bananas in pyjamas

I kid you not. This is for real. It’s been a while since I saw something so frightening. Why does this give me the hejeebers? First, because it’s another example of bad American spelling; it should be “armoUr”. Right, got that out of my system. Second, and far more importantly, because metaphors are just that – they’re metaphors and if there’s any section of our Christian society that’s not going to understand that it’s children. So, when we read the scriptures we understand what Paul says in Ephesians 6 – there is no actual breastplate, it’s just that the righteousness of God (imputed to us) is a sure defence against anything the enemy can throw against us.

So how do you nullify the effect of this metaphor? Well, rip it into “reality”. And then compound the problem! Just consider the last sentence, “As they dress in the mornings, they should replace them with the spiritual ArmoUr of God to protect them in their daily activities”. Stunning! It just reinforces the wrong message, that these pyjamas and the promises of God are interchangeable.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking – I’m overreacting. But am I? How do you teach your children to put on the Armor of God? You do it by getting them to understand what truth is, how righteousness means they never have to fear the punishment of sin, how the gospel governs everything that we do and how simple trust in God is enough to put out any flaming arrow that the Evil One throws at them.

or, alternatively, give them some pyjamas as a basis for their comfort. And throw in a crucifix, an icon, a bulb of garlic and a rabbit’s foot.

hat-tip detroitfather

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6 comments on “bananas in pyjamas

    • Re: One question 1st…

      i have no problem with guided reading. I think books like that help children explore the issues and enable Christian parents to have discussions with their children.

      Narnia is a good way to introduce aspects of the gospel, although I’d want to ask my older child whether the gospel really is quite the way that Lewis explains it.

      Middle Earth is much the same, but I think more interesting for it’s subtle motifs rather than straight allegorising.

      Harry Potter is the trickiest. It’s subject matter immoral yet, at the same time it raises intriguing questions. I think the key is to read it with your children (albeit not necessarily right with them) and then discuss. That way you teach your children how to critique intelligently.

      • the reply

        Good; we are on almost exactly the same page with fantasies.

        I think that you may be overreacting a bit with the PJs. The “story” Paul tells is an allegory much like Narnia. Parents would be poor parents who only gave their children the Narnia books to learn about the Gospel, as you hinted. Parents would likewise be poor parents who only gave their children Armor of God PJs without instruction.

        Children are not as foolish as we might think. Never once did I think that Jesus was really a lion named Aslan or that I could walk through wardrobes into another world. Yet the books kept the message of the Gospel close to my mind. Nor do I think that the PJs will cause children to think that they are protected by wearing them. Yet, they could serve as a reminder of the truths that their parents should have already taught them. I recall having a set of cardboard armor that I made into the armor of God. Never once did I confuse reality for fantasy.

        Yes, I could see some parents wrongfully teaching their children: “This PJ armor will literally protect you.” This is flat out lying and is altogether different than saying, “Put on these PJs and we can pretend to be wearing the armor of God. Now are you really wearing the armor of God? Because that is what really protects you from the Enemy, not these PJs, which are just pretend.”

        (Sorry, but as an America, I do the “armor” thing. 🙂 )

        • Re: the reply

          I think that you may be overreacting a bit with the PJs. The “story” Paul tells is an allegory much like Narnia. Parents would be poor parents who only gave their children the Narnia books to learn about the Gospel, as you hinted. Parents would likewise be poor parents who only gave their children Armor of God PJs without instruction.

          I don’t think it is an allegory like narnia. I think, because of the way that children’s minds work, that the pyjamas are dangerous. But that’s laid out in my original posting.

          Children are not as foolish as we might think. Never once did I think that Jesus was really a lion named Aslan or that I could walk through wardrobes into another world. Yet the books kept the message of the Gospel close to my mind. Nor do I think that the PJs will cause children to think that they are protected by wearing them. Yet, they could serve as a reminder of the truths that their parents should have already taught them. I recall having a set of cardboard armor that I made into the armor of God. Never once did I confuse reality for fantasy.

          THis could be true. I still see a clear distinction between Narnia and the PJ’s!

          Yes, I could see some parents wrongfully teaching their children: “This PJ armor will literally protect you.” This is flat out lying and is altogether different than saying, “Put on these PJs and we can pretend to be wearing the armor of God. Now are you really wearing the armor of God? Because that is what really protects you from the Enemy, not these PJs, which are just pretend.”

          I don’t actually think any parent would teach that. But do return just one more time to the exact language used in the ad and my comments upon it.

  1. Yes, that last line is really scary.

    Does the righteousness of Christ not work while we sleep? I mean, because if the PJs really help, maybe the kids should wear them in the daytime, too. Scratch that — then they’d be Mormon or something.

    I think the creators of these things are well-meaning, but have not thought this out very well.

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