In typical childlike form, the illustrations were colorful and appealing to the eyes of a child. Admittedly they were appealing to me as well. I opened the package sat down to figure out what it was about. These large illustrated flash cards had a paraphrased story-like breakdown of Noah and his Ark. Just like the joyful happy versions we see painted on the walls of Sunday school classrooms these cards too radiated the smiling faces of different colored animals and an unconcerned, bald, bearded, Anglo-Saxon version of Noah.
As harmless as they first appeared, I even put the puzzle together that was on the back of the cards. It was fun for a few minutes. Then I sighed and put it all back together and neatly stacked it up. As I sat looking at it and feeling saddened that what I had received was a mass marketed mailing list promotion that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people received in the mail that same week. Then the though crossed my mind that many of these same individuals are going to purchase this curriculum and teach it to their children in their age delineated, and generationally divided Sunday school classes. Oh, don't fret it's equally done amongst the sexes for the adults too. Men here, women there. Same problem, inept, untrained teachers teaching the Word. Worse yet, we deprive the children of worship with the rest of the congregation where falsehoods are countered by the preaching of the Word.
How convenient. We can keep them busy with the passive, unlearned teacher who could be equated to an unpaid babysitter and let them have fun at the same time. While they are having fun, they are given the great Americanized version of a literal event that illustrates the power and judgment of the Lord our God. After all, the flood makes for a good story no?
One might ask why I have beef with these cheesy Sunday school materials. And you might guess the this is the premise of me telling you. They left out some important facts that should be communicated to all of creation regardless of age or ability to comprehend. I could do well to share in my own words, but I think God's will work better.
(Gen 6:5-7 ESV) (5) The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (7) So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them."
This part is summed up on card (1) in a few short words. "He looked down at his creation and felt very sad." Sure, it even mentions briefly that people had merely forgotten about God and had grown wicked. That's it. I would hardly say we should make children understand fully the details of the sexual immorality occurring in the text of Genesis 6, but then a majority of American parents consume visual images on prime time television right along with their Children just the same. I know that's a whole other argument, but I hope you get the gist of it. Right along with that imagery we have violence that was taking place amongst men while they walked the earth. Hardly a mere flooding of the earth "Just Cause."
On the bright side, this material could be utilized in the right hands of the right teacher. Sadly enough though, the material is part of a mass marketed media ploy to try before you buy scheme. You have to really seek out the details to discover that your free gift of the "deluxe" version is really a 10 day trial that you'll eventually pay for. And after you visit their site to see the other "fun" lessons they have, you can order the "New Age" flash card set, to learn about profound New Age philosophies that will set you free! Can anyone say motive please?
Would it be distasteful if I had no problems with you finding me a slight bit cynical in this matter?