Sheer Genius

mystersilhouette.jpegNumber of episodes: 114 written over 18 years.

Academy Awards: 7, tied for all-time first place.

Plot lines: 1, always the same.

I’d say that any television writers that can pull off statistics like that are sheer geniuses. What show did they write for, you ask?

Tom and Jerry. Take a moment and brighten your day:

Easily the most brilliant cartoon of all time. The plot never changes. Cat chases mouse. Mouse makes cat regret it. Yet William Hanna and Joseph Barbera retold that story in every conceivable setting. Concert hall. Bowling alley. Most often, a simple home, watched over by the faceless Mammy Two Shoes (they did show her face momentarily in one episode).

Always the same yet always different. And NO DIALOGUE! How did they do that?

tomjerrypiano.jpgHaving little kids gives me an excuse to revisit classics like Tom and Jerry. The plot never changes, but the interest never goes away.

Ummm… kind of like communicating Jesus. We have a fixed storyline but endless applications of it. There’s even an awards show coming.

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 1:3, NKJV.

One story. No need to mess with it. It works for anybody, any place, any time. It has stood the test of time, and it’s still a good one. The only one, really.  It’s sheer genius.  Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and his love…


9 thoughts on “Sheer Genius

  1. Luk 5:36 And he spake also a parable unto them: No man rendeth a piece from a new garment and putteth it upon an old garment; else he will rend the new, and also the piece from the new will not agree with the old.
    Luk 5:37 And no man putteth new wine into old wine-skins; else the new wine will burst the skins, and itself will be spilled, and the skins will perish.
    Luk 5:38 But new wine must be put into fresh wine-skins.
    Luk 5:39 And no man having drunk old wine desireth new; for he saith, The old is good.

    Same story, different characters!


  2. Telling the Gospel is like a Tom ‘n’ Jerry cartoon? Hmmm. I think someone is setting up his board to ask for a sabbatical.

  3. I agree with you Bill. But who would want to change the story of Jesus’s great love for us. I do believe that we want to ‘grow in knowledge and wisdom of His Love”, because to the measure we know Him, the measure we will be like Him. Even Paul knew that the church (the old church) had not come to grasp of the heigth, depth, and width of God’s Love towards Him.

    That is how we grow from Faith to Faith. We see in a glass dimly and yet day by day as we come into contact with his ‘new mercys’ we are changed from Glory to Glory.

    It says in the last times that you will not have to say to anyone “Know God’ because everyone will know Him. It also says there is coming a day when the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.

    I fear that our inability to be receptive to new ideas, new formation, and new ways at looking at scripture can and will inhibity our ability to comprehend the height, depth, and width of His Love. And lets be honest, perfect love drives out all fear.

    In fact, there is no need for a defense if we walk in perfect love.

    Would love to hear what you have to say brother.


  4. Jon,
    You said, “I fear that our inability to be receptive to new ideas, new formation, and new ways at looking at scripture can and will inhibit our ability to comprehend the height, depth, and width of His Love.”

    My comment is this: we don’t need new ideas, new formation, and new ways of looking at Scripture. The old ways are the right ways, the true ways, the time-tested ways. Let’s stick with the old, old story.


  5. Even Jesus himself said…

    Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
    Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.

    How can we say that there are not “things” we need to learn or hear from. The old ways seem to lead to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism, and chauvinim. Not to mention more church divisions than anyone could count. In fact if we look at the fruit of the “old ways” we may just begin to think of verses like these…

    Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them.

    1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
    1Co 1:11 For it hath been signified unto me concerning you, my brethren, by them that are of the household of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
    1Co 1:12 Now this I mean, that each one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
    1Co 1:13 Is Christ divided?……

    and of course Galations 5:20 lists “divisions” among one of the worst lists of vices found in all of scripture.

    and in another place Paul states that he would rather be wrong than have division.

    Yes, Unity is the key characteristic of a church operating under the influence of proper doctrine (as opposed to the doctrines of men which divide.


  6. Max,
    We agree on some things and disagree on others… and hopefully we can do that with mutual respect.

    I agree that unity is important. I disagree that it is more important than truth. Unity around untruths or falsehoods is a false unity. That’s why doctrine & theology are so important. If I think Jesus is God and someone else says he is not God, we can be cordial and friendly, we can live and let live, but we are not worshiping the same God, and any religious unity would be phony at worst and shallow at best.

    Truth is the basis for unity.

    “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10, NKJV.

    How can we be united if we are not of “the same mind and the same judgment?” And how can we have that unless we work from a common truth-basis? And hasn’t that been the Bible, as articulated in the creeds and doctrines of the church?

    Whenever some groups or teachers some peel off from centuries of agreed-upon doctrines, how can we maintain unity with them? Friendliness, yes, spiritual unity, no.


  7. sorry for the delay,
    i have been out of town for a while, but really wanted to continue the “spiritual unity conversation” anyways, it looks like it is history now.

    I would just say that it seems that when Jesus was praying for unity it was somthing other than mental agreement. Not only did the apostles not agree when Christ was walking the earth, but they certainly didn’t agree after he left either.

    I think that our unity should be based on our common situation.
    That we are all very far from home, and needing to get back.

    The truth of the matter is that we today do not have the same mental “faith” of our church fathers and those who come 100 years from now will also have a much different looking mental faith than we have today.

    Even if we seem to use the same words as those who have preceeded us, we still have very different understandings of what those words mean.

    “Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called,
    Eph 4:2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
    Eph 4:3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling;
    Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

    First of all I notice here that we are called to “keep” or “preserve” the unity of the Spirit. It is not something that we have created. And it seems to be the “bond of peace” that maintains this unity. Not the bond of theology. And I definatly don’t see the church taking the stance here “with all lowliness and meekness” it seems more like we have taken the “high horse” stance and told the world, “you must believe such and such or else!”

    Sounds like a legacy passed down from the “Crusade” mentality.


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