In response to a concern voiced by one of our readers (which can be followed in the comment section), and after prayerful consideration + discussion with family and friends, we have decided that the Jiffy N’ Lou comic we just posted was particularly ineffective in communicating a positive message and have therefore removed it. However, we also recognize that there is a simple difference of opinion between our readers. There are many who have been helped and encouraged by Jiffy N’ Lou, and there are a few who have been offended and feel Jiffy N’ Lou has had a negative influence. We feel very badly for the offense but we don’t see evidence of the negative affects.
To promote understanding I would like to share the explanation I posted in response to one of our reader’s concerns:
Thank you for your feedback. We are always in need constructive criticism, especially from those who are older and wiser than we are. Allow me to respectfully explain the theme and/or message of the comic strip and why we are hosting it on our blog.
Jiffy and his friend Lou are misguided, but they are clearly misguided. Their justifications for listening to the music you refer to, as witnessed in Installment #100, and their attempts at conscience appeasement, as witnessed in installments #102 and #104, are portrayed as immature, foolish, and sometimes even downright ludicrous. Their actions are not presented as appealing or admirable.
On the other hand, their immaturity sometimes reminds us of ourselves. And I have found that the best way to discover that my face is dirty is to look into a mirror. That is one of the reasons we include these comic strips.
Furthermore, you must realize that this comic strip’s intended audience is young people who are just being introduced to ideas such as courtship vs. dating, homeschooling, godly standards for movie-watching and music-listening, etc. The comic strip is designed to help those young people laugh at what their going through rather than sulking and/or rebelling.
Finally, I hope that the existence of this comic strip will not subtract from the other resources we have provided that speak very highly of teenage responsibility, respect of parents and authorities, and love for God, family, and country. For the reasons stated above, we do not view Jiffy N’ Lou as a contradiction to those messages.
Thank you again for your feedback. Please keep us in your prayers as we try to please the Lord and serve the brethren.
Please note how the following Jiffy N’ Lou strip exemplifies the qualities I outline above: we do not admire them, but we learn from them. We can laugh at our silliness. We can be entertained and taught.[Note: In Firefox the image may be enlarged a second time by clicking on it again, once it is in its own window.]
This comic makes me uncomfortable. Not because it encourages rebellion in me or glorifies superficiality (it does the opposite!), but rather because it demonstrates so clearly one of the primary problems with the “Christian” music industry. It also convicts me regarding my own “comformity” to the world. I do not wish to trigger a debate on “rock music” (so everyone, please attempt to remain as general, rather than specific, as possible) but I would ask our readers to consider, and attempt to answer, the following questions:
1.) What is the correct response to Lou’s mother’s questions: How can anyone know if a band is Christian? (Hint: Matthew 7:16)
2.) What, in your opinion, would this (see above) look like? Can you provide any real-life examples?
3.) To what extent, if at all, is it appropriate to “emulate” non-Christian artists, whether in music, or any other form of art?
4.) What is your response to Larry Norman’s question: “Why should the devil have all the good music?”