Monday, August 3, 2009

Jiminy Cricket vs. Jesus Christ

Quite a ways back, I ran across this:

"Jimney Cricket(s)!" was originally a polite expletive euphemism for Jesus Christ. The name of the character is a play on the exclamation (which itself was uttered in Pinocchio's immediate predecessor, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Another example occurs in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. When the group first enters the Wizard's chamber, they are startled by the Wizard's sudden thunder-and-lightning display, and Dorothy (Judy Garland) cries, "Oh! Oh! Jiminy Crickets!" (Garland also says the expression in her 1938 film Listen, Darling)." (emphasis mine)

It made me think, most of people today view Jesus Christ as a sort of Jiminy Cricket--at least they see Jesus's theology pretty much the same as Jiminy's theology. Yes, I did say Jiminy has a theology and yes I do know what I'm doing--I think. The reality is that everybody has a theology. We have what we might call a worldview. We have a belief about life, its meaning, who or what 'god' is and what is ultimate. Even the atheist has a theology that god is non-existent and they orient their whole life around that worldview/philosophy. Jiminy Cricket may not be a theologian but he has a theology. He has a way that he views the world and he evangelizes it--calling us to embrace this view of reality.

The sad thing is that Jiminy's "When you wish upon a star" view of life is a lot like how most people view God and Jesus. No doubt that Jesus is kind and compassionate. Some of my favorite verses in the Bible come from Matthew 12. I have used them numerous times in various sermons to assure people that Jesus cares:

However, Jesus cares in more than just a sentimentalized Jiminy Cricket kind of way. Jiminy is safe. Jesus is not. Jesus make demands on our life. Following those demands can actual divide families and make enemies of the world, not because we are haters but because we have a higher loyalty. Jiminy is the kind of guy we keep in our back pocket to pull out when we need a little 'pick-me-up' of encouragement. Jesus is the kind of guy that challenges and reshapes our priorities. Jiminy fits in where we would have him. His kingdom message is basically: the world is our oyster. Jesus' kingdom message is one of Lordship--the reign of God.

The sad thing is that today, most of us have made Jesus into a Jiminy.


Anonymous said...

Good point. I was just thinking how Jiminy Cricket is very much an allegory for Christ, in a small sense. The conscience, after all. This would make the Blue Fairy God. I don't think the allegory goes very far, but it is there. And, as you say, if you attach the "Wish Upon A Star" theology, you get into trouble quickly.

Anonymous said...

But Jesus said pray as if it has already happened, faith can move mountains. When you wish upons a star is a metaphore for prayer.

Tim Bertolet said...

It is a terrible metaphor for the concept. Prayers are not wishes but trusting and beseeching the living God.

Mark Zucker said...

For a unique understanding of some of the issues involved, see The Ledge, written and directed by Matthew Chapman. I highly recommend the movie.

"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...