Are Veggie Tales Christian?

The first Veggie Tales video was released in 1993 and it’s rise in popularity coincided with the time that my kids were young and were entertained by it’s wholesome stories based on the Bible. I was in seminary and we didn’t have money for any “extras” like cable television so if my kids were going to watch tv they depended on videos they could play in the VCR. As a parent I was thankful for the moral messages that were found in Veggie Tales.

So I was interested in a recent interview with the Veggie Tales creator, Phil Vischer. In the interview he shares some of the personal and financial mistakes that led to the 2003 bankruptcy of Big Idea Productions–the parent company behind Veggie Tales. While the whole interview is worth reading, I was particularly interested in a section in which Vischer distinguishes between Christianity and morality.

After the bankruptcy I had kind of a forced sabbatical of three or four months of spending time with God and listening to Him. I looked back at the previous 10 years and realized I had spent 10 years trying to convince kids to behave Christianly without actually teaching them Christianity. And that was a pretty serious conviction. You can say, “Hey kids, be more forgiving because the Bible says so,” or “Hey kids, be more kind because the Bible says so!” But that isn’t Christianity, it’s morality.

This difference between Christianity and morality (even good, biblical Christian morality) has been an important message at The Crossing from the very beginning as seen in the sermon: Is the Gospel Good News or Good Advice.

Good news is fundamentally different than good advice. The good news of Jesus is about what he has done. Good advice is about what we should do. When I hear good advice, I think about how I need to try hard to implement it. When I hear good news, I rejoice at what has happened.

Advice is what you do to make your life better in the future. News is about something that has already happened in the past.

Listen to Phil Vischer and don’t make the spiritually fatal mistake of confusing the gospel with morality.

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