Ok, sorry… “Graphic Novel” for you enthusiasts.
I was never a comic book guy. In the area I grew up, there simply wasn’t access to them. The newsstand at the local grocery had a few, but none of any gravitas. I noticed a link to the article “Gods and monsters: the Bible gets a comic book makeover” from The Guardian on Voddie Bauchum’s Facebook page just the other day. There were mixed feelings in the posts following his link. As I read through them, it was obvious more for against than for it. That doesn’t mean much to me, because the vocal among us are typically the negative among us. Or at least it often appears that way.
What say you? If you noticed the Gospel as a 12 volume 2,000 page graphic novel, would you buy it, avoid it, puke, or just swallow timidly and move on? At first I was taken aback and thought it bordered on blaspheme. Then I engaged my brain. The engagement doesn’t necessarily mean my instant reaction was wrong, but I’m trying really hard to think more and react less. In another 50 or so years, I hope to have it mastered.
As I pondered this, I only really had one question. Will this be biblical and accurate? If the answer is yes, or darned close, should I resist it? I’m thinking no.
Let’s be honest people. I am torn. I’d love to spread the Gospel that same ol’ way it appears to have always been done. Encourage people to go to church and bang, you’re done. It really was never that simple, and I can assure you it’s becoming no less complex. While I’m not sure I’m ready to embrace some of the ‘new age’ services and everything that accompany them, I have noticed some really great stuff that helps shape us as Christians.
What about “Veggie Tales” that your kids watch? Biblical? Yes. Helpful? Yes. Good for kids to watch? Yes. Is that what was intended? Not sure. Does it fit? I certainly think it may. Let’s take a look at some very plain scripture.
Mark 16:15-16 – And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
Let me play jailhouse lawyer for a moment. Does it say we can’t use a comic book to spread the Word? Nope. I don’t like making the parallel that because it isn’t specifically written that you cannot do something, that you can in fact do that particular thing. However, we can all agree there is more than one way to skin a cat.
When my pastor is providing me a message, I envision those people, the climate, the scenery, and I conjure the images myself right down to the tunics, sandals, trees, and goats. Will this graphic novel do that for me? Yes, it certainly will, and I think that is the crux of the problem for many. People seem to be taking umbrage with the depictions rather than the manner of conveyance of this vital message. I’m back to the beginning in this circle. As long as this isn’t some bastardized version of the Gospel, I think it might be interesting to experience it.
This topic really hit me out of the blue, but I’m willing to learn more about it. More importantly if this is a catalyst to bring the Word to others, then it matters little whether it is my cup of tea, and more that it is biblical, accurate, and glorifies God. Provided it does those things, I’m in. I’m going to check it out and I’ll blog about my experiences and reflections.
Be salt and light my friends…