|HOME - Our Triviality - a Weapon For Evil|
|ARTICLE:||OUR TRIVIALITY - A WEAPON FOR EVIL|
|An Undermining Strategy|
|Teddy Bears and Twee-ology|
|What About Children?|
|What Can We Do?|
OUR TRIVIALITY - A WEAPON FOR EVIL
How Nice Things Become Pretty Evil
|Introduction||(back to top)|
If you want to sell something, and you cannot - or will not - appeal directly to sex or horror, there is always a 'nice'
alternative at the opposite extreme.
It is deceptively appealing - and pretty powerful. It is prettiness.
Because it is not obviously 'bad', Christians need to discern how its unreality, distortion, sentimentality and half-truth -
|An Undermining Strategy||(back to top)|
In Hitler's day the 23rd Psalm in German spoke of the Fuhrer being one's shepherd. Hitler was 'Lord'. The British reaction
to Hitler's power and rule was to undermine him by making him trivial. It is of immense spiritual importance to disclose
Churchill, for instance, denied Hitler his lordship and dubbed him Corporal Hitler. Charlie Chaplin, in his film The Great Dictator, undermined Hitler's position and power by ridiculing him as 'Adenoid Hynkel' - for whom a Jewish barber is mistaken. Cartoonists energetically led the movement to undermine Hitler by invariably linking him with the trivial.
The devil uses the same tactic to undermine the lordship of Christ. If we allow Jesus to be made trivial, or mentally to be linked with the unreal, then we're on the devil's side demoting Christ from King to corporal. Such, alas, is happening; promoted by Christians for Christians. I'll explain, but first I must introduce you to Bambiology.
|'Bambiology'||(back to top)|
'Bambiology' provides and escape from reality. I've coined the name from Walt Disney's Bambi, the wide-eyed baby deer.
Within Bambiology are to be found Father Christmas, Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer, the junk-art of many chocolate boxes,
the sentimental guff of 'religious' cards, doe-eyed children, pink animals and teddy bears.
Such 'art', like pornography, is extremely powerful. Our eyes love it. It titillates the senses. It gives instant pleasure. It appeals to our deep desire to escape the pain of reality. It is shallow, empty, misleading and unreal.
Firms know that Bambiology appeals, so much is marketed accordingly. The television washing-powder adverts suffer from a smokescreen of Bambiology. Detergents with magical powers are used by beautiful smiling mums in super-clean kitchens surrounded by their equally super-clean families with their beautiful or handsome tanned faces, sparkling eyes and flashing smiles.
Bambiology takes just the surface of God's world, super-cleans and super-tidies it, cuts out al dirt and pain, and tricks us into believing that what we see is real. Bambiology is the enemy of truth.
|Teddy Bears and Twee-ology||(back to top)|
Today Christian book markers, calendars, cassettes, videos, devotional books, posters, gifts and even Bibles are being
produced with the instant trivia of Bambiology to sell them. What appears 'nice' and 'pretty' is in fact 'nasty' and
'pernicious'. When Jesus becomes linked with the trivial we undermine his lordship and his kingdom, however good our
intentions in peddling unreality and untruth.
How many Christian shops, stalls, centres and homes unthinkingly display pictures of sub-scriptural 'verses' backed up by Bambiology pictures of pandas, pussy-cats or dry-cleaned nature ?
Christians peddle and buy such things because they are 'nice' and 'pretty'. They are blind-spots in their discernment. Such 'art' is like candyfloss - instant sugar; it cannot nourish us but weakens our tastebuds for what we need, what is good and what is wholesome.
We must avoid the instant and sensual titillation of 'prettiness', and not confuse it with beauty, which is true and lasting. Mere prettiness replaces theo-ology by twee-ology. As the word itself indicates, that which is 'charming' is likely to have the power to charm us.
Self-styled 'biblical Christians' have often readily accused others of departures from Scripture. Yet today there are countless Bible-loving individuals and groups who promote Christian goods whose message is quite contrary to Scripture.
The Bible speaks of reality, drama, conflict, poverty, pain, miracle, forgiveness, passion, crucifixion, resurrection, martyrdom, victory, and of dynamic forces that can turn the world upside-down.
The keynote of Scripture is reality: God is real, has entered our real life, suffered for us, and invites us to share with him the everlasting reality of Christ's kingdom. In contrast, the whole world order is something passing and of lesser reality. The central symbol of the Christian faith is the Cross. Our familiarity with it must not blind us to the fact that it is the most realistically cruel symbol of reality that exists.
Bambiology denies all this. It is another world - not ours. It abhors the real, shuns pain, denies the truth, and like a drug offers temporary escape.
|What About Children?||(back to top)|
Some might think that Bambiology has a place in our initial presentation of the gospel to children. They are sadly mistaken.
If Jesus is initially linked with the unreal, when children put aside the unreal for real life, the Jesus Christ will be
laid aside together with Father Christmas, the tooth fairy and the baby-carrying stork.
It is bad policy to teach something to children that they will later have to unlearn and replace. If we acknowledge that the Jesus we first presented them was not true, what basis have they for trusting us the second time round? If they should take no notice when we make Jesus trivial, will they take notice when we then proclaim him Lord?
No youngster would give their life to Father Christmas or sacrifice it for him. What thinking child would give their life to Jesus Christ if the Saviour and Santa Claus had been presented together in the same way? They are worlds apart and must be kept so.
Often twee-ology is presented to children by parents who wish to escape the difficulties of exposing them to reality. Children love reality and drama, they will lap up the reality of Scripture's narratives if adults' fears do not shield them from 'the real thing'.
|What Can We Do?||(back to top)|
|Conclusion||(back to top)|
The work of the Holy Spirit is to lead us into all truth. What I have called Bambiology deliberately leads us
away from all truth. It is best left to secular society to wallow in when it wishes to escape. 'Charm is
When 'Bambiology' is linked with Christian goods it undermines the Incarnation; it usurps the lordship of Jesus Christ; it is incompatible with Scripture; it weakens the proclamation of the gospel; it confuses the believer, and it runs counter to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
For this last fact alone, those in renewal ought to be foremost in ridding the church of this pretty but pernicious evil.
|Copyright John Richards 2002, but waived for users of www.helpforchristians.co.uk|