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Now is time to return to moral values of Mayberry

Published 12:00am Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hearing the news recently announcing the death of Andy Griffith brought back memories of watching the television program starring Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor from the town of Mayberry.

Griffith was 86 years old when he died at his North Carolina home. His wife of 30 years, Cindi Griffith, issued the following statement, “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called home to his Lord.”

She went on to say, “I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God.”

Andy Griffith once recalled, “I was baptized alongside my mother when I was 8 years old. Since then I have tried to walk a Christian life. And now that I’m getting older, I realize that I’m walking even closer with my God.”

He won a Grammy Award in 1996 for the Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel album of 25 timeless hymns titled, “I Love To Tell The Story.” Griffith once remarked, “Hymns are companions for life travelers.”

Reportedly, the setting for the television program, the fictional town of Mayberry, was based on Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, N.C. The Andy Griffith Show aired on CBS from 1960–1968 and featured homespun characters along with a mixture of comedy and drama.

Most of the 249 episodes of the Andy Griffith Show were filmed in black and white. Maybe that’s symbolic because there was a moral to the story in every episode. The definition of right and wrong was as clearly defined as black and white, with no shades of gray. For instance, in an episode where Opie only gave 3-cents to help the needy, Andy let him know, “It just ain’t nice to be selfish.”

Several years ago, Thomas Harrison began a church Sunday school class called “Take Me Back To Mayberry.” Many churches, schools, and families have taught this study in recent years.

According to www.back2mayberry.com, the curriculum uses “timeless truths to communicate solid Biblical values.”

The Mayberry Bible Study includes excerpts from four classic episodes as modern-day parables akin to Jesus’ parables. A sample lesson online is based on 2 Timothy 1: 7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

In the Jan. 31, 1963, episode, “High Noon in Mayberry,” fear takes over the town because an ex-convict arrested by the sheriff writes a letter to Andy saying he’s been wanting to see him for a “long time to set things straight between us.”

Turns out, the ex-convict was coming to thank the sheriff helping him turn his life around.

Andy Griffith stated in an interview, “The backbone of our show was love. There’s something about Mayberry and Mayberry folk that never leaves you.” Family entertainment nowadays needs to return to the moral values of Mayberry.

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