From the Blog of Eric Geiger: On Moralistic Teaching
LifeWay’s new curriculum, The Gospel Project, is aimed at teaching children the full scope of the Bible– where Christ fits in at every part of the story.
Some people see the Bible as a collection of stories with morals for life application. But it is so much more than that. Sure, the Bible has some stories in it, but it is also full of poetry, history, codes of law and civilization, songs, prophecy, letters — even a love letter. When you tie it all together, something remarkable happens. A story is revealed. One story. The story of redemption through Jesus.
The following is an excerpt from the Blog of Eric Geiger:
Children’s ministries can drift away from the grace of God and drift into morality training, burdening children and parents with virtues apart from the Vine. Similar to some moralistic messages common in children’s ministry is the tendency to continually address the behavior of teenagers rather than their hearts. While children’s ministry can drift toward teaching for behaviors people want to see in children, student ministry can drift toward teaching against behaviors people don’t want to see in teenagers. The irony is painful in many churches: teach kids how to behave until they hit puberty and then teach them how not to behave until they graduate. Is it any wonder that researchers and consultants continually tell us that the majority of students leave the church after high school graduation? If they have grown up under the burden of attempting to live by a list of do’s and don’ts apart from a changed heart, we send them out with a surplus of repressed behavior bottled up inside.
Children and students, indeed all of us, are incapable of living the Christian life in our own merit. We are utterly unable to transform ourselves. Because of this simple truth, transformation is not about trying; it is about dying. The apostle Paul knew that transformation occurs when we continually die to ourselves and trust the grace of Christ fully: “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:11).
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