Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Simpsons Teach the Church Theology

The Church of England (COE) descends to a new low as they are now using the Simpsons cartoon to teach the youth theology and to keep them interested in the church!

In a book entitled Mixing it Up with the Simpsons, written by Owen Smith, the COE seeks to be relevent to today's youth and teach Christian themes. Smith told the Sunday Telegraph, "The Simpsons' is hugely moral, with many episodes dealing with issues and dilemmas faced by young people. The willingness of the show's writers to deal with questions of both morality and spirituality makes the program an ideal tool."

The COE has seen a 12% drop in youth attendance between 2000 and 2006. Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams said the show is "generally on the side of the angels and on the side of sense." He also said that contrary to the popular view, the Simpsons were not a dysfunctional family but "a family with remarkable strength and remarkable mutual commitment. For all that Homer is a slob and Bart is a brat and Lisa is a pain in the neck, you know there's real affection and loyalty."

What??? Reports are out that the new Simpsons movie will show a nude Bart Simpson. The Washington Post just posted an article speaking of how the "upcoming Simpsons movie takes a typcially irreverent dig at religion." It goes on to say that "when asked to explain his behavior, Homer flickes through a Bible, and mutters: 'This book doesn't have any answers.'"

Is this on the side of angels Dr. Williams? Is this hugely moral Mr. Smith? I think not. The movie just carries on the same things that are portrayed in the television cartoon. Irreverance for God, blatant immorality and blasphemy, and mockery of the Bible and Christ Himself.

The COE has certainly descended to a new low. If they would like to improve their attendance they should return to an orthodox view of Scripture (inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative), and teach their kids to love Christ. Then they would see a passion and a fire in their youth like never before! And a fire that would spread!

Mixing the teaching of Christ (Bible) with that of Satan (the Simpsons) is deadly, and will only lead to an even greater drop of attendance in their youth groups. And to state that clearly, I believe it will lead to a greater drop in the attendance of genuine believers. Maybe the numbers will go up, but it will largely be of those who play religion. People who honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.


Jonathan Moorhead said...

Sad. Anything but the Bible, right?

Jonny said...

When Paul was speaking to the gentiles in Acts 17 he embraced the cultures of thessalonica to teach them anout Jesus, he did not condemn it - but brough Jesus into the culture of the gentiles - the jews were the ones who were upset by this.

Children and young people see programs such as the simpsons as part of their culture, they do not see church as part of their culture. Why should the church not use things like the simpsons to aid them take the good news to a generation of children and young people who so desperately need it?

Lance M. Roberts said...

Dear Jonny,

Thank you for your comment. I would have to disagree with your statement that Paul in Acts 17 “embraced the cultures of Thessalonica to teach them about Jesus, he did not condemn it.” Acts 16:17 says, “while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.” This doesn’t show Paul warming up to their culture. Rather vs. 17-18 state that because of it he reasoned with them in the synagogues and marketplace daily. Many there called him a babbler and said he is a proclaimer of foreign gods. He preached what they had never heard before.

We do not need to use new pagan forms of behavior (i.e., The Simpsons) to teach old truth. Acts 17:19-20 state that they brought Paul to the Areopagus and said, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears.” What he had to say didn’t come from their culture. He simply spoke the truth.

HOWEVER, in vss. 22ff he commented on their religiousity and of their statue “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” They were polytheists and even had a statue named “To the Unknown God” in case there was one they didn’t know about. Paul did use this to say, “Hey, let me tell you about this God, He is the True God, the Creator, and Savior.” In the end there were 3 reactions: some mocked, some believed and joined him, and others wanted to hear more.

The Simpsons represent immorality, lewdness, blasphemy of God and the Church, and are not sufficient to lead one to salvation. Paul told us in Timothy what is sufficient, and he says it is the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

Lance M. Roberts said...

Correction - Above I wrote Acts 16:17, but it is Acts 17:16. Sorry if it made things confusing.