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The Shocking ‘Transformation’ of Michael Todd’s Easter Service

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Abby Trivett

Michael Todd’s Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has caused waves across social media in the past few days for their Easter play called “Ransom.”

Clips of the play have been circulating across social media, especially on YouTube, leading many to create reaction videos of what was seen at the service.

Part of the play included music from Ke$ha’s “Die Young,” and other secular artists, dark clothes and makeup, fire and red lighting to set the stage to actually look like a frame in hell. There was also a part of the play where the “demons” danced and compared their physical features to one another saying, “I don’t have a fatty,” referring to their posteriors, and another clip also shows a part in the service where the demons are pulling Jesus off the cross.

Another video clip showed the end of the service which appeared to be a regular praise and worship session.

In a Facebook video, Todd shared the purpose behind the play before the production began. He said that in 2015 after becoming the pastor of Transformation Church, he said that he had never preached an Easter sermon, so he came up with the idea of doing an Easter play. He envisioned that the play should speak to the lost instead of just to those who already were saved, saying that he wanted to go “to the edge” and do everything “short of sin” with the play.

Now, after a few years after the growth of the church, Todd was ready to bring back the play to the larger congregation.

“Today, with an amazing team under the direction of some amazing people, I believe for the first time we’re going to get to see this production with the level of anointing and excellence that I saw in it when I didn’t have the resources to be able to present it,” Todd said.

Todd encouraged the audience to be humble, open and transparent, which is one of the church’s core culture codes presented on their website. Before the production started, a note was also placed on the screen.

(Ransom play description screenshot/Michael Todd Facebook)

“Ransom is the creative expression of the true story of the fall and redemption of man through Jesus Christ, as written in Scripture. Backstories and some characters or dialogue have been added. However, all biblical and historical contexts along with any artistic imagination are designed to support the truth and intention of the Scriptures,” the screen read. “This production intends to portray a representation of the gospel that draws in the lost and reminds the found of the power, love and grace of Jesus Christ. Viewers are encouraged to read the Bible for further context and understanding of the Easter story.”

The play’s website also gives a description of Ransom’s narrative, which is centered on a princess who is deceived by a dragon into committing a crime to disobey the King.

Comments and reactions from people across social media have varied, some siding with Transformation Church that the play was powerful, effective and well loved by their entire family, some even claiming that around 600 people were saved through the service. However, there were others who believe the play went too far and glorified sin.

“Do I think that the church’s primary role is to glorify God and to edify believers with the Word of God and with the gospel? Do I think that everything done in a church should be pointing to the Lord? Yes, I do,” commentator Allie Beth Stuckey said. “Is that what you got out of this? No. It is entirely inappropriate.”

Pastor and YouTuber Marcus Rogers also warned about using discernment and wisdom with productions like this one.

“When you spend time with God in the private place, you just are able to discern something is not right,” Rogers said in his reaction video. “It doesn’t matter if the whole world is singing this individual’s praises, in the spirit you know something is off.”

With so many people torn between loving or hating “Ransom,” one thing everyone can agree on is that Transformation Church created a stir with the production.

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Abby Trivett is a marketing copywriter and coordinator and Staff Writer intern for Charisma Media.

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