5 Things To Know About the Original Beauty and the Beast Story

beauty-and-the-beast-2The Beauty and the Best
is truly a story as old as time. Disney has produced the story multiple times: first as an animated film, then as a Broadway musical, and now as a live-action film. And with each ensuing production,  Disney finds is necessary to twist the plot around just a smidgen more. Before we go any farther, let’s  take a look back at the original story and see how the Disney productions compare to Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villenuve’s  narrative.

1 Gaston, LeFou, or Monsieur D’arque are not in the original story.

59c375deb87209241bcbb6e40b1e6be3Belle has multiple suitors because she is pretty, good natured, and comes from a wealthy family. Although flattered by the offers, Belle turns all of them down because she “thought herself too young to marry,” especially given her tight relationship with her father  (p.4).

Consequently, there is no outlandish Gaston admiring himself in the mirror in the original fairytale. As would be expected, LeFou is also absent from the original story. (The story does however feature a plethora of foolish people.) Consequently, Disney choose to create and then to give LeFou a homosexual background for its own purposes. The children’s company redesigned LeFou to help children embrace the sexual revolution. Disney is not bending back toward to the original narrative. The company is increasingly bending the narrative to fit their story.

2. Belle is not an only child.

She actually has two older sisters and three brothers. The two older sisters are extremely vain and openly chase after wealth and prestige at the expenses of their family. Belle’s brothers are decent people. They work faithfully to support their father and volunteer to fight the Beast when they first hear of the Belle’s predicament.

3. Cogsworth, Lumiere, and all their other friends are not in the original.

HsaZ3nvQGrWxYes, these popular and quintessential characters did not make the original story. Things like oats being in the stable, food on showing up on the table, and new clothes being laid out on the bed appear to happen magically. But, all these magical happenings are the work of a fairy and not animated household items.

4. There is no magical rose.

The crux of the Disney plot does not exist in the original story. Rather as he prepares to leave the Beast’s castle,  Belle’s merchant father grabs a bunch of roses for Belle  from the Beast’s garden.

Up to this point, the Beast had been secretly caring for the Belle’s father. But when the Beast sees the merchant taking the roses, the Beast angrily shows himself for the first time. The he claims that the Belle’s Father has repaid hospitality with theft. The Beast demands that the merchant or one of his daughters must die in three months’ time to atone for the merchant’s sin. The merchant returns home with his horrible news in a fright, fully intending to return to the Beast’s castle. But Belle has other plans. And thus, the story of the Belle and the Beast begins in earnest.

5. True love equals self-denial.

Both Belle and the Beast have to deny themselves to find true happiness. In addition to his ugliness, the Beast also has to act dumb or be punished again by the evil fairy. And Belle has to get to the point where she is willing to look past the Beast’s ugliness.

This takes a good deal of time. Belle turns down multiple marriage offers from the Beast because he is so hideous. Finally when the beast is at the point of death, Belle relents and realizes that true beauty is found in the heart. She ignores her impulses and pledges herself to the man who had shown, “me so much kindness.” And the rest is history!

Belle’s vain, selfish sisters who almost destroyed Belle’s relationship with the Beast are turned into statues by the good fairy. And, Belle? She lives happily ever after with the Beast (now turned prince) and her father.

To get your own copy of the original story Click Here

The Evangelical Problem With Sin

blog sin problemIt only happened once in my life. But it happened. I threw away a Bible. Just moments earlier, I had been wearing rubber gloves, a surgical mask and a hospital gown. When the very sick and very contagious patient asked to flip through my Bible, I let him. We had a great time together, discussing our Lord and savior.  As I prepared to leave the room, he did the unexpected. He gave me back the Bible. Talk about being in a bind. When I looked at that Bible all I could see was germs, sickness, and my impending death. So…as I prepared to leave, I quietly placed the Bible into the toxic bin with my gloves and all.  There was no way, I was going to risk death. Sadly though, we evangelicals are far more flippant about our spiritual health.

This weekend, Deadpool grossed $55 million dollars. Risen grossed 11.8 million.  As Dr. Albert Mohler recently noted, Deadpool can only be such a big success (grossing over 296 million over the last few weeks) because church goers are being entertained by the very sins they supposedly denounce. And this past Saturday, 1/3 of the evangelicals in South Carolina supported a presidential candidate who regularly contradicts the scriptures in both lifestyle and policy. So while we give Jesus a nod on Sunday, we Christians are increasingly going against him on Monday – Saturday. We are increasingly ok with sin if it promises entertainment, wealth, or security. We are increasingly comfortable with death.

I think we find ourselves willing to risk spiritual death because we don’t really believe that sin is all that bad. Sure, It’s an annoyance; it’s a distraction; perhaps, it’s even a stinging paper cut. But it’s not deadly; it’s not something we need to put on masks and gloves to encounter. We excuse sin as an enjoyable albeit slightly tainted endeavor that brings minimal harm. And sure, we will try to improve upon our vices at some point. But until then, we are content to watch the sexual explicit movies on Saturday before worshiping Jesus on Sundays. After all it’s the secular culture that’s destroying America. We are not as bad as them.

The solution? We need view our sin as death. Yes, God is concerned about divorce and homosexuality. But, He is equally concerned with our secret sins whether they be pornography, pride, racism, stealing, etc. To be a friend of the world (even a secret one) means you are an enemy of God.

In Mark 1:40, Jesus encounters a leper, a man who has been kicked out of his family and community because he is physically beyond help. He is also highly contagious. In short, he is unclean. To encounter him, one risks becoming unclean. One risks physical death.

Friends, this is us. We are not Jesus. We are the leper. Our sin in not little, insignificant, or minor. Our sin destroys our lives, families, and communities. As Romans 8:13 say, if “you live according to the flesh you will die.” Don’t miss this. If left unchecked, our sins will kill us. Instead of entertaining them, we need to flee from it, screaming.

But we can’t. We are already infected with the deadly virus. We can’t make ourselves clean. And that latest five step program or legalistic rubric won’t do the trick. At the end of the day, we are all lepers incapable of healing ourselves.

We have to call out to Jesus. The leper did just this. He asked Jesus to take away his uncleanness. And, Jesus did. He touched the leper. Instantly, the man was made clean.  The way we overcome sin is to call out to Jesus for salvation.  And when Jesus saves us he makes us eternally clean; we are justified. He cleanses us from all sin.

But we are not yet perfected. We still struggle with sin. Every day, we need to continue to cry out to Jesus. We need to continually remember that all sin, even the whitest white lie brings death. We need to daily stand out the foot of the cross.

To be a holy people all seven days of the week, we have to understand sin. We have to get just how bad we are. Only then, we will see the need to depend daily upon our great God.