Aunt Bee is only a television character, of course, but what she represents is a dangerously deceptive mindset that forty years later remains firmly entrenched in our culture. I can remember at least one episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” where Aunt Bee was in church, but I cannot think of one instance of her interceding for people or earnestly talking to others about Jesus. In other words, I never saw any indications that she had truly been converted. As far as I can tell, Aunt Bee wasn’t really a Christian; she was simply a nice lady living in a Christianized nation who went to a “Christian” church. Without question, she personifies the erroneous notion that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell.
How strikingly this contrasts with the apostle Paul’s perspective on salvation! In Ephesians 2, he makes abundantly clear the desperate condition of every unconverted person: dead in their sins; following Satan; living in the lust of their flesh; and having the wrath of God upon them.
Nice, little old Aunt Bee? Andy’s Aunt Bee?! Yes!! Truth be told, there is no middle ground. “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “There is NONE righteous, no not one.” This includes the Aunt Bee’s of the world.
“Well,” says a respectable church-going woman in a huff, “I’ve lived an upright life since childhood. I’ve never been worldly and I certainly have not followed Satan!” In other words, you are alleging that the Bible is not telling the truth. You are saying that you are a good person and see no need for a savior. Therefore you will not have one.
When I first came to the Lord, I knew an Aunt Bee-type woman. In a comparison of lives, I’m afraid her goodness far exceeded mine. While she was very gentle and kind, I was brash and abrasive. Her entire life had been a picture of decency, while I came out of a life of horrid debauchery. There was just one problem: she was a Jehovah’s Witness—and terribly lost. Certainly, she had always been a nice person, but God looks upon the heart.
I’m convinced that pastors and counselors are continually dealing with Aunt Bee’s who think they are Christians based on their own “goodness.” How do we reach them? How do we break through their self-deception? By preaching the Cross! For it is there that man’s feeble attempt at being good is consumed in the blinding light of God’s incomprehensible goodness. It is only at Calvary that people will see their vile condition without Christ. At the Cross, that inner compulsion to see themselves worthy of salvation is destroyed. It is only then that people will cry out in contrition, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”