About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Sundayschoolization Of Scripture
a child I attended Sunday school every Sunday.
Bible stories were simplified for us kids to help us understand.
Even as teenagers I seem to recall this simplification of
Scripture. From time to time
we'd ask our Sunday school teacher a question that would require a more
complex answer, yet for the most part, we got the simplified version that
left us in bewilderment.
typical Sunday school lesson might be the story of Noah and the ark.
Although being taught as Biblical truth, it was presented in
fairy-tale fashion which in my thinking blurred the lines between truth
and fable. We were seldom
taught the story's historical significance, or the truth relating to the
stories. Events recorded in
the Bible aren't simple bedtime stories to make us feel good.
the years I've asked people specific questions concerning Bible stories
they were taught in Sunday school. More
often than not, their answers were the simplified answers they recalled
from Sunday school. Apparently
no further thought had been given to the subject of my question since
their Sunday school days.
do understand a certain measure of simplification is needed for three year
old children. That being said,
I believe our children have more intelligence than what we give them
credit for. If you watch
a four year old maneuver his way through a computer, you'll see that to be
problem that I see is that many of us have not moved beyond this
simplification of Scripture upon reaching adulthood.
I call this simplification the "sundayschoolization of
Scripture". As adults, we
still approach the Bible as if we were Sunday school children, which
results in our limited understanding of Biblical truth.
This should not be.
of my biggest complaints is that as adult Christians we haven't grown up
in our thinking processes. We
still think like Sunday school kids. The
apostle Paul told the Corinthians to stop thinking like children. (1
Corinthians 14:20) This
problem is now compounded by the influence of post-modern thinking in the
Evangelical church. The
acceptance of such worldly philosophies discredit the details of the
Bible. In many respects the
Bible is being viewed as a devotional book, like a book of bedtime stories
to make us feel good. Its not
viewed as a book of truth for us to live by.
fear for the western church if we
allow this "sundayschoolization of Scripture" to continue.
We're already reaping the results of this trend. Many of us have
exchanged the pursuit of truth for the pursuit of personal
inspiration. We have no
desire to bury our heads and our hearts in the Word of God, as we claim it
to be.. In some Christian
circles truth doesn't really matter any more.
Truth is relevant, and possibly unknowable.
And, when it comes to a balanced intellectual understanding of
Scripture, who has the time and energy?
I believe Biblical truth matters.
As we de-emphasize Biblical truth, we destroy the very reason for
its existence, and in the process we walk away from the God of the Bible,
the God we claim to serve.