Some Truth from The Simpsons?


Last night while Vanessa was at Bible study, I was home and had the treat of watching an episode of The Simpsons. I've been a big Simpsons fan for a pretty long time now, and always enjoy the times I get to watch it. Now, even though I really like The Simpsons, there are still episodes they have that, as a Christian, I don't appreciate. And that is how I felt about this episode...until I started thinking about it some more. And then I realized, God, being such a BIG and mighty God, can reveal His Truth even in an episode of The Simpsons.

The episode was The Monkey Suit. In a nutshell it was this:
Some characters get upset evolution is the only thing being taught, and the Bible is ignored. They not only get creationism into school, but evolution dropped. Some students fight back by reading Darwin's "Origin..." book. They get in trouble and there is a big court case.
Go here for a more detailed recap: The Monkey Suit.

Now, there were some really funny scenes...You can read quotes here. But, if you read the recap and/or the quotes, I'm sure you probably picked up on why at first I didn't like the episode. Obviously, as a Christian, I don't like jokes mocking my God (such as Reverend Lovejoy saying we should take the Bible "with a grain of salt.") But as I thought over the episode, there were truths that the Lord allowed me to draw from this episode, and so here they are.

  1. First, sadly many Christians respond the way Ned Flanders does when science persecutes Christians. They get scared that science will give a more persuasive and convincing argument, and people will be drawn to that, rather than God. But Christians must rest in the knowledge that "the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:18). Also, Romans 9 reminds us it is God who has mercy on whom He desires, and hardens whom He desires. Therefore, we just need to speak the Truth, and know to many it will sound foolish, but to others it will be the sweetest sound they've ever heard.
  2. Second, going along with the first point, Christians take on this mindset that God needs us. If we don't fight back, then God is going to lose. But God isn't going to lose. If we do what we are called to do (make disciples of all nations...), God wins. If we become silent, and don't do what we are called to do, God will win, and be accompanied by the shouts of stones. His victory is not determined by us. He WILL win! But in His grace, He makes it possible for us to experience the victory with Him.
  3. Third, sadly there are actual "Reverend Lovejoys" in this world. They fight evolution (or other issues), not because they want the Truth heard, but because it's controversial enough that it migth bring more people into their church...and more people in their church means it's a successful church...and a successful church means it's a successful pastor...right?(please note my sarcasm.) Or, when people, like a Ned Flanders, come to them worried and confused and ask the questions "could evolution be true?", and "if so, why didn't God say anything about it in the Bible?", these pastors' responses are to "take the Bible with a grain of salt." We Christians must be in prayer for the pastors around the world. Pray for the ones who are truly saved, and that they would continue to boldy preach the Truth. Pray for the ones who are not yet saved, but that the Lord is preparing them for what He has in store for them. And pray that the ones who speak lies, will be silenced.
  4. Fourth, when Christians are faced with this form of persecution, they feel as though they must give lots of facts to prove that the Bible is true. And so rather than turning even more so to the Bible, they turn more away from the Bible. Going back to I Corinthians 1:18, Christians get scared because they know to many the Bible sounds foolish, and so they think they have to win people over with something other than the Bible. (Of course scientific facts, archaeological discoveries, and other outside sources are good, and definitely have a place when witnessing, but they should never be more important than the Bible.) Romans 10:17 reminds us that "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." It doesn't say faith comes by hearing scientific facts and figures that support the Bible. It doesn't say faith comes by hearing a good argument for why evolution is wrong. It says faith comes by hearing the word of Christ. Christians must always go to the Bible when witnessing to those who are dead in their sins.
  5. Fifth, at the end of the episode, Ned is sad that evolution won the case. While walking away dejected, Lisa approaches him and tells him that she respects him and his beliefs. But "just as he wouldn't want a scientist preaching in church, it wouldn't be right for the Bible to be taught in school alongside evolution." Ned then feels happier, and he, Lisa, and his 2 boys go to get a chocolate funday. Christians respond this way too. They feel as though they have lost becaues the scientists have all the "facts". But because most of those opposed to Christianity are ok with Christians "doing their thing", as long as it's behind closed doors, and say things like "respect" and "equality" and "separation of church and state" Christians end up feeling as though things are fair now, and everything is ok. They become content with the way things are. But our desire should to see and hear God's Truth ring out everywhere. Not just behind closed doors.

So, like I said, at first I didn't like that episode. And it's not my favorite now either. But after thinking on it for a while, the Lord allowed me to see these truths, and I am thankful that He gave me the opportunity to see this episode, and to learn these truths, and to share them.

peace like a river

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