Sugar-Coated Truth

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Do today’s curriculum and resources focus
so much on making God’s Word palatable to kids
that they’ve lost the meat?

Sugary Sweet Isn’t the Solution

by Jamie Statema

God is many things, but tolerant isn’t one of them. He’s full of
mercy, grace, and slow to anger. However, God’s wrath, judgment,
and absolute intolerance of sin are just as much a reality. How do
I know this to be true? That’s easy: The Bible tells me so.

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That’s the real issue. Do we trust the Bible? If so, why have so
many replaced it with the latest bestselling Christian author or
curriculum? Do we trust the gospel of Jesus? Then why do we leave
out the uncomfortable elements of sin, hell, and judgment when we
teach kids? Jesus talked about these things all the time…so why
don’t we? Are we so proud that we think we know better than God? As
extreme as it may sound, I believe we’ve gone down a dangerous road
that’s begun to show highly detrimental effects.

I know there are many fabulous curricula and resources out there
that unequivocally assist in teaching the Bible. However, there are
also many that’ve made compromises in the name of “reaching more
people” and in the process have done eternal damage to countless
little souls. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. This goes
beyond business and straight into eternity.

We have curricula, resources, and books that have sold–and
made–millions, yet our society is as biblically illiterate as it’s
ever been. If we don’t arm our kids with the sword of the Spirit
(God’s Word), they’ll be led astray by false teachers and bad
theology. What’s worse is that when these kids become parents,
they’ll pass along their makeshift theology to the next generation.
It’s a vicious cycle that can be stopped, but we must change our
approach.

From the garden to today, Satan’s favorite trick is taking the
truth and twisting it just enough to lead people astray. He’s been
having a field day in the church, and it’s time to stop it the same
way Jesus did–with Scripture.

In a world where technology is changing at an unprecedented pace,
let us pause to consider that some things always have and always
will remain the same. God doesn’t change and neither does his Word.
How people respond to Jesus hasn’t changed: They either accept him
or reject him. No matter how cool you look, how relevant you think
your ministry is, or how awesome your latest album, book, or
resource is-the world will always hate you. If the world loves what
you’re doing, chances are what you’re doing looks nothing like
Jesus (John 15:19).

A Message That Stays the Course

As ministers of the truth, our mission isn’t to impress. I believe
it’s to trust God enough to point kids to the Bible. That’s where
absolute truth can and will be found. If Jesus continually talked
about sin, judgment, and hell along with God’s love, mercy, and
grace-then so should we. If we genuinely love the kids we minister
to, then we need to give them the complete truth (John 8:32). We need to stop being ashamed of
the Gospel and understand that the good news doesn’t make sense
without the bad (Romans 1:16).

The Bible never says we’re to change the gospel message when
speaking to kids. I’d rather give them the truth of God’s Word and
risk them being offended by it than to lead them astray with an
inaccurate “kid friendly” alternative. I’m a sinner who deserves
hell. Only by God’s grace have I been saved through the blood of
Jesus on the cross. Therefore, I trust the unpopular gospel over
the top-selling “opinion from a sinner like me” any day.

Let us not forget that when children invite Jesus into their lives,
God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell there and help them understand
the truth in Scripture. Now that’s a church resource. If you want
to give kids the strength and conviction to stand up to a secular
worldview, the answer is simple: Give them biblical strength.

Jamie Statema is a member of the children’s music group Go Fish
(gofishguys.com).

     

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