Culture At Large

Get Indignant

Chris Salzman

Mere Comments has a post about an easter preschool curriculum that purposefully fails to mention Jesus' death and resurrection, which seems to me to kinda be the point of the holiday...

We didn't know that the Gospel, like Ginsu knives and blood pressure medicine, ought to be kept out of the reach of small children.

At least that's what one church was told recently, by a publisher of children's Sunday school curricula, according to Two Institutions, a blog about family and church matters.

The pastors at this church in Raleigh, North Carolina, were perplexed when they saw the Holy Week Sunday school lessons for preschoolers from "First Look," the publisher of the one to five year-old Sunday school class materials. There wasn't a mention of the resurrection of Jesus. Naturally, the pastors inquired about the oversight. It turns out it was no oversight.

...

"Easter is a special time in churches," the letter from the publisher says. "It's a time of celebration and thankfulness. But because of the graphic nature of the Easter story and the crucifixion specifically, we need to be careful as we choose what we tell preschoolers about Easter."

The letter continues:

"In order to be sensitive to the physical, intellectual, and emotional development of preschoolers, First Look has chosen not to include the Easter story in our curriculum. Instead, we are focusing on the Last Supper, when Jesus shared a meal and spent time with the people He loved. We have made this choice because the crucifixion is simply too violent for preschoolers. And if we were to skip the crucifixion and go straight to the resurrection, then preschoolers would be confused."

The curriculum marketers must know how bad this sounds, so they reassure the church they believe that the Gospel is for all people. Leaving out the cross and the resurrection is actually to help children come to Christ. They write, "We're using these formative preschool years to build a foundation for that eventual decision by focusing on God's love and telling preschoolers that 'Jesus wants to be my friend forever.'"

The publishers note that there is an "alternate ending" to the kindergarten lesson that "tells a simple version of the Easter story" for older preschoolers, for those churches that want it. What kind of evangelical world do we find ourselves in when the Easter story is an "alternate ending" to the story of Jesus, at Eastertime?

Here's the original blog post.

And the publisher's web site.

Now, I am not a father, and frankly the thought of teaching a preschool Sunday school class is paralyzing to me, so I'm not going to run my mouth off much more concerning this story. I will say that I cannot recall ever being frightened about anything I heard at church (well, at least not until I started listening during "big church").

Any parents care to chime in? For those without children, do you think that hearing about the truth of Jesus' death and resurrection at that age would have (or did) adversely affected you? Other thoughts?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Evangelism, Home & Family, Family