Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Lost Lessons of Pinocchio

Do you remember seeing Disney's 1940 movie "Pinocchio" when you were a kid? It was only the second full-length animated movie that Walt Disney ever produced. When I first saw it on "The Wonderful World of Disney" on TV one Sunday evening in the 1950s, I was fascinated, mesmerized and horrified.

The story was about a puppet-maker named Geppetto who created a wooden puppet he named Pinocchio. One night, on the way to bed, Geppetto saw a falling star and made a wish that his puppet, Pinocchio, would become a real, live boy. After Geppetto fell asleep, a Blue Fairy came and brought Pinocchio to life. She gave him a conscience to tell him right from wrong in the form of a little side-kick named Jiminy Cricket. If Pinocchio proved to be brave, truthful and unselfish, he would be transformed into a real boy.

Geppetto was beside himself with joy when he awoke in the night to find that Pinocchio was alive. The next morning, he sent Pinocchio off to school to get his education. But on the way to school, Pinocchio was met by two villainous characters who, when they realized that he was alive, tricked him into working for Stromboli, a puppeteer. They lured him with the promise that he would be rich and famous.

The Lure and The Trap

Surely enough, Pinocchio's performance with Stromboli was wildly successful and they made a lot of money, so the two went to dinner to celebrate. But Stromboli turned out to be an evil fellow, and locked Pinocchio in a cage to make sure that he continued performing for him. In the nick of time, Jiminy and the Blue Fairy came on the scene.

The Blue Fairy scolded Pinocchio for his bad choices, and Pinocchio began to tell lies to cover up his error. His nose began to grow longer with each lie. Jiminy pleaded with the Blue Fairy to help Pinocchio escape, which she did, warning Pinocchio that she could only do that once.

But before he could arrive home at Geppetto's, Pinocchio's tricksters, Honest John and Gideon, intercepted him again. The old villains convinced Pinocchio that he was sick and needed a vacation to Pleasure Island. In no time, Pinocchio found himself in a coach full of other boys being transported out to Pleasure Island. He did not know that Pleasure Island was a cursed place where boys were finally sold into slavery and forced to work in the salt mines and circuses.

The Consequence

Pinocchio got caught up in the maddening crowd of raucous, mischievous boys who utterly desecrated the whole place. Before he realized what was happening, Pinocchio found himself and his friend Lampwick smoking and drinking in a dungy old pool hall in the dark of night. Jiminy, trying to be a good conscience, confronted the two boys for their bad behavior. But it was to no avail, so Jiminy finally stormed out in exasperation.

While playing pool, Lampwick was suddenly transformed into a braying donkey, a not-so-subtle lesson in how mischievous boys make fools of themselves. Pinocchio looked on in horror as his friend was transformed, but even more so, when he began to grow donkey's ears and found himself braying.

There was much more to the story, and many more frightening episodes before Pinocchio came to his senses and showed himself to be brave and unselfish, and was turned into a real boy.

A Generation takes the Lure

But the lessons of Disney's Pinocchio have been lost on this generation. In fact, there are few entities on earth who have worked more feverishly than Disney to turn an entire generation of young people into fools. With the very same promises of riches and fame, Disney has lured millions of young people into dancing and laughing their lives away. The deeply moral lessons cameoed in the story of Pinocchio seem to have been the last time Disney ever visited morality.

And so we now have a generation of young people who are taken to Pleasure Island every day of their lives via television, theaters, iPods, websites, and every conceivable venue of entertainment, music, song and dance. Even in our Churches, now, kids seem unable to sit and listen to a man of God preach the Gospel anymore. They only want to be entertained with more song and dance. It is a treacherous descent into spiritual, moral and mental slavery.

Nobody seems to remember anymore that “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” Proverbs 16:25.

I will never again trust Disney – or ANY of their kind. They have perfected the art of turning our kids into donkeys.

Just look at how all their child stars have turned out.

We Must Deliver Ourselves

That is why we must ABANDON the practices of allowing Hollywood to teach our children. That is the job of godly preachers and godly parents.

We need to turn off our televisions, stay out of the movie theaters, and go to a Church where true men of God teach the unadulterated Word of God. Then, and only then, can we have real confidence that our children are going to learn the ways of God.

Hollywood cannot be trusted to teach anything right.

Just like Stromboli, Honest John and Gideon, Satan walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Satan and his minions will use any and every trick in the trade to lure you into the slavery of sin.

Resist him in Jesus' name.

If you truly want to survive...

You simply MUST get back to the Bible.