Don't Dumb Down the Bible for Kids
It has been several years ago now, but I was once speaking with a children’s director at a church in Maryland about kids ministry. While talking, this man pointed to a picture on the wall in a classroom that really bothered him. It was a picture of Noah’s Ark, similar to this one…
This picture bothered him so much because it portrayed a true, accurate event in God’s dealings with man in a way that seemed far-fetched and goofy. The man had a point. Often, to help illustrate Bible stories for our kids, we can be guilty of portraying something less than accurate. The intent is genuine, but the outcome can be the problem.
Let me explain myself a little more. As the child grows and starts formulating their own ideas and beliefs, they will consider what they have been taught by their parents, teachers, churches, and mentors in life. In our example of Noah’s Ark, the questioning child may look back on the images they saw growing up and question, “was this just a nice story to teach a lesson?” Some may even speculate that it is impossible for Noah to have built an ark that could handle all these animals, and even if he did, it would have been an absolute nightmare. As a result, they may start to question if God’s Word is completely accurate, is it all true, and do they need to believe it?
The answer to all of these questions is, “Yes!” God’s Word is accurate, it is absolutely true, and it must be believed. The stories in the Bible are not merely lessons, they are actual events that happened just the way the Bible says. My point is, we need to really consider what we are teaching and portraying to our kids about God and the Scriptures. Let’s not water down the Bible in a way to make it more palatable or appealing. Instead, let’s find ways to show the wondrous truths of God’s Word and the trustworthiness of it.
I recently had the chance to see the Ark Encounter in Kentucky. It was an amazing site to see the sheer size and capability of this ship. For me, it helped put into perspective what may have happened. They took some artistic liberties, but they did all they can to present an ark that was biblically accurate in design and realistic. This is the kinds of things we need to do. No, I am not saying you must take your family to the Ark Encounter. However, I am saying we must strive to present the truths of God’s Word as accurately as possible. God’s Word is true, so let’s be very careful and intentional about how we handle His Word.
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth."
Matthew Decker graduated from Piedmont Baptist College (now Piedmont International University) and is currently completing his MA at Tyndale Theological Seminary. It was at Piedmont that Matthew met his wife, Krista, and they have three boys, Gavin, Cameron, and Liam. Matthew, being from Ohio, is an avid Ohio State Fan and all teams in Cleveland. In 2015, God wonderfully directed their steps to central Florida where he serves as an Associate Pastor at Faith Baptist Church of Palm Bay, Fl.
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