If you like to talk to tomatoes …

I took the boys to Veggie Tales Live last night, and have mixed feelings about the experience.

It was a high-quality production, for sure. I expected something more along the lines of a youth group skit (not sure why), but they went all out with lights and smoke and streamers. At some parts I felt like I was at a real concert. (All the toddlers and babies quickly brought me back to reality.)

The plot I thought was a little weak and struggled to keep my and the kids’ interest. Without giving anything away, basically the Veggie Tales are filming scenes for an upcoming movie and they can’t find Bob. They think Larry’s new “machine” made Bob disappear, so they keep singing sillier and sillier songs to try to get the machine to bring Bob back. It was kinda like watching “Silly Songs with Larry,” except in between the songs they tried to carry the plot. I’d rather have just seen “Silly Songs with Larry LIVE!” or seen a Bible story “veggie-taled” like they do in the videos. The somewhat boring plot aside, the music had some funny moments and the dancers were great!

Caden liked it the most, and after the show made comments like “that orange guy was silly” and “VeggieTales made me laugh.” That was the effect I was going for. Finn, on the other hand, was often bored during the performance and on the way home complained how all the other kids were talking during the video they showed before the show and he couldn’t hear.

So the show was just “OK.” The kids response was just “OK.”

I did take issue with one thing: the Veggie Tales folks hocking merchandise in the sanctuary where the performance was held. In the foyer of the church there was a table selling t-shirts, lights, hats, DVDs, etc. That’s fine. (I bought lights and shirts at the table.) However, inside the sanctuary, before the performance and during the intermission, vendors were walking up and down the aisles selling lights and coloring books like a cold beer vendor at a baseball game.

I was raised to believe (and do believe) that the sanctuary is a holy place and not the place to conduct business. (Matthew 21:12a: “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple.”) As a kid, I wasn’t even allowed to ask the ladies of the church to order something for the school fund raiser if we were inside the sanctuary. My dad taught me to wait until we were outside the church and to have reverence for the place where we came together for worship by not treating it like any other place.

Even if the Veggie Tales performance were in a place other than a sanctuary, I still take issue with the Veggie Tales group hocking merchandise like at a sporting event because it’s just lowering itself to the world’s standards. Some may view it is convenience (I don’t have to get up to get what I want if a vendor is delivering it to me), but I personally view it as sneaky. You may not even want or need the item until someone tempts you with it. And with kids’ products especially, vendors are enticing your child with something in the hopes the parent will buy it. That just seems a little under-handed and too much like the world, to me. There was plenty of business at the tables in the foyer that a Christian production did not need to stoop so low.


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