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Professing Faith through Charlie Brown

In Featured, MainStage Wing | on 06.21.13 | by | Comments ( 0 )

A Charlie Brown Christmas directly shared the Christian faith when Linus picked up the Bible and read Luke 2:8-14 to remind Charlie Brown of the “true meaning of Christmas.” Network producers wanted to cut the scene. Charles Schulz fought back pleading, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?” [1]

Over the years, Schulz made occasional direct references to Scripture and faith in his comic strip, but his usual way of professing faith was more indirect. “Naturally I must exercise care in the way I go about expressing things,” writes Schulz.[2] His faith came shining through the world that he created in the characters of Charlie Brown and company.

These children expressed Schulz’s ideas through distinctive personalities. While the children didn’t grow older, their personalities grew and developed over time. Charlie Brown became the everyman, the loser in all of us. As a caricature of the average person, Charlie Brown gives us a way to laugh at ourselves. Lucy exposes the cruelty in children and adults as well. Linus reveals a naivety that often startles us to insight. Snoopy, the adventurer, did what the child in all of us wants to do. According to Schulz, “None of these characters could have done or said any of the things in these four strips when it first began, for it took many months (and, in some cases, years) for them to develop these personalities.”

These personalities gave Schulz a way of telling little stories about life and faith and struggle and joy. By observing life around him, finding humor in our struggles, and expressing it through the eyes of these children, Schulz discovered a way of professing his faith in the commonness of daily living. The simplicity of child-like faith often shines through with poignant beauty. In one of Charles Schulz favorite scenes, “Linus is kneeling with his arms on his bed, and the caption reads, ‘Security is knowing you are not alone.'”

To discuss more about the Christian worldview of Peanuts, join our post-show discussion after You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown tonight (June 21). Show starts at 7:30 pm is located at The WordPlayers’ Theatre @ MCM, 1540 Robinson Rd., Knoxville.

[1] From “A Christmas Miracle – The Making of a Charlie Brown Christmas.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWgmod5ml3A

[2] Charles M Schulz and M. Thomas Inge. “My Life with Charlie Brown.” University Press of Mississippi. Kindle Edition. All subsequent quotes taken from this book.

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