Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Cross Too Violent

I was shocked to read about a popular children's Sunday School curriculum that leaves out the cross and resurrection from its lessons, deliberately. Here is part of the letter that accompanies the curriculum:

In order to be sensitive to the physical, intellectual, and emotional development of preschoolers, First Look has chosen not to include the Easter story in our curriculum...We have made this choice because the crucifixion is simply too violent for preschoolers. And if we were to skip the crucifixion and go straight to the resurrection, then preschoolers would be confused. Additionally, preschoolers, as concrete thinkers, are simply unable to truly grasp what it means to die and then be raised again through the power of God.

The inability to grasp the crucifixion and resurrection is not simply a preschool problem, it is a problem for every person on this globe. Apart from the regenerating work of the Spirit, I do not grasp the significance of the Easter story. The solution is not to leave it out; the solution is to preach it more.
(HT: Tom Ascol)

4 comments:

Mike Hall said...

Justin,

I am the co-author of Two Institutions the blog that broke this story. Thanks for helping to spread the word about this gross omission. Satan is a master at trying to steal away the gospel message, but praise God he will never prevail. Keep up the good work!

Blessings,
Mike Hall

laura said...

i have found that children are very open to the gospel- even the "violent crucifixion"- yes, it is violent. but i don't go into details of how many times Jesus was beaten, etc. i'm not out to give my kids nightmares, but it really happened- kids need to really know the gospel message in it's entirety. my five year old truly grasps death/resurrection of Jesus- without confusion. it floors me to think that this kind of deception is going on in churches today. i had someone also ask me not to teach the crucifixion when i taught mother's day out, and i had to humbly disagree and go with what the Lord was telling me (and jeanna) to do. no parents complained. it might be the only time those children heard the gospel message.

Rae S. said...

I am confused about why you do not see the importance of the Easter story except for the regenerating work of the Spirit.

I never thought of the Easter story in that way. I read it as a real accout of what happened to Jesus himself, for us to believe unconditionally as children.

Jesus was all man and all God at the same time. He was without sin. There was no need for the Spirit to regenerate him - for Jesus, the Father and the Spirit are one - therefore he did not need regenerating.

Maybe I am misunderstanding what you meant. If I am, could you please illeterate.

I agree the crucifiction should always be preached. Jesus resurrection is the part of the gospel which once we believe gives us salvation. The cross also has to be preached but it is only half of the gospel - but salvation can come from only believing both the crucifiction and the resurrection.

pastor justin said...

Rae,
yes, I think you misunderstood.
I am saying that I need to be regenerated to understand and be affected by the message of the gospel.
Apart from God opening my eyes or your eyes, it will not make sense to us. The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.