To be clear: I’m Not Hating on VeggieTales

If you heard or read my sermon for Trinity Sunday, you may have the same thought that a member of my congregation had, “Aren’t you being a little hard on the VeggieTales?” In a word, “No.”

First of all, it wasn’t me but their creator that said, “it’s not Christianity, it’s morality,” in reference to the lessons to be gained from the show. Morality plays aren’t bad, but they also don’t teach faith in Christ. Since Christianity is about Jesus – anything that doesn’t talk about Jesus (specifically His work of salvation) is not Christian. It’s really just a matter of calling a thing what it is and making it clear what it isn’t.

In truth, I have no objection to the VeggieTales themselves. Once in a while, especially after seeing the 5th episode in a row (I have a 4 year old daughter, after all), their voices grate on my nerves. But that’s just parenthood.

My objection is not with Bob, Larry and the crew, it is with the fact that they are somehow considered “Christian.” It’s that people, for some reason, consider good, clean, and in many ways moral stories, “Christian.” Whether or not your Christian, you should love and care for others. There’s nothing inherently “Christian” about the basic story of the Good Samaritan – it’s how everyone should behave toward their neighbor.

If you want the Christian slant on it, you have to realize that we are the ones dying on the side of the road – bruised, battered and bloodied because we live in a world of sin. We also have to realize, we put ourselves there because of our own personal sin. But Jesus came and rescued us. He didn’t have to – in fact, he had every right to tell us, “You deserved it . . . idiot! What were you doing walking alone on a road known to have bandits and robbers?” Yet He came down to our level, and paid the price to save us by dying on the cross for our sins.

While the VeggieTales refer to the Bible, I have yet to see one episode deal with the central themes of the Christian message – namely the birth of the divine Son of God in the flesh and His life, death and resurrection to save sinners.

They speak only the Law and never the Gospel of Jesus Christ. VeggieTales are great morality tales just like Aesop’s Fables. They draw their content from the Bible, but that does not make them Christian. After all, the Pharisees, “Searched the Scriptures” but they didn’t find Jesus in them (John 5:36-40).

Other than that, they are good, clean, fun family entertainment (even if annoying at some times) and have good lessons.

If I was hating on them, I’d point out that using the Name of God (in this case, claiming to be “Christian” when your not) is a violation of the 2nd Commandment. But I probably shouldn’t go there right now.

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