Sesame Street Theology

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 2:42 AM

On November 10 1969 a television legend began that still runs today; Sesame Street. That is almost exactly 40 years ago and it is the longest running children’s television show ever.

Bert, Ernie, the Cookie Monster and Big Bird not to mention a host of others have visited the neighborhood over the last 40 years and they have been fun to watch. They of course have been very entertaining but they also had another mission; education.

This morning for instance I learned to count to ten by counting one of the young ladies toes. It was easy and fun to do, which of course is the whole idea. Well okay I already knew how to count to ten, I learned that believe it or not before Sesame Street even started on television. There the point of this day begins.

Sesame Street is aimed at preschoolers not adults because adults should know everything they are trying to teach. They teach the basics; they teach how to count to ten not calculus. Unfortunately we who believe in Christ often times find ourselves stuck in what we will call today; Sesame Street theology.

We are theologically stuck on counting to ten when we should be dealing with the calculus of the faith. We should have moved past needing to be entertained years ago but find ourselves stuck in that rut. Somewhere we stop growing and just as there is danger in that for our basic education there are dangers involved in that with our spiritual development.

  • When we stop growing we fall into the traps of the ‘evil one’ far more easily.
  • When we stop developing so also does our ability to make strong decisions with the wisdom of God. We make preschool decisions when the situation calls for adult ones.
  • When we stop moving forward we become satisfied with where we are at. Kids love to learn, they are not satisfied until they have pleased their parents. When we become satisfied we no longer care about pleasing our heavenly Father we are more concerned with ourselves.
  • When we fail to move past our initial conversion experience our relationships with other people suffer as well. Instead of learning to deal with things on a Godly level we deal with them, well, like preschoolers.

So what do we do to get past this theology, we can do what Sesame Street has done for years and here are some thoughts:

  1. Make it fun. One of the best ways to grow spiritually is to serve others. Find a place of service, get in there and serve. You will find yourself having fun and enjoying the company of others while you grow in your relationship to God and his creation.
  2. Change it up! Varity in growth is essential, if you stay with the same program of reading and praying for too long many of you will become bored and lose your desire. Go one with one program for while then shift up. (always have a plan) Everything can become stale if overused, be mindful to switch things up when you sense complacency setting in.
  3. Use the tools of the day. Sesame Street does not use the technology of 1969 they use the technology of 2009. The internet is ripe with good places to go and learn about God. You can use your computer to find devotionals, reading programs and even keep up with your prayer request. Don’t fear new technologies embrace them and use them to grow.
  4. Use the neighborhood. On Sesame Street the neighborhood has always been there for everyone. They help one another and hold each other accountable. That is exactly what we need to do as Christians. We need the community of believers to help us develop, to hold us accountable, to grieve with us, to celebrate with us. It is part of the growing up process.

Sesame Street Theology is a great place to start, but don’t stay there too long. For many of us it is time to move to a more adult neighborhood spiritually.

Scripture 1 Peter 2:1-3, “So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.” The Message by Eugene Peterson

2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to grow in our knowledge of you. First give us the desire and then give us the discipline while always providing us the grace. You are a good God and we ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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