Tough Stuff in the Bible and VBS curricula

So, yes, there is a lot of tough stuff in the scriptures… and in a sense, its a disservice to ignore that sort of thing and bury it as its too uncomfortable.

Then again, would it be appropriate to include in a VBS curricula?

  • David having Uriah killed to cover up his sleeping around with Bathsheba
  • The genocide of the Amalekites
  • The blessing of infanticide
  • Lot and his daughters
  • Judah and Tamar
  • The Daughter of Jephthah vs Abraham and Isaac

This sort of stuff would freak a lot of folks pretty fast… and the folks in charge of VBS would be run out on a rail.

And yet it seems perfectly fine by some to have young kids role play slaves, in combination with hijacking a language spoken in Africa.

I get that one can do the above, and spin it in such a way as to make it seem acceptable…. but deep down, is that really ok?

Is it an acceptable witness to ones community when the outcome is… our kid went to vacation Bible school and role played a slave, while the teacher kept telling them to work faster as they withheld supplies, and then tried to teach them some stuff about Africa and called Xhosa a click language.

Really… are us US Christian’s truly that tone deaf?

I think there are a few with an agenda, and I think there are a lot of well meaning Christian’s who find it hard to believe that someone wrote a curricula with a such an agenda. I think lots of eyebrows get raised a bit… but they see vast numbers of folks promoting it, lots of church folks working on it, and just by the masses of people involved, and seemingly widespread approval, it just has to be ok. Otoh, consider the following….



liguistic racism

And the official spin


It smells really bad…

I think its perfectly fine to discuss the above in Sunday school, but as far as making it an integral theme of a VBS, role playing slavery and hijacking a language in a disrespectful way, its not cool at all.

The challenge this late in the game is a tough one… churches ordered the curricula in good faith, assuming it to be well vetted, age appropriate, and that it would make a positive difference in kids lives. Sadly, these seems to have been a major fail on all of the above. Fortunately there is some good news… but not from official channels.


Fixing it is a ton of extra work by a lot of volunteers…

And even if it can be fixed, part of the theme goes…. “When life is unfair, God is great” Ok, so how is that going to roll for the young kid who has been raped? Or what about the kid who lost both parents in a car crash? Or the kid whose parents died in Afghanistan, or returned home after multiple deployments with major PTSD? Will the teachings presented in this curricula help or hinder a child who has, or will experience severe trauma? Is theodicy really an appropriate topic for young kids, and is VBS an appropriate time to approach it?

Maybe the daugher of Jephthah would be more appropriate. Afterall, Sunday school keeps telling the story of Abraham and Isaac…

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