Melodrama is the genre that’s completely black and white. Good is good and evil is evil. There’s no question about who are the good guys and the bad. I used to perform in a melodrama theatre. There was the typical villain and heroine. There was the hero and the message was always the same. Good triumphs over evil. We always ended our shows with a song called “One Gets What One Deserves.”
Today as I think about the words to that song, I wish everything were so simple in our world. Somehow the idea of good and bad has all but vanished. In fact the reverse is often true. Those in positions of power are no exception. Our leaders, our teachers, our pastors, those we place our trust in, are called to a position of accountability. If they have not learned the differences between right and wrong, how can they teach accountability, responsibility, truth?
As concerned parents, diligent Christians and responsible human beings, we must be taught the difference between right and wrong – especially in these difficult times. Sin is a politically incorrect term even in some churches. We’re expected to be tolerant of everything and everyone. But that fact has muddied the waters, so to speak, and fogged our vision.
In melodrama, there is usually a sign holder to prompt the audience participation. For example: “Boo Hiss” when the villain appears. “Oooh Aaah” when the heroine arrives. “Cheer/applaud” for the hero. Very clear explanation of good and bad. Maybe we should employ signs like that from here on in, instead of those we see in the streets today.
The song I spoke of has the following message – “be careful in your dealings and mind the Golden Rule, for if you swindle others, you might be made the fool. With every nasty deed you do, you’ll get two in return. One word should be sufficient, but some folks never learn.” Melodrama is an old-fashioned style of acting, peppered with overacted, broad characters that make us laugh, but the clear right and wrong of the law shouldn’t be. We still need to know that we’re sinners and need salvation.
Without the law, we have no need for a Savior. Without the law, there is no order to our lives. With the law we see how short we fall and how we will get exactly what we deserve in the end. With the Gospel, we are gifted with eternal life and get exactly what we don’t deserve.