Sunday school is superfluous

In general, I think a lot of Christians — and perhaps not just Protestants — believe that Sunday school is the way for their children to learn about God. However, when we examine the Scriptures that is false.

Deueteronomy 6:1 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 O Israel, you should listen and [a]be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as [b]frontals [c]on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Spiritual education was and is supposed to be to continuous and daily walk. It is supposed to be from fathers to sons and the entire household. Church — or rather the gathering of believers —  serves to reinforce the Christian values that are taught by fathers to sons.

With that said there’s no excuse for your average Christian to be uneducated about what Jesus and the Scriptures speak. We live in a time where you have access to hundreds of different translations of the Bible at your fingertips. We have compilations of writings of the early Church fathers.

We are perhaps the most spiritually rich in resources of any generation in history, yet we are headed toward being one of the most spiritually bankrupt generations.

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17 Responses to Sunday school is superfluous

  1. Inspiration from Snapper who is teaching his son in lieu of having to leave his Church:

  2. Wizard Prang says:

    It has been my experience that a lot of so-called “Christian Education” is nothing more than an understandable parental desire to shield and hie their children from the world.

    This rarely ends well.

  3. @ Wizard Prang

    Yep. Generally, I think it’s a deep rooted misunderstanding about what “faith” is. Faith is not blind.

    If someone is really the Truth it is able to stand up to the Test of questions and doubts. Christian does that not only from an apologetics point of view but also from a logically coherent world view.

    It’s not a “bad” thing to not know the answers to some questions, but often Christians treat such questions as an anathema.

    When children who are raised under this environment get thrown into a secular world view (either public schools, universities, jobs, and so on), if they were too shielded and not grounded (rooted) in the the questions of faith then they fall away.

    Matthew 13:3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [b]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, [c]let him hear.”

    Not teaching children correctly is basically giving them a shallow root before throwing them among thorns.

  4. KPP says:

    Found this in my news feed this morning: It’s right in line with the Biblical and theological ignorance of Christians.

    My children have never attended Sunday School. Never saw the point of sending them unless it was to give the parents a break from managing them. But we trained our kids to sit quietly and interacted with them about the sermon at an appropriate level.

    We also homeschooled and got an earful about being too sheltering. But that’s the point of parenting – to shelter your children. We controlled when and how our children were introduced to sexual information. We developed close relationships with them rather than that being wasted on peers.

    It was not shield and hide them from the world, but rather to control how they were introduced to information and to do it in a manner that allowed us to answer questions and explain things. Our kids went with us to homeless shelters, hospitals, funerals, street evangelism, abortion protests, whatever. They were not sheltered from the world, the sin in the world, or the consequences of that sin, but they had us alongside them to guide them and direct them.

  5. SnapperTrx says:

    We homeschooled our kids for two year (not consecutively) and they are so much better off for it. I would have preferred we had just stuck to home schooling, but circumstances didn’t allow for it. Still, neither myself or my kids regret it. They had exposure to so much more than just the standard 3 R’s, but still excelled in their basics! And they are just fine socially. Each one can handle themselves without coming off as whiny babies or as overbearing snobs.

  6. @ KPP

    That sounds like a great way to do things.

  7. feeriker says:

    “Sunday School” in Protestant churches, to the extent that any of them do it at all anymore, mostly consists of:

    1. For adults, a rehash of some portion of a churchian Book-of-the-Month club offering, light on Scripture but heavy on feelgoodz

    2. For children, games and/or stories having little or nothing to do with the contents of the Bible, diversion rather than education.

    Given this, a conscientious Christian parent would do much better to simply hold home Bible classes that focus on actual Scripture.

    How ironic that there is a need to “homeschool” Christian children in the Word, since the institution that should ideally be central to that education is doing such a failed job of it.

  8. donalgraeme says:

    In general, I think a lot of Christians — and perhaps not just Protestants — believe that Sunday school is the way for their children to learn about God.

    For Catholics it isn’t on Sunday, but yeah, same basic belief. So very, very wrong. It is parents who are the key educators of their children’s faith. And as you say, that needs to be a constant education.

  9. Lost Patrol says:

    Sunday school doesn’t have to be superfluous, it can augment the work Mom and Dad are doing at home; but it must be vetted. Who is teaching your kid’s class, what are they talking about? If tracking with sound doctrine and Biblically based, it can enhance a kid’s confidence to see that other adults are saying what Mom and Dad are saying at home.

    Our method closely paralleled that used by KPP, but we also leveraged Sunday school sometimes if it was sound (lived in many places so sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t).

  10. The Question says:

    This is the photo of a Sunday School room at a church I used to attend.

    The wall has since filled up with more stuff.

    I’m sure all the kids know who Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman are, but can they name a single martyr? Doubtful.

    On a side note, when the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl the pastor invited everyone to wear Seahawk jerseys to church that Sunday, plastered the interior of the building with Seahawk posters, and had a huge Seahawk banner overlooking the interstate highway.

  11. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    Sunday School is the usurpation of the fathers role of bringing up his children in the training and admonition of the Lord, (Ephesians 6:4 ) it is his duty to raise of his children in the faith. When the church imposes on him low expectations for spiritual headship he is much more likely to be derelict in his duty.

  12. Lost Patrol says:

    @The Question

    I sure hope that photo is the worst I ever see for a room associated with a church. I Hope.

  13. @ Lost Patrol

    Yeah, I went with a more “sensational” title to the post than was probably necessary.

    I would say in reality Sunday school should be a “supplement” much like supplements for working out.

    It can provide some small extra benefit, but all of the heavy lifting is from actually lifting weights, eating nutritious foods and enough protein, and sleeping.

    In the same way, Sunday school only supplements a father’s teaching of spiritual matters to his children.

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  16. Agreed! I teach faith formation to first graders, and I’m amazed at the different levels of understanding. Some of the kids are bored because they’ve already been taught what I’m teaching while some of them aren’t going to church or aren’t sure if there is a Bible in their house. I’m not a parent so I suppose I can’t fully understand, but I feel like the hour a week I spend with the students should be reinforcing what they are learning from their parents rather than teaching them new information.

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