Sunday, March 09, 2008

No More Jellyfish, Chickens, or Wimps (Part 3)

"Learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow" (Isaiah 1:17, NIV).

If you are a parent or children's Bible class teacher, please read these quotes from No More Jellyfish, Chickens, Or Wimps by Paul Coughlin:

"Read your children's Sunday school or youth group curriculum. Go back as many years as you can. Volunteer in their classes and observe what they're being told. Ask them what they talked about and learned. You'll discover this: Churchgoing kids are instructed nearly exclusively on how to avoid sin. Their spiritual training consists of what a person shouldn't do. Avoiding sin is good and right. But what they're missing, what our culture is missing, is full and consistent instruction about what to do---which includes standing up for those being abused.

"..Yes, it's good when they avoid doing wrong. But what about when they avoid doing right? Sometimes it's what they don't do that facilitates disharmony and decay in the world. When we fail to love, we sin.

"Many Sunday school curricula don't even include courage as fundamental to a virtuous life. Some teachers relegate courage to the personal realm, telling children they need to exercise the courage to say no to others. That's important. But it entirely misses the Bible's admonishment to say no on behalf of others.

"Christians are encouraged to feed and clothe the needy, and this is excellent. But we're rarely challenged to defend those in need. Why the distinction? Because helping the poor usually doesn't include conflict; defending the needy often does. We don't like conflict, so we ignore this side of our faith life, yet we'll never attain a purpose-driven life if we don't learn how to do conflict well. And until we do, the weak will continue to suffer.

"...Good people stand up to injustice. Nice people don't---they slink away and cover their cowardly tracks. Good people make enemies for the right reasons---Jesus wouldn't have told us to pray for our enemies if He thought we wouldn't make any. Nice people worry too much about the approval of others to make an enemy when they should; they go with the crowd, right or wrong" (pp.157-159).


preacherman said...

I want to let you know I have enjoyed your series. I totally agree. We as Christians need to remember that God has given each one of us a Spirit not of timidity but of POWER!
I want to thank you for this excellent post brother.
It has inspired me and encouraged me. Keep up the great blogging!
Kinney Mabry

Terry said...

Thanks for your words of encouragement, Kinney. I always appreciate you input.