Today’s post is my response to C.J. Mahaney resuming preaching at T4G. This post is meant to mock Mahaney and its inspired by one of the greatest movies of satire that was made. When the Nazis put Charlie Chaplain on a death list in the 1930’s he responded by making a movie, “The Great Dictator” that mocked Adolf Hitler. This is an attempt to capitalize on the final scene of the movie and sneer C.J. Mahaney. I want to be crystal clear that I am not drawing any comparisons between Adolf Hitler and C.J. Mahaney. Today’s post is an attempt at parody.
“There was something curiously appropriate about the little tramp impersonating the dictator, for by 1939 Hitler and Chaplin were perhaps the two most famous men in the world. The tyrant and the tramp reverse roles in The Great Dictator, permitting the eternal outsider to address the masses…”
Annette Insdorf (Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust 2003)
“Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.”
“Good satire comes from anger. It comes from a sense of injustice, that there are wrongs in the world that need to be fixed. And what better place to get that well of venom and outrage boiling than a newsroom, because then you are on the frontlines.”
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
Proverbs 26:11 NLT
I want to be crystal clear that I am not comparing C.J. Mahaney to Adolf Hitler. In this post I am attempting to mock Mahaney in a way Charlie Chaplain once did of the German leader.
Charlie Chaplain is a legend in film cinema who helped co-found United Artists. His career spanned 75 years and he made his first movie in the silent era of 1914. Chaplain hailed from England but in the course of time eventually found himself in Southern California. He was a giant in the industry known for his portrayal of “The Tramp.” His acting at this point in the 1920’s and 30’s was robust and thriving. While Chaplain was engrossed in his career the scene in Europe changed, and fascism emerged first in Italy in 1922 and Germany in 1933. In the 1930’s Chaplain watched and grew alarmed with what has transpiring. Anti-Semitism grew, and militancy was on the rise, plus the Nazi’s produced a piece of propaganda called “The Jews Are Watching You.” In that book the Nazis labeled Charlie Chaplain as a pseudo-Jew. Its my understanding that he was also on the Nazi’s death list. A majority of the people written about in “The Jews Are Watching You” are believed to have died in the Holocaust, as most of them were in Germany.
In response to the book Charlie Chaplain decided to make a movie that would mock Adolf Hitler. This movie would become one of the greatest forms of satire that would be produced. When Czechoslovakia was carved up in 1938 in Munich and British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlin proclaimed “we have peace in our time..” Chaplain had finished the first draft and decided this would be his first film where he spoke. But Chaplain also had a problem in the late 1930’s as Hollywood made a lot of movies that were marketed to Germany. Coming out with a film that mocked Hitler could upset the balance. Plus some Jewish producers were afraid that it would contribute to anti-Semitism in Germany. Chaplain decided to make the film with his own money, and he was encouraged to do so by President Franklin Roosevelt. Filming began in 1939 and war between Germany and Great Britain erupted in September of that year. The British used Chaplain’s film for propaganda after it was released. The movie became well known and is a classic. What stunned many people is how the movie ended in which Charlie Chaplain stopped and looked directly into the camera and made an appeal to democracy and against fascism. In response to a book Chaplain had given the German dictator an answer, and in the process he humiliated and mocked him.
Synopsis of The Great Dictator
This is the synopsis of The Great Dictator. In this part I lean heavily off Charlie Chaplain’s website. During World War I, an anonymous private, who is played by Chaplain is fighting in the army of Tomania. He is involved in a daring rescue of an officer named Schultz, but he suffers memory loss when the plane in which they are flying crashes into a tree. The little soldier is sent to a hospital where he remains for twenty years. He is unaware of the dangers taking place around him. He does not know, for example that Hynkel (who is also played by Chaplain) has become Dictator of Tomania, and is ruthlessly persecuting the Jews with the help of his two minister Garbitsch and Herring.
When he is dismissed from the hospital, the amnesia victim returns to his barber-shop in the Ghetto, expecting to find everything as he left it 20 years before. He does not realize that he has been away for so long, He is surprised and hurt, therefore, when Hynkel’s storm troopers smash his store windows and make his new life miserable. He finds a friend in Hannah, a beautiful daughter of the Ghetto, and their friendship turns to love. For a while they enjoy relative peace when Schultz who has risen to a position of prominence in Hynkel’s regime recognizes the barber as a friend. Schultz orders the storm troopers to leave him alone. Secondly Hynkel needs a financial loan from a Jewish financier and ceases his persecution of the Jews temporarily. The financer refuses to give the loan, so Hynkel resumes his anti-Semitic activities again. However this time he does it with a vengeance. He is planning an invasion of the neighboring country of Osterlich and when Schultz questions the judgment of this move, the Dictator condemns him to a concentration camp. Schultz escapes to the ghetto, where he attempts to incite a revolution against the government. But before he can do this both he and the barber are both captured and interned in a prison camp.
