The Moral Power of ‘Pinocchio’

Josh Larsen

Josh Larsen
March 25, 2009

“Pinocchio” still works as a harrowing exercise in moral instruction for children.

Smon Smith
March 25, 2009

I do believe that there is a middle ground, yes.

After all, most of the Bible is a “story” (approximately 70% of the Bible is in narrative form).

When Jesus taught he often did it through stories. And lets be honest, most of his stories were not “religious.” They were about shepherds, coins, sons, judges, etc.

God likes to tell stories and chooses to teach through them, so why wouldn’t we?

In our family we actually teach – purposefully teach – by renting specific movies.

The gospel story for our younger children by watching Finding Nemo (prodigal son/repentance/salvation); Beauty and the Beast (transformation/regeneration by the Holy Spirit); and the Incredibles (using our spiritual gifts in Church community.)

With our older kids we do the same. We reinforced the gospel story with Pirates of the Caribbean (curse due to sin and salvation only via the blood of a very specific person); National Treasure (the outworking of faith); Schindler’s List (the gospel – redemption); Spider-man 2 (the Christ story); Spider-man III (results of sin and salvation).

We do limit some movies based on content (usually sexual and language more than violence), but we do not shy away from media.

We use media – or try to anyway – to reinforce Biblical themes, stories, etc.

Simply put, we try to teach our children the way Jesus chose to teach, with stories.

March 25, 2009

yes i agree. there is a danger of limiting our children to "christian" media only. for it teaches a kind of duality for them. i think what we need as parents and adults who teach, is to elaborate these stories in the light of the truth in Scripture. a lot of movies deal honestly with the brokeness in the world and it also tries to find answers to the confusion and misery. i think we should then use this as a reference point to the Gospel and Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

thanks for a great article!

March 26, 2009

Perhaps I was numb as a child, but it (Pinocchio) didn't seem that scary to me. Everyone's parents smoked, everyone's parents drank, all was in the movie as I knew it. Except for the Creepy Puppeteer guy (whoah!). Things are very different now, and parents (in my opinion) are way too protective of their children. I think that as a parent, you can parallel a bible lesson out of anything. Look at Jesus and the parables. Think through some of them and imagine Him telling them to children at story time. I think that as a parent you could do serious harm to your child if "hide" them from the outside world. If you are grounded and strong in your convictions there shouldn't be a question your child can raise that would make you squirm. Unless, of course, if you were raised in a bubble as well.

March 27, 2009

A lot of anger due to how things are projected to our children. They have become insensitive to what is going on around them. When I was 10, my family was in a bad place. My Dad would beat all of us, so when it happened to someone else it really didn't mean anything to me. I was just glad it was happening to someone else, I became insensitive to the abuse. The things that happen on the news, on television and in the movies have a lot of influence on children. They become insensitive to things around them, like the abuse that young lady received from her boyfriend, who by the way has not been charged for or placed in jail for. They are considered celebrities and can do what they want, so why can't our children. A very dangerous place to be and we as adults, parents and grandparents need to monitor and guide our children in a direction that allows for concern for others and a knowledge of God and Christ Jesus. In God's Grace John

April 1, 2009

WE thank GOD for your greatest spiritual support for GOD say i will give you your daily bread which is his word

(who only fear GOD)

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