The first VeggieTale video, “Where’s God When I’m S-Scared,” appeared in 1993 and within ten years the company (Big Idea) had sold 28.5 million videos, not to mention audio tapes, cds, books, toys, clothing, games, etc. Big Idea produced a full feature animated movie about Jonah in 2002, which doubtless drew many Christians to the vile movie theaters.
The founder of VeggieTales is Phil Vischer.
When I learned in 2002 that VeggieTales are popular with many Bible-believing Christians, I decided to review some of the videos and songs. I was amazed.
A BRIDGE TO THE WORLD
The most dangerous aspect of VeggieTales for Bible-believing Christians is the eclectic philosophy of the music. You will find almost anything, Caribbean, rock, rap, boogie, belly dance, soft shoe, jazz, you name it. The song “Do the Moo Shoo” uses very hard rock and rap. This is a dangerous bridge to the world. It creates a taste in children for rock music and renders them insensitive of the difference between sacred and sensual musical styles. Even the VeggieTales Bible songs are jazzed up, thus creating a taste for Christian rock music in the youngest child.
The trailer to the new VeggieTales movie features the song “Jump Jive and Wail” by the secular rocker Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats. Following are the lyrics: “Baby, baby it looks like it’s gonna hail/ Baby, baby it looks like it’s gonna hail/ You better come inside Let me teach you how to jive and wail/ You gotta jump, jive, and then you wail/ You gotta jump, jive, and then you wail/ You gotta jump, jive, and then you wail/ You gotta jump, jive, and then you wail/ You gotta jump, jive, and then you wail away!/ Papa's in the icebox lookin’ for a can of ale/ Papa’s in the icebox lookin’ for a can of ale/ Mama’s in the backyard learning how to jive and wail/ A woman is a woman and a man ain't nothin’ but a male/ A woman is a woman and a man ain’t nothin’ but a male/ One good thing about him He knows how to jive and wail/ Jack and Jill went up the hill to get a pail/ Jack and Jill went up the hill to get a pail/ Jill stayed up, she wants to learn how to jive and wail.”
VeggieTales is building bridges to this wicked world.
VeggieTales founder Phil Vischer says that laughter is a key to teaching, that if you get people laughing, you can teach them anything. Let me ask a question: If this is true, why don’t we find anything like it in the Bible? The Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice. Why don’t we find Jesus making people laugh before He taught them spiritual truths?
I disagree with Mr. Vischer. I believe the ultra silly approach to teaching spiritual truths CHEAPENS the things of God. It brings the blessed truth down to the level of worldly cartoons. The Bible says that “foolishness is bound in the heart of a child” (Prov. 22:15). The last thing we need to do is encourage the innate silliness of children, as if they are not already silly enough without the help of sincere but misguided adults.
I’m not saying there is no room for laughter in working with children. I’m not saying that at all. I am saying that to turn the things of God into cartoons and to present eternal truths in the context of ultra silliness is to cheapen the truth. I am saying that we see nothing like this in the Bible, and it is impossible to conceive of Christ and the Apostles engaging in such things.
Consider the VeggieTales version of Nebuchadnezzer forcing Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego to worship the idol in the book of Daniel. The Veggie edition becomes the tale of Nebby K. Nezzer, manufacturer of chocolate bunnies, who tries to force Shack, Rack, and Benny to worship a giant bunny.
Vischer admitted to the press recently that VeggieTales is “kind of the equivalent of what if Monty Python took over your Sunday school class” (“Funny Vegetables with a Message,” Associated Press, Jan. 23, 2002). Is that really what God’s people want for their children?
Even Sunday School songs, such as “This Little Light of Mine,” are sillified in VeggieTales.
INSUFFICIENT, UNSCRIPTURAL, DANGEROUS MESSAGE
Furthermore, VeggieTales presents an insufficient, unscriptural, dangerous message. There is moralism without the Gospel, and that is spiritual death. Jesus Christ told Nicodemus, a very religious man, that his religion and morality was not sufficient. Jesus said, “Ye must be born again” (Jn. 3:7). Moralism without the new birth is empty religion.
One of the themes of VeggieTales is “God made you special, and he loves you very much!” That is true enough as far as it goes, but if that message is not accompanied by the preaching of the Gospel -- that each person is a fallen, hell-bound sinner and that only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can we be saved -- it is worse than meaningless, because it gives the false idea that every person is right with God and heaven-bound as long as they are “good.”
Not only is there no clear gospel in VeggieTales, there are unscriptural messages. The video “Dave and the Giant Pickle” is dedicated to the psycho-babble theme of “self-esteem.” The song “Oh Santa” from “Silly Songs with Larry” is about the mythical Santa Claus.
The VeggieTales movie on Jonah is not faithful to the Bible account. It claims that the king of Nineveh didn’t know that the things they were doing were wrong, and pretends that their chief sin was slapping each other with fish. What a fearful example of trivializing sin!
SUPPORTING HOMOSEXUAL CHRISTIANITY AND HERESY
In 2021, VeggitTales creator Phil Vischer tweeted a series of messages supporting homosexual Christianity and the holding of heresies. Following is an example:
“I’ve been listening to stories of people who left the Church or left their faith entirely, and so often it comes down to a point where they just wanted to be loved, but we couldn’t love them because they asked the wrong question or doubted the wrong tenet of our faith or reconsidered their own gender or sexual identity and for us, it was a bridge too far. This child of God was no longer ‘us.’ They are now ‘them.’ And because they were ‘them,’ we now denied they were ever truly ‘us’” (@philvischer, Apr. 25, 2021).
Vischer, like a great many so-called “evangelicals,” is a confused individual who is lacking spiritual discernment and following the mores of society more than the Word of God. He doesn’t understand repentance or discipline. The gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s expression of love for all sinners, but it demands repentance and saving faith. The Lord Jesus Christ, love incarnate, preached, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” and repeated it for emphasis (Lu. 13:3, 5). The apostle Paul preached, “God ... now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Ac. 17:30). The first churches were composed of members who were formerly idolators, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, and homosexuals, but they did not continue in their sins and demand that they be accepted in that condition. They were accepted as members of Christ’s church because they had repented and been born again. The following passage refutes Vischer’s theology: “KNOW YE NOT THAT THE UNRIGHTEOUS SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Co. 6:9-11). Further, if a church member returns to a wicked lifestyle, he is to be disciplined. “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat” (1 Co. 5:11). This is to bring the individual to repentance and also to preserve the moral purity of Christ’s church. “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Co. 5:6-7).
Beware of VeggieTales.
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