Pursuing the project of invading Osterlich, Hynkel invites to his place Napaloni, the Dictator of Bacteria, and after a few comic misunderstandings is able to enlist him as an ally. The invasion is completed and Hannah who fled to Osterlich again finds herself under the domination of Hynkel’s cruel regime. While the Great Dictator is celebrating his latest conquest by taking a vacation in the country, Schultz and the barber escape form the concentration camp. In the search for them Hynkel is arrested by his soldiers who mistake him for the barber. Schultz sees that the barber is mistaken for the Dictator. Understanding the importance of the new position the barber follows along with the masquerade and in a speech before the assembled crowds of Tomania, denounces everything that Hynkel stands for and makes a passionate plea for democracy.
C.J. Mahaney Preaching at T4G? My Mocking of Mahaney as Inspired by The Great Dictator
Charlie Chaplain mocked Hitler with The Great Dictator. This post is me mocking C.J. Mahaney and giving him a clear response to him teaching at T4G. C.J. should not be teaching. Between the allegations of criminal activity, blackmailing his ministry partner, allegedly covering up child sex abuse, approving a hush fund to buy a SGM pastors silence, and so much more. The other day a horrific situation emerged from Covenant Life Church and the question I have is what did Mahnaey know and when did he know it? To have Mahaney preach is a disgrace and something that needs to be contested.
I have given you the summery of The Great Dictator up above because in this second part of the post I am going to change it. In the film Chaplin (the barber) is mistaken for Dictator Hynkel of Tomania. He finds himself before Tomania where he has to speak and he seizes the moment to challenge and rebuke everything that Hynkel stands. In the process he makes a stirring speech for democracy. You can watch the speech above, actually I encourage you to. In my situation I am mistaken for C.J. after all in my effort to show my humility I didn’t publish a book, instead I repented and sought forgiveness from nearly 140 people. Imagine that…I’ve done something that C.J. can’t and will not do. As I have been mistaken for C.J. and I stand before people at T4G, I decide to do the same thing that the barber does before Tomania. This is me…David Bonner playing the role of the barber, being mistaken for C.J. preaching to the masses at T4G. This is the message I have to the church. Will you listen to me?
My Speech at T4G
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be a celebrity preacher. It’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible…every Christian, atheist, Muslim, man, and woman…
The Christian faith calls us to help one another. That is what Christianity is about. We want to live by each others faith, not by each others fundamentalism. We don’t want to be arrogant and look down on others. In the church there is room for everyone. And the church is rich and can accommodate everyone. The way of Jesus can be amazing, free and beautiful…but we have lost our way.
Greed in the form of Neo-Calvinism has poisoned men’s souls; filled the faith with fundamentalism, conferenced and membership covenanted us into misery and tyranny. We pioneered internet blogging but shut out the world and created our own little bubble. Faith that should give us passion leaves us with wanting more. Our knowledge is too tunnel versioned focused, hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little. More than a church brand we need Jesus. More than conferences, we need love, kindness and gentleness. Without those qualities the church will be irrelevant, and all will be lost. Love can move mountains and bring us closer together. The very nature of love driven by the Lord cries out for the need of the church in today’s world, and cries for a universal brotherhood of believers for the unity of the church.
Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the church, millions of broken, hurt disillusioned men, women, and children, victims of a Neo-Calvinist system that makes men slaves, destroys and harms innocent people.
To those who can hear me, I say, “Do not despair.”
The theological misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed. The celebrity pastor and Neo-Calvinist movement actually fears faith. We fear people living under the will of the God so we have to Lord over them. This corruption will pass, and theological despots like me will one day die. And the power they stole from the Lord will return to the church. The church has survived corruption before and will again. And so long as theological dictators die, faith will never perish.
Christians! Don’t give yourselves to these despots! Men like Mark Dever, John Piper, Mark Driscoll and countless others! Men who will enslave you, control your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who Lord over you, corrupt you, treat you as dirt, and view you as an ATM to sell their garbage!
Don’t give yourselves to these theological tyrants who are spiritually lost! Celebrity pastors with narcissistic problems and deep corruption! You are not their personal ATM. You are not objects to be controlled! You are men created in the image of God! You have the love of the Bereans in your hearts! You don’t hate!
Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.
Christians! Don’t fight for a celebrity pastor! Fight for the Lord!
In the seventeenth chapter of Acts it states that “the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas are telling the truth.” This wasn’t one man but a group of men testing what is preached! In you, Christians have the power to make this church free and beautiful, to make the Christian faith shine. Let us use our faith and let us use our power.
As members of the body of Christ let us all unite!
Let us fight for the Gospel and the faith that will empower every man and woman. It will give the youth a voice and the elderly the comfort they need in the sunset of their life. By the promise of these things, thugs like me have risen to power. But they lie. They do not fulfill their promise. They never will as false teachers!
Theological dictators like myself free themselves but enslave the people!
Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world of spiritual tyranny and tyrants like me. Lets do away with passing fads! Lets do away with T4G, TGC, conferences and spiritual brutes!
Let us fight for a church that shines and is a city on a hill, a church that values the least of these and contains no celebrity pastors, greed, lust for power or corruption! This will result in the rebirth of the church and a robust faith.
Christians! In the name of our Lord let us all unite!
By the way I have to ask…is this what the Sovereign Grace break out session is going to be like at T4G?