I received a question recently asking what we think about Jesus Christ Superstar. Are we fine with it? Has the LCMS directly written about it and had any problems with it?
I have always been aware of this musical and I usually don’t hear anything good about it in a theological sense. I haven’t seen it in its entirety, but have read many reviews, synopsises, and watched clips to get the idea of it.
The LCMS doesn’t have any specific articles or statements on it, but I’d say it really doesn’t have anything to offer us as Christians. Perhaps the tune of a song could be appreciated musically, but the words, story, and implications through the plot have very little connection to Scripture and one could argue falls into the category of blasphemy (that is to say… “the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.”). There is a lot that is just blatantly wrong and inappropriate throughout as the writers use an abundance of creative license as well as rewriting motivations and plot points of the story for their own purposes.
Scripture points us to Christ who took away our sins through his death and resurrection and now lives and reigns to all eternity as our king. This show does not relay that message, nor does it attempt to do so. It is merely using the name of our holy king to sing some songs and make some money while rewriting history into a false narrative to be retold in pop-culture. Will watching this show send someone to Hell? No, but it will certainly fill their minds with a false story of our God who came in the flesh to take away our sins while making us more comfortable with misusing the name of God for the purpose of entertainment. That’s a bit of a problem.
I can’t speak for all of the content on this site (for example, they’re not much for a proper sacramental theology based on other things I’ve read) but they have a good breakdown of the problems with this musical.
Have questions? Want to chat about this or something else? Just let me know.