Teaching the Bible is Dangerous
In 2002, I heard International Justice Mission president Gary Haugen speak at the National Youth Workers Convention in Sacramento. I remember how I felt when Gary spoke about using his skills to speak for and protect the voiceless and powerless. That was literally a foreign concept to me. I was perplexed by Gary's challenge. I was even a little angry about it— so I went home and committed to searching and studying what Scripture really said about standing up for others.
About a year later I bought The Justice Mission curriculum and taught it to my youth group in the Fall of 2003. I will never forget their stunned silence as the first video played. It was awesome! As the first couple of weeks got rolling, my students were engaged as they watched the videos and read the words of Jesus. Speak up for the poor. Join in God's mission. Advocate for those of low social status. This was epic Sunday School.
In the third week of the curriculum I got pulled aside by a parent. “Pastor Adam, I don't think we should be teaching these kids this curriculum. It's dangerous. I am afraid that if you teach my kid this kind of stuff she may actually believe God is calling her to do that.”
- You need to teach the whole of Scripture. It might be more entertaining and certainly easier to teach the Bible topically, but often times when you do that you miss the depth of what Scripture is really telling us to do.
- You need to remind parents often that God is the potter and their children are the clay. They are not the potter. Adolescence is a high stress time for a parent and sometimes they need to remember that God's got a plan way better than theirs.
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