New song we’re learning at ABC
The other day one of our church family shared this with everyone. It resonated throughout each one of us and we wanted to pass it along. Rather than simply provide a link and ask you to click it, we have copied the post below. Please note that this article is NOT AUTHORED by Armstrong Bible Chapel. The Original Post can be found at the link provided below.
Taken From: “I Wonder If Sunday School Is Destroying Our Kids?” By “Beliefsoftheheart.com” ORIGINAL POST HERE
She said, “I did everything I could to raise him right. I taught him to be like the ‘heroes of faith,’ with the faithfulness of Abraham, the goodness of Joseph, the pure heart of David, and the obedience of Esther.”
She wondered why he rejected Christianity.
I wondered why it took him so long.
Here is how we destroy the gospel message
Look at almost any Sunday school curriculum. You’ll find:
- Abraham was faithful, and God made him the father of a nation. So be faithful like Abraham.
- Joseph was a good little boy (unlike his “bad” brothers), and God made him Prime Minister of Egypt. So be good like Joseph.
- David had a pure heart (unlike his brothers), and God made him King of Israel. So have a pure heart like David.
- Esther was an obedient girl. God made her Queen of Persia and she saved God’s people. So be obedient like Esther.
- Finally, if we fail to be good, Jesus will forgive us (a “P.S.” tacked onto the end).
What’s so bad about these Sunday school lessons?
Nothing really. Except that they lie about God, they lie about these “heroes of the faith,” they lie about the Bible, and they lie about the gospel. Apart from that, they are pretty good. Oh, they also create “younger brother” rebels and “older brother” Pharisees.
Is the gospel our central theme, or is it a “PS” tacked onto the end?
The gospel storyline
The message of the gospel—the entire storyline of scripture—is God’s loving pursuit of people who run from him as fast as they can and who live lives unworthy of his love.
That’s why it’s called grace.
But our Sunday school lessons teach us to be good little boys and girls, and God will love us and use us. It’s the total opposite of the gospel. It’s a counterfeit of the worse kind.
The inside out of the gospel
The wonder of the gospel is not the love of the beautiful; it’s when Beauty kisses the Beast.
The Beast isn’t loved because he has changed; the Beast is changed when he is loved. Joy doesn’t come when he’s loved for his beauty; joy overwhelms him when he is loved in his hideousness.
If the Beast were loved for his beauty, it would be an unbearable burden. Any day he might be scarred, and soon he will certainly be a wrinkled old man.
So why do we burden our children with the unbearable load of “being good little boys and girls like the heroes in the Bible”? We wouldn’t load a pack mule with the burdens we place on our children.
There’s gotta be a better way
Let’s teach the wonder of the gospel. Let’s show our kids that God loves us … simply because he loves us. In our beastliness. That he loves us before we are good.
That his love isn’t vague sentimentality, but it cost him his most precious treasure to turn us into his prized possession; that the storyline of the Bible is God’s Search and Rescue mission to find the dying Beast and kiss him into joyous life.
- How Abraham was an idol worshiper and God loved him and pursued him;
- How Joseph was a narcissistic boy and God loved him and pursued him;
- How David was a murdering adulterer and God loved him and pursued him;
- How Esther had sex outside of marriage with a non-believer and God loved her and pursued her.
Our heroes weren’t loved because they were good; they were good because they were loved.
We may believe in the innocence of youth, but our children know better. They see the children in the schoolyard (and they see us at home!). They don’t need the counterfeit gospel of pack-mule-moralism; they need the kiss of the Beauty.
Maybe we do too. Besides, it’s what the Bible in fact teaches.
PLEASE VISIT THE ORIGINAL POST TO COMMENT:
“Notes from the crowd” is a new portion on our website. It is a compilation of ideas, notes and impressions from ABC attendees on recent messages. We believe a healthy church incorporates all into the body and value the ideas of our attendees.
Taken from July 28, 3013 Message: “Life Isn’t Fair”. This one one attendees impressions:
Works mean nothing. God does not need nor want us to “earn” anything. That is one of the single greatest pitfalls to the modern Christian. We do not earn ANYTHING from God. Simply put we CANNOT earn anything from God.
The principles of the world are very similar to those of organized religion:
- “Work and you will be rewarded”.
- “He who works hardest gets the most”.
This all seems quite fair correct?
Yet Matthew 20:1-16 shows that the entire basis of Christianity is in fact OPPOSITE to this concept (Seems to me, that true Christianity often contradicts organized religion).
It is not our works that free us, that earn us a place in heaven, or that gains is God’s favor.
Our works are meaningless to God. They do not impress Him and they could never be enough to earn us heaven.
Rather all is a gift from Him. Unearned and freely given. Our place on earth, our situations, our “rewards” are not direct in proportion to what we “do” (or think we do) for God. Life is not fair, but God is good, even if we are tempted to doubt that at times.
God does not want us to “work” to earn anything.
Rather He wants us to live and breath and do everything in love. We are not called to go out and “do things” for God. Rather was are called to live in harmony and relationship with Him (regardless of our situation). By seeking to draw close to God, our hearts grow more like His.
The result is a life of action on God’s behalf, not done for rewards or to “earn” anything, but simply as a bi-product of the enormous change that our relationship brings to our heart.
It becomes a way of life and not a means of earning our life’s way.
Notes used in this article are used with permission of the original author and have been approved for use on the ABC website. If you wish to contribute to “Notes from the crowd” please let us know.