Sheltering Our Kids From The Bible
I wrote on children’s church a few weeks ago. There are a number of elements I didn’t touch on because our ideas in this area are still in their infancy and our beliefs about how children should learn God’s word are just coming together and making sense. Up until a few weeks ago we did send our kids to Children’s church. I didn’t like doing it but I really saw no other alternative. I wasn’t sure what the right thing to do was. On the one hand I had it in my mind that children needed to learn about the Bible in ways appropriate for them. On the other hand I wondered why I felt the need to turn Bible truth into a cartoon when God never gave us an alternate book for kids.
In the last two years I have watched my children learn. I have read different opinions on the subject and searched out information to help me in my quest for efficient Bible teaching. My husband and I have talked at length about what I have discovered.
We have learned a lot in these past years and about 6 months ago came to a final decision. We knew we would be moving soon so we decided to not make waves by taking our kids out of our small church’s children’s ministry. In any case, however, we have opted to not utilize children’s church regularly any longer.
I have said this before and I will say it again. I have absolutely no problems with cartoon depictions of the Bible. I don’t see any harm in Veggie Tales and I don’t frown upon Christian coloring books. They are cute and very child centered. I like that and my children enjoy them.
My beef is that many churches are perfectly fine with replacing Biblical truth with cartoon images. The reasons for this is that children learn better when the Bible is taught in a manner appropriate for them. I agree somewhat with that idea but I think the church as a whole go about it the wrong way.
The stories in the Bible have been carefully and perfectly chosen to be a part of one amazing book written for all people, not just those over a certain age. It doesn’t matter what church you go to. That point cannot be argued as Jesus points out that children are not second class citizens to be shooed away.
God didn’t give us a cartoon version of His word. He gave us one age indiscriminate version which we have manipulated to keep our children from hearing the truth about the deadliness of sin because we think their minds can’t handle it. All we teach them is the cute stuff in playful, pretend, unrealistic cartoon form. And then, when their healthy fear isn’t developed in time and they go astray as teenagers we all wonder what happened. We took them to church. They were involved in Sunday school and youth group.
I believe one of Christian parent’s biggest mistakes is thinking that the Bible and its tougher lessons were meant for adults only.
When a 10 year old boy runs across a nudy magazine (or any magazine with half dressed girls) for the first time he is excited at the new experience. He feels it is something to hide but has no real basis for that feeling because his parents, pastor, and the children’s church leaders have hidden this issue from him. If, however, the parent has explained to their child from the time he was 4 or 5 that nudy pictures are an abominable, evil sin and why, when he first sees that magazine at ate 10 he immediately things, “evil”. He is 100 times more likely to roll it up and take it to his father to destroy together than to get caught up in a habit that is dangerous and life altering because the truth of that sin has been drilled into him for years. This has left the child little room to even consider getting caught up in this sin. He has been made wise in his young age and will fare better in life as a teen and an adult as a result.
We are raising our kids to be adults but for some reason we aren’t teaching them how to be adults. Replacing Biblical truth with cutsie Bible stories in animated form puts us on dangerous ground. Cartoon animal heads sticking out of cartoon portholes have never proven to bring anybody closer to salvation.
This is why I believe kids need to be in church with their families. Not only is it important for the family to be together for spiritual learning but I also feel that we need to stop sheltering our children from the Bible.
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