Speaking of Christian Liberty today I happened to mention a phenomenon the people down here are going to be dealing with more and more. They’re going to face people coming who don’t want to participate in their Sunday school programs however spectacular or moribund. Paul Washer pushes the family integration wheelbarrow and Paul Washer can preach in Spanish. Reformed people are generally keen on him, and so it is a factor that will influence our congregation.
I don’t have kids, so I have no dogs in that race; if they want to put on a Sunday school, fine, and if not, better. I’m just pulpit supply, for various reasons, the main one being I have no pastoral concern whatsoever. I certainly do not want to get programmatic with them and enact changes I’m not going to be around to nurture, but I’ll support any parent who is not desirous to have their kid in the SS. So at lunch the thing came up.
They seem to defend the SS idea on the grounds that there are specific bits of information that the kid needs to get at its own level. That there is a narrow target to hit, and so if the kid is in the adult class, it is an entire waste of time because it will probably miss the information. That is dogma.
I think that’s pretty condescending, but I don’t have kids. Never having been a kid myself, as it turns out, it doesn’t do much good to try to argue from that angle.
But that is the heard to the matter, isn’t it? They think that the point is to communicate information and as long as the kid gets the datum, God’s purposes have been achieved. If that is the case, now I am armed. Because there is something infinitely greater than teaching them some obvious truth apparent even to a hardened Sunday school teacher; reverence for God’s word and for God’s things and for God’s ways, the challenge of an adult vocabulary (little love of language here—I wonder why), principles about life that apply from the cradle to the grave and perhaps maybe even beyond . . . maybe . . . you know?
They don’t think of it that way so much that one person was convinced that for people who keep their kids out of the SS, the moving factor would be the results. What are the results? She wanted to know. As if they never came without intimidating statistics to remove their kids from the SS. Speaking of results, they are really, really worried about their young people after all these years of age-targeted data in a SS program set up pretty much to cover all the Bible from nursery through high school. No, though I wish I had thought of it then, I didn’t turn the tables on her and ask her what the results were for what had been done all these years.
I do like what another pastor in the area does. They ask him to do stuff with the youth and what does he say? Fine, parents bring your young people, and stay, and I’ll teach you all the Bible says about parenting and families.