How Scary is Too Scary (and, are we the over-protective parent generation)?

I was looking around for a craft or something for Monkey’s bible class this week (and boy, there’s nothing specific on Ezekiel to be found on the ‘net) when I came across this:

No, a Jesus who is not crucified, buried, and resurrected, does not save, and doesn’t help ease the way to salvation. Jesus as moral teacher, inspirational rabbi, or “forever friend” apart from the Gospel only prepares one for old-fashioned Protestant liberalism, the notion that what matters is that I’m civilized, ethical, and enculturated as a Christian. That’s not Christianity.

…If this were just a Sunday school publisher, we could ignore it. If this were one isolated incident, it would not be worth mentioning. But it is not. The temptation that comes to all of us, in every era of the church, is to have Jesus, without seeing ourselves in the gore of his bloody cross and the glory of his empty grave. In the way that we speak of Him to our children, or to skeptics, or to seekers, we sometimes believe we’ll gain more of a hearing if we present Him as teacher but not as a former corpse. It is too disturbing, we think to ourselves, too weird.

I was raised Presbyterian and now worship as Church of Christ, so in teaching Sunday School it’s hard for me to compare it to my childhood – I don’t know what’s different between the “denominations” or what’s just different between today vs. my day. I don’t remember much about Sunday School growing up except learning the “big stories” – Noah and the Flood, Moses, David and Goliath, etc… Monkey’s bible class – preschoolers all – has a set curriculum, and they go through everything – and I didn’t realize just how gory the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, truly is. And we’re teaching it to preschoolers, and that makes me uncomfortable. Luckily my sister-in-law is doing more of the teaching (sometimes I kinda just hang out), and she’s doing it very responsibly and not glamming the violence at all. And it doesn’t phase the kids one bit.

And has anyone ever read Grimm’s Fairy Tales? Talk about violent.

Animal Planet? Monkey loves watching reptiles on TV. Do I shelter him from how the natural world works? It doesn’t seem to bother him watching that Komodo Dragon take down his meal – he understands that’s his food. However, I wouldn’t let him watch something that really terrifies him – like crabs, lobsters, and spiders.

How much sheltering do we do? How much is too much? Do we step back for our kids’ sakes – or for our own comfort and peace as parents that they’re innocent one more day?


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