Cinema & The Arts as Sermons: Kung Fu TV Series -1972
Video from Grasshopper
I was in High School when the TV series Kung Fu was popular. It was a difficult time for me and my family as my father had left and come back several times. But God is good and in the richness of not only books like the Lord of the Rings but in a TV series like Kung Fu I found solace.
So, what is in a Tv series about a half Chinese American Shaolin priest that would help people cope with life? Let’s look back for a moment at the culture and the television shows it created in the 1960’s and 1970’s. At the time we had the post-world war 2 culture, the greatest generation, unaffected by the over saturation of technology and the internet. Christianity was still the dominate worldview in America and television reflected that with morality plays, simple gas and homespun humor. Today we of course have the opposite with a high degree of irreverence and contempt for everything and everybody. Sexuality is in everything as there are no real boundaries.
The 50’s -70’s was not an idyllic time; it was not perfect no matter how much we fall back into nostalgia. People were still alcoholics, drug addicts, committed murder, looked at pornography. Families presented in many of the early sitcoms reflected the majority of family structures in our country at that time.
Video from Grasshopper
"When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave."
— Master Kan, Kung Fu
But what I generally saw in the TV shows was responsibility, respect, family values and respect for God. And I also found wisdom, patience and perseverance.
This had an effect on me, and I incorporated it into my thinking. Be kind, considerate, treat people with respect, people had different opinions etc. We can lament all we want that our culture has degenerated to a Sodom & Gomorrah state which in my opinion it has. God has us here for a reason, we as Christians are responsible to work on God’s behalf to advance his kingdom. So, are we doing that?
Television of today reflects the coarseness and Godlessness of our society. Producers and script writers push the boundaries to see what will shock people rather than presenting an uplifting and positive message. The loss of decency and "clean" fun is a tragedy for the youth of today. But we as Christians can do everything, we can be examples, to pursue what is true and right.
Are we examples of good morals and values? Are we loving and forgiving and sympathetic? Search your heart.
Here is an excellent article link: Men Behind the Kung-Fu TV Series