By Lance Baines
They morph, they teleport, they even plant flowers in Angel Grove. They’re the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and if you haven’t heard of them, you probably don’t own a calendar either. Unlike most of the media offerings for children’s entertainment, the producers of the Power Rangers insist this is a show that teaches some-thing. You know what? They’re right!
The Power Rangers teach us about the failure of mixed messages. Picture this: A team of twin tongued sales people pitching the Rangers to network big-shots under the guise of “non-violent” action heroes. The net-works buy it and advertise programming that teaches children how to resolve their conflicts peacefully. Now picture this: Every small child in America kicking, flipping, hitting, and receiving such in return as they recreate the latest fight sequences from the last episode of Power Rangers. No, Im not saying that it’s wrong for kids to wrestle in good fun, but I am saying that children imitate what the Rangers do, not what they say. It seems evident then that a mixed message and no message at all are hard to tell apart. Sometimes Christians fall into the trap of giving off mixed messages too. Have you ever heard somebody preach “both sides” of some important issue in an “unbiased way” so that people can “make up their own minds”? Or how about this one: If you teach that it is a sin to add onto the church institutions that the Lord did not put in his church, will you yet worship with institutional churches? The thought of a mixed message isn’t worth a penny.
The Power Rangers also teach us about how much time and energy the average parent has to spend on little Jr. In almost every major city in America, parents with small children have been bribing, harassing, and even threatening truck drivers and retailers in bold but futile attempts at obtaining the new “zords.” The rest of us simply weary ourselves as we fetch for our children their fair share of amusements. No, it’s not a sin to take your kids toy shopping, but if we could spend even half of that automobile time drilling our kids on the plan of salvation, lessons from the lives of Bible heroes, and basic morality, most of us would be increasing, not de-creasing, the amount of time we spend teaching our children. Don’t say that the time isn’t there when it is.
Strength and Unity
Last but not least, the Power Rangers drive home a strong message about the power of strength in unity. What any of the Rangers cannot overcome as individuals, they always overcome together. They nurture friendship and brotherly love and this bond is the crux of their victory. The congregation with whom you worship could probably use a double dose of that same spirit, and I wonder to myself about how much more our young people would admire the church if we took this more seriously. Some people will do everything they can to avoid contact with their fellow saints. They run out after services. They don’t like to greet people enthusiastically. The speck in your eye provokes their wrath more than their pity, so they don’t want to get too close to you. No, we don’t need another committee to study the problem, but we do need to pray, each and every one of us that the Lord might heal any pig headedness harboring in the recesses of the soul. Show some hospitality. Say some-thing nice to your spiritual family. We can show our young people a strength and a unity far greater than the Power Rangers. Believe it!
Shrewd with the TUBE
Kids watch TV, and a lot of it too! Surely such a time consuming device has a higher calling than being a mere idiot box. Why not use what they are interested in to teach them lessons that will stick to their souls long after the Rangers and shows like it have gone the way of the dinosaur? Simple but valuable lessons are all around us. Practice what you preach, teach your kids during those idle car rides, and treat your spiritual family to something worth coming out of the world for. Some day, the world will lose interest in the Power Rangers and they’ll be gone. Parents probably won’t miss them one bit, I know I won’t, but let’s not miss one bit of opportunity to give our kids something that’s here to say. Have you taught your child today?
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 2 p. 1
January 19, 1995