Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stories for children (lies)

I sang with my choir at a homecoming service recently, and the children's sermon kind of made me gag, though I was professional enough not to let it show.  The gist of it was that if you put Jesus first, everything else will fall into place, and your life will be perfect and happy.

Riiiiight.  I just don't think that's biblical.  I know they dumb down sermons for kids, but that's not a story I've really seen in the Bible (and I've read it more than a few times) literally or figuratively.  Why do we lie to our kids by telling them stories that are not only not true but are completely false? 

If this is the kind of story we want to build the foundations of their faith on, should we be surprised if they grow up and out of this "faith"?  Basically, the first storm that comes will wash these lies away and leave them with . . . what, exactly?  They will have no true stories, and that seems sad to me when there are so many true stories out there.  We seem to avoid the true stories because we think we are helping our children by "protecting" them from realities they will face some day.  Shouldn't we instead be equipping them to deal with a harsh, fallen world?  Why don't we?

Do we really have to dumb down our faith stories to children until they become lies?  Is there a better way to teach true stories of faith to kids?  Have you seen this done well somewhere?  (Or poorly but in a way that can give us constructive suggestions?)

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