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A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language: Lesson 46a

Topic: Guilty I — Everybody Is

Series: The Simpsons

Episodes: Simpson Tide

Lesson PDF link: 46a.pdf

**Note

Because of the many video clips of this lesson our readers need to be patient with this lesson and quite probably will need the "Direct Link" button that is around every individual clip.

Introduction

Today, we are discussing guilt. Do you ever feel like you’re being judged? What does this feel like? When someone is guilty of something, this is usually in the context of wrongdoing, a mistake etc. We are all guilty of things in this way. This is usually things we need to apologize for, or pay for, and sometimes rectify this deed (whatever this may mean). This could mean even going to court and admitting to fault and paying the price for the crime.

However, justice here on earth and justice in God’s view is different. We make laws that are binding here and we have to abide by those rules. When God intervenes however, it needs to be said that the result is quite unexpected most of the time. To show this point, we are going to see a series of clips from The Simpsons episode "Simpson Tide." For those of you who don’t know the series very well, there are a lot of adult concepts to the series, but in this case, there are only things that will be agreeable to most. In this episode, Homer joins the U.S. Navy and is almost immediately called into war games that turn disastrous pretty quickly and he makes a lot of foolish decisions (typical Homer). The result is unexpected (in real life anyway).

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webmUsing IE? Video not working? Download Windows HTML 5(WebM) video support: WebMProject.org

What do you see in this clip? In this clip, we see that Homer isn’t being a very good employee. He falls asleep at work, thinks he deserves a break from ‘work’, does something that isn’t very bright (like putting a doughnut into the reactor core), and just about burns the plant down (endangering many lives with radiation as well), and lies about it being his first day on the job. He probably should be fired and is. No one in their right mind should trust Homer when he is like this.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip? To prove his worthlessness for anything trustworthy, Homer isn’t paying attention to his sergeant during orientation (in an inappropriate hat as well) and then doesn’t tie his demonstration sheep shank knot on a ship and it fell off into a waterfall. The U.S. Navy would probably want their choice back now you would think. The Navy, however, doesn’t take the hint as you will see. Now in the meantime, Bart is currently at Springfield Mall wanting to get his ear pierced so he can be just like his friend and regain his popularity. When he returns home, Bart gets a lukewarm to cold reception and is criticized. The ear ring becomes very important later.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

Although Bart isn’t exactly the disgrace that Homer makes him out to be, he didn’t exactly regain his popularity — he is just treading water. Most of the time doing things because of peer pressure isn’t a good thing even though sometimes it looks good.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

Whoops, looks like the Navy didn’t take the hints before and put Homer into a nuclear sub for war games. This is going to be a disaster.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

Bart hands his ear ring over to Homer after the criticism he got. However, this also shows a double standard discipline and he doesn’t relate to Bart in a way that is very important to relationships. Homer lacks understanding and heart trying to parent. At the scene about the Captain’s announcement, we see yet another interesting thing.

What else do you see? Our Captain doesn’t say much and asks for any questions? Homer was just curious about the poop deck and if it really was what it sounds like. Just for that, our captain wants to promote Homer because he likes him (even though Homer is a walking disaster area waiting to happen). This is another naval oversight.

We are going to play a little game. I will show a series of mistakes that a character makes this can be The Navy, Homer, the Captain, or the other crew. Can you guess which one or ones makes the mistakes?

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

A: Homer and The Captain have a misunderstanding. Homer isn't paying attention (as usual) and the Captain thinks Homer said “peace” instead of “peas”. Both of them are making this mistake. A language barrier like this is a dangerous mistake for the navy possibly.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

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A: Continuing with the food problem, the Captain and Homer have another language barrier moment. Homer thinks of nothing but food and the Captain still doesn't get that Homer isn't interested in his line of thinking. This is the same thing the Captain and Homer still make the same mistakes. I will say that Homer is more at fault than the Captain because of being self-absorbed.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

A: This is a huge mistake by the Captain. Homer doesn't know anything much about operating and swimming a sub; he is more likely to sink one. The Captain needs his head examined - a fact he alluded to in the clip.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

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A: This is the other crew's fault (although it probably involves Homer). The torpedo tube will likely not work correctly with the beer bottles and soda/beer cans in it. The Captain has to climb in and get the junk out.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

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A: This is Homer's fault. Although, this was an accident, Homer should have possibly asked if there was anything wrong with the tube, or in there that shouldn't have been, in other words, he should have asked if the obstruction was cleared yet. If the crew hadn't stuffed all of that junk in there, they would have probably still had their Captain as well. We don't know if he survived. The rest of the crew is equally responsible.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

