fame and you have your momentary reward. Just ask Johnny Carson or Jay Leno or, now, Jon Stewart. If you want to outlive yourself, you must first come to Christ. Dead with Him, you live to walk in newness of life. There is no other way.

Stewart ends his show on a depressing note. As the studio goes dark, he will pick up a skull and, in his best Hamlet voice, ask, "Hath my efforts all be for naught?" It is our task as Christians to answer this question. We must think critically about culture and about the world views our kids are formulating by watching TV. "If anyone is thirsty, let them come to Me and drink," says Jesus. Not only is Jesus the cure to our spiritual cancer, He transforms us into people with living water flowing in our innermost beings. As individuals, this is the only way forward. Even as churches and congregations, the solution is no different. Might I suggest that the next time your church has a business meeting someone make the following motion: "I move that we call as our senior pastor Jesus Christ." Folks, we need Someone greater than ourselves to forge a new sense of unity in our midst. Robert's Rules of Order will not cut it. Until that happens -- until Jesus Christ is given His rightful place as Head of the church, the only Senior Pastor, He will not have preeminence in all things (Col. 1:18). Until then, our religious enthusiasms will only exhaust us more.

This morning I was trying to envision God on His heavenly throne. What is He thinking about all this? Is He laughing? Is He weeping? "It is said of God that no one can behold his face and live," said Nicholas Wolterstorff. "I always thought this meant that no one could see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps it means that no one could see his sorrow and live." When Jesus arrived at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, John records that He "burst into tears" (John 11:35, ISV). There are indeed serious implications in evil's advance in our day and in our nation. "A sword, a sword is sharpened. Should we then make mirth?" (Ezek. 21:9). Yet there is hope. Jesus can breathe life into death. And the good news is that He is yet willing to do so.

August 6, 2015

David Alan Black is the editor of

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