Should Talking Vegetables Be Used to Teach the Bible?
In an attempt to do our part in bringing wholesome but substantive entertainment to kids everywhere, American Vision has created MeatyTales. Like VeggieTales, we have our own theme song and characters. We’re hoping that Harvey the Hot Dog and Mikey the Meatball will cause the same types of smiles and giggles that Archibald Asparagus and Madame Blueberry evoke.
In a couple of articles, we made some off-hand negative remarks about the ever-popular VeggieTales videos. I suggested that a more appropriate series should carry the title MeatyTales.® The “meaty” reference was to call attention to the need for more substance in what we teach children (Heb. 5:12
), especially as it relates to biblical content and application. Armless and legless vegetables portraying Bible characters didn’t seem to be the best way to communicate a comprehensive and sustaining Christian worldview to children. Will the next generation of Christians be able to compete against the worldviews of naturalism, materialism, atheism, Islam, postmodernism, or whatever new “ism” has attached itself to the American soul after a steady diet of VeggieTales? You are what you eat and what you don’t eat.
VeggieTalers see the animated vegetables (fruits and legumes not to be excluded) as a way to compete with the gee-whiz graphics found in Nintendo, Game Boy, Play Station 2, Xbox, and razzle-dazzle movie special effects. The stuff is clever and fun to watch. The tunes are catchy and the humor sophisticated. A director of preschool ministry at a large church in Marietta, Georgia, says that “kids today have so much in front of them . . . [that when] they come to church . . . they’re bored. You can’t just open a Bible and start reading to them.” Most children leave these games behind as they get older, and we wonder and worry about the ones who don’t. We shouldn’t be surprised when children decide to outgrow the Bible because of its attachment to juvenile teaching themes. The Bible is an adult book to be taught in an adult way even to children. There is no segregation of children from biblical teaching and preaching (Ezra 10:1
; Neh. 12:43
). It’s up to parents to make the message understandable to their children, but this does not mean to trivialize it.Specifications:
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