A: What would you do? This isn't as much of a mistake, as it is a fix that was caused by these other mistakes. I would probably start praying really hard now because the situation is seemingly non-winnable.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

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A: Homer is not taking his new job seriously, just like he has been this entire time. Homer has a huge problem and this is his mess. At least the crew will be entertained while they possibly don't make it out of war games even alive. Not taking your job seriously is a huge fault for him here. Moe is correct, even though he is not very nice about it.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

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A: This is definitely Homer's fault. He seems to have an inkling of where to go to get to safety. Instead of doing the right thing, on a whim, he makes a sharp turn in the opposite direction and heads to Russian waters and the Navy thinks that Homer is a treasonous spy or something similar. If anyone said “Navy” to any of our situations, that person is resoundingly correct; the Navy is responsible for its Captain, and its sailors and the proper training thereof. There were so many mistakes on both sides that if the situation was real, then it would be one of the worst disasters of our proud naval history.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

Well, the Navy seems to want its sub back. It’s a wonder considering all of the mistakes they have made previously. Homer actually comes through for his friends with an actual good decision (an assist from the aforementioned ear ring). The Navy gets the sub to resurface and Homer has some explaining to do. Although, I think so does the Navy. The ‘first day’ joke comes back in the end to the response of laughs from the naval crowd in their languages (including the penguins). This time, Homer didn’t exactly lie about it being his first day as the captain of a sub. Although this may show he isn’t taking what he did seriously. Now, come the consequences.

Clip Show: The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide":

The Simpsons: "Simpson Tide": Direct link for video/webm

As you can see, Homer was getting court marshaled and was about to be thrown in prison for a long time for treason. However, an unexpected result happened when he was freed. This is not unlike the account in the Bible we are going to study.

The Bible States In John 8: 3-11:

Jn 8:3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group

Jn 8:4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.

Jn 8:5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

Jn 8:6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.

Jn 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Jn 8:8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

Jn 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.

Jn 8:10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

Jn 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

As you can see, this is quite an unexpected result to the Pharisees of this passage. In the cartoon, what do you see that is unusual or jumps out at you? This is what I see; all of Homer’s accusers were worse than he was and ultimately had to deal with probable court marshals themselves. This left Homer alone with the janitor who said “I think this means you’re off the hook”.

Homer also got a dishonorable discharge from the Navy (Probably a correct decision), but no other legal action was taken. Also in real life, an internal investigation by the Navy would have to ensue (for the Navy to be worth anything good), and demotions and dismissals, dishonorable discharges would happen to their officers too (idealistically of course).

Now, in God’s justice system with His people, dishonorable discharges don’t happen, forgiveness does. The equivalent to the dishonorable discharge would belong to the ones that don’t have their hope and faith in Jesus Christ our Savior. Jesus is the sole judge of the heart in the end. No matter how much we sin or do the wrong thing, there is always the fact that God forgives even though physical consequences will sometimes remain because of our rules on earth.

The Bible States In Romans 8 1-17:

Ro 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Ro 8:2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Ro 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,

Ro 8:4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Ro 8:5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Ro 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

Ro 8:7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

Ro 8:8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

Ro 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Ro 8:10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

Ro 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Ro 8:12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation— but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.

Ro 8:13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,

Ro 8:14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Ro 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”

Ro 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Ro 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs— heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

The Bible States In Romans 8: 28-39:

Ro 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Ro 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Ro 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Ro 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Ro 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Ro 8:33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Ro 8:34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Ro 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Ro 8:36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Ro 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Ro 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

Ro 8:39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you practice mercy like this in your life for other people? In this passage we see that Jesus is making an example of guilt and our justice vs. guilt and His justice. This woman was caught dead to rights literally and was freed (just like Homer). However this woman was not dishonored, she was given another chance. When we give our lives fully to Christ, we are giving God our blessing to cleanse us and steer us correctly. God will not just overtake our free will to the point of mindless possession. We have a choice to accept Jesus as our Savior and friend, who will intercede on our behalf, keep us clean and He is patient — He doesn’t rush things like we do. If things happen quickly with God’s choosing, then His timing is perfect and we need to do the same. We don’t have to be guilty when it comes to our pasts because God saves us from those sins, mistakes etc., if we let Him move in our lives. Sure, there may be physical consequences, but that doesn’t change the fact that our spirit is free when one is Christ-centered.

We just need to come to Him and mean what we say when we ask for it. Don’t be afraid to accept this forgiveness and love that God promises through Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.