“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone . . . Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it . . . And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem” (1 Samuel 17:50-54).
Parents – be warned! The Veggie Tales version of the Bible may not be as great as we first thought.
Now, don’t get me wrong. My daughters and I have been known to enjoy a Veggie Tale or two or three in our day. The videos are well done, truly funny, and downright entertaining. And, they do, albeit in a very shallow manner, teach basic Bible truths or values. But that’s where the benefit of them ends.
A recent conversation with a Children’s Sunday School teacher really opened my eyes. This teacher said a student actually argues with her that the account in the Bible is not how it really happened. The child then proceeds to tell the teacher the Veggie Tales version of the Bible event, which this student thinks is the true version. I mean, it must be true, it’s on TV! And, the child has seen the Veggie Tale so many times that it is proving hard to convince him that Junior Asparagus is not real, and did not lightly thump a giant pickle with a small rock, ala the Veggie Tale “Dave and The Giant Pickle.”
Parents, take note. TV and DVDs make very poor baby-sitters and parental substitutes, even if what’s showing at your local home theatre is non-stop hours of wholesome vegan fun.
If you do watch a Veggie Tale now and again, no sweat. Just supervise and use it as a way to teach your children the way it really happened. Seize the interest the DVD might generate to live out Deuteronomy 6. Break open your Bible, open it to 1 Samuel 17, and read your children the real thing.
Our children are receiving a sanitized version of Christianity. It’s as if we think the Bible will somehow hurt them! But friends, rest assured, God’s Word, all of it, is “the power of God unto salvation” and “shall not return void.” We must make sure our children know that the “Giant Pickle” got his head lopped off by Junior Asparagus, and then Junior paraded said head in the streets, and then presented said giant head to King Saul.
But why? Can’t we just skip the graphic parts, the bloody parts, the gruesome parts of the Bible?
Sure, if you want a cross-less Christianity. We must take care that our cute little cartoons are not cutting the very heart out of the gospel in the minds of our children.
David was a warrior-king whose bloody escapades point us to The Warrior-King Jesus whose bloody cross-work paid our sin debt in full, and secured our victory over sin, death, and hell.
Maybe our well-intentioned friends at Veggie Tales need to reconsider their methods. After all, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22).