It is often argued that today’s kids shows are full of nothing but humanistic, pluralistic, syncretistic, new age, worldly, pagan, postmodern garbage . . . . or something like that. I don’t totally disagree. It’s also often said that what we need to do is return to the good ole days when Leave It To Beaver and Little House of the Prairie were staple shows for children. Shows that taught kids good moral ethical lessons. Shoot! On Little House they sang hymns and quoted Bible verses!
I walked in on my 10 year old daughter watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie yesterday and sat down to watch the tail end of it. I’m thinking now it might have been the “sign off” show for the series. In this episode some outsider (Mr. Lassiter) comes in and claims that he owns the land that the town of Walnut Grove is located on, and basically says they can choose to continue life as usual but as paid employees of his company with profits going to him, or they can be dispossessed. Needless to say the town folk ain’t happy!
Well, they all gather together at the church under the watchful eye and ear of Rev. Alden who tries to get them to just accept the news for what it is, even though he too admits to being very angry about things. Half-pint (Laura), who now is closer to a full liter, exclaims that they can do something! Why yesterday, she got so mad about their future fate that she . . . well . . . broke some windows! She exclaims that she intends to break even more than that! That mean old man might own the land but that doesn’t mean she has to leave him anything on it to work with!
Sure enough, the whole town decides that rather than work for him in businesses and homes that they built, and rather than simply pack their wagons and head on to the nearest town where they can start over, they will instead blow up the town into a pile of rubble for Lassiter to clean up, and then point their wagons South. So that’s what they do. The show ends with the whole town marching out of Walnut Grove, lustily singing all four stanzas of ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.‘
I asked my daughter if she thought that the way they handled this injustice was indeed honoring to God? She wasn’t sure, so we talked about
Matthew 7:12 (ESV)
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 5:39-48 (ESV)
But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.  And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.  Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Hannah Montanna, Laura Ingalls, Theo Huxtable, Opie Taylor, Zach and Cody. It really doesn’t matter. What matters as parents, is modeling and teaching our kids to bring every thought captive and to cast down every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5). That includes the older “godly” shows where God’s Word and the worship songs of His people are employed to teach a lesson that is anything but God exalting.